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DEC AXPvme questions

PhotoMan

New Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
3
Location
New York
Hi Guys,

I have a few printers running on DEC AXPvme 100 (EBV10 54–24121–02) boards.
Ive taken to backing up every EEPROM and EPROM I can, just in case they one day die.

I am a little (more then a little) confused on how to backup the programming on the AXPvme boards.
I can get to the console (>>>) prompt just fine. But the normal unix commands don't really work as I would expect them too.

I was also able to pull the Dallas DS1386 Ram/watchdog and back that up.
That seems to contain some of the startup and some logging.

From the little ive been able to figure out, I think its running or built on some version of VX works.
I think that version would have been 3.20 but that’s a guess from the hex dump.

There is a userflash listed but I cant seem to get into that.

Any ideas on how I can go about backing it up?

Thanks!!
 

PhotoMan

New Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
3
Location
New York
Yes, it has the P2 adapter for scsi and a passthrough vme for additional user ports.
They made 2 versions, one for the single slot and one for the dual slot. Both are pretty much identical parts wise.
 

cruff

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
395
Location
Colorado
Hi Guys,
I am a little (more then a little) confused on how to backup the programming on the AXPvme boards.
I can get to the console (>>>) prompt just fine. But the normal unix commands don't really work as I would expect them too.

Probably because the >>> prompt is not a Unix prompt, but the Alpha boot ROM. Have you been able to determine if there is a "single user" style boot available for those printer controllers? Why do you think they run a Unix type OS?
 

commodorejohn

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
3,300
Location
California, USA
Later Alpha SRM versions do offer a vaguely *nix-ey set of commands; the firmware on my AlphaPC board does. But that is a later addition; I don't know exactly when it was introduced, but even the last firmware update for my Alpha 3000 300x doesn't have that.
 

PhotoMan

New Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
3
Location
New York
Probably because the >>> prompt is not a Unix prompt, but the Alpha boot ROM. Have you been able to determine if there is a "single user" style boot available for those printer controllers? Why do you think they run a Unix type OS?

That’s a very good point, I realized that as well. I have no idea how to get to one but while I was thinking about it, I got distracted when a backup AXPvme board I was testing decided to burst into flames.
A tantalum cap on the back of the board went off in spectacular fashion. Burnt a whole halfway through the PCB. By luck it was mostly between separation in a ground plane.
It also destroyed the magnetics for communication, still have no idea how or why...its potted. After scrapping the charcoal away and replacing the damaged parts, im still working on getting that board up.

Anywhoo, back to the OS. I think its some version of Vxworks. I just don't know how to get any further once it boots.
Any ideas?
 

TheProf

New Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2023
Messages
1
Hi Guys,

I have a few printers running on DEC AXPvme 100 (EBV10 54–24121–02) boards.
Ive taken to backing up every EEPROM and EPROM I can, just in case they one day die.

I am a little (more then a little) confused on how to backup the programming on the AXPvme boards.
I can get to the console (>>>) prompt just fine. But the normal unix commands don't really work as I would expect them too.

I was also able to pull the Dallas DS1386 Ram/watchdog and back that up.
That seems to contain some of the startup and some logging.

From the little ive been able to figure out, I think its running or built on some version of VX works.
I think that version would have been 3.20 but that’s a guess from the hex dump.

There is a userflash listed but I cant seem to get into that.

Any ideas on how I can go about backing it up?

Thanks!!
Hi Photoman, Do you know how to copy the Dallas ramified data so I can transfer it to a fresh time keeper chip please? What equipement do I need to do this? I am trying to restore a Kodak LVT image printer. At the moment the software is good but the timekeeper chip is on its last legs in terms of years, well past its 'sell by' date actually, and the data is very valuable. The original source is long gone. I would appreciate any guidance please. Thank you. The Prof - UK.
 

cruff

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
395
Location
Colorado
Anywhoo, back to the OS. I think its some version of Vxworks. I just don't know how to get any further once it boots.
Any ideas?
Forgot to follow up years ago. It depends if the VxWorks image was configured to enable the command interpreter on a console port or not. If it does then the commands available depend on the VxWorks version and if the command interpreter(s) are compiled into the kernel image. For VxWorks 6.9 there is the "C-interpreter" shell and the "cmd" shell (which is more Unix-like).
 
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