Actually the 11/780 and 11/785 used an 11V03.(I believe they had either 12 or 16k of memory to start and when upgrading to the 11/785 the console was upgraded to either 16 or 28k.

  The OS was a very stripped down one.  It used an RT11 filesystem, but I don't know if it was RT11 based.  I was told it wasn't.

The 11/750 was 8085 (IIRC) based.  The 11/730, I think, used an 8088 or 8086

The 8600/8650 used a T11 chip on a special board and ran  a version of RT11 IIRC.

The later (85xx) Vaxes often used left-over Pro350's and later Pro380's as VAX consoles.

The biggest problem with RT11 on the Pro is they had to make the bitmap display emulate a DEC standard terminal. (Not sure if it was VT100 or just VT52 compatible...)

I gave away my Pro350.  They'll get my Vaxstation when they pry it from my cold dead hands.  (Or my wife wins the argument). 

Bill Pechter
been a long time since Field Circus...

On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 1:57 PM, Norman Wilson <> wrote:
Just to loop things around a bit:

Some of the larger VAXes used small PDP-11s (and their
bastard offspring) as console processors.

This started with the very first VAX, the 11/780, which
used an 11/23 as a console.  The console ran a stripped-down
system, possibly based on RT-11 or RSX-11, I forget (and
am typing this on a train in the Outer Mongolia part of
Texas where it's hard to look up references).

I don't know the whole list of what was used as a console
for different VAXes, but I do remember that the Nautilus
series (8500-8550-8700-8800) used either a Pro/350 or a
Pro/380, running P/OS, which was slightly more satisfactory
than the rude English non-computer expansion of PoS might
imply, but only slightly.  Especially for those of us who
wrote code to fit into UNIX on the VAX and talk to the
console processor.

I also vaguely remember that although Digital were
reluctant (at least early on) to make an RT-11 that would
run on the Pro-series systems, someone made a UNIX for
those systems.

I never knew a lot about this stuff and have forgotten much
of what I did know, but perhaps my words will trigger others'

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON
TUHS mailing list