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>From: SMTP%"@IU.AI.SRI.COM:slug-admin@Warbucks.AI.SRI.COM" 3-OCT-1991 15:10:32.93
>Subj: Cannibalizing 36xx's
>Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1991 14:53-0400
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruce R. Miller)
>Subject: Cannibalizing 36xx's
>Well, after years of faithful service they've decided to surplus our
>beautiful old 3600 as well as three 3640's. Amongst the four of them,
>all the `boxes' work, but 3 consoles are dead and 1 marginally works (I
>was able to tweek the picture straight, but its too wide. If I try to
>reduce the horiz width enough, it it goes out of sync)
>It's a shame for these to completely disappear. I'd love to have one
>for my home workstation. It would have been nice to buy the scraps and
>assemble something. But the way government surplussing works is a bit
>mysterious. I cant directly buy it; I suppose that the idea of one of
>the original users buying it back may appear suspicious. And it's
>impossible to establish if/when/where the things would show up at
>My alternative was to keep them from surplussing the one working 3640
>and use it as a home workstation. It's got 2 140MB disks, and so can be
>shoehorned into a standalone mode with a small lmfs. Of course NIST
>will no longer pay any money to modify or repair it. And since I wont
>own it I dont want to spend anything either! Plus, since the console
>symptom looks like a fading component, it may die soon anyway.
>So, the Q's
> 1) The box says 20Amp, and has the old huge power plug. But there aint
>no way that's drawing 20 amps. (is there?) Anybody know how much it
I've got 2 3640's each with 2 190 Mbyte ESDI disks, 8 Mbytes of
memory and 1 has a cart tape. They use 9.6 Amps continuously but peak
to 16 amps for 2 seconds when powered up. They would probably work
fine on a home circuit if you changed out the power plug and made
1. Nothing else is on that breaker
2. The outlet has 12 gauge wire and not 14.
3. It is properly grounded.
It is unlikely the unit will blow a fuse if you have it on
a 14 gauge outlet but over time the wire in the outlet can
get thermal stress with such a constant load, become brittle
and be a fire hazard.
> 2) I need to connect to the outside world -- in particular back to
>NIST. The 3600 has one of the newer 9track drives and built-in modem.
>If I cannibalize these from the 3600, is there anyway that they can be
>attached to the 3640? They dont have to be internal (the '40 already
>has the 2 drive slots filled), they can sit on top of the cabinet for
>all I care.
The CART tape on the 3600 can be connected to the 3640 if you are
not concerned about visual appearances. I once had to run a ribbon
cable from my 3670 to a 3640 when it's disk died and needed to be
rebuilt. Our Symbolics repair person didn't have his portable tape
with him so I had our shop fabricate a long ribbon cable and just
connected them up. Power will be your only problem. The 3640's that
I have (including the one without the tape) came prewired with both
the 50 pin BERG data cable and a 4 pin molex power cable. The power
cable appears to go off to a Power One HE12 12vdc power supply. If
your 3640 is like mine, you may be in luck. One word of warning, the
older 3600 tape drives only stored half the data as the later 36xx
series drives so you may still have incompatability problems unless
you force your exchange tapes to be in the older mode.
> 3) any opinions on the monitor? BTW: It has the monitor where you
>remove the full case; the other 2 (broken) ones have the removable top
>panel --- I forget which is which philips/moniterm -- in any case it
>would appear that I can't mix & match between the three to get a healthy
From your description, the ones you list as broken with the removable
top panel are Phillips monitors. If you get a pattern and yet they
don't sync, try doing a SET Monitor-type PHILIPS. If you get bad contrast
or streaked lines across the screen, check to see if there is a socketed
chip on the deflection board. It is an ECL driver chip and we had a
number of them go bad when we got our first Symbolics in 1984. The part
can be found in any commercial electronics store. If it has a good raster
yet will not sync, try playing with the Horizontal Frequency and Width
controls till it looks close then try the SET Monitor-type FEP command.
>Any other comments are welcome.
>Thanks for your indulgence in my self-indulgence.
NASA / Kennedy Space Center