PDP-11/70 Panel brought back to life

Eric Flanzbaum elf at ucsd.edu
Tue Dec 12 00:38:12 CST 2006

 > Well, it took a few years, but I finally brought my PDP-11/70
 > panel back to life:

 > http://www.saccade.com/writing/projects/PDP11/PDP-11.html

 > I'm afraid I don't have the space or power (or noise tolerance!)
 > to have the real thing around.  Has anybody else brought panels
 > back to life?  I'm  aware of the Spare Time Gizmos / Ersatz-11
 > work, and of course the incredible "Gallery of Old Iron". Any
 > others?

Very nice!  I have an 11/70 panel sitting around -- and that looks 
like an intriguing project to try.

I own XDS (SDS) Sigma 9 Panel and brought it back to life. It was 
quite an undertaking, as the panel consists of about 100 lamps -- and 
hand wiring all of them took quite a bit of labor.

It now blinks -- in some sort of random "computing" fashion -- but is 
essentially a useless piece of eye-candy when it comes to being a 
useful computer (after all, I don't have anything else except the 
programming console). But I must admit, it is a pretty sight watching 
all those blinkenlights flicker on and off :-)

I wired it up basically in tribute to my father for a present -- who 
was employee #9 (or maybe #10) at SDS way back in the early 1960s.

I also own an SDS 940 programming console -- but I've chosen to leave 
that untouched (a dead soul, if you will).


P.S. -- I'd post a video of it in action, but I don't own a video 
camera (I'll have to borrow one). I did take a bunch of snapshots in 
succession and piece them together -- kind of a kludge -- but you get 
an idea of what it looks like after watching it. Not nearly as nice 
if it were a smooth video though. If anyone is interested, and I can 
get around to it, I'll post a picture or two, and the "piecemeal" 
video on a website in the (maybe near) future.

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