PDP-8 Discovery and Restoration
phirkel at sympatico.ca
Fri Oct 21 23:26:10 CDT 2005
Being a student of Engineering at Carleton University, every day I
walked by an old PDP-8 that was on display in the halls. However, over
the years it got bashed up and abused, since there was nothing
Recently, I spoke to the chair of the department, and he (excitedly)
agreed to provide me with space and the machine to restore, in hopes
that the faculty could display it in its original glory (and even better
if it is functional!).
I started the restoration this past Thursday. It shall be one hell of a
job to say the least. The machine was on display for close to 20 years,
I figure, and as such took quite a beating.
One of the parts in the worst condition is the bank of switches on the
front. These were trashed by students walking by and playing around with
them over the year.
So, the statistics for switches:
7 Brown Switches irreparable
4 White Switches irreparable
6 Brown Switches reparable
5 White Switches reparable
2 White Switches are perfectly intact
1 Brown Switch is perfectly intact
Also, unfortunately, certain flipchips (according to my schematics,
anyways) are missing. The ADC option was installed, I know for sure,
while the memory parity and power control stuff was not. At any rate,
the first 11 flipchips from rows A and B on the processor side of things
are missing in action.
The following flipchips are missing:
R302 * 2
R002 * 5
S111 * 9
S603 * 2
S602 * 2
R405 * 2
S203 * 2
S107 * 3
G209 * 3
R202 * 3
The power supply unit for this machine has already blown in my face
once, any advice on how to test/ensure that the PSU is functional?
I'm keeping a log of my progress at http://www.cowpig.ca and would
appreciate any feedback people offer and any suggestions people have
over the course of the project.
I'd really like to try to get this machine working. If anybody has any
of the parts needed, and is willing to part with them, I would greatly
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