PDP-8/e - Front panel switch reproductions and front panel PCB?

Vincent Slyngstad v.slyngstad at frontier.com
Wed Mar 2 16:56:34 CST 2016

From: Anders Nelson: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 11:16 AM
> I found switch levers and a mounting frame design (
> http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:360853) that I would like to have casted
> with molded-in color, close to the originals as reasonable.

I naturally suggest mine, available at 

I've done some work to make the fit as close as I can to the 
original handles.

> Has anyone already done this that I can simply buy from? If any injection
> molds have been built I'd love to put those to work. Would it be better to
> just paint a 3D print of these?

I've ordered handles in "strong and flexible, polished", from 
Shapeways.com.  They aren't cheap, but they're easy and they 
do work well.

I've had good luck just spray painting them with an appropriate 
paint.  Shapeways' color choices for dyed parts are OK, but not 
particularly close to the original colors.  If you decide to go with 
the dyes, you'll want to use urethane floor polish or the like to 
seal the pores and provide a satin finish.  If you don't seal the 
pores, they pick up dirt, and are a bear to keep clean.

Finding the switch bodies to put them on is challenging.

> Also has anyone created the front panel PCB design? I use EAGLE and would
> love to at least have a CAD outline from which to start as I build my
> emulated PDP-8/e. Pretty much like the SBC6120 but emulated on a 32-bit
> micro as opposed to the HD6120.

If you want the actual 8/E PCB design, I've re-drawn the bulb PCB at

Here's the big list of other PCBs I've drawn, for what that's worth:

If you're wanting a panel for a modern micro, I concur with the 
recommendation or Oscar's 8/I replica as a starting point.  Interfacing 
the pi to something behind Rod's front panel artwork would be pretty 
cool.  (Though I'm a bigger fan of the 8/I panel, myself.)


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