Thursday, September 22, 2016

PDP 11/73 with Matrox and other graphics

Picked up at a good price off ebay.  Has a KDJ processor, as well as a dual board Matrox graphics board.

A wirewrapped set seems to be connected to another board which may be for an EGA or other terminal as well.  It will take reverse engineering to figure out.

Module Map

    L  AB             R  CD
 1  M8192            <b>
 2  M8067LB          ==
 3  unk ww <1>       <b>
 4  <b>              M8578          
 5  unk ww <2>       M8043           
 6  Matrox1          ==
 7  Matrox2          ==
 8  M8639            ==

DEC M8192      Processor PDP 11/73 KDJ11-A
DEC M8067LB. 512KB memory board.
DEC M8578      Universal PROM Module MRV11-D
DEC M8043      DLV11-J Quad Serial
DEC M8639      RDRX Disk Controller Board for PDP 11

Bitsavers Matrox:

Matrox card set view


Glen Herrmannsfeldt:

It seems that I have the manual for both the QRGB/graph and QRGB/alpha.
Both use the 6545 CRT controller, which I believe is equivalent
to the 6845.  At startup the registers that control it are loaded.
The CRTC register to be read/written is selected by writing to
the address register, and then the selected register can be
read/written by writing to the control register.
That is, it looks like two byte wide I/O ports, one to select
the register (764000) and one to read/write the selected register
at (764002).
R0 horizontal total-1
R1 horizontal displayed
R2 horizontal sync-1
R3 sync width (vertical in high 4 bits, horizontal in low 4 bits)
R4 vertical total-1
R5 vertical total adjust
R6 vertical displayed
R7 vertical sync-1
R8 interlace and skew
R9 maximum raster address
R10 cursor start
R11 cursor end
R12 start (high)
R13 start (low)
R14 cursor (high)
R15 cursor (low)
R16 light pen (high)
R17 light pen (low)
The vertical timing is in character rows, except for vertical adjust
which adds the appropriate number of scan lines.
To increase the vertical frequency decrease R4 and/or R5.
Change R7 as appropriate to keep the display centered.
Ian King / Pete Turnbull discussion about a similar /11 system

List:       classiccmp
Subject:    RE: PDP-11 bootup
From:       Ian King <IanK () vulcan ! com>
Date:       2009-03-26 14:58:20

The Data Systems Design A44324 board is to interface a DSD440 to a Qbus.  ISTR the \
other DSD board is probably another DSD440 interface - they also made them for Unibus \
and Omnibus.  -- Ian  ________________________________________
From: [] On Behalf Of Pete \
                Turnbull []
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:32 AM
To: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: PDP-11 bootup

On 26/03/2009 05:34, John Floren wrote:

> Here is a complete list of the boards in my system, as removed from
> top to bottom (this was a rack mount unit)
> 1x M8192
> 1x M7195
> 1x mysterious quad-height board from DEC; I can only find labels
> saying "PC304135-I4", "0202", and "Rear PSW1-0"
> 2x Matrox QRGB-G-64/4 boards
> 1x Matrox QVAF-512/8A (or QVAF-5/2/8A, hard to read)
> 1x Dataram 40903 (memory? It's got tons of little ICs)
> 1x M7941
> 1x M7555

M8192 is a dual-height KDJ-11A for an 11/73 and as Jerome pointed out
that has no bootstrap.  Possible reasons for being left at the ODT
prompt include the HALT switch being on, or there being no bootstrap
anywhere else.  However, the next board, M7195, is a multifunction
MXV-11B, which probably does have a bootstrap on it.  Look for a pair of
EPROMs on it.  The manual is around the net, and I expect there's a copy
on bitsavers.

The KDJ-11 doesn't have all the ODT commands that some earlier QBus
processors have.  "G" is the command to "Go" to an address.  "P" is the
command to "Proceed" without initialising the bus.  The only other
commands on a KDJ-11 are slash ('/'), 'R', carriage-return and linefeed.

I don't know exactly what the next few boards are, though I know Matrox
made video boards for a variety of systems (DEC and S100 at least) and a
QRGB is some sort of framestore and QVAF is a digitiser, I think.  The
Dataram board probably is memory, especially if densely packed with an
array of chips.  The chips numbers should tell us.

M7941 is a DRV-11 parallel interface, which might have been used for a
printer or simply for some other digital I/O to/from another device.
M7555 is an RQDX3 MSCP disk controller, which interfaces via a breakout
board to a dual floppy drive and/or one or more ST412-style hard drives.
  Are there disks and cables in the system?

Thinking of that, what type of box is this in?  What does the front
panel look like?  Jerome suggested it might be a BA23, but this mixture
of cards suggests to me that it might just as well be a system that was
upgraded from something older, and that it could be a BA11S or BA11N.

> Here are all the boards I have that were *not* installed:

You appear to have boards from at least three systems...

> 1x M9400
This is a terminator board for a much older QBus system.

> 2x M7946
Each is an RXV11 controller for a dual RX02 8" floppy drive - not useful
unless you also have those specific drives.

> 1x TI GPIB11V-1
I don't know, but I'd guess some Texas Instruments GPIB/IEEE-488
instrument interface, like DEC's IBV11.

> 5x M8045
Older QBus memory card from an 11/23 or possibly 11/03 system.  There
will be a suffix to the 8045 that will tell us the size of each.  The
have parity, so possibly from an 11/23.

> 1x Data Systems Design A44324

> 2x M8043
DLV-11J quad serial line cards, mainly used with 11/03 and 11/23
systems.  Later versions were renamed DLVJ1.  They'd probably work
(depending on the revision level) with your 11/73, but as you have two
serial lines on the MXV11, probably not very useful.

> 1x M8192
Another KDJ-11A CPU.

> 1x DT 2766

> 1x M7195
Another MXV-11 multifunction card.

> 1x M8059
MSV-11L memory from an early microPDP-11, either 128KB or 256KB.

> 1x M7270
This is an old dual-height LSI-11/2 CPU from an 11/03 system.

> 1x 3com board, all I can find is "QE serial 0223-01". It's dual-height
> 1x Data Systems Design 804140

> 1x M9400
Terminator for that LSI-11/2 processor system.  Does the number have a
suffix?  There were several version, some with bootstraps.

> 4x M8013
Here you have the upper halves of four RLV11 disk controllers.  These
each need to be paired with an M8014 to do anything.  They're from an
11/03 or early 11/23 system.

> 1x M7856
A DL-11W serial line and line-time clock from a Unibus system.  Don't
plug this in to your Qbus!

> 2x Matrox QRGB-G-64/4
Matrox framestore, I believe.

Pete                                            Peter Turnbull


Monday, September 19, 2016

All Sky camera project

okay, not an old toy.  Notes on building a raspberry pi supported all sky camera.

Camera, lens, dome:
ASI224MC camera from ZWO
wide angle lens Arecont 1.55
Acrylic dome



In order to capture images with the camera, we need to run a program in the terminal. ZWO provides an SDK in order for developers to communicate with the camera. Using this SDK, I modified one of their C++ example and compiled it for the raspberry pi. Here's a list of dependencies that need to be installed in order to get the program running.
  • OpenCV to capture the image of the sky (You can get a compiled version here)
  • Sunwait to calculate the civil twilight of your location. There is a compiled version in the archive
  • libusb, avconv, gawk, lftp, entr
To make things easy, I have attached an archive. All you need to do is to extract it at /home/pi/allsky.
From the lib folder, you will need to run sudo install asi.rules /lib/udev/rules.d in order to use the camera without being root.
Another thing you will need to do in order to automate everything is to run the main program on startup of the Pi. You can add this line in ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart: @xterm -e /home/pi/allsky/
Remember to set your wifi connection in order for the Pi to upload videos. contains all the parameters you might want to play with: GPS coordinate, white balance, exposure and gain.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bell & Howell 70 model Filmo 16mm cameras

Good wiki reference about the 70 Filmo cameras.  All have windup mechanisms unless modified.  Some have motor input to drive the mechanism with an external motor.  There is a model with a digital resettable footage counter.  There is also the HR model with provision for external 400' magazines.

16mm 100' at 24fps is about 3 minutes.  The Filmo can easily do 1m on a winding when it is good shape, giving three 1 minute takes.  A lot of film work works around this limitation in the pacing of action and scenes.

I have probably 15 of these need to document them.

Main Models:
  • 70A - First introduced 1923/4, one of the first 16mm cameras. Black, single C mount for lens, dual perf sprockets. Speed governor on front (8-16 or 16-32 fps).
    $40 eBay 8/2005
  • 70B - Introduced 1925. High speed version 128 fps
  • 70C - Introduced 1928, first turret model.
  • 70D - Introduced about 1930. Improved "revolving drum" variable angle viewfinder, 7 filming speeds introduced (8 to 64 fps)
  • 70DA - Introduced about 1931. The first "modern" Filmo - mechanically. Speed governor moved into clockwork mechanism. Parts mostly interchangable from now on. Critical focusing screen added. Black or brown, single or dual perf sprockets.
    $40 eBay 8/2005
  • 70DL - Introduced 1940's. Improved positive 3 lens viewfinder on small turret. Brown, single perf.
    $60 eBay 8/2005
  • 70DR - Introduced early/mid 1950's. 3 lens viewfinder turret geared to 
  • main lens turret. Brown, single perf. The state of the art in rugged American 16mm technology of its day, this is the model to get.
    $100 eBay 8/2005
  • 70E - Introduced about 1935. Cheaper version of DA without turret
    $40 eBay 8/2005
  • 70H - Able to accept 400' magazines and external electric motor
    $60 eBay 8/2005
  • 70HL - 400' magazine/ext. motor version of DL
    $100 eBay 8/2005
  • 70HR - 400' magazine/ext. motor version of DR
    $150 eBay 8/2005
  • 70KRM - Military version of 70HR. Military green.
    $79 8/2016
  • 70SSR - High speed model
  • Eyemo and Filmo Manuals can be found at the NCS Products Site:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Arium ECM 50

Acquisition of the day

Arium ECM 50 ICE for Pentium 3 systems.  With the right PDB, you could debug Xeon or Pentium 3, (desktop and Mobile) parts.

Came with a regular PDB, and a mobile target.  I think these are for P3's.   I'll have to dig up a +5 power supply somewhere.

Sram and flash
MT48lc4m16a2  1M x 16 Sram
Freescale / Motorola Power MPC 855
A blip about the use of this chip, and capabilities.  The ECM 50's main board was set up to allow for attachment to ICE which could debug the 855 as well.

Altera EP20K200EFC484-3
 Altera ASIC which handled breakpoints, and generation of jtag to the target chip (via the PDB)

Number of Logic Elements/Cells 8320
Number of LABs/CLBs 832 
Total RAM Bits 106496
Number of I/O 376 
Number of Gates 526000

ISSI 4mb sram