Microvax II 'primer'?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 13:25:55 CST 2018

So, I picked up (and I did just carry it into the house, and now I hurt) a 
Microvax II from another list member yesterday. Cosmetically it's a 
disaster (BA123 has a cracked top panel, broken wheels, missing front door, 
missing right-rear panel) but internally it appears to be complete; board 
wise we have:

   M7606 - CPU
   M7608 - 4MB ram
   M9047 - grant continuity
   M7504 - DEQNA ethernet
   M3104 - DHV11 8-port serial
   M7555 - RQDX3 disk controller
   M7546 - TX50 controller

... it's got a TK50 and hard drive (no idea of capacity).

Operational status is a complete unknown, and I have absolutely zero 
knowledge about these systems - so my question at this stage is what 
background reading I need to be doing in terms of pre-powerup* checks, 
actually hooking a console, if there's a suggested minimal config I can use 
to diag the CPU, and then (assuming it gets to that point) how to actually 
use the thing (I'm assuming it was running VMS rather than Ultrix, but I 
don't know for sure). I'm wondering there aren't any handy tutorials out 
there, alongside whatever DEC docs are recommended.

* e.g. for most machines I'd be thinking in terms of pulling all 
boards/drives, hooking up a dummy load to whatever PSU rails required it, 
and then at least running the PSU up in isolation first, but I don't know 
to what extent this machine requires some logic in place for the PSU to 
even run.



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