VAX 6000-300

Date of Production: 1991

CPU Type: VAX of type "Riegel"

Number of processors installed: 1

Max. number of processors supported: 6

Memory installed/maximum: 32MB/256MB RAM

Internal I/O Buses: XMI-1, VAX-BI


This VAX came from the University of Technology in Darmstadt (TU-Darmstadt), where it was used for a lot of years. The scrappers already asked for it, but the responsible person thought of me and asked me, if I am interested in this VAX! If course I was, that's my fist VAX from the 6000 series!

It has quite a few boards inside the BI-Backplane. The 6000-310 is equipped with a TK70-controller, a CI-controller (used for CI-clusters of VAX- and Alpha-systems) and an SDI-controller. The bottom of the chassis contains a RA82-drive which seems to be unusual. I was asked by other classic computer enthusiasts, if it's not a RA9x drive, since those seemed to be placed in the 6000-chassis more often (late '80, early '90s where the years of the RA9x drives).

Unfortunately, the blower is missing, but a friend of mine has an extra one in his collection, he is willing to part with me. Except for the missing TK70-drive (see the hole in the picture at the top of the page?) and the blower, nothing seems to be missing.

As at this time, I only had a car for transportation, the side-panels and front- and rear-doors had to be removed in order to fit into the car. We were four people trying to get this beast into the back of a VW Bora!

I plan to upgrade this model with CPU's from the 6000-4x0 line. Although a 6000-600-CPU board is in my possesion, a usage is not possible, as it requires a more modern XMI-2 backplane from the era of the 6000-5x0 and 6000-6x0 series VAXen. Earlier models were equiped with the so-called XMI-1 backplane, driven by 5V instead of 3.3V for the XMI-2 backplanes.

More pictures of the VAX 6000-310:

VAX 6000-310 w/o enclosure panels This is the rather massive VAX cabinet without the enclosure panels, front and back doors. By doing so, the VAX just fitted into my car to join the other computer systems. All four chassis-wheels may be turned in all directions, which eases the transportation and placement of the large cabinet. Very often, only two of the wheels of the DEC cabinets do turn.
VAX 6000 systems come with two card cages. At least one of them accepts boards using the XMI bus and holds the CPU and memory boards. The second cage may be equipped with a VAX-BI backplane to support VAX-BI-type boards or may be another XMI card cage.
VAX 6000 card cages
VAX-6000 power supplies The rear of the opened VAX reveals the three power supplies which are housed at the top of the cabinet.The part covered by massive panels is the place where the card cages are located. The panels need to be removed to access the backplane rear side of the card cages. The panels themselves may be replaced by panels holding peripheral connectors such as the four BNC connectors used for the CI-bus as shown in the lower part of the left picture.
Removing the cover plates on the rear side of the card cages reveals the power and peripheral cabling of the XMI and VAX-BI backplanes. The large white connectors seen in the picture are used for peripheral connectors such as Ethernet, FDDI, CI, tape and disk via LESI and SDI, respectively.