MINC-11 (was Re: Collection reduction, part II the sequel)

allison ajp166 at verizon.net
Sat Sep 4 16:00:11 CDT 2010

On 09/04/2010 02:15 PM, Tony Duell wrote:
>> PDT-150 is a bounded system, no internal options to speak of
> That's waht I thought.
>> (assuming full memory and serial option).  As is the PDT130
>> (TU58 mass storage) and PDT110 (no mass storage).
>> It has multiple serial ports.  A/D, D/A and other general IO can be done
>> via
>> serial communications.
> It's certainly possible, but it wasn't that common at the time. Did DEC
> make ADC and/or DAC modules with serial interfaces for it? Was there
> software to talk to such devices (other than send/receive a string
> to/from a seiral port)?

No but it was possible to use M,K and other sries modules to do it yourself.

As to not common,  here (usa) it was, of course it wasn't cheap.

> I am wondering how this machine differed in its 'instrumentation'
> capabilites from any other machine with a couple of spare serial ports.
> How does it jsutify its name?
Packaged software.

>> I'm sure if it had a IEE488 bus port you would not have asked the question
> Indeed I wouldn't...
>> but, serial works and there are many instruments out there that have serial
>> as an option.  I know this as I'd used a Keithly High resolution DMM with
> At that time HP were selling ADC, DAC, timing generator, relay, etc
> modules with an IEEE-488 interface. The ADC I am refering to is not a
> complete DVMor DMM unit, but a simple 11 bit ADC with much the same
> capabilities as the one that goes into a MINC-11 Were other companies
> selling similar units with RS232 interfaces?

Yes, National instruments, Keithly, Simpson, HP[with options],
Tektronix and a multitude of smaller companies.  It was not
uncommon to use a complete 3-5000(US$) instrument
just to test a specialized part because it was flexible or
offered a very high order of resolution and accuracy
(>5digits).   Most ADC board were usually 10 to maybe
14 bits when the application needed 20 or more.

You only have to remember that by time the PDT series hit
the 8080/8085/z80/8048/8051/6502/6800 cpus were well
entrenched in the instrumentation market and but needed
a host with more power to do serious data reduction and
PDP11 was a common choice (DG nova.. others) as the
PC was not there yet (or taken seriously).


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