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PDP-8/e case lid latch

thunter0512

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Sep 27, 2020
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Perth in Western Australia
I have nicely straightened the warped lid of my new PDP-8/e so it fits the case with all gaps parallel and neat.

It looks like originally the lid was fastened to the power supply side via two black plastic latches attached to the front and back of the 8/e power supply.

Below is a photo of what is left of the front latch:

IMG_20220721_213149511.jpg

The latch shows the manufacturer as "Southco, Lester, PA.". The company still exists (https://southco.com/) and makes all kind of gadgets. They even have an Australian distribution center.

Could somebody with an intact version of this latch please make a photo of it and its counterpart on the lid?

Alternatively does somebody know the type of latch (or whatever the proper name is) and if it is still available?

Thanks
Tom
 
Last edited:

DougIngraham

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Oct 2, 2019
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Rapid City, SD USA
I am interested in this as well. I did not know there was a latching mechanism involved. My lid has two of those little black plastic squares and the power supply also has those. It looked to me like the lid ones rest on the power supply ones. But a latch of some kind would make sense. The detail on the drawings is not good enough to tell what they were doing.
 

Al Kossow

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Last edited:

vrs42

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Beaverton, Oregon
My Power supply side is missing the latches (and the power supply guard to keep your fingers out of there). Here's what I have for the cover bits. They sort of hook over the power supply, so that you have to spring the thing a bit to get it off. They are riveted bits of something that feels like metal but looks like plastic. I had naively assumed that was how it should be.

Vince
8ELatch.jpg
 

thunter0512

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Perth in Western Australia
this, I think. standard style

nope.. those have two screw holes, the DEC one only has one

I have three chassis and all the latches are broken/removed
What normally happened is the hinge part would crack apart and you'd loose the big rectangular piece that slid down

Thanks Al.
These are suitable for the Kaypro II and Osborne 1, but not for the PDP-8/e.
The latch for the 8/e is about 1/2 the width of those and much shorter.
I looked through a large number of images found by google but nothing seems to be close.
It appears that not many of these latches survived intact.
 

thunter0512

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Sep 27, 2020
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Location
Perth in Western Australia
The "Illustrated Parts Breakdown" document for the PDP-8/e shows the latch on page 3 as items 30, 31 and 32S (see detail A on top left of page 3).
Page 5/6 lists these as:

30: Spacer Latch
31: Latch, Draw Catch Fastener
32: Screw, Flt Hd No. 6-32 x 1/2

The document can be found at:

http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp8/pdp8e/PDP-8E_IPB_Feb74.pdf

It looks like Southco no longer makes these latches - or at least I couldn't find it on their website.
 

mcguire

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Sep 22, 2010
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New Kensington, PA
I got Southco to send LSSM a few samples of the ones Al mentioned above. They are not the correct ones for the 8/e chassis. They are nice, though, and it looks like they probably will fit Kapros. One of our guys is going to give that a shot this weekend. If they work, that'll solve a different problem, so still a win. :)

-Dave
 

mcguire

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Sep 22, 2010
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New Kensington, PA
Ahh, you've tried them? Excellent. We will go ahead and order some for our Kaypros and Osbornes then. We have something like ten of each, all with broken latches. Thanks!

-Dave
 

thunter0512

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Sep 27, 2020
Messages
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Location
Perth in Western Australia
Ahh, you've tried them? Excellent. We will go ahead and order some for our Kaypros and Osbornes then. We have something like ten of each, all with broken latches. Thanks!

-Dave
Make sure you get the "Standard Style". I got mine from RS Components in Australia about 2 years ago, but they still have plenty in stock (350 as of now):


The Southco part number is: 07-10-201-12
 
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