DEC switch handles
vrs at msn.com
Fri Aug 24 17:47:52 CDT 2007
From: "Doc Shipley":
> Having rendered myself blameless, I keep reading this thread and
> contrasting it with the tape-drive-roller-goo threads. My question and
> maybe some food for thought is "are you looking for Original, or
If I am understanding you correctly, I'm looking for "Authentic,
preferably close to Original". It's necessary to locate the parts
to render the stuff operable (though I am lazy about actually debugging
it), and preferable to preserve the stuff, or at least the experience
of using the stuff, as much as possible.
So, the switch handles seem like a big deal, since they are a primary
aspect of using the machines (at least until a working mass storage
device is attached). I assume people will want them the original
size and shape, and ideally the correct colors.
The casting process generates a fair number of "rejects". Most of
the handles I have cast can be made functional, in the sense that
(possibly with rework) they can be made to operate a front panel
switch. Perhaps one in three of the handles I've cast is visually
free of voids, bubbles, or other defects. I could probably do
better with more control of the process, etc.
None of the handles has had the correct color. The closest I got
was a wierd pinkish apricot color, when what I was shooting for
was something between terra-cotta and pumpkin. No two batches of
plastic were close to the same color. (The dyes are not very
soluble, and come in an almost unusably concentrated form which
I haven't found a way to dilute.)
> Before I spend a lot of trouble or time getting it Exactly Right, I'm
> going to evaluate the machine as a whole, and see if Exactly Right is a
> hand-fabbed perfect replica, or a cheap Radio Shack paddle switch.
Sure, and I'd replace a gate with one with a newer date code (if I
had to), as I don't think that affects the experience or result
noticably. More than likely, an old bulb with a similar new bulb
that is still comercially available.
Heck, I'd even (functionally) replace a rack of DF32s with a
semiconductor replacement, since it really isn't good for the
old drives to run them (especially intermittently). But if
replacement DF32s (or parts for them) were readily available,
I'd want to use the real thing.
There's my $.02 :-).
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