PDP 11 - how to lock heads in a rx01 and rx02 - seeking advice

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Fri Jul 10 12:20:40 CDT 2015

> I asked for advice a while back on what to expect with moving a pdp 11, I
> was told to lock the heads in the rx01 and rx02 drives. I'M getting pretty

No. The RX01 and RX02 are dual 8" floppy drives. There is no need (or way) to
lock the heads in those. Both are single head units, so there is no need fpr a 
shipping disk either (on dual head units, the heads can bang into each other if
the drive is knocked about, but on a single head unit like an RX02 or RX02 it will
bang into the felt pressure pad which does no damage at all).

The ones to lock are the RL01 and RL02 (and all RKs, and...) These are 
14" hard disk units.

Actually, the RL positioner is pretty stiff. My experience is that if the drive
is transported front panel upwards, the heads won't move. Of course it
depends on how far you are moving it and over what sort of roads!

> lost in all the information about the drives, are there any good guides or
> sites with lots of pictures of the drives taken from different angles apart
> so i can get a better idea of what im going to be working with? Also,

You want to read _all_ the applicable manuals on Bitsavers. For the RL, at least
the user guide and maintenance/technical manuals.

> people tell me getting the drives off the rails and out of the rack is a
> pain, where would i find the appropriate information on how to do that? I
> really don't want to take the drives out of the rack, but if it comes to
> it, i would like to know how. I am scheduled to pick this stuff up in 5
> days.

It'll be in the same manuals (or at least how to mount them is, which is as useful :-)).
FWIW, I took my first RL01s out of their little rack to move them and hadn't even seen
the DEC manual. I found it dead easy. I do not know what all the fuss is about. I had to
take several RL's out for a recent house move and it took me a few minutes total. I find 
them easier than RK05s in that you remove the screws, the drives stay put. You release the
catches and slide the drive forward, it stays on the slides. Then you lift it off. With the RKs, 
you pull it of the sliders and it suddenly comes free and you and a friend suddenly get
all the weight.



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