Thursday, April 23, 2020

My own 27-year old classic Digital DEC MicroVAX 3100-80 + VT-220 terminal and keyboard with StorageWorks disk array, DLT tape drive, RRD42 CD-ROM drive, DECnet over BNC and AUI networking with a Raspberry Pi, MMJ and DB25/DB9 serial interfacing to a PC and more

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: MicroVAX 3100-80 Installation Guide for HECnet node MARIAH
MARIAH (31.70) - My MicroVAX 3100-80

This post is a work in progress - notes being captured here ....


VAX has 3 MMJ connectors

Part number for MMJ-male to MMJ-male crossover cable is BC16E

MMJ #0 connects to OPA0:

MMJ to serial adapter for connecting to PC serial port; PC serial port is male DB9 9-pin.

- MMJ female to 9-pin RS-232 DB9 female adapter: Digital part number H8571-J


VAX has one 25-Pin RS-232 DB25 Male connector

- Female DB25 RS232 to female MMJ adapter part number: H8575-A. MMJ cable can be plugged into this. Other end of MMJ cable can be plugged into the H8571-J adapter for connecting to PC DB9 serial port.

Currently connected via BCC09 cable and NULL modem adpater to PC masquerading as a printer (described more further down in this post).


The Digital StorageWorks SCSI connector is HD-50 type.

Reference: (PDF Here).


BA42B enclosure: 18.259843 inches Wide, 5.9015748 inches High, 15.748 inches Deep

Dimensions:46.38x14.99x40.00 cm (WxHxD) 16kgBus details:No bus
Drive bays:Five - unknown size (?)Power supply:Unknown (?)
Used in:MicroVAX 3100 M20MicroVAX 3100 M20eVAXstation 3100 M40, and VAXstation 3100 M48
Last updated:1998-01-24


OpenVMS images work best when burnt to CD-R at very low speeds - 1x or 2x. On Mac OS X High Sierra, the following command line from terminal shell prompt writes an ISO image to a blank CDR at 2X speed:

hdiutil burn -testburn -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage -speed 2 Downloads/DEC\ VMS\ 5.5-2H4\ \(Jul\ 1993\)\ \[VAX\]\ \(ISO\)/VMS\ 552h4\ VAX.iso

Remove the "-testburn" switch to turn the laser on (i.e. actually burn the image to the CD instead of a simulation run).

SYS$PRINT Print Queue to TTA2: DB25 Serial Port connected to PC RS-232 DB9 accessible via minicom

Cable: DEC BCC05

Connection: DB25 to MicroVAX's TTA2: port; DB9 to NULL modem adapter; NULL modem adapter to PC DB9 RS-232 serial connector. BCC05 details (re:

Cable number              BCC05                      BCC08
                  ----------+----------      ----------+----------
Connector label        PR1  |    PR               PR1  | CONSOLE
                  ----------+----------      ----------+----------
Connector type       DB-9-F | DB-25-F           DB-9-F | DB-25-F
                  ----------+----------      ----------+----------
Signal, pin        PGND  1  |  1  PGND         PGND  1 |  1  PGND
                    TXD  2  |  3  RXD           TXD  2 |  3  RXD
                    RXD  3  |  2  TXD           RXD  3 |  2  TXD
                    RTS  4  |  5  CTS           RTS  4 |  5  CTS
                    DTR  5  |  6  DSR           DTR  5 |  6  DSR
                  ----------+----------      ----------+----------
                    DSR  6  | 20  DTR           DSR  6 | 20  DTR
                   SGND  7  |  7  SGND         SGND  7 |  7  SGND
                         8  | --                 ,-- 8 | --
                         9  | --                 `-- 9 | --

   As the connector labels suggest, the BCC05 is used with a printer,
and the BCC08 enables the printer port as a serial console port.

Setup Print Queue on OpenVMS 7.3:

$ define/system $printer _tta2:




$ start/queue sys$print

SEE for example output.

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