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Partial Altair Kit I Bought

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    Partial Altair Kit I Bought

    I don't know if I did good, bad or in between on this - I offered $1500 and that carried the day. I don't think my price was too far out there - I know what individual components have sold for in the past, and if I went high it's probably not by much. I'm sure this stuff has appreciated since the last time I saw these things for sale.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/MITS-Altair...72.m2749.l2648

    I am thinking about building it - if I can find authentic switches and LEDs, ICs etc. I'd be prepared to use clone parts where I had to (I wonder if I could get the front panel cover separately of a full clone kit? would it fit?) to get it going and then gradually replace with original parts as they came available. Kicking myself for not going for that Altair bus baseplate that sold for $51 a few months ago. I'm not doctrinaire like some collectors - I don't need the thing to be 100% original and correct, if it means not having to lay out $5000-7000 all at once.

    Even if it never gets built, I can pretend I have an Altair and spare my bank account of the full cost of buying a complete one. Just how my brain works.

    #2
    And I thought you said your collection was large enough now?

    Does that mean you are going to start selling things off and replacing them with others as you find them?!

    Dave
    UK - Worcester.

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      #3
      Altair is a different story.

      But yes I actually have been doing some downsizing. I've sold two of my Falcons and an Explorer 85, a couple of Apple IIs.. I am paring things a bit. The Altair was just one of those Holy Grails I had to have, at least once, in some form.

      In future I could see my collection coming down to just a number of rare and unusual items.

      Comment


        #4
        That sounds like the logical approach!

        Buy what you really want to keep that interests you when it appears for 'sensible money' - and sell off some of the other stuff to pay for it...

        Dave
        UK - Worcester.

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          #5
          My original rule was that everything had to fit in one room. That was how I hoped to prevent myself from descending into hoarding. I did expect the collection would grow fairly large as that was what I wanted.. but I did not want it expanding into other areas of the house or requiring investment in storage. But even there I am finding it a challenge and even a demotivator to use the things when it takes 30 min to pull something out and set up.

          It's always bugged me though that I didn't have an Altair given what else I had. It qualifies as special and was always a top get if I could get it at a decent price, in some form.

          Comment


            #6
            Quick question.. is the internal chassis of the Altair metal or some kind of wood/melamine sort of thing? This picture purports to be an original altair and the chassis apart from the side rails looks more like wood to me?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by falter View Post
              Quick question.. is the internal chassis of the Altair metal or some kind of wood/melamine sort of thing? This picture purports to be an original altair and the chassis apart from the side rails looks more like wood to me?
              All pieces of the internal chassis are metal.

              Mike

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by deramp5113 View Post
                All pieces of the internal chassis are metal.

                Mike
                Thanks Mike. I guess I'll have to rig something up and hope a chassis appears one day. Haven't seen one yet though. I know Grant Stockly went to some trouble to reproduce the chassis to 100% accuracy but not sure if pieces or plans exist anywhere.

                A question for you - are you still selling your replica kits? If so, is it possible to buy individual pieces? I'm wondering if the front fascia and rear panel would fit in an original chassis?

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                  #9
                  About 15 years ago, Grant paid Optima to re-tool for the Altair case. Since he paid for the re-tool, Optima will only run the cases for Grant. My last contact with Grant was several years ago. I don’t believe he’s actively involved in the hobby anymore.

                  I still sell the Altair 8800 Clone and its cabinet, but unfortunately, none of the pieces are interchangeable with the original cabinet.

                  Mike

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                    #10
                    Yeah, and I think I read on Grant's site that the original drawings and specs for the case were lost... I'd have to get access to an original to measure things out and make my own parts. I could live with internals that are not perfectly to spec.. but the dress panel is problematic. I'm assuming other replicas of that like Altairduino don't fit either..

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It's not a real Altair 8800 until you find the cheapest white wire on the market and wire things up with it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hahaha... apparently it comes with a roll of cheap white wire so we are set there. Wonder what gauge that is? It looks tiny.

                        I'm thinking I will rig up a crude chassis out of metal, unless I can find a small job fab shop that could do it for me. And then if I can get an exact measurement of the back panel and front dress and inner front panels, I'll probably create something temporary there until (I hope) real parts show up one day.

                        I'm thinking about following Grant Stockly's lead and going with modern switching power supplies for now also.

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