Help setting up a SBS/Bit3 PCI-to-VMEBus cards

Christian R. Fandt cfandt at
Tue Jul 5 13:19:25 CDT 2005

Upon the date 13:27 05-07-05, Ram Meenakshisundaram said something like:
>Hi Chris,
>I was able to get the drivers from SBS.  They have the manuals, etc online
>and anyone can download them.  Better than other companies where it is a

That's great that SBS has them available on their website now. Back in 
97/98, Bit3 themselves were a right pain to deal with and wanted much money 
for various software, manuals, etc. This was maybe 'cuz the 973 was new 
product, but still, don't abuse your customers!

Anyway, during development, we ran the application in a mode that did not 
require the windoze PC to be lashed-up to the VMEbus equipment. However, 
the Bit 3 drivers HAD to be installed for the homespun hardware emulator to 
work. This is great in that I can download and install the Bit3 drivers and 
once again perhaps play with this application, an old friend :-)  Seems the 
compiled application was around 1 meg in size, large for those days with 
minimal GUI requirements.

>pain to get them.  Since I am quite a newbie when it comes to VME, I am not
>sure if I installed everything correctly.  I got the chassis hooked up and
>everything and the showrevs utility does seem to pick up both the PCI and
>VMEBus cards.  I really want to get this working under Linux, but I want the
>windows version up and running first.  Here is what I have so far:

Well, with some of the Delphi files written in Pascal, you may be able to 
extract enough to get an idea on writing C drivers both for windoze and for 

>1) A VME Chassis with the SBS board connected to slot #0 (System controller)

Correct location. See termination comment below . . .

>2) Several transputer VME slave boards on the other slots. I want just the
>1st transputer board to be recognized by the VME bus while the others are
>there just for power and J2 connections.
>3) The drivers I have for the transputer boards are UNIX source files which
>I need to convert over to Windows XP/SBS style.  I could surely use some
>help here (any software that illustrates how to communicate when be

Well, I'll rummage around in the directory where I have the project stored 
an email them to you.

Are you indicating that SBS/Bit3 has updated drivers for windoze xp?

>4) There seems to be terminators? on both the J1 and J2 on slot #0.  What
>are they used for?  Should I remove them?  They are on the back of the VME

Both ends of the VMEbus need to be terminated, so slot #0 having 
terminators is fine. Look at the last slot at the other end and see if 
there are terms there. Also, and this is where my memory fails me, there 
*may* have been provisions to terminate the bus on the SBS VME board. The 
manual should discuss that.

>5) This is a VERO chassis (if that has any relevance).

I believe VERO was a good VMEbus chassis/motherboard mfgr., so it should be 
a good, quiet design. Never had personal hands-on experience with VERO though.

Now, with all this said, I'm very interested in getting a 973 board set, 
and cable, for myself so that I may experiment with lashing up PCs and to 
of my VMEbus systems! Anybody have any PCI/VME Bit3 interface card sets 

>Thanks a lot,

Christian Fandt,    Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY  USA      cfandt at
         Member of Antique Wireless Association

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