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VAXstation 3200 and SCSI controllers

leaknoil

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Aug 14, 2008
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425
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Central California
I was just given a 3200 with no drives or sleds. I really don't think I'll have much luck finding working MFM drives. Even if I did find working ones they might stop tomorrow.

I see that it is a Q-Bus system and I know pretty much nothing about Q-Bus stuff. I do think I've heard tell of q-bus scsi controllers though. Is it possible to get one and use it in a 3200 ? If so which one would it be and how would it be installed ? Would the 3200 boot rom even support it ?

I have on intention of ever booting this graphically so the graphics cards could come out if needed. Looks like there is a free 1 and a half slots anyway.

Anyone have the drives and sleds for one of these they don't need anymore ? It is also missing its front cover so, one of them would be nice too.
 

Chuck(G)

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LO, if you're not on the Classic Computer list, by all means, join it. Some very knowledgeable DECHeads inhabit it and love to chat endlessly about their systems. Many of them are sitting on mountains of parts.
 

leaknoil

Experienced Member
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Messages
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Location
Central California
I was on it and lost my old email address. I've sent in a few subscription requests now but, I can't seem to get added. Last time it was hard too. Had to directly email the list admin. Guess I'll try that again. I don't think they are ever in a hurry to add more people to the list. Its almost a bit of a private club. No losers without PDP 8's in their living rooms need apply.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
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Messages
39,418
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Pacific Northwest, USA
I was on it and lost my old email address. I've sent in a few subscription requests now but, I can't seem to get added. Last time it was hard too. Had to directly email the list admin. Guess I'll try that again. I don't think they are ever in a hurry to add more people to the list. Its almost a bit of a private club. No losers without PDP 8's in their living rooms need apply.

Try again, Jay's back and he says that he's processing subscription requests.
 

Unknown_K

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Ohio/USA
I don't think they are ever in a hurry to add more people to the list. Its almost a bit of a private club. No losers without PDP 8's in their living rooms need apply.
Hey they let me in, can't be that exclusive. The only DEC I have is a 3100/85 MicroVax and I got that years after joining.
 

leaknoil

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
425
Location
Central California
The moderation is the worst part. Unless you somehow get admitted to the pantheon of the unmoderated you can do little more than lurk. If you dare try and post you just end up looking silly since your response can take a week or more to show up. By that time the thread has wound down and it will actually cause it to appear as a brand new thread to the archive. Its why the thread sort in the archive is about worthless. There is the unmoderated and everyone else.

I understand the reasons but, I was on the list for almost three years and never got unmoderated and just gave up participating in any way. Any question I tried to answer was already put to bed a week before my answer showed up. People on the list are great. The moderation rules are like something out of Soviet Russia circa 1969. I think each moderated message is scribed onto vellum and sent off to Rome for approval by the pope. I guess that takes some time.
 

MikeS

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Toronto ON Canada
...I think each moderated message is scribed onto vellum and sent off to Rome for approval by the pope. I guess that takes some time.
Actually, it's my understanding that for security reasons the messages are automatically converted to 5-level Baudot (which of course only members of the CCtalk society are capable of deciphering) and sent at 75 baud to one of several moderators where they are printed and punched into fanfold paper tape. After being read the hard copy is destroyed and, if approved, the tape is sent to a secret underground facility somewhere in Nevada or New Mexico where the actual cclist shares some space on hardware owned and operated by an unnamed government facility.

But don't tell anyone I told you...
 

Lou - N2MIY

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Albuquerque NM / Potomac MD
Q-bus SCSI controllers are too expensive. The cheapest I ever saw was ~$100 on ebay. However, I have had good luck finding working MFM drives. Look for RD31 (Seagate ST225) or RD32 (ST-251). I assume you have an RQDX3 (M7555, dual height) controller. If you have a quad height controller (RQDX1 or 2) you are kind of stuck. The RD 51,2,3,4 drives for those controllers seem to be pretty failure prone. Just upgrade to RQDX3.

Lou
 

leaknoil

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
425
Location
Central California
Got the 7555. Which makes me ask how do you eject the half height cards without ejectors ? Just muscle it out ? I was going to reseat everything and that bugger didn't seem to want to budge so I left it alone.

I'm lacking the mounting hardware to put a mfm drive in there. I figured I could just leave a scsi drive sitting there on the bottom fairly safely. I don't have any mfm cables that will reach to the bottom. They are usually pretty short. I am not sure I've seen long ones. Might be a cable length requirement. Might just be I don't have any besides those from pc.


Q-bus SCSI controllers are too expensive. The cheapest I ever saw was ~$100 on ebay. However, I have had good luck finding working MFM drives. Look for RD31 (Seagate ST225) or RD32 (ST-251). I assume you have an RQDX3 (M7555, dual height) controller. If you have a quad height controller (RQDX1 or 2) you are kind of stuck. The RD 51,2,3,4 drives for those controllers seem to be pretty failure prone. Just upgrade to RQDX3.

Lou
 

leaknoil

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
425
Location
Central California
Actually, it's my understanding that for security reasons the messages are automatically converted to 5-level Baudot (which of course only members of the CCtalk society are capable of deciphering) and sent at 75 baud to one of several moderators where they are printed and punched into fanfold paper tape. After being read the hard copy is destroyed and, if approved, the tape is sent to a secret underground facility somewhere in Nevada or New Mexico where the actual cclist shares some space on hardware owned and operated by an unnamed government facility.

But don't tell anyone I told you...

I always imagined a group of guys dressed as Benedictine monks in a secret basement of the CHM with secret decoder rings that allowed them to access the mail server. Flash the ring at In and Out and you get a free upgrade to animal style.
 
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