PDP-11/70 Panel Research - Tests and Videos

Parent Category: Stories Category: PDP-11/70 Panel Research Written by Administrator

First: Special thanks to Mike Hill, who first friendly (but mercyless) pointed out any inaccuracies in our emulations, then later designed most of the test sequences!

Panel basic functions

Its assumed you're familiar with DEC console panel logic. DATA, EXAM, DEPOSIT, LOAD ADR, HALT, RUN, RESET are similar for all PDP-11s, but we're going way beyond the usual quick&dirty emulation.

Here are instruction how to download and operate a virtual BlinkenBone PDP-11/70 panel. And see here for more on PDP-11/70 BlinkenBone installations.

The tests

The procedure was:

  • At LCM we run the tests in one big session. This involved booting test programs (mostly BLINKY) , operating mode-selector dials on the panel or just entering special switch-toggle programs.
  • While operating the panel, each test was recorded into a video
  • the following evening and a long night, results were evaluated (while memory was still fresh) and documented.
  • Finally the modfied SimH "REALCONS" mutant behind PiDP11 and BlinkenBone was adapted ... which took weeks.

An immediate insight for the PDP-11/70 panel: it uses part of the PDP-11/70 CPU. Its function is not hardwired, but implement by special micro code active in HALT mode. So for example a ADDRess loaded with LOAD will not survive a RUN-HALT sequence, as the latched address held in a data patch register is overwritten in regular CPU operation.

Panel micro code is documented in attached PDF.

The tests are described in the attached document.

To re-run them on a PiDP11 or a BlinkenBone, use Mikes "BLINKY" software package. "BLINKY" is easiest to boot from block 0 of an RP06 disk image.

Recorded videos

All panel videos are on youtube, in a playlist "PDP-11/70 Panel Research",
URL = https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL9ECYK0f539oZh3rIz-eEPAPpM6Lq2P77

They are labled like "script00_TB8A3105" etc , .... with same labels as in "alltests_results.pdf"


Not all of them are cineastic masterpieces ! 


Download this file (alltests_results.pdf)alltests_results.pdf[Test descriptions and results]104 kB
Download this file (blinky.zip)blinky.zip[BLINKY test program - Sources and mountable disk image]188 kB
Download this file (PDP1170-panel-docs.pdf)PDP1170-panel-docs.pdf[PDP-11/70 panel micro code and schematics]2588 kB