I bought this computer on eBay also. A PRO 380 is
a personal computer with a PDP-11 CPU (J-11). It is in a desktop box,
has built in graphics, dual floppies, a 10MB hard drive, a network
port, and several expansion slots.
The Real Time Interface (RTI) is interesting on
this machine. It has 2 RS-232 serial ports, 1 IEEE-488 port, and 24
bi-directional TTL level I/O pins. These all exit the machine on a
62-pin D shell connector. The predominant use of this option was for
connecting to a VAX and acting as the console and diagnostics
controller. The particular machine I have was just one of these VAX
The PRO series really need to have a keyboard and
monitor attached to be useful. There is a way to jumper the serial port
to get access to a console, but all this gets you is KDJ11 ODT. The
keyboard is an LK201 type, which is readily available. The monitor has
RS-170 compatible frequencies, so even a good television monitor can be
used as a display.
Options - DEC Professional Options and Manuals
Real Time Interface
This is the real jewel: a blinkenlights, UNIBUS
PDP-11. Pictures of a PDP-11/40 can be found here.
For 30 years she was used to make numerical
control tapes for metal cutting machines. She was only taken out of
service because she got too tired to keep up the work. She was replaced
by SIMH and a couple of other tools. Her application software is still
doing work every day.
I have been trying to figure out what works and
what doesn't. I have some notes about XXDP here and my experience with the various
diagnostics on this machine here.
While playing with this PDP-11/73 I put together
some notes about various things that gave me trouble. Below are links
to my notes.
Adapter - This is a project that I have been working on for a
while. Mostly because I did not have a SCSI Qbus Controller.
Development continues with the next milestone being support for DMA
(non-block mode). I have a complete page
devoted to this.
Disk System - Another project that I have been working on.
The goal is to use this with my PDP8/e. I have a page
for this too.
- A guess at the function of many of the diagnostic programs. Created
by doing a strings on an RL02 image of XXDP v2.5 and then combing
through the resulting text for clues to the diagnostic programs'
- A description of reading and writing RX50 format disks in a Linux
box. The physical sector order and the logic block order are not the
same for RX50s. The next program fixes that.
- A program to reorder RX50 disk images between sector order and lbn
order. Useful for exchanging data between Supnik's simulator and a real
PDP-11. John Wilson's PUTR is much more capable,
but it is DOS only.
- A 2.11BSD bootblock that seems to handle third party MSCP disk
controllers a little better than the stock version. Only really tested
with a CMD CQD-220 though.
Professional 380 - Some notes about getting a DEC Pro 380
running. The Pro I have was once a VAX Console, so it has the RTI card
installed. I was given some scans of the connector
Field Guide - Some images of modules that I have. Some are
Qbus, some are Omnibus, and some are not for any bus at all, but are
building block modules. The M700 modules are from a PDP-14 industrial
One of the great things about PDP-11's is the
amount of information about them that is available. These machines are
often still doing production work, so unlike the PDP-8, the software is
not freely available. These are some sources that I have found helpful.
Unix Preservation Society - A source for many of the
original Unix versions. Many of which have now been placed under a BSD
style license and can be modified and distributed freely.
- Home of E11, an excellent PDP-11 simulator, and PUTR, a very useful
tool for working with disk images for PDP-11's and PDP-8's. It supports
transfer of files between a host and the disk image for several OS's
include RT-11 and OS/8. Unfortunately it is PC-DOS only.