Thursday, August 29, 2013

PDP-8/e Replica - build your own

This PDP8/e replica construction article at may be of interest to some of the folks that like PDP8 minicomputers.  I have sold all the original PDP8 computers I  had  in my collection. The number of collectors wanting them was more then I was expecting .  Perhaps this will be helpful. Send Message CLICK   Like us Click

Here is the annoucement from Steve Lafferty:

Hi Folks,

I'm pleased to announce that has just published a comprehensive new construction article
on the Spare Time Gizmos SBC6120/FP6120. This soup-to-nuts, four-part presentation, is loaded with tips on building the PDP-8/e replica. It includes coverage of updated parts lists, mass storage, software installation, an attractive enclosure and support software:
Building a Replica of the PDP-8/e

A reader comments section is provided at the bottom of the first page and feedback and corrections
are most welcome. Enjoy!

Steve Lafferty

  Great day here in Floyd Virginia - busy with our museum work.
"By David Larsen"      KK4WW Computer Collector Historian  


  1. Sort of like the Altair 8800 Clone, but for the PDP-8!

    1. Hi I would think this is a reasonable comparison. Dave

  2. The PDP-8 replica is a rewarding project. It takes a little while to source all of the components, but the parts list and suppliers are very complete and that removes a lot of the hassle. The final product looks nice and gives a good feel for the software. The front panel is very complete and gives a good feel for how some of the hardware for the PDP-8 worked.

    There's a fair amount of software available to get you started after the build is complete and a few short tutorials available on using the front panel.

  3. Evidently he has sold out the last run of them so NLA at the moment at least... great project if/when available! Roger A in NY

  4. Hi Roger,
    What you say is certainly true but instead of "No Longer Available," I prefer to think of the SBC6120 as "occasionally available." The partial kit is produced by Bob Armstrong in batches, at long intervals such as a few years. The first batch was about ten years ago and the last was in February, this year (2013).

    I have seen comments various places, lamenting the fact that the kits aren't continuously available and wondering if there will be more. I have verified that the CPU chips are available, so there is no reason to think that we won't see more of this platform, in some form, given a demand, at some point in the future.

    Also, Bob has made available all of the schematics, code, and firmware, so enterprising individuals can in fact build the unit. It would be a lot easier though, if at least bare boards were available. I guess the best thing for interested folks to do is to contact Bob at the Spare Time Gizmos website or Yahoo forum. (Links are provided in my article.) Thank you for your comments and interest! --Steve Lafferty


I look forward to your comments and will respond.