Author Topic: EISA bus passive backplane and cards  (Read 1364 times)

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Offline woodchips

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EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« on: January 08, 2019, 04:39:27 pm »
Another find in the pile of computer is a 17 slot EISA passive backplane. It is huge, 15" square, and has loads of NS PLCC chips that look to be gate arrays or similar. 

CPU uses a Pentium marked A80502133 and EISA bus.

Several other EISA bus cards, SCSI, Ethernet, something that uses lots of Sharc chips, boards with loads of Xilinx chips. Network boot so no chance to run it up.

It would appear to be a file server, lots of missing SCSI disc drives.

I remember the Sharc chips, DSP wasn't it, never used one because was sold on the Motorola 56000.

Any thought?
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 05:10:11 pm »
That's a lotta EISA. Could have been used for a number of things in my guess, storage server is likely, maybe it was used as some networking thing, could even have been used for something telephony based, multiple modems stuck in one go.
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 05:41:07 pm »
  I can't tell you anything about that specific backplane but I used to get a LOT of computers that had been used as instrumentation controllers and they all had lots of EISA slots.  One particular batch that I remember had two National Instruments HP-IB cards and a bunch of digital and analog I/O cards made by Metrobyte (sold by Fluke).  I got 20 something of those in one load and saw quite a few more at various times later on.  They were in 19" rack mount cases that had lockable doors on the front.  IIRC the cases were made by Advantech and I think Advantech also sold the backplanes and various IO cards. I've seen hundreds of similar systems.  Most used a passive back plane with the CPU and memory, etc on plug in cards but some had CPU, memory etc on the motherboard.  In fact, the ones that I particularly remember that had the two HP-IB cards in them had two separate bus systems with I think 8 card slots for each one and they had two CPU cards in them. Effectively they were two complete, independent computers stuffed into a single case and powered by a single power supply.  The really odd thing that I remember about then was that both GP-IB connectors were connected by a single GP-IB cable so apparently the two computers talked to each other via GP-IB. 

   Find the manufacturer's name and model number on the back plane and then look that up. Chances are that you'll find that it was sold by someone like Advantech that sells computers for industrial use.  The good thing about the industrial computers is that they're well built and very reliable and since they made and sold for a wide variety of uses, they're usually well documented and the docs are frequently posted on line.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 10:42:43 am »
from what you say it could have been something that processed/stored realtime data? The use of FPGAs and DSPs along with lots of disks seems to imply that rather than a fileserver

do you have any pics?
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Online ebastler

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 01:24:14 am »
Err... a „passive backplane“ with „loads of PLCC chips“? I am confused now.  :-//
 

Offline Gr8fulFox

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 08:05:53 am »
This thread is useless without pics  ;D
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Offline CJay

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 03:49:07 pm »
from what you say it could have been something that processed/stored realtime data? The use of FPGAs and DSPs along with lots of disks seems to imply that rather than a fileserver

do you have any pics?

I figure the DSPs and FPGAs will be on EISA cards as will the CPU, 17 slots is a *lot* too, I have a feeling it may be something Alpha server but without pics, who knows...
M0UAW
 

Offline woodchips

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 09:39:30 am »
Photo attached.

It is made by Tektronix, bit of a surprise. Tiny etched identification on the board.

Looking through their catalogue it seems to be a disc recorder, and all the PLCC chips are a 32x32 component parallel video router. One lives and learns.

I really don't see this as a Tektronix product. It isn't test equipment and the rate of obsolescence must be measured in months, the stunning development costs for all the boards can't have been covered.
 

Offline helius

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 09:55:16 am »
Tektronix had a sizable video division producing test pattern generators, vectorscopes, and the like, and that disk recorder could be a natural offering for its customers (video production and broadcast studios).

It sort of looks like the DIN41612 connectors are staggered just enough from the EISA sockets for cards to plug into both at once. You very rarely see cards with both card edge and DIN connections.
 

Offline LapTop006

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 12:47:00 pm »
Tektronix had a sizable video division producing test pattern generators, vectorscopes, and the like, and that disk recorder could be a natural offering for its customers (video production and broadcast studios).

The Grass Valley Group, which they spun back off in 1999, with various owners, now currently owned by Belden.
 

Offline Gribo

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 09:16:54 pm »
VM700 perhaps?
 

Offline helius

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Re: EISA bus passive backplane and cards
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 10:06:32 pm »
The VM700 is a six-slot backplane and much smaller.
 


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