Here is a gallery of my PDP-11/70 panel, as connected to BlinkenBone. No technical details are given, and the BlinkenBone article should be read first.

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone

I used a 19", 6 HE case. Most cases are far to deep. I found a smaller case, only 30cm deep, intended as a network distribution cabinet.

The panel is mounted on the outside, sitting well before the case wall. A black border was painted around to bring out the colors. It also should look like the black metal struts of those DEC racks.

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone

The panel has a tilted front, and is also mounted tilted on its base plate. This looks irritating, but hey! it's the original!

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone


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The backside looks as sexy as the NSA headquarter building. We have one big square hole for the PC power supply, Ethernet and USB on the BeagleBone, and the four RS232 from the BlinkenCape.

PDP-11/70 front panel

That's why we love those DEC front panels!


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I rotated the case, its front door now opens to the top. The case is open on the rear side, because all the network cables should arrive there. After rotation it has no bottom, so I made one (very crude) as platform for all the stuff inside.

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone

Inside we have the PC power supply, the BlinkenCape over the BeagleBone, and one BlinkenBoard.

Putting the PC power supply in the middle was a bad idea: Suddently almost no usable space is left.

The horizontal rod is inserted only to hold the cables. I made the cables very long, so I can remove the panel from the case and still have full function.

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone

The panel is connect via three 40 pin flat cables. The original panel cables have 2x20 pin headers on both ends. I made new cables, and crimped a lot of connectors to one end. These connectors were then plugged onto the BlinkenBoard headers ... ready!

The BlinkenBoard is powered over the PC power supply's ATX connector. The panel itself needs +5V power, they are distributed over the screw connectors. There's really no load on the power supply: I estimate total power dissipation to below 20W.

PDP-11/70 front panel in case with BlinkenBone

The four RS232 ports have to be connected to the BlinkenCape with extension cables. The white BeagleBone is sitting below the green BlinkenCape and is barely visible.

Power comes directly from the PC power supply, I cut off one GND/5V wire pair from a drive connector.

I still have to figure out how to connect real tty ports to the simulated PDP-11 terminal multiplexer in SimH: Then we could connect four terminals to our PDP-11/70 and go into RSX11M multi user operation. Reportedly,SimH 4.0 can connect simulated DH11 and DZ11 serial multiplexers to physical serial ports.