Bigvax is the (physically) larger of the two VMS VAXen. Bigvax's
size is partly due to it being a Qbus machine, with modules plugging into
backplanes in its two BA23 chassis units, and partly due to its somewhat
In the main cabinet, starting at the top, we have:
To the right of the main cabinet are:
- A VT220 terminal as the system console.
- The primary BA23 cabinet, containing the MicroVAX 3600 (KA650) CPU,
32 MB of ECC memory, a VCB01 graphics adapter (not connected to anything),
EDSI disk controller, ethernet card, floppy controllers and an 8-port serial
multiplexor. In the open drive bay is an RX50 5.25" floppy drive.
- The expansion BA23 cabinet, containing tape drive controllers and
another 8-port serial card. An TK50 cartridge tape drive occupies a
drive bay in this chassis.
- An RX02 8" double density floppy disk drive.
- A TS05 9-track 1600 bpi magnetic tape drive.
The system runs VMS, and ran constantly until replaced by the current
Toyvax (Bigvax was the former Toyvax), but is
kept around in case its peripherals are needed.
- A TK70 tape drive in a DECmate IIIplus chassis. The rest of the
DECmate was fully recycled: the keyboard was used to replace one that
had failed ona VT220, the disk drives (RX33 and RD31) used on PCs, the
monitor I had attached to an external power supply to run off a DEC
GIGI (VK100) terminal, and the logic cards and some internal hardware
were sent overseas to Charles Lasner to convert a DECmate III to a
IIIplus for his PDP-8 collection.
- An external tower containing three full-height 5.25" ESDI disk
drives. The tower has four bays, but is lacking the skid plate (which
also has the power and interface cabling) for the fourth bay.