Straight 8 -- front panel repair

From: Christian Fandt <>
Date: Fri Feb 13 13:51:07 2004

A few sources that some of us radio folks use for making reproduction flat
dials on old radios could help. Here is contact info for several that I
know so far:

Lynn Brock email: (good reputation)

Radio Daze

And a non-glass source (made from acrylic sheet, etc.):
Rock Sea Enterprises

This is a start to help find a way to have PDP-8 fronts reproduced. An old
time radio company called Hallicrafters made decent quality radio receivers
for commercial, military and Ham or shortwave listening use. They had made
several radio models with relatively large glass dial panels which had
markings silk screened onto the back. With age and especially poor storage
conditions those markings would peel off like Peter's PDP-8 panel did.

At least Peter McCollum, who initiated this thread, could benefit. The
folks above make replacement dials for such radios and one or more may be
convinced to give you a cost quotation for your -8.

On the other hand, in checking recently added photos on Jeff Nisler's
website (the fella who had his PDP-8 *and* house thoroughly demolished by a
decidedly errant automobile) I agree his PDP-8 is wrecked so much that it
would not be practical to restore it. Some untouched PC boards and other
parts may be salvaged, but the rest sure looks like toast. What a sad,
miserable mess. I would be absolutely heartsick to have to go through that.


Upon the date 08:51 PM 2/11/04 -0700, ben franchuk said something like:
>McCollum, Peter wrote:
>>Hi all,
>>Just joined up.
>>I have a straight-8 in the garage (not working, but repairable I think)
>>with an ASR-33. No other perpherals.
>>Also have an 8-E (almost working I think). It has several option/IO cards
>>in it, but no actual perpherals.
>>I started with DEC in 1981, in a Test Engineering group for Storage.
>>Here's my first question:
>>What should I do about the glass on the straight-8 front panel? The paint
>>markings are peeling off. Is there a recommended way to preserve it?
>>Or, has anyone made a graphic template that can be used to print a new
>>panel, and put it behind a piece of plain glass?
>You need to get in touch with this guy
>about getting your straight 8 working.
>His 8 has suffered major damage and
>needs major parts like a core memory
>and backplane and front panel.
>See this web site for details.
>** warning -- not for the faint hearted **
>I am also posting this to classic computers
>since a lot of people have 8's there.
>A replacement front panel and other parts
>may be a good group effort for the people
>that still have straight 8's.

Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA
         Member of Antique Wireless Association
Received on Fri Feb 13 2004 - 13:51:07 GMT

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