To control the panel with PC-based software, I’ve written classes in Codegear C++ and Delphi, which present the panel as a list of LED- and Switch-Objects.
The basic “pdp1170panel”-class has two descendents:

  • “pdp1170panelPhysical” accesses a real PDP11/70 panel over USB.
    I use the driver library of the IOWarrior56 module.
    This class includes also glue logic to decode my hardware wiring to well-known LEDs and switches.
  • “pdp1170panelFrame” accesses a photo-realistic simulation of the panel. You can click on switch-images with your mouse, this causes the same actions as flipping the switches on the real panel. Unlike to the real panel, LEDs can also be toggled ON and OFF by clicking onto them.

The interface is the same for the on-screen simulation and for the physical panel. So I can switch every application between a real console panel and its simulation.


pdp1170panel usb testpgm

On the photo, you see the real pdp-11/70 panel sitting before a monitor showing the simulation.
I’ve written a little test program, which just synchronizes simulation and real panel:

  • If you flip a switch or rotate a knob on the real panel, it is updated in the simulation.
  • If you click on a LED in the simulation, it is switched ON or OFF on the real panel.

You can even play with the simulation without having a physical panel connected. Check the resource page for a download of “pdp1170panel.exe”. The lamp test (white switch) works.