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Thread: Should I buy an Original DECmate (VT278)

  1. #1

    Default Should I buy an Original DECmate (VT278)

    I have the opportunity to purchase an original decmate with the dual RX02 8" disk unit that comes on a cart. How much are these two items worth? It would be quite expensive to ship such a large machine across the country. I do not want to overpay for the item+ shipping.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Quite rare. Can't find any sold items on e-bay. Price depends on condition but if you want one buy it as you are unlikely to get another chance...
    ... on the other hand its pretty much incompatible with normal PDP-8 software, but I guess patched copies are about. If you want to play software I would look for an SBC6120 as its much more compatible with "normal" PDP-8 software....
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  3. #3

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    Is it one of these? The "original" is the VT50 type terminal. The VT278 is a VT100 type terminal, the 2nd version of the DECMate.
    @ BillDeg:
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  4. #4
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    I like my VT278 decimates very much. I have two of the setups that Bill has pictured above. Here is a photo of one of mine: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/album.php...achmentid=2425

    These figures are only my opinion. I think the RX02 is worth about $200 by itself. The VT278 maybe $150. If the VT278 has the extremely rare RL278 option for connecting an RL01 or RL02 drive, that option alone is worth more than the VT278. The DP278 option is very nice since it adds serial interfaces for connecting a printer or using this unit as a terminal, add $100 for that.

    There is OS/8 available (OS/78 V4 runs fine.) I have even run Adventure off two floppies on it. Of course, WPS (word processor) is also available.

    I have found the RAM to be flaky. I have had to make replacements on two of the three VT278s that I have: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/album.php...achmentid=2553

    Lou

  5. #5

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    Lou - If you're available to make a copy of OS/78 and the adventure disks I would gladly pay for your trouble. I also need a set of cables, but I suppose I can make these. I like how your pedestal has the keyboard holder.
    @ BillDeg:
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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Bill,

    The images are here: http://www.pdp8.net/images/images/os8/DECmate_I.shtml . I contributed the diagnostic disk.

    My keyboard shelf is not original or correct. I put shelf brackets into the slots and put a piece of wood on the brackets. Those slots are where the small desktop is supposed to attach. I've never seen the desk in person, but I seem to remember seeing a photo somewhere.

    Lou

  7. #7

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    well very well done anyway...I took a look at mine and noticed the bracket slots and may try something similar. I believe from these images I can make the disks and will do so asap, thanks.
    Bill
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
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