Build your own PDP-8!

From: Bob Armstrong <>
Date: Sun Aug 31 18:27:00 2003

 If you're one of those people who wants a PDP-8 but can't find one, don't
despair - you can always build your own! The SBC6120 is a complete PDP-8
built around the venerable Harris HD6120 CPU and modern programmable logic
devices. All parts used except the 6120 are contemporary, easily available

  The entire system fits on a PC board 6.2" by 4.2" and has approximately the
same footprint as a 3.5" hard disk. The SBC6120 has 64KW RAM, 32KW EPROM,
a true KL8/E compatible console terminal interface, and a standard IDE/ATA
disk interface. OS/8 device handlers are available for IDE interface, and
the system will run standard OS/8 V3D. There's even an expansion bus so you
can design and build your own daughter cards to plug into it.

  To find out more, visit the SBC6120 web page at

  Last fall, a group of about 30 people got together to order parts and
PC boards for the SBC6120, and the results were better than I ever hoped.
So far as I know, every one who assembled their SBC6120 got it working
(a few people still have theirs on the shelf, unassembled, I'm afraid!).
Some people even designed peripherals for it, such as Jim Kearney's cool
I/O board which allows you to use a standard VGA monitor and PS/2 keyboard
as a VT-52 substitute.

  And perhaps the best of all, we're now beta testing a real lights and
switches front panel for the SBC6120. Visit

for a preview!

  Even now I still get enough inquiries about the SBC6120 that I have decided
to purchase another run of PC boards and 6120 CPU chips. There's a fully
assembled unit available on eBay now,

and Spare Time Gizmos is now selling bare PC boards, two different partial
kits, and a complete kit at

If you wanted to have your own PDP-8, then here's your chance!

Bob Armstrong
Received on Sun Aug 31 2003 - 18:27:00 BST

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