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Digital MicroVAX 3500 - LHNVAX - zxnet


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lhnvax - MicroVAX 3500

System Information
Manufacturer: Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)
Model: MicroVAX 3500
Hostname: lhnvax Address:
CPU: DEC KA650 (CVAX) RAM: 32MB in three boards (16,8,8)
System Software: DEC VAX/VMS: Compaq OpenVMS 7.3
Software: Compaq BASIC v3.9, DEC FORTRAN-77 v6.6, DEC C/CXX v6.4, DECset v12.8 (LSE and MMS only), DEC PASCAL v5.8, DEC TCP/IP v5.1
Services: Telnet (Local access only)

This VAX started life at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as "LHN" in Lower Hutt during the late 80s. It then moved to GNS Science when DSIR was split up in the 90s. It remained at GNS Science until the 20th of December 2008. It was not the original machine to be called "LHN" - it replaced a VAX-11/780 of the same name.

This was my second VAX which I purchased from the original owner in December 2008. It is currently setup and running OpenVMS 7.3 nicely from a SCSI disk attached to one of the ports on the UC08 SCSI controller. The hard disk is called DUB2 and the CD-ROM drive is called DUB3. Notes on accessing the controllers firmware can be found on the page about the Emulex UC07/UC08 SCSI Controller.

Unlike the previous one, this one is in very good condition - the only problem is the handle lock on the TK70 drive appears to be broken (there was a tape stuck in the drive and it seems someone tried to remove it with force). The battery has not yet exploded and it has all of its panels convering the QBus slots. It even came with its manuals and a front cover key. The machine also came with a full set of cables - power, two SCSI cables, six cables & boxes for the CXA16 boards, two MMJ cables, a handful of MMJ plugs and four short (~30cm) cables with an MMJ plug crimped on one end ready to make adapters.

Aside from the TK70, the machine has no drives installed or attached. The machine was configured with the following boards when I got it. I have not changed any of this.

Slot: Module: Option: Description:
1 M7620 KA650 KA650 CPU board
2 M7621 MS650-AA 8-MByte RAM for KA650
3 M7621 MS650-AA 8-MByte RAM for KA650
4 M7622 MS650-BA 16MByte MOS RAM for KA650
5 M7516-PA DELQA-SA Ethernet Interface
6 M3118-YA CXA16-M 16-line Asynchronous Multiplexor w/DEC423 output (for BA200 series only)
7 M3118-YA CXA16-M 16-line Asynchronous Multiplexor w/DEC423 output (for BA200 series only)
8 M3118-YA CXA16-M 16-line Asynchronous Multiplexor w/DEC423 output (for BA200 series only)
9 Emulex UC07/UC08 SCSI Controller
10AB M7559 TQK70 TMSCP controller for TK70
10CD 74-33507-01 blank plastic card (Dual height module spacer panel)
11 M7164 KDA50-Q QBus SDI Disk Adapter board 1 of 2
12 M7165 KDA50-Q QBus SDI Disk Adabter board 2 of 2

Slot numbers link to a photo of the board from that slot where available. A picture of the boards installed in the case is also available.

Current Condition

Dead. 2011 was not a good year for VAXen at my house. This machine begins counting down its power on self tests on the little 7-segment display until it reaches 9 (Memory management chip tests) then stops. Could be a memory board or the CPU board has gone bad. I could try swapping over parts from akvax but considering its current condition (leaking battery) I'd rather not 'contaminate' lhnvax.


Plenty of terrible images of the machine like the ones below are available here.
[Front of MV3500 with cover on] [Front of MV3500 with cover off] [1.5 anti-static plastic keys] [Manual front cover] [A pile of MMJ Plugs]
Plus images of the H3104 Cable concentrators and BC16D-25 cables for the CXA16 boards here.
[Rackd] [derackd] [sides] [cable]
One of these had a slight problem at some point:
[damaged H3104]

To Do