Author Topic: Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11/04 & PDP-11/34 Minicomputers - Teardown  (Read 596 times)

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Offline intabits

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I've had these two machines for many years, and I've been very naughty, because I've done nothing with them. They've just been sitting in my "museum room", collecting dust.




So it's time to do something about that, clean them up and get them operating, at least as standalone units that can be operated via the front panel.
First up, have a look inside, note what's there and make a video.

The card cages.  11/34 at top, 11/04 at bottom:-




A selection of the boards. Power supply covers removed:-




Teardown video:-




Links to some of the many documents available on BitSavers:-

PDP11/34:-
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/pdp11/1134/

PD11/04:-
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/pdp11/1104/

PDP11 general:-
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/pdp11/

Power supply:-
http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/unibus/EK-BA11L-TM-001_Oct77.pdf


The next step will be to check/fix the power supplies. Coming soon...
 
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Offline LapTop006

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Neat!

Getting an 11 to have a "real" UNIX machine is on my infinite project list. Have fun.
 

Offline tggzzz

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My first experience with Unix was on a PDP11, Xenix made by that well known company - Microsoft.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Gyro

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That brings back memories, I worked for DEC for about 12 years. I even ran a PDP-11/05 (Unibus), with proper Core memory, as a 'home PC' for quite a while. It was initially equipped with with a pair of dual TU56 DECtape 1s (random access 1" tape  8) ) all in a home made melamine chipboard cabinet. Later I 'upgraded' to a dual RX02 8" floppy, before jumping to Q-bus 11/03 -> 11/23+ -> 11/53 with standard MFM 5 1/4" HDDs and RX50 5 1/4" floppies.

Working there, there were always piles of old discarded boards and card frames lying around if you knew where to look. I used RT11 as my OS throughout, with Runoff for word processing (we used that for all our specs anyway) and various other stuff off the DECUS tapes.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 01:09:28 am by Gyro »
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Offline Ampera

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Those look so neat, I'd absolutely love to one day own, or at least play around with any number of the DEC minis. I consider the PDP-11 in particular to be the taxonomic root of modern personal computing, and to even see one in person would be sweet. Damn things look like they were out of Star Trek.
C/C++/Java Programmer, Legacy hardware enthusiast, perpetually off-his-rocker madman.
If it's broken, I probably did it.
 

Offline intabits

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That brings back memories, I worked for DEC for about 12 years. I even ran a PDP-11/05 (Unibus), with proper Core memory, as a 'home PC' for quite a while. It was initially equipped with with a pair of dual TU56 DECtape 1s (random access 1" tape  8) ) all in a home made melamine chipboard cabinet. Later I 'upgraded' to a dual RX02 8" floppy, before jumping to Q-bus 11/03 -> 11/23+ -> 11/53 with standard MFM 5 1/4" HDDs and RX50 5 1/4" floppies.

I also have an 11/05 with core memory, but no TU56's.
DECtapes were my favorite, I wanted wanted one of those most of all...
 

Online GregDunn

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Unfortunately, I never landed a PDP-11 but I managed to pull an RK05 pack and a KDJ11-B CPU out of the recycle when my old workplace was being closed down.  Totally useless without the actual mainframe and related hardware, but they hold some nice memories.
 

Offline intabits

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Just added many hi-res photos of the boards in these machines to the gallery at:-
https://imgur.com/gallery/1czglgJ
 

Offline PA2HK

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Nice machines and a very nice collection you have there. Also own a PDP11/34, it is a KD11-EA version with a FPU and cache unit, that makes the machine a 11/34c. I rescued the machine in the mid 1980s from a computer demolition/scrap plant, machine used to be belong to Twente University in the Netherlands and currently has a Plessey RK05F (clone) and DEC RX02 drives. Both drives did not originally belong to the PDP11 and came from another unit. Many years ago I used my "Elfje" at home to run RT11 and to experiment with early BSD Unix. Machine is sitting in heated/dry storage in an original DEC 19"rack and has not been used in years, it needs to be restored before it can be used again. Luckily I have lots of spare parts, RK05 discs, documentation, original schematics all rescued from that era. One day she will run again.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 08:22:43 am by PA2HK »
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Offline intabits

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Nice machines and a very nice collection you have there. Also own a PDP11/34, it is a KD11-EA version with a FPU and cache unit, that makes the machine a 11/34c. I rescued the machine in the mid 1980s from a computer demolition/scrap plant, machine used to be belong to Twente University in the Netherlands and currently has a Plessey RK05F (clone) and DEC RX02 drives. Both drives did not originally belong to the PDP11 and came from another unit. Many years ago I used my "Elfje" at home to run RT11 and to experiment with early BSD Unix. Machine is sitting in heated/dry storage in an original DEC 19"rack and has not been used in years, it needs to be restored before it can be used again. Luckily I have lots of spare parts, RK05 discs, documentation, original schematics all rescued from that era. One day she will run again.

I also have 2 RK05 drives, but they came with a PDP8/A. For the 11/34 (or maybe it was the 11/05?), I have 2 RX01 drives and  some diskettes.
I've only ever toggled in short test loops on any of my PDPs, and I'm not sure if I want to get much beyond that again.  I suppose running RT11 from the RX01s is fairly doable, but the RK05s scare me!
 

Online xrunner

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