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Thread: reproduction PDP 8e toggle switches?

  1. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by firedome View Post
    What is the $5 replacement paddle being referred to in post #46? I'm not familiar with this...paddles for PDP8e? are they available? I presume not or we wouldn't be discussing all this?
    $5 each is what Shapeways is quoting for the printing of my STL file in sintered nylon. The result is white by default, with some primary colors available for about another dollar each. They are matte finish, and highly porous -- collect dirt like mad. You'll want to paint them, or seal them at least. I've printed samples, and the result is functional. It fits, lines up with the originals, etc., but the finish doesn't match the originals very well.

    You're also looking at about $100 to get enough to redo a panel that way, which has folks looking elsewhere.


  2. #52


    Here are some photos of my samples from Shapeways:

    The RL02 plug shows the original color. The others have been spray painted with some vague approximation of a DEC color, except the two orange paddles, which I believe is the orange dye from shapeways.


  3. #53


    Quote Originally Posted by 1944GPW View Post
    Hobby shops also have Evergreen styrene rod and tube:
    I use this for scale modelling and it's very easy to work with.

    As for carbon fibre, I use it quite a bit. I would not suggest it for such short pivot pins though. Even using a brand-new #11 blade and scoring right round before cutting, I have found CF rod invariably fractures into fibres right from the ends. It can be soaked with cyanoacrylate but for such a short length (~10 or 12mm) I am almost certain it will not hold together. Longer pieces seem to be ok.
    Since all the switches line up you don't cut a pivot pin for each paddle. Instead you feed one rod through the whole assembly. It is easier than installing the original paddles on the switches. You need slightly oversized holes in the paddles so they don't bind. I used the numbered bit that is one size larger than 1/16". This is what I have done with piano wire but I may replace the wire with a plastic rod or a piece of copper tubing. Either of those seems workable and would go a long way towards protecting the front panel switch hardware should an accident occur.
    Doug Ingraham
    2nd owner of Straight 8 SN1173
    5 other PDP-8's including an 8/i and a DECSet 8000

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA
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    Although non-original, how about some good heavy metal "ears" attached to the casework to protect the switches?

  5. #55


    Has anyone tried to find a close paint color match for the 2 tones of orange for the DEC 8/E paddles?

  6. #56


    Quote Originally Posted by firedome View Post
    Has anyone tried to find a close paint color match for the 2 tones of orange for the DEC 8/E paddles?
    This guy gets an A for effort:
    but I don't think his approximations look much like my 8/E, at least on my screen.

    I tried to do something similar; spent a week or so learning about color spaces, etc. The math of color spaces turns out to be an attempt to model a really complicated system that isn't even consistent from one individual to another, so the "match to the nearest" often leads to a "blech" reaction. (So much so, that I never published my web page on the subject.)

    I do believe it should be possible to come up with a pair of color spaces that most folks would agree are recognisable as "8/E" colors. I just haven't seen it done yet.

    Getting it to match *your* 8/E is a much narrower thing, probably best accomplished by attempting color match to a sample. (The eye is unbelievably good at telling colors apart when they are placed side-by-side.) Otherwise you end up back in the universe of having to color a whole set to make them match.


  7. #57


    Yes, kudos to CHD for such thorough work.

    I have enough paddles for a complete 8/E set, but about half are the standard 2 oranges , half are 2 greens from a Lab 8/E version that I obtained to replace some missing orange ones, so am hoping to be able to match the originals. Of course as mentioned I could just paint them all to assure perfect matching but would prefer to leave the originals alone if possible as they're only original once and I'm a bit of a purist. Must come from decades of playing with vintage cars.

  8. #58


    Quote Originally Posted by firedome View Post
    Yes, kudos to CHD for such thorough work.
    I've been working through some of the same ground as CHD, and I'm finally starting to get somewhere. I'll do a few posts about it, for the masochists out there.

    First, here's Art Clockedile's standards document on the subject:

    The table at the end has the color info. There are some typos and such in it. I'm pretty sure "Dark Olive Gray" shouldn't be "CHM 1 M1", for instance. "CHM 1" is yellow, and "M1" is not a valid saturation/value thingy. Maybe "ML" was intended?

    Also, CHD's page again:
    which also has some typos. I found four of what I think are transcription errors:
    Wedgewood Green has color 25.125, but the DEC std has 24.125.
    Blasi Blue has color 18, but I read 16 in the DEC std.
    Topaz has color 18YR5/10, but I read 10YR5/10 in the DEC std.
    Muphy Maroon has 7.5R3/6, but I read 7.5R3/8.

    Chinese Red and Bright Open Blue have an RGB value in CHD's text, but a slightly different color is actually rendered!


  9. #59


    Here's a link to some preliminary HTML that shows what I'm up to:

    What this is a table of the DEC color, and some color renderings, similar to the CHD page. The lefmost color swatch has CHD's color; two such in the cases of "Chinese Red" and "Bright Open Blue". Colors after that in each row correspond to my rendering of the color or colors mentioned in the DEC standard. It should be clear that even at this level, there's not much agreement.

    Two color spaces are supported:

    CHM (Color Harmony Manual) colors have a color number, which indicates a hue, or the words "Gray Scale", which indicate a shade of gray. Hues are followed by two characters in the range A-P, to specify saturation and value, whereas shades of gray have just one (to specify value).

    MUN(sell) colors have a color number, which indicates a hue, followed by a one or two character code which skews the hue color to a particular segment of the color wheel. "Y" for yellow, "PB" for purple-blue, etc. Following that, two numbers, signifying the lightness and the saturation. Numbers should be 0-10, but aren't always. BUG: I currently don't know what to do with the super-saturated colors, so I just treat them as if "10" were written instead.

    For the seriously masochistic, the code is there, too:
    (It took *way* too much effort for me to get the code working.)

    I'm working on another script, to take a prefered sRGB value and match it against the databases of RAL and Pantone colors, but that's not working yet. If I can get that working, then maybe we can get close to firedome's original question of what paint to buy.

    First, though, is the question of whether we can agree on what sRGB value we are looking for!


  10. #60


    Wow that's amazingly comprehensive! As an alternative approach, for paint I wonder if one of the color matching systems as used by Big-Box paint sellers or automotive jobber paint vendors would be feasible? Don;t know how much surface area would be required to scan. I've used both, for house paint and buying touch-up paint for vintage cars with very good results. Of course Lowes etc. products would be latex, and auto jobbers would be for acrylic enamel, lacquer, or urethane.


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