wtorek, 26 marca 2013

VMEBus crate - why not.

Recently I have acquired an VME CPU-Card and thought about testing it somehow. As after powering it up the card seemed to be alive I have decided to give it a shot and try to put together an VME crate.

For that I have used an old Eurorack that I have got from some phone central (or some similar telecommunications equipment). After checking that the size of the crate is standard I bought an backplane from e-bay for... 1 Euro (plus 12 for shipping, but that's not the case). Unfortunately only this backplanes are so cheap, regular VME equipment is pricey as hell.

So i have started from taking apart the old backplane:

And putting the new one:

Sorry for the mess. You can see that here the backplane is already in position, and connected to a power supply (it takes 5 V and +/- 12 V). The PSU is also taken from the same equipment that the crate is.

This (above) is the CPU card (on the left) with the display controller removed, and the display controller itself (on the right). The CPU Card is an Pentium 120 MHz with 64 MB RAM equipped with Universe Tundra VMEBus controller. Fortunately there are plenty of drivers for this PCItoVME bridge. The cards equipment covers a wide range of peripherals - starting from two serial and one parallel port, going through VGA, Ethernet and finishing with SCSI-II. The card has two PCI-compatible slots, one of which is occupied by the display controller. It also has an PC/104, ISA compatible socket. The SCSI, together with the FDD connector are on the P2 connector of the VMEBus, so I will have to make a special connector going from the P2 on the backside of the backplane  to the SCSI harddrive. As far as I have tested the CPU-card is fully functional so after I get some free time I will try to connect an SCSI HDD to this setup and install some Linux maybe. After that I plan to go back to few years ago when I was studying and try to re-learn VHDL in order to make some VME cards for this setup

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