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I’m back from a haul yesterday.

I have seen an offer from someone who has some VAXen and would give them away in the openVMS Hobbyist forum.

Was lucky enough, to be the first who was able to get in touch with the owner, we coordinated a pick up on the same day, and I jumped into the car turned on the engine and 3 hours later I had the machines.

The following was included:

  • VAXserver 4000/100a
  • VAXStation 3100/76 SPX
  • VAXStation 4000/90
  • DEC 21″ Monitor
  • 2x Keyboard
  • Documentation and License Paks
  • A big box with cables like Serial, SCSI, DSSI
  • three DEC Mouse

Today I do the first healthcheck and remove the nice NiCd Accus and look what I have.


Starting with the 4000/100a

Thze 4000/100a is a really cool machine, as you have many space for drives, it has an DSSI and an SCSI controller and the BEST the posiblility to attach a QBUS expansion Box. Here you can use all your existing Interfaces to attach your old stuff, like a RL01/02, RX01/02, ………..

KA52-A V2.4, VMB 2.15
Performing normal system tests.
Tests completed.
>>>show dev 
DSSI Bus 0 Node 7 (*)
SCSI Adapter A, SCSI ID 6
 -DKA200 (FUJITSU M1606S-512)

Ethernet Adapter
 -EZA0 (08-00-2B-28-EF-C1)
>>>show mem

64 MB RAM, SIMM Set (0A,0B,0C,0D) present
 Memory Set 0: 00000000 to 03FFFFFF, 64MB, 131072 good pages, 0 bad pages

Total of 64MB, 131072 good pages, 0 bad pages, 128 reserved pages

There is an NiCd Accu in this system, which I have removed, there was not much time, as the Acid has started to flow out.

The complete system is in grate shape, and only some cleaning was needed.



The system has a huge pool of embedded diagnostics, as DSSI, SCSI, QBUS, … are there.

>>>show tests

# Address Name Parameters
 20052200 SCB
 20055890 De_executive
30 2006A7B4 Memory_Init_Bitmap *** mark_Hard_SBEs ******
31 2006ADAC Memory_Setup_CSRs *********
32 2005D3A8 NMC_registers **********
33 2005D584 NMC_powerup **
34 2005E938 SSC_ROM ***
35 2005FDF8 B_Cache_diag_mode bypass_test_mask *********
37 20061800 Cache_w_Memory bypass_test_mask *********
40 2006B864 Memory_count_pages SIMM_set0 SIMM_set1 Soft_errs_allowed *****
41 20068F54 Board_Reset *
42 20061AF0 Chk_for_Interrupts **********
46 20061334 P_Cache_diag_mode bypass_test_mask *********
47 2006AF7C Memory_Refresh start_a end incr cont_on_err time_seconds *****
48 2006B2AC Memory_Addr_shorts start_add end_add * cont_on_err pat2 pat3 ****
4A 2006A4B4 Memory_ECC_SBEs start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
4B 20069684 Memory_Byte_Errors start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
4C 20069E18 Memory_ECC_Logic start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
4D 20069258 Memory_Address start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
4E 20069400 Memory_Byte start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
4F 2006BA78 Memory_Data start_add end_add add_incr cont_on_err ******
51 2005829C FPA **********
52 20058790 SSC_Prog_timers which_timer wait_time_us ***
53 20058A78 SSC_TOY_Clock repeat_test_250ms_ea Tolerance ***
54 20057E78 Virtual_Mode ********
55 200590CC Interval_Timer *****
56 200652E8 SHAC_LPBCK From_bus To_bus passes *******
58 20065F90 SHAC_RESET dssi_bus port_number time_secs not_pres *
59 200629E4 SGEC_LPBCK_ASSIST time_secs **
5C 20062F7C SHAC SHAC_number *********
5F 20061C28 SGEC environment no_ram_tests ******
62 20058D7C console_QDSS mark_not_present selftest_r0 selftest_r1 *****
63 20058F04 QDSS_any input_csr selftest_r0 selftest_r1 ******
80 2005D620 CQBIC_memory bypass_test_mask *********
81 2005992C Qbus_MSCP IP_csr ******
82 20059B0C Qbus_DELQA device_num_addr ****
83 2005AABC QZA_Intlpbck1 controller_number ********
84 2005C17C QZA_Intlpbck2 controller_number *********
85 20059CFC QZA_memory incr test_pattern controller_number *******
86 2005A1A4 QZA_DMA Controller_number main_mem_buf ********
90 200586F4 CQBIC_registers *
91 20058670 CQBIC_powerup **
99 2005DEAC Flush_Ena_Caches dis_flush_VIC dis_flush_BC dis_flush_PC
9A 2006421C INTERACTION pass_count disable_device *******
9B 200690B8 Init_memory **
9C 20066588 List_CPU_registers *
9D 2006C4D4 Utility Flags *********
9E 2005929C List_diagnostics script_number *
9F 20068434 Create_A0_Script **********
C1 20057AE8 SSC_RAM_Data *
C2 20057CD8 SSC_RAM_Data_Addr *
C5 20058C48 SSC_registers *
D0 20060EE0 V_Cache_diag_mode bypass_test_mask *********
D2 2005E0F0 O_Bit_diag_mode bypass_test_mask *********
DA 2006160C PB_Flush_Cache **********
DB 2005EAB8 Speed print_speed *********
DC 2006C2E4 NO_Memory_present *
DD 2005F344 B_Cache_Data_debug start_add end_add add_incr *******
DE 2005EECC B_Cache_Tag_Debug start_add end_add add_incr *******
DF 2005E508 O_BIT_DEBUG start_add end_add add_incr seg_incr ******
E0 2006D7A8 SCSI environment reset_bus time_s *******
E1 2006DB00 SCSI_Utility environment util_nbr target_ID lun ******
E2 2006DD60 SCSI_MAP bypass_test addr_incr_data_tst ********
E4 2006E2FC DZ environment *********
E8 2006E510 SYNC environment *********
E9 2006E5E8 SYNC_Utility environment *********
EC 2006E6CC ASYNC environment *********
F0 2006D96C SCSI_option environment reset_bus time_s *******
F1 2006DC34 SCSI_Opt_Utility environment util_nbr target_ID lun ******
F2 2006DD74 SCSI_MAP_Option bypass_test addr_incr_data_tst ********

# Description

A0 User defined scripts
A1 Powerup tests, Functional Verify, continue on error, numeric countdown
A3 Functional Verify, stop on error, test # announcements
A4 Loop on A3 Functional Verify
A6 Memory tests, mark only multiple bit errors
A7 Memory tests
A8 Memory acceptance tests, mark single and multi-bit errors, call A7
A9 Memory tests, stop on error
B2 Extended tests plus BF, then loop
B5 Extended tests, then loop
BF DZ, SYNC, ASYNC with loopbacks

Load & start system exerciser
100 Customer mode, 2 passes
101 CSSE mode, 2 passes
102 CSSE mode, continous until ^C
103 Manuf mode, continous until ^C
104 Manuf TINA mode, continous until ^C
105 Manuf mode, 2 passes
106 CSSE mode, select tests, continous until ^C
107 Manuf mode, select tests, continous until ^C


Erasing an SCSI Disk can be started wi the following command:


>>>t e1 0 3 0

SCSI_lun(0-7)>>> 0


DKA0 OK ? ok


SCSI_bb_repl 0


t = test
e1 = Test Numer/ID
0 = Envorinment
3 = Test/Utility Number in this case the Hard Disk eraser


Now the 3100/m76 SPX

The 3100 is placed in an small case (BA42) which has space for two 3,5″ harddisks and one 5,25″ external reachable drive, like a CDROM.

KA43-A  V1.0


>>> show dev
 -------  ------  --------  ------  --------  -----  --  ------  ---
 ESA0     SE0     08-00-2B-1C-4D-A9

 DKA0     RZ0     A/0/0/00  DISK     2.16 GB   FX        DCAS-32S65A
 DKA300   RZ3     A/3/0/00  DISK      104 MB   FX        RZ23   0A18
 ...HostID....    A/6       INITR

 ...HostID....    B/6       INITR


That’s the SPX board. Nice or? 🙂

It was partially very dusty, but looks great again after basic cleaning.

The System dosn’t has a NiCd Akku, but a RTC from Dallas. The famous DS1287A, wich includes a small non violant memory, the RTC and a small battery.

As usual the Battery was emptsy since Years, so I have modified them to hold a exchangable battery. I had some luck, as DEC has always used a socket to plug in the RTC and has not soldert them direct onto the platine.


The „best“ at the End: The VAXSTation 4000/90


KA49-A V1.0-006-V4.0

This system is near the fastest VAX you can get, the performance is at about 40 VUP, which is 40x the performance of the VAX 11/780, but a old Laptop has about 25x the performance of the 4000/90, so for today it is verry verry slooooow.The system has a internal SCSI drive, 32MB RAM and the small GPX graficscard.


The System was much more dusty than the other ones.



The system looks like new, after some cleening, and has also the DS1287A RTC, so I need to modify the next one. 😉