[rescue] VME questions

jodys at helluin.org jodys at helluin.org
Wed Jan 29 15:41:02 CST 2003

So a little bit ago I landed a Vector Electronics series 760 5 slot
6u VME chassis (http://www.vectorelect.com/img/PDF/Page%2011.PDF) in
pretty much pristine condition (even had a power test sheet with
variance for each voltage it supplies) for exactly $1.07US. It is
19" rack mountable with a beefy power supply. Both the power supply
and the fan tray are on rails and are easily removable with the
provided handles. Overall one of the most solidly constructed
chassis I've seen.

Some questions

1) I'm presuming that I need a load to test the power supply
(little label inside says 10% needed). There are four fans
on the tray; 2 are DC12V at 0.45A and 2 are DC12V at 0.26A.
The power supply is (according to the sheet that came with
the chassis is 500W). The label on the back lists 115VAC at
10amps. Are the fans enough load for the supply? My electronics
knowledge is nil, so I'm at a loss on how to calculate this.
Also what happens to the supply if I don't provide enough  
load? Is it a quick, "flip-the-switch-bye-bye-magic-smoke" or  
a more long term failure?  

2) The card-cage seems to be fitted for double-depth cards (I'm
not sure how to measure the depth I come up is either 330mm
or 355mm both of which seem to be non standard lengths). I have
taken the chassis apart (>40 screws!) and find that with some
trivial chopping of the rails and a movement of some metal bits
and the backplane I could presumably fit the standard 160mm cards
into it. The question is; are cards that fit in this depth
(presumably 280mm) common or should I go ahead and perform the 

3) What should I do with this? I've grown rather fond of the
chassis and I'd like for it to be doing something. Anyone know
a source for cheap VME boards? Anyone have some boards they want to
sell real cheap (still unemployed can't spend much)? What about 
OS support, what boards am I likely to find and what OS's run 
on it? Finally I'm aware that VXI and VME are physically and 
electrically compatible (if not entirely compatible on a protocol 
level), anything interesting I could do with VXI cards? Finally,
any good sources for info on the net? I've read the comp.arch.bus.vmebus
FAQ and the vita.com FAQ, anything else?   


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