Looking for info on a CAMAC module - Kinetic 3912 Unibus Crate Controller

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Mon Oct 31 20:55:06 CDT 2016

On 10/31/2016 01:04 PM, Pete Lancashire wrote:
> Over the years I've played around with a few old CAMAC (*) modules, by
> today's standard they pretty much have zero value, anyway that's another
> story.
Well, actually, there are still a fair amount of CAMAC 
modules used in various research labs.

>   Recently
> I've been offered a CAMAC to Unibus board. A Kinetic 3912 Unibus Crate
> Controller .
> A Crate in CAMAC speak is just a chassis with a backplane.
> The problem with CAMAC is there is almost no information out there,
> Since I don't YET have a Unibus system, it more of a curiosity then
> anything.
> So .. anyone have the manual ?
We had a 2911 and a 3911 (I think) at Washington University 
in St. Louis.  in fact, I'm pretty sure it is STILL on a 
shelf in my office.  We haven't used it in about 20 years.  
I think the 2911 was a set of boards to connect an ISA-bus 
PC to a CAMAC crate controller.  Anyway, there are two 
parts, one plugs into the CAMAC crate master slots (24 and 
25) and the other plugs into the bus of choice (Unibus, 
Q-bus or ISA, for instance).

Actually, CAMAC is well documented, as it is an 
international standard.  Slot 25 has "N" wires that select a 
(1 - 24) to be accessed.  Each slot has an A address and a F 
(function) address that can be read or written.
Slots 1-24 are wired with a 24-bit read bus and a 24-bit 
write bus. There is also a LAM (look at me) bus that works 
like an interrupt scheme.  The 3912 plugs into slots 24 and 
25.  It was used very widely in nuclear research, but also 
in large industrial process control systems.

I'll check at work tomorrow, I think we might still have the 
manuals for some of these modules.


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