For years I wanted to have a MicroVAX II that would be livingroom-friendly, i.e. quiet and nice to look at.
Continue reading “TARZAN- a Homebrew MicroVAX II”
After about a month of construction, two power supplies, three custom PCBs and six quiet fans, the homebrew MicroVAX II is ready.
The MicroVAX II’s “successor” was the MicroVAX 3300/3400, which used the KA640 CPU (2.4 VUPS).
The MicroVAX 3 was based on the not-so-much-faster KA650, rated at 2.8 VUPS.
This particular machine is actually a DEC-compatible. The rack, power supply, QBUS cage, bulkheads and most of the QBUS boards are not DEC. The only DEC board is the CPU. Continue reading “MicroVAX 3 (Actually a DSVAX III)”
The picture would not be complete without a look at the MicroVAX I, the II’s predecessor. Continue reading “The MicroVAX I – Slow, Really Slow”
“MicroVAX II is one of the most significant and exciting products we’ve ever had” – Ken Olsen, 1985
“Most of the computers that have come out of the computing room so far have been relative toys compared to MicroVAX II … Moving this enormous performance and enormous capability out of the computer room provides opportunities for human beings to interact, to deal with computers in a friendlier, more productive environment” – Jeff Kalb, vice president, Low-End Systems and Technology, DECWORLD, July 1985
“MicroVAX is a whole different mind-set, different class of machine … We’re really going for new business, new opportunities, where you can open up new markets by taking the VAX performance and functionality and dropping it down to a different price range” – Jesse Lipcon, MicroVAX II program manager, DECWORLD, July 1985
The MicroVAX II
Nearly as fast as the VAX 11/750, running at 0.9VUPS.
Codenamed “Mayflower”, released in 1985, you could have one for $20,000 (see end of this post for a detailed list of options/costs).
The MicroVAX II’s CPU was the KA630.
The CPU had one Megabyte of internal RAM, and used a flat cable to connect to up to two RAM boards, to reach a maximum total of 16MB. If 16MB of RAM is installed, the internal 1MB is automatically disabled.
There are four MicroVAX II’s in the museum. Two in the cool BA23 tower, one rackmount , and one in the 60Kg BA123 enclosure. Continue reading “The MicroVAX II – Workhorse of the 80’s”