Stripping an RA80

Robert Armstrong bob at
Sun Jan 8 12:20:12 CST 2017

>Tony Duell <ard.p850ug1 at> wrote:
>Well, actually I think you own an R80 but don't know it :-)
>As I understand it, the R80 had the sort-of SMD interface. 2 cables
>(60 and 26 wires). It's not SMD, there are significant differences, but anyway.

  Can't speak for it being an SMD interface, but the rest of this is correct.  And as tony said, the R80 was used only in the VAX-11/730 with the IDC.  The IDC, with the help of the CPU microcode, turns the R80 into an MSCP drive and also controls up to three RL02 drives at the same time.  FWIW, you can put an R80 HDA in an RA80 drive and vice-versa without needing to reformat.  Don't know if that's true for the RM80 - I've never actually used one of those.

  I have an 11/730 in the garage with the IDC and R80 drive.  I've got lots of spares for the R80 drive itself, but only one HDA and that one is unusable due to too many errors.  Fortunately I also have a UDA-50 and two more RA8x drives in the machine so it's still usable.  It boots just fine from the UDA-50, but I'd love to restore the original drive.

  If anybody has an R?80 HDA that they'd be willing to part with, let me know!


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