PDP-8/e front panels.

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Sun Jun 7 08:13:04 CDT 2015

    > From: Rod Smallwood

    > I have recently produced a number of high quality custom PDP8/e front
    > panels.  They are full size reproductions of the original. The
    > production methods are exactly as used in circa 1971.

First, my sincere congratulations! This is a real contribution, and I doubt it
was trivial to accomplish.

    > I'll also instigate another batch of ten. .. If I get orders for more
    > than ten then I'll bump up the second batch size accordingly.

These sound so cool I'm tempted to buy one, even though I don't even own a
PDP-8! :-)

    > If there is a demand I'll do other 8's or 11's front panels that use
    > the same plexiglas and silk screen technique.

Someone mentioned -12's and -15's?

I don't (yet) need any -11 ones, although at some point, I might need an
11/20 one (I have a line on an 11/20 that spent a lot of time outside, so its
front panel is sadly very faded).

The thing we really need to find now is a source for the special switches
that DEC used in the front panels of the machines of this generation.

Electrically, they are just standard SPDT switches (usually two-position,
although for some - e.g. Deposit/Start - they are momentary-contact
spring-loaded); the real issue is the mechanical fastening, which uses a
special front plate (albeit on a standard micro-switch body).

I have a number of different ones in my machines, from various manufacturers,
but I have had no luck tracking down new ones through the part numbers on
them (they seem to be DEC part numbers, or adaptions thereof). I have asked a
number of people, but nobody seems to have spares/extras.

Anyone know of a source?


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