[rescue] PDP-11 to sell or trade

John Floren john at jfloren.net
Sun May 13 22:52:32 CDT 2012

Reposting this after a few months:

First off, I'm located in Livermore California. I'll drive around the
Bay Area but if you're anywhere else, you'll have to come here.

I have a PDP-11/73 in a rackmount case that I'd like to trade for some
other interesting kit. I like the PDP but unfortunately it's sort of a
hassle to work with--replacement hard drives are extremely expensive,
it's noisy, it uses a lot of power, etc. It has a 15 MHz 11/73 cpu, 2
MB of RAM, two hard disks which both seem to be having some trouble,
and an RX50 drive internally. I also have a box FULL of expander
cards, including more CPUs (I think there's a /23 in there) and a
512x512 framebuffer (!) composed of three full-height cards. There is
also an RX01 dual 8" floppy drive, and a box full of 8" and 5.25"
floppy disks. All told, it's something like 200 lbs of equipment. I
also have lots of manuals and a set of field maintenance drawings; I
may hold on to those last ones, I've been meaning to see if the
document archives need them or not.

I've enjoyed playing with this system, but I just can't keep hauling
it around with me. I have managed to boot it into what, if I recall
correctly, was RT-11 from one of the hard disks. However, the hard
disk seems to be failing--it took forever to boot, the only command
that worked was "DIR", and when I ran it the hard drive made a
terrible squealing noise for about 30 seconds. You'll definitely need
to replace the disks; I believe they're MSCP disks but I can go look
up the model numbers if desired. Unfortunately I don't have the money
to replace one of these disks or buy a SCSI interface card for it

Thus, I'd like to sell it trade for something more accessible to my knowledge,
skills, and resources. Sun or SGI gear (ancient or recent, I do rather
like the modern Sun systems) or an interesting IBM AIX machine. A LISP
machine, he said, tongue firmly in cheek. An ASR/KSR-33 or -35
terminal, or really any interesting old terminal. Anything nifty from
Apollo or HP or DEC or Data General. An IBM 5100 with APL ;-) That
sort of stuff. If you don't want to trade, I'd be looking for about
$200 to sell it, but I'm willing to negotiate on that.

Send me an email if you want more information or have a trade in mind.
I want this to go to someone with an interest in this old hardware and
the time/money to get it running right.


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