VAX 11/730 quickie

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Sun Feb 21 16:33:14 CST 2016

> On Feb 21, 2016, at 02:57 , Mike Ross <tmfdmike at> wrote:
> Looking back at a long
> thread on vintage-computers last year it appears that tu58em had
> timing issues and was unusable on 11/730 but is now patched and
> working correctly... watch this space!

As a recap, I made a fork of tu58em which adds -x/--vax flags to work around a timing issue that I encountered when using it with my VAX-11/730:

I was running tu58em on a Mac. I don't know if the same timing issue is present when running tu58em on other platforms. If you want to try my modified fork, make sure you pull code from the nf6x branch instead of the master branch; the master branch contains the unmodified tu58em code that I patched.

I also put up the console tape images I use:

Next time I resume playing with my 11/730, I'll probably work on getting tu58em working with it when running on a Raspberry Pi, so I won't need to have my VAX tethered to a laptop.

In the more distant future, I also plan to make a dedicated TU58 emulator that clicks into place in one of the tape drive slots and plugs into the original internal cables. It'll be unobtrusive, and the UI will be the same as on an original drive (simply swap an SD card instead of swapping a tape). I like originality, but my experience so far has led me to utterly distrust TU58 tape cartridges. I might even design it to connect inline between the VAX and the real TU58 drive, such that when either SD card slot is empty, accesses to that unit will be forwarded to the corresponding real TU58 drive unit.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at>

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