Home > Computer Hardware, Musings, PDP-8, Projects > Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

OK, so I have decided to start yet another ‘project’..! Aside from the ongoing restoration of my old Land Rover (see my earlier posts), I am starting the resurrection of a classic computer, notably a D.E.C. PDP-8 ‘Straight Eight’. It has spent the last twenty plus years gathering dust, mold and rust at the back of a garage owned by a late friend of mine.

Here it is, in all its glory…

As you would probably have guessed, it isn’t in the best of conditions. The casing has several cracks and there are a few missing switches on the control panel. There is also considerable corrosion on the wiring loom and connection blocks.

The damage to the control panel…

The damaged outer casing…

On a plus side, it is complete and I have managed to find a good collection of the original documentation. The memory core is also still tightly sealed, so hopefully that should be in good condition.

The core memory module…

A view from the top…

This will be a slow project, for several reasons:

  • I don’t want to screw it up!! They only made ~1400 of this type and I would hate for there to be one less due to my stupidity.
  • This is a learning project, how better to learn about the inner workings of a computer than by rebuilding one.
  • This particular machine has a good deal of history attached to it (see first point).
  • It belonged to a dear friend of mine and I would like to do him proud…

There will be more to follow soon, plus hopefully a little bit of the back history.

  1. Peborgh
    July 2nd, 2013 at 16:32 | #1

    Any progress yet, Philip?

    Hope you and yours are keeping well.

    peter vp

  2. Peborgh
    August 2nd, 2014 at 15:31 | #2

    I hope you guys are well, Phil.

    I visited Judith a couple of weeks ago and she seems to be plowing on regardless of leg problems. I sold the remainder of Nobby’s electronic bits and shared proceeds with er about a year ago.

    A couple of years on, how’s it going with the PDP8?

    peter vp

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