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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:55 am
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I got some old vaxstation 3100 computers & a server of the same model I think..do they have valuable boards inside of them?...I got like six 3100s plus the server plus and old external hard drive thingy....any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you lostinlodos for you very helpful & informative reply!! :)

Edit: I believe these are from 1990 (I saw that dated somewhere)
I think I have the socketed kind...I will upload more pics here soon but below is a sample of boards taken from one of the 3100 (pictured below)
I also have a bigger version 3100 M48 SPX (also pictured below)
Also a Storage Expansion unit (also pictured)

I would provide picture of server but it's upside down amid the half ton of crap I got piles up in my truck... Your input is greatly valued & appreciated any other thoughts or suggestions or info would certainly be welcome.


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Last edited by rjfinkle on Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:40 pm 
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The VS systems from DEC were mid-generation 16-over-8-bit workstations running on the VAX ISA which was technically 32-bit. . Though they operated at 8- or 10-bit depending on what you ran. Microsoft ported early windows NT packages to the ISA. Which was the sole true-32-bit application environment.
They competed with the PET, late 8-bit Atari, PET, Apple //, and the 8080-486 IBMs.

As for what’s in them:
The short answer is open it. No way so tell from the outside.

The general console; it literally depends on the DAY of the manufacture. Early on DEC was fairly consistent and the boards will range from midgrade power boards and a large socket motherboard, with ram cards, and peripheral and telco classes of expansions. Most of the earlier ones had gold cap ceramic ICs.

But later... anything can be found. DEC kept adding new models, kept pumping out the originals, and basically kept throwing anything and everything out the door to stay in the game. Units in the 90s are so inconsistent in build that they outsourced all repairs based on the board stamp. You could find a fully soldered main board with nothing easily repairable to full fledged 70s style kit boards where everything has a socket and is 100% replaceable.
If you find the latter take the unit to eBay. Those boards fetch hundreds. These are easy to tell because every single component, capacitors, controllers, switches, everything is in push button spring pressure sockets and HIF DIP sockets.

The larger servers, more accurately a mini computer, has everything from low grade to high telco in a fully equipped unit.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:55 pm 
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I snagged two photos from bing of the same model series which already shows the differences based on date.one has a soldered base board and the other socketed.
The brown boards.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:37 am 
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ill bump this so lost sees it.[he has 3rd party montring software i beleive]


---looks like you hit the early board special with that gold cappeed one.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:45 am 
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All out of the same box? Wow. Lol.
Isn’t that a cobbled together collection!
High telco
Low telco
Gold cap chip board
High telco

:facepalm: parts from 1981-1989 in there. Poor DEC.
Actually I see a few ROMs from 1990 and the LSI chip is 1990.
Pardon my jaw drop. But this stuff is like a car fan seeing a Zimmer. You literal never know what you’ll find.

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Last edited by lostinlodos on Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Minor date correction


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:56 pm 
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lostinlodos wrote:
:facepalm: parts from 1981-1989 in there. Poor DEC.
Actually I see a few ROMs from 1990 and the LSI chip is 1990.
Pardon my jaw drop. But this stuff is like a car fan seeing a Zimmer. You literal never know what you’ll find.


was always a fan of the quick silver look myself..


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:39 pm 
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The thing with the quicksilver was that if you didn’t mind the heat and noise you could fit a medium sized Chevy or Pontiac V8 in it. Replacing the Fiero V6 and trans.
Not an easy rebuild but doable. Just wear ear protection! Lol.
Then again I don’t have the foggiest idea of how that all works so... I just know the weird stuff that shows up in classical car listings attached to the name Zimmer is unbelievable!

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