Rolm Computers: 1602, 1602A, 1602B, 1666, MSExx (was Data General Nova Star Trek)

Erik Baigar erik at
Tue May 3 10:41:49 CDT 2016

Hi Bob,

many thanks for your email and for sharing the photos. Obviously
the 1603 has a different processor card set (5604 as can be seen
from your photographs). So this is quite interesting as it shows,
that the chronology was 1602 (9 PCB processor), 1603 (5604, 4 PCB
procrssor), 1602B (5605, 2-PCB sandwich processor).

Yours seems to have TTY in slot 13 and there are 5 IO slots (15-
11) as on the original 1602 (1602B has got more due to the re-
duced number of PCBs in the CPU). The CPI controlling the panel in
your case is at the very end opposite to the power supply and
inbetween you have got two core stacks - in total 32kW I think.
A 1602B can hold 64kW of memory (only accessible via a banking
function proprietary to Rolm, so not usable e.g. for RDOS).

Have you ever powered on your 1666 with the 1648 panel? Although
the 1666 was quite popular in the US I think the non US customers
preferred the MSE14 due to better compatibility with the DG Eclipse

      Very interesting and again many thanks for sharing!


On Sun, 1 May 2016, Bob Rosenbloom wrote:

> On 4/27/2016 10:12 PM, Erik Baigar wrote:
>> On Wed, 27 Apr 2016, Bob Rosenbloom wrote:
>>> I have my Rolm 1603 working. No peripherals hooked to it, but you can 
>>> toggle in stuff from the front panel.
>> Very cool, Bob - we have been in touch seom years ago and
>> great, that your machine is still alive! Many thanks for the
>> picture and two questions out of curiosity:
>> (1) The panel is mounted on the rear side (where memory is) of
>>     the processor. Is it wired and powered internally or do
>>     you have to connect the panel to the plugs of the
>>     processor externally?
>> (2) The 1603 uses the same 5605 processor "sandwich" also
>>     used by the 1602B and not the 9PCBs of the earlier 1602s?
>> Keep up taking care of your Rolm, its a very nice and rare
>> machine...
>>     Erik
> Yes, the panel is mounted near the memory and plugs into the bus.
> I think it's the 5605 processor, four CPU boards + some I/O.
> More photos of it can be found here:
> Bob
> -- 
> Vintage computers and electronics

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