Unibus controller for MFM disks

Mike Ross tmfdmike at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 18:53:05 CDT 2016

On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 3:33 AM, Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org> wrote:
> I can only think of one, the AED WINC-08 RL02 system, but that used 8" drives
> Good luck finding one, and the matching interface card. I don't think Qualogy
> Emulex or Dilog ever made MFM for Unibus. MFM controllers were mainly a QBus
> market. I suppose some day I should make a list of all of the Unibus/Qbus disk
> and tape controller vendors I can think of.
> There is a project going on right now in support of the Y-Combinator
> Alto restoration to create a Diablo model 30 drive emulator.
> Given how many RK11's there are in the world, that might be an option
> once it's working. There is also the German RL02 drive emulator, which
> seems to have stalled again.
> I hope someone gets a Q/Unibus non-mscp small disk emulator PCB built
> some day. I wonder if Guy has had any time to work on his.

A plug-compatible Massbus disk/tape emulator would be a Good Thing;
there are things like pdp-10s that rely exclusively on Massbus and
rare finicky power-hungry beasts like RP06. I kinda heard that LCM
were working on something like that but don't know how far they got.
Setasi had a disk emulator system based on a PC with a Massbus-on-FPGA
card but they're rare and pretty unmaintainable too; I have one but
not got it working yet.

IBM channel-attached DASD would be another good one. It exists - the
FlexCub. I know LCM use those too - but the price is commercial and
way way up there. A hobbyist license for that would be helpful! I have
a System/3 pretty much ready to boot - but it never will unless I can
find or emulate the 3340 disks which are the only things it can use.


'No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his brother.
Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame.
For one person, in the dark, where no one will ever know or see.'

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