Hitachi rescued

William Donzelli aw288 at osfn.org
Sun Jun 19 11:14:44 CDT 2005


I rarely post rescues, but this one was quite an effort, and I must thank
Dan Cohoe for being such a great help.

This Saturday, Dan and I pulled a Hitachi AS/6 model 2 mainframe from a
well hidden junkyard in Ontario. The AS/6 is not complete - the memory
(storage) and some I/O is missing, but the basic processor is
intact, albeit a bit grungy.

The AS/6 was a IBM S/370 clone, made in the late 1970s to compete with the
303x line of machines from IBM. According to some old mainframers, the
machine was roughly equivalent to an IBM 3031, or as another put it, an
S/370 model 168 with "crap channels".

Four cabinets were removed - all five feet tall, the first is a standard
30 inches long, and basically contains the front panel and a floppy drive.
The next two cabinets, both 60 inches long, contain the processor. The
third cabinet, also 60 inches long, contains the channel to channel
adapter plus the interconnects to the long departed memory and I/O "wings"
(the AS/6 was originally an enormous T shaped machine).

Each cabinet is quite full, each with three-deep gates (swingout
cardcages). The boards are fairly small, and are made of mostly stock 10K
ECL chips. The power units are 415 Hz fed, of course.

I have no documentation, so the chances of getting this running are
extremely slim. Everything is fairly well marked, and the small boards are
not horribly hard to trace, but such an effort would likely take
years. The lack of the memory box is not a huge deal - the AS/6 had only 8
megs, although it probably is quite wide, and may have had several
independed banks for faster fetches. The lack of I/O is more of a concern
- it is hoped that some channel hardware is intact. Also, the lack of the
microcode floppy is bad, but there is always hope.

Also rescued was a full string of ca. 1972 3330 Merlin disks (DASDs).
These are all in poor condition, and may never run again. A 3505/3525 card
reader and punch combination was also pulled out. These will need to be
rebuilt, but very likely will run again.

William Donzelli
aw288 at osfn.org





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