Always wanted to own a PDP-11? Now you can!

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Some time ago I wrote a post about my trip down memory lane. I visited the Apple Museum Nederland and wrote how that brought me to the micro-KIM computer. A replica of my very first computer: the KIM-1.

But before I build the micro-KIM I found another project. It was the KIM-Uno, a ‘do it yourself clone of the KIM-1’ by Oscar Vermeulen. I made some changes to the firmware, mainly tidying up the firmware, enabling the use of the 6502 timers and a more accurate driver for the 7-segment displays (so you can fire-up every segment like you could in the real KIM-1).

But this is not a post about the KIM-1 or the KIM-Uno but it is about another very interesting project Oscar Vermeulen came up with: the PDP-11 replica. Oscar made the PiDP-11 after the huge success of an other project of him, the PiDP-8, of which he sold more than Digital sold the real thing. There seems to be a huge group of people interested in owning a vintage computer they spend a lot of time with during their (working) life.

It took Oscar two years building this kit, mainly because he wanted the console (and the switches) to be an accurate replica of the original PDP-11/70 console. He designed the console, switches and everything else exactly as you remember, only at a 60% scale. It looks like the real thing and operates like the real thing. This is due to two other projects Oscar incorporates in this project. The hart is the SimH simulator and the blinking leds are made possible by the BlinkenBone project. The processing power comes from a Raspberry Pi that has time to spare. In my case it doubles as a music server.

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2 Responses to Always wanted to own a PDP-11? Now you can!

  1. Hans Otten says:

    Great article about the work of Oscar!

    Did you publish your updates to the KIM Uno firmware?

    • Willem Aandewiel says:

      Hi Hans,

      I mailed the updates to Oscar but at the time he was occupied with other, more important, things so I don’t think he has done much with it.
      If you are interested, I have just pushed it to github.

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