Abandoned Prime looking for new home (UK)

Robert Ollerton rollerton at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 16:47:29 CST 2007

Oh Oh..  I'm having flashbacks looking that those pictures...  Rev 19.4 ya,
that was the ticket.  The Rabbit.   The coffee stained front covers.  Made a
great side table for my lounge chair and kept your feet warm too.

On 3/2/07, James <james at machineroom.info> wrote:
> Hi all, this is probably the shortest time I've owned a machine. Bought
> just a few months ago as a "project" I now have it to offer again. I
> simply don't have the skill to get this running. I've also got too many
> other projects  :)
> It's ex Salford Uni Prime 2550. Comes with 2 disk drives, 1 tape drive,
> 3 boxes of manuals, 2 boxes of tapes, 4 5.25" floppy drives and a bunch
> of terminal lines.
> Pictures (including all the manual covers) are here
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/17208732@N00/
> Located in Southampton near M27 J7. It's yours for the taking. I'd like
> it to go to a genuine collector but will consider any and all interest!
> I can hang on to it for a few weeks but it's just taking up valuable
> space right now. If there's no interest in the entire system then I may
> part out boards, manuals, etc.
> As I understand it when I bought this it had sat for a year unused.
> Previous to that it had sat for a few years in a garage and been used
> occasionally and prior to that had been in the hands of the chap who
> rescued it from Salford. When I received it I had problems getting
> anything sensible on the terminal then things went downhill and I
> discovered the main 5V PSU had failed.
> I tried replacing that with an external 200A unit borrowed from my Cray
> EL but hadn't considered how many other signals are generated by the
> power supply.  (MAN070 is available on bitsavers but this only covers
> the older Prime models - the power supply signals look the same but the
> VCP is very different). The ± 12 and +16 are all OK. I tried faking some
> of the power good signals and checked others (50Hz clock, etc). I even
> found one signal had broken on the backplane and have repaired that.
> Unfortunately without the manual for this specific model I'm stuck. In
> it's current condition it just sits with all front panel lights on and
> nothing on the console.
> CPU:
> As I say, the 5V supply has failed. I've patched several lines (the
> power good signals) inside the supply. I've had all the boards out,
> cleaned the connectors and vacumed the boards and case. I can include an
> 80A 5V supply if it's of any use to you (I'd hope 80A is sufficient. The
> 200A unit I was using is now back with the Cray!!)
> Disk drives:
> I found that the bolts holding the disk units in the casings were
> missing (a bag of "spares" was supplied which included the bolts and
> rubber mountings). I replaced the bolts before powering up, thankfully!
> One of the disk units powers up and spins. The other doesn't power at
> all. I removed all the dust too whilst the drives were out.
> Tape drive:
> Powers up and front panel buttons seem to "do stuff" but can't test any
> further.
> Tapes:
> These are all externally clean but a lot of the casings have cracked.
> You'll need some experience with 9 tracks to read these I expect.
> Documentation:
> There's a lot of very tidy manuals and also quite a few loose manuals in
> ring binders. There's also about 10 pocket guides. What is nice is the
> collection of history - there's administrator logs, service requests, etc.
> Floppy drives:
> I'm told the two original Prime badged units have failed. There's a
> couple of more modern replacements (and a handful of floppies) included
> - one of these should work!
> Without a working system I obviously can't test anything. Therefore, you
> should consider this as a source of spares or possible repair if you
> have the skill and/or manuals. I'm around most weekends for collection
> and can obviously give a hand loading. A standard SWB Transit does the
> job nicely.
> So come on, give the Prime a new home. Please :)
> James

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