How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

HP/DEC/Compaq workstations/servers and operating systems (HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, NonStop, etc.)
Forum rules
Any posts concerning pirated software or offering to buy/sell/trade commercial software are subject to removal.
noisetonepause
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Copenhagen - Denmark

How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby noisetonepause » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:15 pm

Hello Nekochan. Long time, no post.

A while ago I found a MicroVAX 3100-40 and two VT520s in a skip. The terminals are fine and display a lovely, lovely green.

I'd like to see if I can get the VAX running since I've never used one. It starts up and gives a green light on the front, but I've no idea if it's actually working. It does have a disk in it which spins up. I assume it has some sort of OS on it, but I'm not sure.

I don't have any MMJ cables, but attaching one of the terms with a null modem cable and a DB9->DB25 adaptor on each end gives nothing. I'm not sure if that gives the right pinout, though.

I've obviously no idea if it actually does have an OS, what it is, and how it's set up, but I'm wondering what the default connections and settings are. I'm guessing there's a distinction between the various serial ports on the back and that it might not be starting TTYs on all of them. And of course, there's the pinning of the serial cable and the adaptor... I'm not sure where I'd get an MMJ cable here, but maybe I'd have more luck with a proper DB25 cable?

robespierre
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:28 pm
Location: Boston

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby robespierre » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:20 pm

you can use a regular phone cable (6P6C) with the tab cut off in an MMJ jack.
the VT terminals were pretty good, but I always wanted an Ambassador...
:PI: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP:

User avatar
Henry Dorsett Case
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:59 am
Location: Ruhr Area, Germany

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby Henry Dorsett Case » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:53 am

In this mini How-To: http://poetryold.freaknet.org/index.php?title=Microvax-3100-console-hack_asbesto.txt you can find condensed information about the various connectors coming with a MicroVAX 3100 and of course their pinouts. I used this information back in the days to build a serial cable because I don't own a VT unfortunately.

BTW, I have several documents about Microvax 3100 machines in my archive, for instance:

MicroVAX 3100 Model 40 and Model 80
Customer Technical Information
DEC Order Number: EK-A0525-TD.001 October 1991

MicroVAX 3100 and VAXserver 3100
Options Installation Guide
DEC Order Number EK-424AA-TS-001

I'm not sure if they are easy to find nowadays, so let me know if you want a copy.

Regards
HDC
:ChallengeL: :O2000: :O200: :Octane: :Octane: :Octane: :Octane2: :Indigo: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP: :O2: :Indy: :rx2600:

User avatar
smj
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1661
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:54 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA, NA, Earth, Sol
Contact:

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby smj » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:00 am

The console will usually be one of the MMJ connectors; I can't recall if it can be changed or reassigned. Removing the tab from an RJ11/6P6C is what I've been doing. I've gone as far as buying the RJ11's, "silver satin" cord, and some RJ11->DB9 and ->DB25 modular adapters. (Sadly, I don't have pinouts handy.) But the modular adapters are pretty quick to rewire...
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

User avatar
ClassicHasClass
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2071
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal
Contact:

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:35 pm

I have a VAXstation 3100 M76. It uses the MMJ ports for the console; my Solbourne sits on top of it and acts as its serial console (9600-8N1). If the MicroVAX is anything like the M76, you should get self-test information on the console as it starts.
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

User avatar
miod
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:44 am
Location: Clermont-Ferrand (France)
Contact:

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby miod » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:29 pm

smj wrote:The console will usually be one of the MMJ connectors; I can't recall if it can be changed or reassigned.

The console port depends on the state of the ``S3'' switch, located between the halt button and the status leds. By default, the switch is in the upper position, with console being on the #3 MMJ port (the rightmost one) ; with the switch down, console becomes the #0 port (the leftmost one).
Last edited by miod on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
:Indigo:R3000 (alas, dead) :Indigo:R4000 x4 :Indigo2:R4400 :Indigo2IMP:R4400 x2 :Indigo2:R8000 :Indigo2IMP:R10000 :Indy:R4000PC :Indy:R4000SC :Indy:R4400SC :Indy:R4600 :Indy:R5000SC :O2:R5000 x3 :O2:RM7000 :Octane:2xR10000 :Octane:R12000 :O200:2xR12000 :O200: - :O200:2x2xR10000 :Fuel:R16000 :O3x0:4xR16000 :A350:
among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI, Motorola, NeXT, SGI, Solbourne, Sun...

User avatar
smj
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1661
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:54 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA, NA, Earth, Sol
Contact:

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby smj » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Thanks Miod. Ah, the convenience of reassignment with the frustration of wrestling those finicky-to-fit covers. At least they didn't incur the finger cuts and mandatory blood donation of ~486 era Dell PCs with their raw-cut internal chassis bits...
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

robespierre
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:28 pm
Location: Boston

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby robespierre » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:53 pm

"mandatory blood donation" nicely sums up my experience with Digital BA47A and 5000/100 chassis.
:PI: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP:

User avatar
ClassicHasClass
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2071
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal
Contact:

Re: How to get in touch with a MicroVAX

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:29 pm

*And* the Quadra 800 case and descendents (Power Mac 8500/9500, etc.), where you have to take the whole damn motherboard off to do anything!
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...


Return to “HP/DEC/Compaq”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest