Introduction and RK05J Drive cabling

Matt Patoray mspproductions at
Fri Jan 22 17:55:57 CST 2016

Also be careful of the air plenum, may of them are very fragile now and if it gets cracked you are in a hard spot. And also if the foam is compressing too much it will not make a good deal with the bottom of the pack.

The other thing to be aware of is the emergency head retract batteries are toast and should be replaced with a 3.6v NiCd pack, that way if the power fails you don't trash a pack.

They are really nice drives for saying they where DEC's first removable media hard drive, a bit heavy to move but not that bad.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 22, 2016, at 6:25 PM, Joshua Stetson <saburwulf at> wrote:
> I think I lucked out on the foam, as that was one of the first things I
> checked. I had to go through and replace all the form in my 8/e chassis and
> that was a pretty disgusting process. These drives were used in a
> production environment up until a recently and seem really well maintained,
> and from the looks of it, a very clean environment. They were even shipped
> to me with the heads locked properly. I'm still going to be super cognizant
> of the foam when I pull the filters to check them though. Thanks!
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 3:09 PM, Pete Lancashire <pete at>
> wrote:
>> Be very careful of the filter assembly, make sure the foam seals are not
>> deteriorated to where they can add to what ends up on the platter.
>> On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM, Joshua Stetson <saburwulf at>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi there, long time viewer, first time poster. First an introduction:
>>> My name is Joshua Stetson and I'm a software engineer by trade. My
>> earliest
>>> memories have always involved computers starting with a DOS based Zenith
>>> 8088 where I played some of my first games.
>>> My first foray into "classic" computing was on a Commodore 64 which my
>>> Uncle gave me while I was still in Jr. High. I'd already been introduced
>> to
>>> programming at an early age, so this machine was an absolute treat to me
>> at
>>> the time as it was my first step into assembly language. As time
>>> progressed, my interests turned older and I began a collection of S-100
>>> gear including an IMSAI 8080 and a SOL-20.
>>> Over the past couple of years, I've managed to work back even further,
>>> piecing together a PDP-8/e system from various parts collected over the
>>> past 4 years and now I have a fully working 8/e including 32kw of core
>> and
>>> an RK05E card set. I've been running the system using Kyle Owen's
>>> os8diskserver and David Gesswein's sendtape utilities which both work
>>> absolutely wonderfully. It was amazing to be able to run Adventure on a
>>> native system!
>>> I'd like to send a shout out to Kyle for the os8diskserver, that is some
>>> pretty awesome work there. David for his software and archive of DEC
>>> documentation which was indispensable for helping me debug a few boards
>> and
>>> get everything running and tested. I also want to thank Vincent Slyngstad
>>> for his help and support on some questions.
>>> Now to my ask:
>>> Recently I've found a pair of RK05J drives and a few disk packs. One of
>> my
>>> drives seems to be in fully working order, the other the blower is not
>>> working, so I'm working on fixing that right now.
>>> I'm currently missing cabling for connect these drives to the RK05E board
>>> set. If anyone happens to have an extra cable set they'd be willing to
>> part
>>> with so I can bring these beasts back to life, I'd appreciate it!
>>> Ideally I would like to find the following:
>>> 7009026 Cable which is two ribbon cables with a M933B or C flip chip on
>> the
>>> other end
>>> The interface cable between the two drives: BC11A
>>> The terminator card M930
>>> At minimum, I'm pretty sure I'd only need the first cable to run one of
>> the
>>> drives, but I'd appreciate any help from those who have more experience.
>>> Also, I don't have a rack for this equipment yet, so I'm running it all
>>> tabletop, but I'm in the market for a rack + rails (I only have the rails
>>> for the equipment, but not the ones that mount to the rack itself. Any
>>> leads on more 16-sector packs would also be appreciated! Also, still
>> hoping
>>> to get the extended arithmetic boards, RTC, and possibly a TSC8
>> Timesharing
>>> option as I have 4 SLUs and would love to try out some timesharing.
>>> On a side note, I'm looking to perhaps sell or trade my SOL-20 sometime
>>> soon. It's 100% working as I restored it about 3 years ago. It works
>> great,
>>> but I'm looking to part with all of my S-100 equipment to focus more on
>>> DEC.
>>> Thanks!

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