PDP-11 bootup

John Floren slawmaster at gmail.com
Thu Mar 26 00:35:03 CDT 2009

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 11:31 PM, Jerome H. Fine <jhfinedp3k at compsys.to> wrote:
>>John Floren wrote:
>>> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 11:06 PM, Zane H. Healy <healyzh at aracnet.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, 25 Mar 2009, John Floren wrote:
>>>> I just brought home my spiffy new MicroPDP-11, hooked it up to my
>>>> laptop (couldn't find cables to go to any real terminals) and tried
>>>> booting. Right now, all I see at power-on is:
>>>> 173000
>>>> @
>>>> I can type things after the @, but it seems that pretty much any
>>>> keypress results in a '?' and a new prompt.
>>>> I'm a total PDP-11 newb, but the users manual implied that I should be
>>>> seeing some sort of post-ish procedure similar to what you get on a
>>>> VAX. Any ideas?
>>> What boards are in the system?  Is the CPU dual or quad height?  What
>>> board
>>> is the terminal hooked to?  IIRC, this indicates you're lacking a
>>> bootstrap.
>>> If we know what boards, and drives you have we can probably better advise
>>> you.
>>> Zane
>> This is on a KDJ11-A (dual height). I've just been reading the manual
>> and yes, as Josh notes, it seems that I'm in the ODT prompt. Do I just
>> want to try "P" and see what happens?
>> Right now I have the drives disconnected, but it has the standard dual
>> 5.25" floppy drives and Maxtor XT-2190 (190 MB) drive in it. At the
>> moment, I have the power supply to the drives disconnected because I
>> wanted to make sure I could get to a boot prompt sort of thing without
>> spinning up and spinning down the hard drive all the time--I also
>> wanted to avoid having it start booting RT-11 while I'm not watching
>> the console.
>> Currently the card stack looks like:
>> [     dual-height KDJ11-A      ] [empty] [empty]
>> [ board connected to serial lines] [empty] [empty]
>> [ Three connected boards that I believe are     ]
>> [  extra hardware installed by the lab              ]
>> [                                                                 ]
>> [   another board
> Jerome Fine replies:
> My best guess is that you have a BA23 box since you seem to be describing
> having two 5 1/4" drives included in your configuration.
> Since RT-11 is quite happy to boot with the drives in WRITE  PROTECT,
> I suggest that you attempt to figure out the "sort of" front panel which
> allows
> that to be done for the RD54 (Maxtor XT-2190).  If you have a floppy as
> well, place a WRITE  PROTECT tab on it.
> If you can also provide the names of the boards, that would be more helpful.
> With a KDJ11-A (dual) CPU which does not have an boot ROMs, you may
> have a third party controller for the drives with a boot ROM.  Otherwise, if
> you have an RQDX3 (M7555 dual board - required for an RD54) which
> does not have a boot ROM and there is no other board with a boot ROM,
> you will have to enter the boot program via ODT.  Since this takes only
> about
> 5 minutes to do, it is not an impossible situation.
> Any other question?
> Jerome Fine

Here is a complete list of the boards in my system, as removed from
top to bottom (this was a rack mount unit)
1x M8192
1x M7195
1x mysterious quad-height board from DEC; I can only find labels
saying "PC304135-I4", "0202", and "Rear PSW1-0"
2x Matrox QRGB-G-64/4 boards
1x Matrox QVAF-512/8A (or QVAF-5/2/8A, hard to read)
1x Dataram 40903 (memory? It's got tons of little ICs)
1x M7941
1x M7555

Here are all the boards I have that were *not* installed:
1x M9400
2x M7946
1x TI GPIB11V-1
5x M8045
1x Data Systems Design A44324
2x M8043
1x M8192
1x DT 2766
1x M7195
1x M8059
1x M7270
1x 3com board, all I can find is "QE serial 0223-01". It's dual-height
1x Data Systems Design 804140
1x M9400
4x M8013
1x M7856
2x Matrox QRGB-G-64/4

Hope this helps

John Floren
"I've tried programming Ruby on Rails, following TechCrunch in my RSS
reader, and drinking absinthe. It doesn't work. I'm going back to C,
Hunter S. Thompson, and cheap whiskey." -- Ted Dziuba

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