Sun SPARCstation LX

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For more information, see this article's corresponding Wikipedia page: Device.
This device is in the WorkNeeded:OriginalParts category because it was flagged as missing information on the original parts. It may have replacement parts listed but those cannot be assumed to be identical to the originals. If you have a list of the original parts, please feel free to add them by copying the relevant table from EditorsToolbox:Tables Capacitor undo icon progressive.svg
This device is in the WorkNeeded:ReplacementParts category because it was flagged as missing information on replacement parts. If it has the original parts listed you may be able to search for replacements using the parametric searches available from parts distributors. If you have or make a list of replacement parts, please feel free to add them by copying the relevant table from EditorsToolbox:Tables Capacitor lookup icon progressive.svg
This device is in the WorkNeeded:General category because it was flagged as missing general information about the device. The information may be incomplete, using default text, or inaccurate and should be verified with external sources if possible. If you can add or correct information on this page, please feel free to edit it and do so. OOjs UI icon information-yellow.svg
Sun SPARCstation LX
Preliminary Information
Release Year 1992
Leak Risk High
Batteries NVRAM chip with integrated battery
Mounting Technology Through Hole, SMD
Capacitor Types Aluminum Electrolytic, Tantalum
Destructive Entry No

The Sun SPARCstation LX (aka sun4/30) is a "lunchbox" style Sun workstation based around the sun4m architecture.

Known Issues

Machine won't boot and/or throws various firmware errors

Examples:

Sun Workstation, Model Sun-XXXXXX Series. 
ROM Rev X.X, XXMB memory installed
ID PROM invalid.
Testing 0 Megabytes of Memory ... Completed.
ERROR: missing or invalid ID prom
Requesting Internet address for 0:0:0:0:0:0

or

Sun Workstation, Model Sun-XXXX Series.
Type 4 Keyboard
ROM Rev X.X, XXMB memory installed, Serial #16777215
Ethernet address ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, Host ID ffffffff

Invalid format type in NVRAM
The IDPROM contents are invalid

Causes

  • NVRAM chip battery has failed

Solutions

  • Replace the NVRAM chip (See below)

Disassembly Notes

Warnings or tips to disassemble then device

Original Parts

Power Supply

The power supplies in the "pizza box" and "lunch box" style Sun workstations are notorious for having leaky electrolytic capacitors.

Capacitor Specifications and Footprint Information
RefDes Qty Capacitance Voltage Mount Diameter/Size Height Lead Spacing Temp Type Brand Series
0 µF 0 °C

Replacement Parts

NVRAM Chip

The SPARCstation LX has an NVRAM chip that functions as both NVRAM (system configuration storage) as well as the real time clock. It is a one-chip device that has both the NVRAM as well as a clock battery integrated in the same chip, similar to the Dallas RTC chips used in many x86 PCs. The chip is located at U0707, and is a SGS-Thomson (formerly Mostek) Timekeeper M48T08/18. It may also be referred to as the Mostek MK48T08/18.

These chips are still available, however newer versions of this chip (those currently available) will not work. Newer variants of this chip now include a "century" field which the older Sun firmware does not understand. (it will work, but the system will always boot into the lengthy extended diagnostics mode and will not auto-boot.) You must obtain a used or NOS (new old stock) version of this chip.

Alternatively, a user-replaceable CR1225 coin cell battery can be retrofitted onto an existing NVRAM chip, by cutting off the top of the chip (the portion that contains the battery) and soldering on a PCB containing a new battery. GlitchWorks has designed such a PCB and has released it as Open Source Hardware. Directions can be found on their website, and the PCB design files can be found on the Glitchworks Github repository.

Basic PCB Name

Capacitors
RefDes Qty Compatible Part Number Order Links
Digikey

If parts are not available or different selection is preferred, you can use the values in the Original Parts section to perform a parametric search.

Kits

Related Links

References