As time allows, I've been slowly collecting documentation, experimenting and just trying to get re-acquainted with how things work. I'm amazed at how much I've forgotten over the years.
So currently, this is the state of play.
I've actually got three 8870 M25 chassis. One is in my workshop and running fine. The other two are in the garage. With one of them at least, I've no reason to assume that if I added plates, PSU and a disk, wouldn't spring back to life, though it needs a darn good clean before I attempt that.
The other chassis is in a real sorry state. I think it's electrically sound but the plastic outer shell is in a terrible state. It looks like it's either been dropped or somebody backed a lorry into it.
I've removed all the "good" stuff from both the above chassis and I've tested all these items one by one in my working machine and so far pretty much everything seems to be working ok. This means that I've got spare disk drives, CPUs, ALMs, PSUs and disk controllers and if I had serviceable chassis I could built another machine if needed.
Still only got the one working DAP4 and no working DAP spare parts which is a worry.
I've got copies of the NIROS 3.3 and 5.0 manuals, and a BASIC 7.0 manual plus some other assorted operator and technical manuals - all in German unfortunately for me though I did have had the NIROS 3.3 manual translated to English.
I've one working ND11 printer, a couple of new ribbons and a SAS cable (printer to DAP). I've got another ND11 that's in the garage right now but I've not tested it.
I've a working Niros 7.0/03 operating system (German again unfortunately) but at least it didn't have User Administration installed, and I eventually managed to find somebody who knew the system password - my memory is terrible.
Interestingly, the first system that I obtained was running Niros EX but the disk was corrupted and the system eventually failed - it was deleting more and more files every time it booted which was a real shame. However, the curious thing was that it had a 1537 CPU fitted, not the latter 1559 that we were always told was a pre-requisite for Niros EX.
My current plan is to harvest the back planes and everything else removable from the damaged chassis, and I'll probably sell the other one as just an empty chassis as I'm not letting any of my spare parts go.
Anyway, that's the situation currently