DEC frontpanel switch replica!

Philipp Hachtmann hachti at
Wed Mar 15 19:30:04 CDT 2017

Hi folks,

this might be quite interesting for the folks that miss front panel 
switch handles!

As some of you might know I'm currently working (a bit) on a new batch 
of Omnibus USB boards. And I have announced that there will be a kind of 
handle for the boards this time... I went to my neighbour and showed him 
some bits and pieces. He has a nice little workshop for concrete artwork 
( and spent a lot of time into perfecting 
his moulding skills.
I gave him a pdp8/e yellow switch handle with broken axle (usual 
problem) to try what can be done.
Today I came home and he gave me the piece saying that he was unable to 
replicate it. I took it (a bit frustrated) and stated that he has 
somehow ruined the surface... Haha! It was the replica!
He told me that this was a first "fast" shot including a "rough" 
approximation of the colour.

I was stunned!

Here you can see pictures. Even the defects of the original have been 

He told me that it was a bit difficult to get the holes at the side 
right. I think that it would be no problem if they'd be more shallow or 
even gone.

* His material is less translucent than the original. Won't probably 
change. So a perfectionist could spot the difference.

* He states that he can hit colors even better! (Think of the special 

* The axle stubs would be omitted and made of steel (something I already 
plan for repair of that weakest point)

* He is able to produce flawless finish (remember: it's a raw prototype!)

This is not my business. I told him that I'd ask around if there would 
be serious interest. He is not in vintage computing and does not work 
for free. So one piece would probably cost around 5-15 EUR each, 
depending on demand, color etc.

Please give some feedback!

Philipp :-)

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