PDP11 adventures

Tore Sinding Bekkedal toresbe at ifi.uio.no
Tue Dec 5 06:06:53 CST 2006


On Mon, 2006-12-04 at 15:20 -0500, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
> OK... so I'm now the new (proud :-) ) owner of a PDP-11/83.

Congratulations!!

> I recieved this with 1 TK50 drive in the BA23, no hard drives (I have a
> decent
> selection of MFM drives, but if anyone has any spare Maxtor XT2190 or
> XT1140s
> let me know).  Anyone got any DEC drive sleds ?  I could use 4.

In my BA123 the disks have been screwed into the sled slot, I don't know
if this is doable with the BA23.

> is FPJ11-AA floating point, and does that mean my cpu card has that
> built in ?

Yes, the PDP-11/83 CPU has built-in floating-point.

> What is the max ram ?  i.e. how many more M8637-EF (or higher capacity)
> cards can be aquired and put in ?

The maximum amount of RAM you can put in a PDP-11 is 4 MB. 2MB should be
plenty for everything but 2.11BSD - in which case it is merely
sufficient. You also seem to have PMI memory, which means that memory
accesses go via the private memory interconnect rather than the main I/O
bus. Many PDP-11/83s (like mine :\) came with QBUS memory.

> Anyone have a TSV05 tape drive local to Sharon, MA ?  Or, anyone in need of
> a TSV05 controller ?

The TSV05 is, I believe, a Pertec controller (which shipped with a
Cipher M890/M891 or something thereabouts badged as a TSV05). It should
work with any Pertec tape drive.

> What is DDCMP control ROM ? that my M8053-MA has ?

Something related to DECnet over serial ports, that's all I know about
that, though I could guess that it's used for network booting.

> What is a DRV11-WA general purpose 18/22 bit parallel interface ?  Can
> this be used for a parallel printer ???

It is general purpose.. :) I think this is just 64 bidirectional I/O
ports which can be used for most things, I have two or three myself, but
I haven't toyed with them. Never tried putting a Centronics cable on it.

> As I'd like to have larger storage on it at some point, I'd like to
> locate a SCSI
> (or possibly ESDI ?) controller.  What should I be looking for, anyone have
> one ?

The SCSI controllers are relatively hard to come by, but the Emulex DQ07
(iirc) seems to be one of the most common, and is the one I have.

> I'm looking at running BSD (2.11 ?) and other PDP11 OSes... suggestions ?

2.11 will run happily on your machine, if you give it disk space
enough. 

> There doesn't seem to be a reason to the layout of the grant continuity
> cards.
> Shouldn't there be one in the left side of the 3rd slot from the top in
> the 183QA-D2
> (system unit) ?
> 
> What is the minimum card config to start testing with ?

CPU. The CPU has a built-in serial port and will give out a diagnostic
if it cannot find RAM.

> Any pointers on how the RQDX3 and RQDXE cards should wire up ?  The
> RQDXE in the system unit has a wide ribbon cable running to the front
> (which I presume breaks into the control/data wiring for an MFM drive
> there).. but the RQDX3 doesn't connect to the RQDXE ..

IIRC, my RQDXE does connect with the wide ribbon cable to the RQDX3. The
connectors for the MFM and FD are on the RQDXE itself.

> Sorry for the long post... I'm new to PDP11...

No problem, hope you'll have fun with it. :)

-Tore




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