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dmoore311
January 19th, 2016, 11:47 AM
I posted last week on a different thread.
I found An Altair 8800 cleaning out my fathers estate.
not sure if its a kit or assembled because the serial tag is cut off. Dad was an electrical engineer so he could have put it together.

Any way here is some pics.
Any thoughts on value? it turns on and the lights work but I wouldn't know how to test it further.

glitch
January 19th, 2016, 12:12 PM
That looks like a completely unexpanded base 8800, which is probably the most valuable sort to have. If everything is in excellent cosmetic shape, probably several thousand. If you have any of the original documentation, manuals, schematics, et c., keep those too.

dmoore311
January 19th, 2016, 12:31 PM
That looks like a completely unexpanded base 8800, which is probably the most valuable sort to have. If everything is in excellent cosmetic shape, probably several thousand. If you have any of the original documentation, manuals, schematics, et c., keep those too.

Thanks for the reply.
here are some exterior shots. Still seems to be looking pretty good.

glitch
January 19th, 2016, 12:42 PM
Wow, yeah, the front panel looks like it's in really great condition! If you're looking just to sell it on eBay or something, you should do pretty well.

EDIT: Hey, the line marking the sense switches is different on this front panel than most (all?) of the others I've seen. Usually it's not straight across like that. Can anyone more knowledgeable about early Altairs comment on that?

TJ_Mossman
January 19th, 2016, 01:15 PM
Nice find! I agree with Glitch on the valuation.

Mike Douglas (deramp5113) has some excellent youtube videos on how to use the Altair. The first 3 should be enough to let you know if it's working to a reasonable degree. As you've only got the CPU and Memory boards, you'll be limited to the front panel for I/O.


Wow, yeah, the front panel looks like it's in really great condition! If you're looking just to sell it on eBay or something, you should do pretty well.

EDIT: Hey, the line marking the sense switches is different on this front panel than most (all?) of the others I've seen. Usually it's not straight across like that. Can anyone more knowledgeable about early Altairs comment on that?

Hmm, I hadn't noticed that before. After a bit of searching it looks like it was unique to Rev 0. machines? All the 8800as I've seen have the diagonal style, so that's surely the later one.

Damn, I can't tell which mine has, it's too worn...

g4ugm
January 19th, 2016, 01:20 PM
Pretty sure thats home assembled, but nicely done, I think its a gem and who knows what its worth. I wouldn't turn it on any more than necessary. Wow!

glitch
January 19th, 2016, 01:50 PM
I wouldn't turn it on any more than necessary.

Especially as it looks like it has the original "pile of small value electrolytics" for the main filter capacitors. Depending on how dry they are, you may be getting quite a bit of ripple on the supply lines.

If you're near anyone with experience with these machines, I'm sure someone would be happy to look it over for you and determine working condition. I certainly would, if you're near central Virginia.

dmoore311
January 19th, 2016, 02:09 PM
If you all only knew how close this was to going in the dumpster it would make you scream. My dad was quite a hoarder so there was a massive clean up effort at his house. I'm glad I did it myself rather than hiring someone. Luckily this was stored neatly away from all of the other junk he had and even though I had no clue what it was, it looked like I should keep it. I can only guess that I threw something out of value. I am near the Cleveland, OH area if you guys know of anyone who might have knowledge of these.

Thanks for all the great info!

KC9UDX
January 19th, 2016, 02:32 PM
Think how many others have gone that way..

NeXT
January 19th, 2016, 03:16 PM
My dad was quite a hoarder so there was a massive clean up effort at his house.

Don't worry, us Electrical Engineers are naturally like that. ;)

glitch
January 19th, 2016, 03:52 PM
Don't worry, us Electrical Engineers are naturally like that. ;)

But it's a *free* sample development kit...and I *know* I'll get to the project I want to use it in one day... :)

DDS
January 20th, 2016, 04:03 AM
Don't worry, us Electrical Engineers are naturally like that. ;)

My wife would agree with that. "My side" of the garage is full of "round tuits". I'm forever moving something in order to work on something else. There's a certain amount of entropic "churn" that sometimes reveals long lost goodies.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. No, not an oncoming train or muzzle flash. I have actually persuaded my 5160 to not only boot but also pass Checkit 2.1's "test everything". :-0

YAY!

deramp5113
January 20th, 2016, 06:23 AM
Great save!

As others have noted, the straight sense switch line on the front panel is found on the earlier 8800's.

The black filter caps in the power supply are also a sign that this was a fairly early 8800. The more common silver capacitors were used in later production runs and are pretty much guaranteed to have leaked/dried out by now. The black caps have a much better chance of still being OK (though age-wise, they're still pushing it).

The earliest models had natural nylon card guides (off-white/yellowish). The blue/green ones in this system came along a bit later.

Finally, the earliest models had no inner radius on the DB-25 cutouts on the rear panel. This unit appears to have an inner radius on the DB-25 cutouts.

So while it's not one of the earliest 8800's, it is still a very early model. Enjoy!!

Mike

dmoore311
January 26th, 2016, 07:51 AM
Thanks for your help guys.
unit is going up on ebay. I got a free listing so I aimed high on the price. I used a couple of your pieces of feedback in the description. Hope you don't mind.

smp
January 26th, 2016, 08:28 AM
unit is going up on ebay.


Please post a link or the auction number!

smp

SomeGuy
January 26th, 2016, 08:54 AM
Please post a link or the auction number!
Well, I *WAS* going to comment "How many Altairs can possibly be on eBay?" but there is one that that at a glance looks quite similar: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MITS-Altair-8800-Computer-no-power-supply-cables-monitor-keyboard-or-storage-/181998293485?hash=item2a5ff191ed:g:G8IAAOSw-zxWoLPH
But looking at the additional photos, it is a different one. (perhaps the Altair experts would care to compare?)

And on a side note: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KENBAK-1-ORIGINAL-1-SERIE-John-Blankenbaker-WORLD-1ST-COMPUTER-ALTAIR-ERA-/281919493659?hash=item41a3b6161b:g:dAkAAOSwqrtWprv-
A KENBAK-1? :shock:

KC9UDX
January 26th, 2016, 09:04 AM
Wholly cow. Anybody got a spare $50k I could borrow?

I have to say it reads like a scam.

TJ_Mossman
January 26th, 2016, 09:12 AM
Well, I *WAS* going to comment "How many Altairs can possibly be on eBay?" but there is one that that at a glance looks quite similar: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MITS-Altair-8800-Computer-no-power-supply-cables-monitor-keyboard-or-storage-/181998293485?hash=item2a5ff191ed:g:G8IAAOSw-zxWoLPH
But looking at the additional photos, it is a different one. (perhaps the Altair experts would care to compare?)

And on a side note: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KENBAK-1-ORIGINAL-1-SERIE-John-Blankenbaker-WORLD-1ST-COMPUTER-ALTAIR-ERA-/281919493659?hash=item41a3b6161b:g:dAkAAOSwqrtWprv-
A KENBAK-1? :shock:

Interesting. It looks like the builder of that Altair didn't finish the PSU or was in the process of upgrading it? I'm guessing the latter based on the cut wires and slight marks around the screw holes on the rear.

Wow, I wonder how much the Kenbak will go for...

glitch
January 26th, 2016, 10:04 AM
Interesting. It looks like the builder of that Altair didn't finish the PSU or was in the process of upgrading it? I'm guessing the latter based on the cut wires and slight marks around the screw holes on the rear.

Possibly cannibalized for some later project. I've come across plenty of equipment like that, where someone clearly gutted their old system and moved some/all of the bits to a new box.

dmoore311
January 26th, 2016, 12:23 PM
Didn't think I'd have any competition.
Here's the link.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161959726958?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

circuit
January 26th, 2016, 01:20 PM
Didn't think I'd have any competition.
Here's the link.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161959726958?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

I wish you luck with the sale (what a find!) but am just thinking some on eBay may be put off by your lack of feedback? Just thinking of it from a potential buyer's point of view really.

KC9UDX
January 26th, 2016, 02:03 PM
Yep, I agree. It's an unfortunate position to be in, but I'd never buy something that expensive from someone with no selling history.

At one time, eBay didn't even allow that.

GiGaBiTe
February 3rd, 2016, 01:21 AM
If you need good feedback on Ebay quickly, you can buy a bunch of cheap Chinese goods as many of the sellers will leave good feedback once you pay them. This won't fool everybody, but at least you won't have zero feedback.

Another option is to get someone you trust with a good feedback score on Ebay to list it for you and work out some compensation arrangement. For a high dollar auction like that, I think Ebay will want the full $100 maximum for their cut plus Paypal another 8-9%.

KC9UDX
February 3rd, 2016, 04:13 AM
Or sell through one of these consignment outfits that will sell it online for you.

NeXT
February 3rd, 2016, 06:32 AM
That's...odd. Your listing is good, your photos are good but you got no bites. It's like they literally ignored you because of the feedback alone....

glitch
February 3rd, 2016, 06:40 AM
That's...odd. Your listing is good, your photos are good but you got no bites. It's like they literally ignored you because of the feedback alone....

I'm not surprised, it's a lot of money to fork over on someone with no selling history. Then again, with eBay's Buyer Protection, there shouldn't be too much risk.

smp
February 3rd, 2016, 06:53 AM
I'm not surprised, it's a lot of money to fork over on someone with no selling history. Then again, with eBay's Buyer Protection, there shouldn't be too much risk.

IMO, good stuff with high opening bids (and even higher BIN prices) often goes without bid the first, and even second time out. I believe Buyers wait to see what reductions occur on the second or third listing.

smp

Klyball
February 3rd, 2016, 08:06 AM
A couple years ago 3000=3000 now it is 4500 for me and everyone else not in the US, the Dollar has cut my ebay spending way down(probably a good thing)

tkc8800
February 3rd, 2016, 05:21 PM
A couple years ago 3000=3000 now it is 4500 for me and everyone else not in the US, the Dollar has cut my ebay spending way down(probably a good thing)

I hear you. How times have changed. I recall back in 2011 when I purchased some big ticket items from the U.S the AUD was well above the USD for a while.

kyodai
February 3rd, 2016, 11:09 PM
Same for us Germans, a Dollar used to be like 70 Euro Cents, 80 at best - now a dollar is around a euro. Got quite expensive to buy stuff from the US...