October 17, 2018

Building The PiDP8/I

A couple of years ago (2016) I purchased this neat kit called the PiDP8” from Obsolescence Guaranteed | PiDP-8.

What is this thing?

The PiDP-8/I is a modern replica of the 1968 PDP-8/I computer.

After ordering, I got a box with a bunch of components in it. It was then up to me to get them assembled and get it working!


COMPONENTS THEY PROVIDE
1x Wood enclosure
26× Toggle switches
12× 390 Ohm resistors
27× 4148 Diodes
UDN2981A
89× LEDs (5mm, High Brightness)
1K Ohm Resistors
2*20 pin header for mounting the Raspberry Pi

COMPONENTS YOU PROVIDE
Raspberry Pi (Plus to 3B or Zero/Zero W) needs 40 pin GPIO connector (I used a 3B+)


I began the build in 2016 and for any number of reasons the project sat dormant until 2018. I finally picked it back up in September of 2018, so I could finish it and get it running!

Back in 2016 I completed the following

  • Setting up the switches
  • Soldering the Raspberry Pi header
  • Soldering ~1/3 of the LEDs

Completed remaining tasks in 2018

  • Finish soldering all components to PCB
  • Attach Raspberry Pi
  • Configure software on Raspberry Pi
  • Configure remote access so I can access the Raspberry Pi without disassembling the unit.
  • Assemble components into the enclosure
  • Turn it on and hope it works! 🤞

On October 8th it was finally ready to boot up and see if it all worked…

…and it did! 😃 🎉

This project was a lot of fun to put together, and in some way, I am glad I didn’t finish it back in 2015.

Here are some photos as the building and testing progressed.

PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image PiPD8 Progression Image


PiDP8 Project Electronics Making


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