ISO: VAXBI hardware

Ian S. King isking at
Wed Sep 21 22:04:40 CDT 2016

I'll look in my stash - for sure no VAXBI SCSI boards :-)  I may have some
spare DSSI boards, though, as well as a T1010.  It's just a matter of
finding them....

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 1:03 PM, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Josh Dersch <derschjo at> wrote:
> > Hi all --
> >
> > I have a VAX 8250 I'm bringing up and I'd like to track down an Ethernet
> > adapter, this would be the T1034 (DEBNT).  There are a few on eBay, but
> > none include the cabling and bulkhead, which would be nice to have.
> I think I came upon one of those many years ago and never managed to
> get the cabling working (the module shows up).  I'd love to hear about
> any resolution on this.
> > I'm also looking for a T1010 (BI to Unibus adapter), as the one in my
> > system is shot (and given the lack of documentation, I doubt I'm going to
> > be able to fix it).
> I have a couple of broken T1010 boards - the damage was obvious -
> something messed up with the cabling caused some sort of high-current
> fault that cracked a specific DEC IC and fried the trace going to the
> part.  If you have one that "doesn't work", it depends on what's
> really going on as to how "fixable" it is.  I now have a good set of
> cables, a good T1010 module, a good DD11-DK, and three bad M9313 UET
> boards.  I know they are bad because I can follow what docs _are_ out
> there, bang on some BI registers and see that it's failing self-test
> in a specific way that means "I can't talk to the UET".  If you can
> talk to the BI chip on your T1010 board (the state of the yellow LED
> is not indicative of that), then you might be able to learn something
> about what's failing.  If you can't talk to the BIIC, they are
> socketed and you could try swapping it with one from another board.
> There are a couple of revs of the BIIC.  I've never known that it
> makes much practical difference, but just be aware there are stamped
> revision letters on the chip.
> As mentioned, besides the T1010, you'll need 4x 30-pin cables, and a
> paddle card to the front of a DD11, and the DD11 itself - mine is in a
> BA11-K next to the cabinet with the 8250 BA32, but I know that there
> were also some BA32 with one BI cage and one DD11-DK.  I do not know
> how those are powered or wired in.  You'll also need a working M9313.
> That's the specific reason I'm trying to get a Unibus PDP-11 working
> right now - to test my M9313 cards and verify any repairs.
> > Also -- any suggestions for mass storage?  I have a KDB50 (T1002, T1003
> > set), but SDI drives are getting harder to find.
> I still owe you a list and/or picture from my external SDI<->ESDI box,
> but, yeah, SDI drives aren't getting more abundant.
> > I assume VAXBI SCSI
> > adapters are even more scarce than their Unibus counterparts....
> ISTR back in the day, new, a VAXBI SCSI board was $10,000.  I have
> never seen one in person.
> -ethan

Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School <>
Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a Sociotechnical
Narrative Through a Design Lens

Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <>
Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <>

University of Washington

There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."

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