Speaking of VAX memory... MSV11PK->MSV11PL?

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 13:05:41 CST 2009

Hi, All,

Today's threads about maxing out VAX4000s reminds me that I've been
meaning to ask if anyone has fully stuffed a 512KB MSV11-PK and turned
it into a 1MB MSV11-PL?  I have the requisite handbooks and know how
to strap the cards and such, but having in the past upgraded DEC
memory cards, I remember the "joy" of sucking out hundreds of holes
and looking for cold joints when the card didn't work the first time I
tried it (eventually, I did get it to work).  I just haven't done it
with a card that's more than a dumb block of RAM (the MSV11-P series
has a CSR for querying parity status, among other things).

Abstractly, I expect it's a matter of cleaning the solder out of the
pins, installing a lot of 4164s (the card supports 4116s or 4164s),
then changing a strap or two for the extra fields.  I'm just wondering
if anyone has done this and found and surprises.

I'd love to just have a pile of 4MB Qbus memory lying around so I
didn't have to fuss with things (for those that don't know DEC
equipment, 4MB fills the memory space on a 22-bit Qbus (no PMI)
machine), but I think I have exactly one card that large and it lives
in a MicroVAX I.

Thanks for any tips or warnings,


P.S. - someday, I may try the same with an M8417 to turn an MSC8AA
(16K) into an MSC8DJ (128K) by removing the 4K DRAMs and
fully-populating the card with 4116s.  The sheer number of solder
joints to get right has held me back on that one.

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