DEC Hardware Thread

LarBob

Administrator
Feb 8, 2019
42
16
8
Thought I'd start a thread where we could share info on the DEC hardware we have.

I have an AlphaServer 1000A 5/400 running a ton of different OSes (up to Windows 2000 RC2 will run on it!) as well as a VAXstation 4000/90. I need to reinstall VMS on it at some point; I'm leaving its original drive alone and using a fresh drive through a SCA80 to 50pin adapter.

I'd love to hear about any DEC hardware you all have and what you're doing with it!
 

onre

SYS 64738
Feb 8, 2019
135
85
28
Toijala, Finland


Here's my MicroVAX 3100-30 running OpenVMS. Fun little system. I'm still not 100 % certain whether this supports Ultrix or not, haven't been able to make it boot it. At one point I did get latest Nethack to compile on OpenVMS which was an adventure in itself.
 
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Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
478
129
43
I used to have a VAXstation 4000, but not any more... :(

As for today...

Two VT420s, want to get another VT sometime:
image0 (1).jpg

Two DEC 3000s:
image0.jpg image1.jpg

One DS20L and one Alphaserver 800:
image3.jpg
 
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massiverobot

irix detailer
Feb 8, 2019
102
74
28
Philly
twitter.com
I have found very early versions of Ultrix for VAX from a nice GB contact. I'm working to try and get one working in SIMH, then I'll see if I can install one of the MicroVAX II I have. It will be a many month-journey.

$ ls -l1 /Volumes/supershare/_Computers/ULTRIX/ULTRIX
ULT32-1.1
ULT32-2.0
ULT32-2.2
ULT32-2.3
ULT32-3.0
ULT32-4.0
ULT32-4.2
ULT32-4.5
ULT32M-1.0



If you are interested in a copy of these, PM me.


Other Systems
Meanwhile, I have a few other DEC systems which I find to be a close second in coolness after SGI. I worked for a while for a big UNI supporting a bunch of Alphas and that was a blast. I really like DEC's UNIX designs a lot.

Personal DecStation 5000
I had installed Ultrix 4 onto my MIPs Decstation 5000/25 and it works great. I boot it up sometimes.

I also have a Compaq Alpha I picked up from ebay (the DS10L) a very late-model Alpha, just so I can run TRU-64 when I need it.

And I have the MicroVAX II in the BA123. This guy has extra ram (full 16M), like 8 serial ports and 2 ethernet connections. I have a cool MFM Drive emulator you can buy that gives me modern storage options (and can even image/backup real MFM drives). This guy runs NetBSD now but has some issues booting I need to resolve. I also need to ensure I can get the tape drive working so I can load some Ultix from tape if I have to.
MFM Drive emulator - https://www.pdp8.net/mfm/mfm.shtml


My systems:

dec_MVII_BA123.JPGCompaq_DS10L.JPGdec_decstation_5000-25.JPG
 

Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
478
129
43
Oh, no kidding! I've never had one so I always assumed they were some sort of odd spool loading tape drive. Dual floppy, though, that is pretty nifty. I guess you learn something new every day!
 

massiverobot

irix detailer
Feb 8, 2019
102
74
28
Philly
twitter.com
You may be thinking of DEC tape- which was a huge deal but for the PDP generation... VCF has hundreds of these reels:


That is a beautiful setup- I'm going to have to get a DEC tape working at VCF just do copies like that.
 
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Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
478
129
43
DECtape is mega-cool. It's block-addressable so you can use it as if it were a really slow-seeking disk!
Wow! I wonder how it manages that? Just very precise motors plus a lead-in on the tape, or does it have some sort of indexing marks on the tape as it goes along?
 

onre

SYS 64738
Feb 8, 2019
135
85
28
Toijala, Finland
Separate mark track. It can read and write in both directions! Back when working at the university I spoke to a couple of folks who used these on a PDP-15 and they said that while not very performant, it was amazingly reliable.
 
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JohnnyJohnny

New member
Sep 14, 2020
9
7
3
50
Toronto, Canada
Here is my almost-finished restoration of an Alphastation 500/333 running OpenVMS v6.2. I have a front door flap on the way from France, which will complete the system.

No_door_sml.jpg


DEC Alpha 500 333MHz CPU
CD-ROM
3.5" diskette drive
Seagate 1GB HDD
Quantum 1GB HDD
2x 3D30 (PBXGB-AA) graphics cards
 

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Irinikus

Active member
Dec 16, 2019
193
137
43
South Africa
www.youtube.com
I've just bought this graphics card (Intergraph Realizm II VX25-T, with 4 resolvers) for my AlphaStation 255 300: (It's one of the best graphics options for one of these machines, and one of the rarest pieces of hardware I've had to hunt down!)



















 
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Irinikus

Active member
Dec 16, 2019
193
137
43
South Africa
www.youtube.com
My card should arrive from Canada next Monday, if all goes well.

After doing some searching, I have found that the card is actually a Powerstorm 4D60 (Realizm 1.3) A slightly under clocked VX25-T made by Intergraph specially for DEC AlphaStations.

Here's an example of the same card that I found on what I think to be a Japanese forum, covering AlphaStations:





This card has two 16MB TRAMS installed



This is a picture showing part of one of the TRAMS installed in my card, allowing me to identify it:



So I identified them to be these TRAMS:



Looking up the numbers on the chips present on the module, I found someone selling them on eBay and managed to get their specs:




The chips are 2MB each, so my card is equipped with 16MB of TRAM. (Over and above the 32MB of RAM present on the card)
 
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