preservation: linux and ST506/412 - SCSI bridge boards

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Mon Jun 26 21:13:10 CDT 2006

Tony Duell wrote:
>>> Torch QaudX. 
>> Mine use SCSI drives luckily (although I gather it's more common for them to 
> No QuadX configuration can be considered 'common', surely?

true. Although I believe only the later ones generally got SCSI drives - 
earlier ones had bridge boards fitted and lower-capacity ST506 drives.

> a Manta board for the floppy (for the rst of the people here, Torch 
> boards were named after water creatures, the mainboard in a XXX is a 
> Stickleback, the memory expansion board for that is a Limpet, and so on).

The never-happened QuadX memory board was to be called Mussel, by the way.

> XXXes had either the Omti board (which linked to a floppy drive and an 
> ST412 hard disk [1]) or the SCSI hard disk and a Manta.

I *think* they'll work with anything. There's a flag in the first sector on 
the drive that says which bridge board is being used (or cleared if the unit's 
pure SCSI). I suppose at boot time the firmware pulls the first block off the 
disk, sets the drive geometry on the bridge board accordingly, and from then 
on they all work the same way.

In practice, I think they all got Omti boards as you say. There were a handful 
of Emulex, Adaptec and Xebec bridges amongst all my ex-workshop stock though, 
so they obviously played around with them at least.

> [1] The original Torch hard drives were NEC units, and they are 
> well-known for developping stiction...

Yep. I had a couple with that problem this last week when I was digging around 
my Torch stuff. Luckily the spindles are exposed on the underside; they're not 
completely sealed units and so can be given a helping hand.



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