[rescue] SPARCserver power supply

Lex Landa brooknet at imap.cc
Wed Dec 1 18:35:45 CST 2010

Hello all,

I've got a Sun SPARCserver 630MP 'deskside', in need of some TLC with
regards to its power supply.  I am in the UK (Devon).

I've had this fearsome, noisy thing since the turn of the century and
before that, it was in service at a London university, where it acted as
a mailserver for many years.

Its next home was to be the country cottage where I lived, along with
cats, moths, spiders and rats.  Unfortunately, over the years a family
of spiders decided to move into the computer, finding it to be warm and
comfortable - just the thing for raising a brood.  Over one summer, the
cottage was overrun by these things, and I could never work out where
they were coming from - but there was a *horrible* smell coming from the
SPARCserver and I didn't figure out what had happened until I'd moved
house again.

The bad news: during the cleaning of the power supply (520W, Boschert
XL520-3625, Sun part number 300-1072) I shorted something out and burned
the PSU beyond repair (a river of heavy, choking smoke poured from it
and I almost set the flat on fire).  I have since replaced the power
supply with a cheap PC ATX PSU, but I don't think that it'll last much
longer as it is 'squeaking' as it struggles to supply the 60A that the
5V line requires.

My choices are:

1. Replace the power supply with a beefier one.  This might be my best
idea - it's about all I can afford, anyway.  I'd need the proper pinout
(see below) and compatible 'Pressfit' connectors.

2. Find a compatible Sun power supply - an original Boschert PSU would
be great, but Boschert are long gone (I think) and the prices of
second-hand PSUs are much too expensive for me (typically $250 and up,
plus shipping from the US to the UK).

To get the ATX PSU to work, I needed to hack up a cable that is not
going to last much longer, since its connectors were salvaged from the
old partially-melted PSU board.  I guessed at the connections to the
plugs at the base of the PSU, which are marked 'J1' and 'J2'.

If anyone knows of any official pinout for these connectors, I would be
very pleased as I have not been able to find one.  My best guess is
listed in this text file:


(SPARCserver enthusiasts also might find the parent dir interesting.)

Can anyone help - perhaps with a pointer to a long-forgotten Sun
document? (I've looked at many and can't find any description of the
power supply connectors).  I think that there's a mistake with my
guesses because the cgthree now shows a lot of noise where there
should be clear text - perhaps a RAM problem, or related to the
replacement PSU not being able to supply enough current.

As you can see, I have a few things that I need help with.  When the
system is powered up, I use Solaris 2.5.1 or NetBSD on it, finding
NetBSD (4.x) to be quite brilliant because it uses both CPUs (two
Ross/Cypress CY605s).

I use the computer for SIMH (using one old computer to run software for
an even-older computer), for playing mp3s (via its 8000Hz audio output),
for games, via XDMCP.

Happy seasonal festivities,


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