cctalk Digest, Vol 69, Issue 29

Johnny Billquist bqt at
Sun May 17 04:24:22 CDT 2009

cctalk-request at wrote:
> Message: 26
> Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 12:31:25 -0400
> From: Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at>
> Subject: Re: DEC ST506 Interface Adapter Part No 54-17003-01
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
> 	<cctalk at>
> Message-ID:
> 	<f4eb766f0905160931veb8ff8ax6957d5c2abd0d432 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 5:51 PM, Julian Skidmore
> <julianskidmore at> wrote:
>>> >> I thought it could only format "known" disk types, not arbitrary disks
>>> >> (a firmware limitation in the formatter application, not a hardware
>>> >> limitation).
>> >
>> > Surely, it's possible to hack an RQDX3 controller's ROM to support arbitrary geometries?
> The geometries aren't in the RQDXn ROMs - the formatter application
> writes them to the disk during the formatter process.
> There are three VAX formatters I know of - the ROMs on a VS/uV2000,
> the Customer Runnable Diagnostics (CRD) and the Field Service
> diagnostics.
> I know the CRD formatter only allows you to select known drives from a
> menu table and the Field Service formatter allows you to enter
> arbitrary values (i.e., has a menu plus a fill-in page).  The
> ROM-based formatter on the VS/uV2000 was the one I appear to have
> mis-remembered the capabilities of.
> No hacking of the RQDX3 is required, just selection of the right
> formatter application.

However, all information is not just located on the disk either.
The RQDX1 and RQDX2 use a format that is incompatible with the RQDX3. In 
order to use an RD52 (for instance) that has been formatted on a RQDX2 
on a RQDX3, you need to reformat it...

Also, an RQDX1 or RQDX2 cannot control an RD54. No matter what 
formatting program you use. You need the RQDX3 for that.


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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