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

Jeff Galinat jgalinat at gmail.com
Mon Apr 13 17:05:17 EDT 2020

Hi Herb,
  That may be a loaded question as C & K switches may not have been used on
the original Altair Front Panel according to someone I really trust..

According to Mike Douglas (deramp in the Vintage community), who has
impressed me with his extensive knowledge of Altair hardware,  the American
Switch brand was used in the original Altair not C & K.   Mike says that
the  APEM switch part numbers listed below are closest to the original
American Switch brand. In fact, APEM purchased American Switch a number of
years ago.

S1 Toggle Switch On-None-On (Silver) APEM 5236AB
S10-S25 Toggle Switch On-None-On (Gold) APEM 5236CDB
S2-S9 Toggle Switch (On)-Off-(On) (Gold) APEM 5237CDB

Take this as you wish but I do value Mike's opinion on this

Best regards,
Jeff Galinat

On Sun, Apr 12, 2020 at 2:34 PM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
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).
> 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.
> Regards, Herb "missed" Johnson

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