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Thread: PDP8/F new toy, knobs wanted

  1. #1

    Thumbs up PDP8/F new toy, knobs wanted

    Today I've got a new toy, a PDP8/F. Can someone help me to get 4 orange and one yellow switch levers?
    I would love to make this machine complete again...

    IMG_20200316_010941.jpg IMG_20200316_011359.jpg IMG_20200315_201436.jpg


    This machine has a little story for me personally. Years back this was the first PDP8
    which I saw in real life here in the Netherlands. It was in a museum in Rotterdam.
    In that time they had a HUGE collection of Radio, TV, computer, calculator and maritime electronics.
    That museum is a part of a quite big radio, TV, computer and maritime shop and was started by the
    owner of the shop. He really liked old electronics and he had some volunteers to run the museum.
    Because he had a huge building he could use a big part of it for the museum.

    But that PDP8 intrigued me and I then looked for a PDP8 for myself.

    Unfortunately the owner of the shop passed away a few years back. And because of a company
    reorganization the museum had to shrink, they sold a lot of the collection.
    But last year they had to shrink a whole lot further.

    So I saved an Anita MK8 calculator, the TMC 300 BAUD modem and a Teletype 33 ASR.
    I asked about the PDP8. Noooo that one never goes away... Okay great! In my opinion it
    is way better that it is being showed in a museum then that it is hidden at someone's home...

    Then it suddenly appeared on a local trading platform for a huge amount of money which probably scared
    a lot of people away. And to be honest, this PDP8/F is just like my PDP8/M. So I didn't want to go too far.
    So I made an offer which was way lower then that they were asking. And I said if
    someone will pay more then just do it. Then the machine will have a good home too.

    After a month the ad was gone... So I asked if they did a good job on selling it.
    Well, they didn't and I could pick it up for my offer... So welcome to another 8.
    Actually the first which I've ever seen
    Last edited by Roland Huisman; March 15th, 2020 at 06:25 PM.
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  2. #2
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    Stay healthy and enjoy it. A good reason to stay home.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Huisman View Post
    Today I've got a new toy, a PDP8/F. Can someone help me to get 4 orange and one yellow switch levers?
    I would love to make this machine complete again...
    I, among others, have 3D printable handle files, which gets you to functional, if not aesthetically matching results.
    (Talking folks out of their vintage stock will be harder.)

    (I also still recommend wood or plastic, not metal, to replace broken pivot axles.)

    Vince

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrubin View Post
    Stay healthy and enjoy it. A good reason to stay home.
    Thanks Jack, I will enjoy it in these weird times... Also for all of you, take care!

    Quote Originally Posted by vrs42 View Post
    I, among others, have 3D printable handle files, which gets you to functional, if not aesthetically matching results. (I also still recommend wood or plastic, not metal, to replace broken pivot axles.)
    Thanks, that might be an option. Good point about that plastic replacement for the pivot axles!

    Quote Originally Posted by vrs42 View Post
    Talking folks out of their vintage stock will be harder.
    Well I might have some DEC stuff to swap. Or maybe someone
    want to swap it with a Data General Nova 3 front panel?

    DG Nova 3 front.jpg
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Switzerland
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrs42 View Post
    (I also still recommend wood or plastic, not metal, to replace broken pivot axles.)
    Vince
    Curious as to why metal would be a bad choice ?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreesen View Post
    Curious as to why metal would be a bad choice ?
    Well, the most common reason for the paddles to be lost is because they fell off after the pivot axles broke. Among paddles that are not lost, the most common failure point is the pivot axle pins. The temptation is to replace the broken pins by drilling through and inserting a steel pin, typically a bit of paper clip or the like. I think this is a mistake because the impact or shear forces on the paddle are likely to recur someday, despite our efforts to prevent that. When a paddle gets whacked, I'd like it to still be the axle protrusions that snap, rather than convey that force into the switch bodies or the switch PCB. If something breaks in there, it is much more difficult to repair.

    Vince

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by vrs42 View Post
    I, among others, have 3D printable handle files, which gets you to functional, if not aesthetically matching results.
    (Talking folks out of their vintage stock will be harder.)

    (I also still recommend wood or plastic, not metal, to replace broken pivot axles.)

    Vince
    I have seen reports of 3D printing filament made to the customers Pantone choice. I haven't ordered any so have no knowledge of how successful they are at hitting the exact shade.

    https://www.pantone.com/color-intell...-filament-line
    "It's all bits on the bus, Cowboy! It's all bits on the bus!" -- Tom Beck, #1ESS Instructor, Southern Bell Opa Locka Training Center

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDS View Post
    I have seen reports of 3D printing filament made to the customers Pantone choice. I haven't ordered any so have no knowledge of how successful they are at hitting the exact shade.
    I've had good results with Shapeways' sintered nylon and spray paint, which can also be color-customized.

    For that matter, I've cast decent results in two part resin. It's more difficult to color, but the color does go all the way through. I saw on the web somewhere where someone had cast a whole set of paddles for themselves.

    Dave G. even had a few injection molded sets made that were gorgeous.

    It's feasible to create a set of paddles that look OK, especially from a few feet away. What I've never seen is a set that could pass as original if you put them side by side, as you would do if you were replacing just a few paddles.

    Heck, even actual originals don't always match that well between sets. (That is not all down to ageing, either.)

    Vince

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