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    which OS

    ok...one more question,

    I My 11/73 has Micro/RSX-11 3.1 installed and booting. Should I use a later 11M-Plus version?

    I do have a DEQNA ethernet interface installed with an AUI transceiver. I'd like to actually get this machine up on the LAN. Could this be done with Micro RSX-11 or should I change operating systems.


    #2
    My first question would be how much memory does the system have? I have not yet found anything showing memory needed for different versions of RSX. Let's see what the experts say.
    PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

    Comment


      #3
      Well, amount of memory is certainly a good question.

      Also, I think the OP needs to clarify what he means by "get the machine up on the LAN". uRSX only talks DECnet. Is that enough, or are you in fact looking for TCP/IP? If so, then your only options is to go to M+. But you'll want at least 0.5MB, and preferrably 1MB to have the machine run acceptably.

      Another question is what kind of disk you have, and how you plan to get anything new installed?

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you for your attention!

        I opened the card cage and here are the boards installed:


        M8190-AB - KDJ11 CPU 15MHz
        M8637-EE - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
        M8637-EH - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
        M7504 - DEQNA - ethernet adapter
        M7941 - paralle interface
        M8043 - DLV11-J 4 line serial interface
        M7555 - RQDX3 - disk interface

        The system has a Seagate ST251-1 hard disk and the RX50 floppy disk drive.



        I would want to run TCP/IP...

        It looks like the "best" operating system is the RSX-11M+ version 4.6? I'm not sure what the limitations are of uRSX, except for DECnet as previously mentioned.
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        Comment


          #5
          I have a pdp-11/84 (Yes, 11/83 cpu) with similar set up and have run BSD and RSTS. I'd think you should be able to run just about any DEC OS from that period. Never have tinkered with RSX. Is it more fun than RSTS?
          PDP-8 and PDP-11 enthusiast. But enjoy most older PC stuff too.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by MattCarp View Post
            Thank you for your attention!

            I opened the card cage and here are the boards installed:

            M8190-AB - KDJ11 CPU 15MHz
            M8637-EE - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
            M8637-EH - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
            With two M8637-EE - MSV11-JE 2MB memory boards installed that is the maximum memory configuration, so there isn't any memory restriction on your choice of OS. The two memory boards are installed in the slots above the M8190-AB - KDJ11 CPU, so they would operate in PMI mode, which results in slightly faster operation. The M7608 / M7609 MS630 and M7621 / M7622 MS650 MicroVAX memory cards are different and incompatible. They have connectors on the edge opposite of the backplane to connect to the MicroVAX CPU with a ribbon cable.

            One limit on the choice of OS may be the 40MB ST251. If you want to try something like 2.11BSD with TCP/IP network support, picking up a SCSI controller would make things much easier. Also, maybe swapping out the M7504 - DEQNA for an M7516 DELQA might be good. There are apparently some issues with the DEQNA which were corrected with the DELQA. I don't have any real world experience with that, I have only ever used DELQA in my systems in the past.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MattCarp View Post
              Thank you for your attention!

              I opened the card cage and here are the boards installed:


              M8190-AB - KDJ11 CPU 15MHz
              M8637-EE - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
              M8637-EH - MSV11-JE memory....2MB? is this a vax card?
              M7504 - DEQNA - ethernet adapter
              M7941 - paralle interface
              M8043 - DLV11-J 4 line serial interface
              M7555 - RQDX3 - disk interface

              The system has a Seagate ST251-1 hard disk and the RX50 floppy disk drive.



              I would want to run TCP/IP...

              It looks like the "best" operating system is the RSX-11M+ version 4.6? I'm not sure what the limitations are of uRSX, except for DECnet as previously mentioned.
              The memory boards are for the PDP-11. However, I'm not sure if they are PMI or not. But I think they might be. As suggested by gslick, test putting them above the CPU. If that works, then they should work as PMI memories, which have a bit better performance.

              You can definitely run any OS on this hardware, which is good. But you are going to need a larger disk... Also, the RQDX controller is pretty slow, so also from a speed point of view, you might want to find some other option. The obvious ideal is to get a SCSI controller, but they might cost you a little bit of money.

              As for OS, if you want TCP/IP, your only choices are 2.11BSD or RSX-11M-PLUS. Both will require more disk space.

              There aren't that many "restrictions" with uRSX, except that it don't have all the functionality and capabilities of M+. I can't even recall if any of them are significant here, but I have never even tried getting TCP/IP running on uRSX. But V3 is definitely too old anyway. You need V4 no matter what. And M+ is better, so no reason not to switch if you have to upgrade anyway.

              Speaking of ethernet controllers, there are some issues/bugs in the DEQNA, but it will not prevent your system from operating. It's just that the operating systems need to poke the controller sometimes because it can hang. But both RSX and 2.11BSD knows this, and deals with it just fine.
              The DELQA can give a bit better performance, if that becomes a thing, and it can support network booting. But I doubt that matters here anyway. The only PDP-11 OS that could run diskless, using network booting is RSX-11S anyway.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tradde View Post
                I have a pdp-11/84 (Yes, 11/83 cpu) with similar set up and have run BSD and RSTS. I'd think you should be able to run just about any DEC OS from that period. Never have tinkered with RSX. Is it more fun than RSTS?
                Depends on your definition of "fun".
                I certainly think so. But I am a bit biased, since I like to play around a lot inside the system, and RSTS/E pretty much don't think you should do that.
                But as a normal user, you might find RSTS/E a bit more "normal".

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bqt View Post

                  The memory boards are for the PDP-11. However, I'm not sure if they are PMI or not. But I think they might be. As suggested by gslick, test putting them above the CPU. If that works, then they should work as PMI memories, which have a bit better performance.
                  The M8637 MSV11-J memory boards are definitely PMI capable boards. They were the standard memory for PDP-11/83 Q-bus systems and PDP-11/84 UNIBUS systems.

                  MSV11-J MOS Memory User's Guide, EK-MSV1J-UG_001
                  http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/qbu..._001_May85.pdf

                  The only other PDP-11 PMI memory board that I know about off hand is the M7458 MSV11-R, which was another memory option for the PDP-11/84 as mentioned in the following manual. The M7458 MSV11-R boards appear to be a lot less common than the M8637 MSV11-J memory boards.

                  PDP-11/84 System Maintenance Guide, EK-1184A-MG-001
                  http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp...aint_Nov86.pdf

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bqt View Post
                    ...
                    As for OS, if you want TCP/IP, your only choices are 2.11BSD or RSX-11M-PLUS. Both will require more disk space.
                    ...
                    There is also a TCP/IP package for RT-11 and TSX-Plus - https://shop-pdp.net/index.php

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by wa2flq View Post

                      There is also a TCP/IP package for RT-11 and TSX-Plus - https://shop-pdp.net/index.php
                      Very true. I'm sorry I forgot to mention them...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by gslick View Post

                        The M8637 MSV11-J memory boards are definitely PMI capable boards. They were the standard memory for PDP-11/83 Q-bus systems and PDP-11/84 UNIBUS systems.

                        MSV11-J MOS Memory User's Guide, EK-MSV1J-UG_001
                        http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/qbu..._001_May85.pdf

                        The only other PDP-11 PMI memory board that I know about off hand is the M7458 MSV11-R, which was another memory option for the PDP-11/84 as mentioned in the following manual. The M7458 MSV11-R boards appear to be a lot less common than the M8637 MSV11-J memory boards.

                        PDP-11/84 System Maintenance Guide, EK-1184A-MG-001
                        http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp...aint_Nov86.pdf
                        The -JB and -JC are definitely PMI. -JD and -JE I can't swear, even though I would think they are. Looking at the pdp11-field-guide.txt file, only -JB and -JC says PMI. But it feels strange if the -JD and -JE are not...

                        Ah! Now I see it. The -JB and -JC are PMI *only*, while the -JD and -JE are PMI and/or Qbus.

                        So yes, definitely PMI.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you, again. I used to have a Q-bus SCSI card, but I sold that with the uVAX 3300 I had a long time ago.... I remember it being expensive when I bought it to expand the uVAX!

                          I'll be on the lookout for the KZQSA (M5976-AA) or Emulex card and the DELQA (M7516)....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MattCarp View Post
                            I'll be on the lookout for the KZQSA (M5976-AA) or Emulex card and the DELQA (M7516)....
                            The M5976 KZQSA SCSI controller should generally be avoided except for specific use cases. There are good reasons why it is usually the least expensive Q-bus SCSI controller you can find, sometimes in the $50 - $100 range.

                            The major issue is that the M5976 KZQSA SCSI controller does not have an MSCP programming interface. As far as I know there are no drivers for it available in any OS other than VMS, and there is no way to make any use of it on a PDP-11. While it could be used with VMS on any VAX with a Q-bus interface, including the M7606 KA630, M7620 KA650, M7624 KA640, and M7625 KA655, if I remember correctly booting from the M5976 KZQSA requires an M7626 KA660 VAX 4000-200 CPU or better.

                            Another issue with the M5976 KZQSA is that it is only available with S-handle mounting hardware for use in a BA213, BA215, BA430, BA440 style chassis. It couldn't be mounted in a BA23 or BA123 chassis without physical modification.

                            The MSCP programming interface SCSI controller from DEC is the M5977 RQZX1. Those are always expensive enough that you would have to have a specific need for that particular SCSI controller to justify the cost. I have never seen one available at a low enough cost for me to pick one up.

                            The common options for Q-bus SCSI controllers are the CMD CQD-200 and CQD-220 series, the Dilog SQ706, and the Emulex UC07. The best deal I have noticed recently on eBay was a CMD CQD-220A that sold for $150. I was tempted by that one, but didn't really need another SCSI controller. Currently I see some Emulex UC07 around the $300 range. There is a CMD CQD-203/T for $170 that could be converted into a /TM version, but it would also require the hardware modification to remove the S-handle bracket.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank you for this guidance!

                              I looked around and it seems like most everyone is using the Emulex UC07. Normally, I'd want to go with the original manufacturer [DEC] so that I would have better assurance of software support. I saw the KZQSA was mostly available only with S-box mounting, so that was out. There may be a variant of that (-AA?) that could work in a BA23, but I couldn't find one.

                              There is one RQZX1 on eBay at a nice $1380, so that's not an option for me!

                              So with your guidance, I chose the Emulex UC07 from bbcusastore at $250. I should have that this weekend, and, would need to slide my cards around to plug it in. I seem to remember something about the Q-bus, in that I need to place higher priority cards closer to the processor for better performance.

                              On the other side of the UC07, I do have some SCSI drives, but it also looks like people are frequently going the SCSI2SD route. I'm thinking about that. I'm not sure I want to invest much more right now...

                              My path is now to find the simplest method to load RSX-11M+ 4.6

                              It looks like there's a couple ways people have done it. Use simh to prepare a backup image, and, use a TU58 emulator to do it over a serial port.

                              I have an RSX-11M+ 4.6 distribution in TPC (25MB) and TAP (11MB) formats, so that's my starting point.

                              I think I saw a thread in this forum from 4-5 years ago that chronicled a process...


                              Comment

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