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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Hardware Forum
Author MMJ console cables in the UK
vometia
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Posts: 8
Location: The Frog & Hounds
Joined: 07.03.16
Posted on March 07 2016 05:02
Hmm, that sounds a bit like the title of a Sex Pistols song. Perhaps one of their obscure B-sides.

Erm, anyway: I don't suppose anyone has any ideas where to get hold of MMJ cables for VaxStation consoles? I'm in the UK, though I figure any reputable vendor that ships worldwide would do as it shouldn't cost a fortune!

It's rather annoying as I used to have at least several but they've all mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately, I still have both my VaxStations (though the 3100/76 has a bad serial connector, as I recall) and a VT320, but short of telepathy, nothing to string them together. Any help would be appreciated. smiley

-v.
Edited by vometia on March 07 2016 05:03
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
g4ugm
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Posts: 5
Joined: 08.03.16
Posted on March 08 2016 12:34
vometia wrote:
Hmm, that sounds a bit like the title of a Sex Pistols song. Perhaps one of their obscure B-sides.

Erm, anyway: I don't suppose anyone has any ideas where to get hold of MMJ cables for VaxStation consoles? I'm in the UK, though I figure any reputable vendor that ships worldwide would do as it shouldn't cost a fortune!

It's rather annoying as I used to have at least several but they've all mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately, I still have both my VaxStations (though the 3100/76 has a bad serial connector, as I recall) and a VT320, but short of telepathy, nothing to string them together. Any help would be appreciated. smiley

-v.


If you want pure MMJ cables then I can make them. I have just made one for my Vax 4000 and VT520 so I can also test. Not sure if I am PM enabled. I am in Manchester...
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
vometia
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Location: The Frog & Hounds
Joined: 07.03.16
Posted on March 11 2016 01:41
That's a very kind offer, I'd quite like to take you up on that if I may! Obviously I'd Paypal you the cost of the parts, postage and your time.
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
g4ugm
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Joined: 08.03.16
Posted on March 11 2016 12:32
I sent you a Personal Message
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
vometia
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Posts: 8
Location: The Frog & Hounds
Joined: 07.03.16
Posted on March 23 2016 23:34
Thanks very much to Dave for sending me a pair of cables, and to Mark for the offer. And it's alive! Well one of them is anyway, the 4000/60 works fine but the 3100/76 is even more poorly than before.

Now to retrieve stuff from the latter: the expansion pack and its two RZ56s seem to all be working fine... though the other expansion pack with the RZ58 system disc is dead and the disc won't show up in the boot monitor: a bit coincidental so I'm wondering if it was dropped on the floor at some point in my various house moves. Pity, as the RZ58 contains the software for the striped RZ56 set I thought was a good idea at the time and I'm not sure it's available with the hobbyist licence! Oh well, just as well there's nothing important on there. It's just nice to have a proper VMS system going again.
Edited by vometia on March 23 2016 23:35
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
malmberg
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Posts: 527
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on March 24 2016 03:21
Certain models of VAXstation 3100s are restricted in what size of system disk that they can boot from.

Also check SCSI IDs. With some storage work shelves the disks must be set to allow the shelf to set the ID, with others, you set the ID on the device.

And verify the cables and termination is set correctly. Some SCSI shelves have internal terminators that may not be obvious.

Remember if you have one VMS system up, you can set it up as a LAVC boot node to boot diskless systems, if for nothing else than to use it to load an OS on to a disk for them.
Author RE: MMJ console cables in the UK
vometia
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Location: The Frog & Hounds
Joined: 07.03.16
Posted on March 24 2016 05:12
I did wonder if it could be a compatibility or artificial restriction that's the problem, though the drive is behaving erratically (sometimes auto-spinning-up, sometimes not) and did make a couple of ominous clunks. It's also a lower capacity than the system hdd, I think about 1.3 GB for the RZ58 and over 2 GB for the 4000/60's RZ28 (I think: I'll need to check).

It would be really nice to boot it discless: I'd forgotten how noisy SCSI drives are, though I don't have another VMS machine handy and the chances of FreeBSD or Linux doing LAVC is about as likely as me actually understanding LAVC. smiley

The two RZ56s seem to be alive and well, but without the old DEC RAID software (AFAIK there's no hobbyist PAK for RAID0) I suspect I'm out of luck. Once I find the relevant networking bits I may transfer the RAID$*.SYS files across to a Unix box and see if it can make any sense of them: hopefully the format isn't too bizarre and just consists of alternating groups of blocks, so I may be able to construct something that a public domain ODS2 reader can figure out. A lot of effort for what's probably a load of old rubbish I've probably long since copied to a safe place anyway! But you know how it is, "there might be something interesting, so I must pour in an indefinite amount of effort."
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