VAX 11/750 rescued, alas...

J Blaser oldcpu2 at rogerwilco.org
Fri Oct 5 20:09:30 CDT 2007


[Sorry for the double post...having trouble with my mailer
line-wrapping]

The gods smiled upon me, and I was chosen to rescue the DEC 
VAX 11/750 that Richard alerted us too about a month ago. 
Yesterday I went up to collect it.  I think most of us, 
during a pickup, are mindful of just getting the load 
onboard and away, and it was the same way for me with
this pickup.  Besides, the unit was literally stuffed so 
tightly into the front corner of their storage that there 
was no way to examine the innards at that location.  A few 
images can be found at:

http://www.rogerwilco.org/VAX11-750

Once back on homebase, I finally got a chance to open up the 
unit.  To my horror (it is October, after all), I find just 
a single board installed in the CPU backplane, and one loose 
q-bus board!  The first is a System Industries 9700-6301 
with the following significant chips: Signetics N8X60N, AMD 
AM9128 (x2), Motorola MCM93L422PC (x4), TI SN74S181N, and 
about a dozen TI 82S137s with little numbered stickers on
each.  Otherwise it's loaded with TTL logic chips.  There 
are no headers or other connectors on board, just the 
backplane fingers.   I have no idea what this board is.  I 
openly admit that I'm a complete {non-uVAX | massbus | 
unibus} novice.  The second board is an MCD MLSI PC-11, 
which I'm guessing may be some kind of dual parallel 
interface.  I'll have to do a little scouting on Bitsavers 
and Manx to see if I can turn up anything useful.

Anyway, sadly, this box is not much more than an empty 
carcass, without any brains.  It clearly was sacrificed to 
keep other systems alive.  Still, I would dearly love to 
populate the backplane(s) and light this baby up, but I 
guessing I'll be hard pressed to find anyone with a whole
set of spares that I could somehow convince into letting 
them go.

I don't want to lose an opportunity here, and I'm not saying 
that I have my eye on the local metal recycler just yet, but 
what am I going to do with an empty chassis?!  Now, I should 
say that the donor was extremely nice, and offered to pass 
along anything related that eventually turns up as they dig 
deeper into their massive pile (12' x 15' x 20', literally 
boxes/cartons/PCs upon boxes/cartons/PCs), but I'm not sure 
I should hope for much.

Am I foolish to ask?  Anyone with a spare set of VAX 11/750 
modules?

- Jared





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