Fire-Sale PDP-11 update (and request for parts)

Fritz Mueller fritzm at
Sun Dec 6 17:11:25 CST 2020

> On Dec 4, 2020, at 10:41 PM, Josh Dersch via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> I realize this is unlikely, but I was curious if anyone has 1) any
> parts of the 11/45 power wiring harness...  I can build my own wiring harness, but if I can save
> myself the trouble, that'd be nice.

Yeah, I had build my own for my /45 restoration.  It wasn't all that bad.  Throw down for a nice ratcheting single-gesture crimp tool for the job and you'll be glad that you did :-)

I found had a nice selection of wire available in less-than-full-spool lengths, and most of the original colors.  I may have had to fill in a few things from other suppliers (I found it helpful to stick to the original color coding.)

Another tip is that the wire list you see in most of the /45 drawing sets is actually for the power harness, and not the backplane.  The wire lengths in that list were useful; I cut to those lengths, then started on the regulator side of the harness, installed in the machine, and bundled and trimmed to length as I worked my way down the backplane.  In the end I had a reasonably neat fit and very little wasted wire.

I had the extra wrinkle of having the earlier (serial # <2000) power distribution system in my /45 (IIRC the wire list was from the newer system, but it wasn't too hard to adapt it.)

Do you have the springy steel strip that supports the harness between the moving and stationary parts of the cabinet?  That may require some fab or improvisation if not.  I had one left over from an 11/40 that I was able to make work well enough with my older style cabinet.


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