DEC frontpanel switch replica!

Rod Smallwood rodsmallwood52 at
Thu Mar 16 05:09:06 CDT 2017

On 16/03/2017 07:30, SPC via cctalk wrote:
> Well... I'm needing some of them for my PDP8/E. So I think this is a good idea.
> Regards
> Sergio
> 2017-03-16 1:30 GMT+01:00 Philipp Hachtmann via cctalk <cctalk at>:
>> 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
>> replicated.
>> 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
>> colors!!!)
>> * 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 :-)
Ok having had a chance to think. Here are a few comments.

1.  Rather than single items a full set to suit say a PDP-8/e  might be 
an idea.

2.  This would prevent color mismatches where replaced.

3.  Any chance of say 8/i rocker switches.

4. Whats the production method?

5. Whats the production rate?

6. Batch to batch color matching?

Rod Smallwood

There is no wrong or right
Nor black and white.
Just darkness and light

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