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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
mister_wavey
Member

Posts: 11
Location: abergavenny, wales
Joined: 20.10.12
Posted on November 27 2012 03:33
Hi guys, I'm in the UK, and I'm restoring a rusty old Alphaserver 2100 which I haven't yet got to boot to SRM.

I'm awaiting my third IO board, I'm on my second backplane, and I've bought a third 5/300 CPU to go with the two that came with the machine. I've tried every combination of CPU & memory to no avail.

blog here: http://alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk

If you have any spares, or a dead one of these, or see a wild one in a field, I'd be grateful for any and all contributions. I've spent more on it than a sane person could justify already, but I'd dearly love to see it wake up.

thx!

[email protected]
alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
abrsvc
Member

Posts: 107
Joined: 12.03.10
Posted on November 27 2012 07:13
I have a few complete units available, but these are in the US. SHipping may be prohibitive. Let me know if you're interested.

Dan
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
somersdave
Member

Posts: 67
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 29 2012 12:16
I've dismantled an Alphaserver 2100 (I'll find out the exact model) which wouldn't power up - so I have most of the bits though I used a SCSI card on my Alphaserver 4000 AND I'm not far away (relatively)

I'd be quite happy to part with the parts specific to the 2100 as they are just gathering dust but I'd also like to acquire any Alphaserver 4x00 parts going spare.smiley
Edited by somersdave on November 29 2012 12:18
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
mister_wavey
Member

Posts: 11
Location: abergavenny, wales
Joined: 20.10.12
Posted on December 05 2012 03:42
many thanks to abrsvc for his offer. I looked at the postage and it didn't look viable. Thanks again! :/

Thanks also to Dave for sharing his components. Unfortunately, I've not been able to get any further than the OCP reporting that the CPUs all fail tests...

Any further offers would be very VERY gratefully accepted! This thing deserves to live!
alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
somersdave
Member

Posts: 67
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on December 12 2012 08:36
I wondered how the 2100 is 'coming along' (I forgot - I still have the internal cabling, if that is of any use/ has been known to fail) but at the risk of appearing ever more ignorant about hardware I'd like to ask a general question.

There must be a lot of PCB (boards) 'out there' that have faults or suspected faults and I wondered if people have them repaired? I did manage to fix a TV circuit board but I wouldn't consider trying anything with a computer PCB, if I knew where to start. Are there companies (other than HP) with equipment for diagnosing faults and then replacing components? Maybe it would be too expensive for the average hobbyist.

I have a couple of Alphaserver 4100 memory and processor boards which appear to have faults - the messages weren't consistent. Another thing that's 'bugging' me is the thought that replacing one 'suspected' faulty PCB with a good one is likely to damage that also (would this be a rare occurrence/low risk?).
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 527
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on December 13 2012 03:02
One thing to look out for that has hit the model DS-15 and could hit other Alphas is on-board batteries, like in the watch clock eventually stop working. While they are relatively easy to replace, the error messages can indicate that the entire board needs to be replaced.

So look for batteries and clock chips in sockets and test them all.
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
somersdave
Member

Posts: 67
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on December 19 2012 10:22
Thanks 'M' - I've had a good look around the processor/memory and I/O compartments on the Alphaserver 4000 and can't see anything that looks like a battery (I assuming round disk shaped as in wrist watch). I think the machine was keeping date/time ok each power up which I guess indicates some battery - TOY?

The Alphaserver 4*00 service manual (322 pages) doesn't mention batteries though 'googling' does find some references to SCSI and RAID controllers and batteries.

I rang a company in Yorkshire, UK who say that they can repair faulty boards which although probably a bit expensive for my hobby activities, is useful to know.

Anyhow (thanks to Mr. W for giving me a tip off) I now have some spare memory (256MB boards as originally fitted) and 2 533MHz processor boards - which am going to try when I've convinced myself that I won't damage them (assuming that they are ok)

I'm not worried about speed; my PC solves my little Sudoku prog. while the Alpha is still grinding away - progress smiley
Edited by somersdave on December 19 2012 10:28
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 527
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on December 27 2012 05:21
The "Dalla" clock + battery chips look like ordinary 14 or 16 pin DIP ICs. They may not have all of the pins on them.

They may be a bit thicker than ordinary ICs.

When I had AlphaSystem 2100s to care for, we found that we had to make sure that the board were completely seated by putting gentle pressure all across the top of the board when replacing one of the large boards. If we did not do that, we would start seeing problems.
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
mister_wavey
Member

Posts: 11
Location: abergavenny, wales
Joined: 20.10.12
Posted on December 29 2012 23:20
regarding my AlphaServer 2100, no more progress yet, I'm afraid. I have 4 CPUs (including the one from Dave, thanks again!) but none of them pass the OCP CPU startup tests, so SRM isn't yet booting.

I'd be very grateful for the cables though, Dave - can I ping you when I'm next planning to be in Bristol?

alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
somersdave
Member

Posts: 67
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on January 02 2013 10:05
Yes, I need to check but I think I kept all the cables together.

I spent a quiet evening in New Year's Eve with my Alphaserver 4000 and after first installing the ebay 533MHz board the the machine powered to P00>>> with no problem and the machine's LEDs appeared to be ON/OFF as specified. I forget the exact details (whether I next gave the BOOT command or TEST CPU or MEM) but the console was flooded with fault information. Not too discouraged, I replaced the 2 original memory boards with another 2 * 256 MB boards (they have to be in high and low pairs) and the machine powered up and booted with no problem.

It seems a bit extravagant when I imagine what the PCBs would have cost new but the machine seems to be running ok now. I'm wondering about going back round the loop and trying the suspect processor board - as the the whole problem may have been due to a memory PCB problem.

I'm going to investigate finding someone who can diagnose/fix suspect PCBs - anyone got thoughts on the matter?

I think the clock/battery is ok (haven't located yet) as the date and time were ok when booted.

Here is one of the battery/clock ICs (spec 21-32423-01) used (possibly?) on several Alphas (prices seem to vary considerably):
http://www.chilternitparts.com/images/photos/21-39125-01.jpg
for some reason the jpg no doesn't match the part no. - here's the sales bumpf:
http://www.chilternitparts.com/products/otherparts2/21/21-32423-01
Edited by somersdave on January 02 2013 10:30
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
somersdave
Member

Posts: 67
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on April 11 2013 12:38
Re : the general problems associated with dud 'TOY' batteries, having said that my alphaservers appeared unafflicted, the last times I've booted both the 4000 and 4100 I have had some problems.

Booting the 4000 from the RAID disk I was prompted to enter the date and time and when booting yesterday, at the SRM P00>>> DATE which gave the year 2093 (I think), so I used the same command (DATE) to change the date/time.

Similarly, when I last booted the 4100 from dkb100:, a few days ago the process just 'hung' I think at the point of 'installing' the ethernet links? I tried 3 times (including booting from the shadow disk, if that's how it's supposed to work?) and then reverted to booting from the OS CD - which prompted to set date and time. I also mounted the system disk at $$$ to check it looked ok. After shutting down (back to p00>>> ) the 4100 it booted normally from dkb100 - SO I suspect that setting the time during boot from CD corrected the problem.

Anyway it looks like as 'M' said the batteries can throw up some problems - which makes sense in the case of hobbyist machines which may not get much use and are getting older.

I assume that once the machines are powered up and booted the batteries shouldn't cause problems? (possibly wishful thinking) smiley
Edited by somersdave on April 11 2013 12:41
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 606
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on April 12 2013 02:13
As long as the machine is running there should be no issues.
Author RE: Wanted: AlphaServer 2100 components
mister_wavey
Member

Posts: 11
Location: abergavenny, wales
Joined: 20.10.12
Posted on February 16 2014 04:01
well, I picked up a 'new' I/O board and 2 'new' EV4 CPUs and the AS2100 machine is alive!

next steps: getting the EV5 CPUs to work...

http://alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk/
Edited by mister_wavey on February 16 2014 04:02
alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk
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