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The PDP-12 Minicomputer

PDP-12 Main Cabinet Left View with Back Doors Open S M L XL

The PDP-12 minicomputer that I have comes in three cabinets; the first cabinet is the PDP-12 minicomputer itself, with 8kW of core memory, two tape drives (TU55), and vector graphics display unit (VR14). See the Module Utilization chart for a listing of the cards.

The next two cabinets are joined together, and form the expansion cabinet. The left cabinet contains an additional 24kW of core memory in the top half, and the FPP-12 floating point unit in the bottom half. The right cabinet contains a TC58 tape controller (most of the top half), and a bunch of other cool modules, listed below.

The nice thing about the main cabinet is that the back of the cabinet swings out for easy servicing of the cards.

The main unit, without the tape drives or CRT or top fans, consumes 580W. The PDP-12 has been partially restored as of fall 2007.

Front View

PDP-12 Front Panel S M L XL

Even more impressive than the PDP-8/I front panel is the front panel of the PDP-12. Well over 100 lights!

Power Supply

PDP-12 Power Supply S M L XL

A close-up shot of the PDP-12's power supply. I will need to reform the capacitors before I can apply power to it (having learned from the PDP-8/I restoration). Luckily, the power supply seems to be very similar to the PDP-8/I's power supply. You can read about the restoration of this PDP-12 here.

Dual Tape Drives and Vector Display

PDP-12 Inside view of Tape Drive Electronics S M L XL

This image is a detail of the back of the two tape drives (two top components) and the vector display (bottom component, VR14) in the PDP-12 main cabinet.

Notice the speaker (damaged) at the bottom right of the picture.

Right around the speaker are the various analog and digital I/O points (some controlled by relays) as seen from the front view. The hanging cables are all on my "todo" list.

Expansion Cabinet

PDP-12 Expansion Cabinet Left View S M L XL

The PDP-12 expansion cabinet as viewed from the left. Notice the top half containing the 24kW of core memory, and the bottom half containing the FPP-12 floating-point unit. Unfortunately, the FPP-12 looks like it might have been used as a source for spare modules; it's missing almost all of the modules in the last four rows (there are only 12 cards in the last four rows)!

PDP-12 Expansion Cabinet Front View S M L XL

This is a good view of the TC58 tape controller (top right-hand side).

On the bottom right-hand side, you see where a mouse has built a nest :-( -- luckily, I was able to vacuum out all of the material, but it looks like the mouse had chewed through a few of the 30 gauge wires, so I'll need to figure out how much damage was actually done to the CC02 (whatever that is!) on the bottom. Joy! :-(

PDP-12 Expansion Cabinet Right View S M L XL

The PDP-12 expansion cabinet as viewed from the right. The cabinet is organized as follows:
Back Left Back Right Front Left Front Right
8k of core (M97/MM8IA/5115)
8k of core (M26/MM8IB/0601163)
8k of core (MM8IA/901)
FPP-12 (S/N 0700322)
DW08A (S/N 707)
DW08A (S/N 212)
(empty backplane)
PT08B (S/N 1630)
DM01 (no serial number)
DM01 (S/N 583)
upside down 8k core (M26/MM8IB/1020) obviously used for spares
PT08 (S/N 1634)
DW08B (M22/DW08B/173)
Power distribution bus (with 10 5-position connectors)
(empty space)
(empty space)
TC58 front panel
looks like an OMNIBus
BA12 (S/N 65)
CC02 (S/N N01)

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Contact us This page was updated on Fri Feb 19 00:10:09 EST 2010 © 2000-2007 by Robert Krten.
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