Speaking of reproductions..

Jay Jaeger cube1 at charter.net
Sat Oct 24 10:42:22 CDT 2015

On 10/24/2015 2:21 AM, Brad wrote:
> I was checking out the Altair 8800 kit online (really cool).  But I am
> hoping to one day find a kit or plans to build a Mark-8 replica, since I'm
> so deep into Radio Electronics features.  I know there was a kit out there
> (Obtronix?).  Was it any good?  Do I need someone to make a new kit or is
> the Mark 8 within the realm of the home hobbyist the way the TVT was?  Ie.
> were there ever foil patterns  available for those boards or did the kit
> maker reverse engineer from originals?  Is there any likelihood of finding
> one of the replica kits still out there (I remember seeing one offered for
> $2000 on Fleabay once.. )
> Brad

Yes, the Mark 8 is within the realm of the hobbyist.

I am not certain how the kits that were sold online were done.  I did my
own replica.  I first did it by creating a schematic in KiCAD, and then
built the thing with wire wrap and tested it, to make sure I had my
schematic correct.   Then, having verified the schematic with the wire
wrap boards, I used KiCAD to lay them out as closely as I could manage
to the originals (I had the original documents that I bought back in the
day), and had Gold Phoenix make them for me.

I think the boards cost me something like $500, done as two separate
panel orders (along with some smaller boards to fill out the panel), but
I ended up with two Mark 8 sets, because Gold Phoenix made a mistake on
the first run, and so I got two of the first panel.  So then when I got
those back and verified them and was ready to order the second panel, I
had two of them made.   So, it presumably could be done for a bit less.

There are a couple of Signetics parts that can be hard to find, but when
I did mine I could get them from Little Diode in the UK.  However,
because of the scarcity of the Signetics parts, I also designed little
GAL replacement boards for them that were physically compatible.  I
never did do a suitable case for either replica.

You can see photos of what I did, wire wrap and PCB, here:


However, I don't have any to sell.


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