Looking for DEC RA80 (or RM80, R80) service manual (EK-ORA80-SV or similar)

Josh Dersch derschjo at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 22:44:43 CDT 2019

Hi all --

I have an R80 drive in my VAX-11/730 cabinet that I'm trying to get
running.  Symptoms are: most of the time when the Run/Load switch is
depressed, the drive will begin spinning up for 1-2 seconds (sometimes as
long as 3-4 seconds) and then stop, faulting with error code 01 ("Spindle
Timeout Error").  Every now and again it will spin up and go ready -- the
other night it ran for several hours, long enough for me to get a dump of
the disk with no read errors (*).

I've checked the usual -- the motor and the spindle spin freely and the
belt is good and tight.  Connectors have been cleaned and reseated, as have
socketed ICs.  Power supply voltages are OK.  The motor start cap tests
fine.  I'm getting pulses from the optical spindle sensor.  I suspected
that the brake might have been slowing things down during spin-up as it was
a bit noisy (due to some light corrosion), but the spin-up error persists
even with it entirely removed.

I haven't been able to find the actual service manual for the R80 (or the
very closely related RA80 and RM80 drives).  Anyone have a copy stashed
somewhere?  Anyone have any debugging advice?

Thanks as always,

(*) The drive contained a 4.3BSD system used to run a bbs and uucp relay,
"Darkstar 730" out of Beaverton, OR.  Looks like it was last run in the
early 1990s.  Now I just need to track down the owner :).

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