View Full Version : A fresh haul

August 28th, 2015, 07:52 PM
My collection has gotten pretty big so I don't really add much stuff these days, but sometimes you've gotta let loose.

I had these shipped in straight from their ancestral home: Albuquerque New Mexico.


The stack of three on the right are keepers, along with associated docs and disks. Pretty much everything else will be sold...

But I finally have a full front panel 8800B to round out my set of Altairs. :)

August 29th, 2015, 04:40 AM
Hi All;

Eric, nice haul/Save..
I can't tell for sure, But, if the Terminal is an ADM-3 I had one Years ago, along with an 8800b.. Both are long gone now..
Is the Altair, between the two 8800b's an 8800 or an 8800a, I don't know, nor can I tell the difference ??


August 29th, 2015, 05:26 AM
Nice! your "keepers" look practically new! Not even any drive plastic discoloration. Looks like a couple of iCom microfloppy drives on the left. I wonder if any disks with FDOS and DEBBI are in the boxes. I don't know that any of that material has ever been archived. This might be a good chance to create archive/restore utilities for that configuration and media.


August 29th, 2015, 07:40 AM
Really, really nice.

Good find. Sometime you just have to :-)



August 29th, 2015, 09:30 AM

August 29th, 2015, 10:21 AM
Wow. Just wow.

I have severe difficulty finding one single Altair that hasn't been severely abused, and you haul in four brand-new-looking systems!

I am completely envious!


August 29th, 2015, 10:44 AM

I need to get a machine with a front panel and a terminal for a console sometime. Getting to know the ins and outs and then writing software for something that primitive would be a blast.

August 29th, 2015, 02:41 PM
The best Altair haul I've ever seen. What about a story to go with the pictures? You can't just leave us wondering about how you came across all that.

August 29th, 2015, 03:54 PM
The best Altair haul I've ever seen. What about a story to go with the pictures? You can't just leave us wondering about how you came across all that.

This one doesn't come with too much of a story. The seller found me through the website and contacted me with his inventory in pictures. I asked for a few more and got a better idea what was there and we then agreed on a price. He packed everything up professionally and wrapped it on a pallet. Craters and Freighters did the rest.

My goal is to add a full panel 8800b to my collection. It's been a gap for a while.

I've got to sell the rest to cover costs... I already have an 8800BT and an 8800a in the collection.

I will probably email the seller to see if there is a story there. I was hoping to find more in the docs but there are just a few invoices. It was clearly a set of systems used to run a business, retired and now cleaned out.

August 29th, 2015, 04:40 PM
Hi All;

Eric, I sure wish I had the funds for one of Your 8800b's, as that is what I originally had..
Great haul, even if you have to sell some of it..


Rick Ethridge
August 29th, 2015, 09:44 PM
Very, very nice! Reminds me of my TRS-80 Model 16B ensemble. Too much space taken. One of my bigger blunders.

September 1st, 2015, 10:53 AM
Gorgeous! Wish I could afford even one of those Altairs! Also, the terminal looks like it is either an ADM or possibly a televideo? Inquiring minds want to know! :D My televideo 912c looks awesome on top of my half-height hp sever cabinet, like something that belongs on a star trek set. Incidentally, one of the ancient servers in there gets booted now and again when I have the craving to play some Zork on real phosphor :D

Anyway, Beautiful find! Would love to see more about that front-panel Altair!

September 1st, 2015, 12:52 PM
Very, very nice!

September 1st, 2015, 07:51 PM

September 6th, 2015, 09:58 AM
I figured an update was in order...

I've put a lot of work into this pile since it came in.

The first Altair 8800b was brought up under a variac and, after a bit of twiddling, works just fine. Some of the RAM boards had problems, others were perfect and it's now happy with 32K of MITS SRAM. This is my keeper and it and its docs will hit the MITS pile soon. Someday I have to take a family photo...

I used that first 8800b machine to test the CPU and D/C board for the other 8800b and those are fine. That second machine had a few broken switches and needed a bit more work. I found working but not correct replacements (I'm really hoping to find some proper 8800b switches if anyone knows a source - I'll post another thread on this shortly) but that front panel is "fixed" and the machine is on the variac now. I'm torn about what to do next. I'll test it as it sits, but I may sell it as-is with the mismatched switches and working as it does. If it tests functional I may redouble my switch finding efforts to sell it as a clean example... Time will tell.

The 8800a was brought up second. It was an empty shell when I got it but the "box-o-boards" had everything it needed to be happy again. A bit of twiddling later, it was as happy as a clam and ran perfectly. It, too, has 32K of checked SRAM, a working CPU and a 2SIO. That, plus docs and a few misc. parts will hit the 'bay shortly. It just needs a good photo shoot. This one is nicer than the 8800a I'm keeping, but mine has a history so I have to keep it. :) It's really a stunning machine, but space and funds and "The Boss" (tm) mandate a sale.

The 8800bt system is next, then the ADM-3. The hacked disk drive chassis will come apart and I may sell the Optima case to someone desperate for a chewed up example. The MITS disk drives will need a thorough clean and check before I can test them out. That's going to be a while.

So, about those switches...