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DEC Server 550 converted to 11/83


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  DEC Server 550 converted to 11/83 by Bill Degnan - 03/13/2018 22:01
This thread is a collection of notes taken to get started with this DecServer 550 with 11/83 cards (right three slots). The remaining cards currently in the slots would need to be removed and replaced with others suited to a 11/83. As I got the machine the cards were not plugged in.

threads to review:

SO far I have:

M8190 AE (CPU)
M8637 EH (or EA?) RAM
M8637 EH RAM

need to complete build using QBUS cards on hand.


look to see if I can find RA72 drives and cables within my inventory. I have the correct controller cards: M7164 qbus sdi disk adapter 1 of 2
M7165 qbus sdi disk adpater 2 of 2

I read one can make a SDI cable from an ethernet cable if I don't have an actual SDI cable.

Even better, I have these as my best candidate cards to attempt to use SCSI storage in the 11/83 (installed in a Decserver 550 chassis):

KZQSA M5976 -SA SCSI - I thought this was not compatible, but I have seen some evidence that it may be.!

EMULEX QT1410402-00 REV C SCSI - VAX CARD or QBUS or both?

I have to get educated. Up to this point I put off dealing with QBus and stuck to UNIBUS or Vax/Alpha. I also have a M7504 QBUS Ethernet Adapter that I believe I can put in there. Might make for a nice tweener DEC PDP/11 with modern capabilities.

Glen Slick writes:
If you want to set up a BA215 as a PDP-11 a nice way to go is with an S-handle M7554 KDJ11-D DECserver 550 CPU, the 18MHz version with 1.5MB. Sometimes good deals on those can be found. Then add either a 2MB M7551 MSV11-Q or a 2MB M8637 MSV11-J for 3.5MB. Add an S-handle M3127 DESQA Ethernet controller, and an M3119 CXY08 if you want more than the 2 async lines on the M7554 KDJ11-D. If the BA215 box came with any DSSI drives installed add an M7769 KFQSA. The KFQSA is MSCP compatible so later PDP-11 software should be able to use it.

If you can find a decent deal on a BA215 box it is worth grabbing one.
Most of the time I would rather work on a BA215 box than a BA23 /BA123 or BA215 / BA430 / BA440 box (ok, the BA440 VAX will be much faster). In some cases only 6 slots might be limiting if you wanted to use something like a 3 board set M7168 / M7169 VCB02 or a 2 board set M7164 / M7165 KDA50-Q.



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