DEC TS05 mains switch

tony duell ard at
Tue Jan 26 14:44:11 CST 2016

As I mentioned some time back, I am currently restoring a VAX 11/730 system. It is the version
with the TS05 on the top, I currently have the TS05 in many bits while I sort out at least 4 faults
with it (No, I've not sorted out the TU58 console tape drive yet, I needed something else to get
on with while I was thinking about that).

One problem with the TS05 (Rebadged Cipher F880E, of course) is the mains switch. Only
one pole (double pole switch) opens, and it gave quite a nasty spark when I put mans on
the unit. So I want to replace it.

The problem is that I have never seen one like it before. It has _5_ terminals. Four of them
are what you'd expect for a double pole on/off switch, The other is for the built-in neon
indicator. Rather than just wiring it across the output side of the switch (as most do), this 
unit has a neon with the correct series resistor for 115V operation wired between one
of the output side terminals and the fifth terminal. The TS05 puts the neon in parallel with
the supply for the 115V blower unit. Thus the power on indicator gets 115V no matter how
the voltage selector is set.

The switch is the stadard size for double pole rocker switches (30mm * 22mm panel 
cutout, isn't it?). If I can't get the right replacement I have several options : 

1) Fit a normal 230V illuminated rocker swtich, and asssume I will never change the 
voltage selector setting (but I am trying to keep this machine electrically original).

2) Fit a normal non-illuminated rocker switch. It will then be OK on any mains voltage, but
no power-on indicator, and it's not electrically original

3) Fit a non-illuminated rocker switch and find a place to fit a separate neon indicator.
It is then electrically original, but won't look right

4) Try to mend the original switch

5) Try to make an equivalent using bits of switches I can get.

Does anyone have any ideas where to get the original switch from?


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