[vcf-midatlantic] MITS Altair 8800 C&K switches

Richard Cini rich.cini at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 18:02:25 EDT 2020

This thread on VCFED might be the answer because it gives the part numbers. I didn't have luck navigating the APEM Web site, but Digikey and Mouser carry them and links to the data sheet.


Rich Cini

On 4/12/20, 5:34 PM, "vcf-midatlantic on behalf of Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic" <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org on behalf of vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

    An odd thing. I was trying to buy some C&K brand "toggle switches" for a 
    MITS Altair 8800 front panel. I could not find on the Web, a good photo 
    of it's front-panel PC board "naked" to see the original switches; so I 
    could buy one of the proper size. Specifically, the length of the "neck" 
    below the toggle lever.
    Does anyone have such a photo, of the unmounted PC board with switches, 
    or a photo of of the actual real original switch bodies, or a measure of 
    the physical length of that mounting-shaft? The length does vary.
    Just to be clear and exact. I'm talking about the original model of the 
    MITS Altair 8800. NO 8800a, no 8800b. These switches have a narrow round 
    "toggle" - not the flat wedge-like toggle on the 8800b and 8800a. And 
    no, MITS doesn't have a C&K number, and no sketch in their original 
    manuals (that I could find).
    And a Web search for such images is a nightmare. Bunches of faux 
    Altairs, faux front panels. Some number of original Altairs - with the 
    front-panel PC board covered of course with the decorative front-panel. 
    Or poor, low-rez photos from 15 years ago.
    I've made a good guess, without disassembling my own 8800. Looks like 
    11/16 inches from base of threaded shaft to top of same. Looks like a 
    3/4" net length from the base of the C&K body to the top of the threaded 
    shaft. These are eyeball measures and are not likely what are in the C&K 
    1975 data sheets; but these provide clues.
    Can anyone measure the damn thing? Or take a clear photo and point me to 
    it?  Looks like I'll haveta take a lot of photos, next time I repair the 
    real deal.
    Regards, Herb "missed" Johnson
    Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
    http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
    preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
    email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
    or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info

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