Rubber switch covers

General discussions related to the Altair 8800 Clone

Rubber switch covers

Postby kurthamm » June 12th, 2019, 7:53 pm

I was watching a video on the Altair 8800 and the switches seemed to have these rather thick white plastic/rubber covers on them. This would have been a logical upgrade considering how small and thin the switches are.

Were these available when the Altair was sold? I wonder where one would find a suitable replacement for these little covers.

Kurt
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Re: Rubber switch covers

Postby toml_12953 » June 12th, 2019, 8:57 pm

kurthamm wrote:I was watching a video on the Altair 8800 and the switches seemed to have these rather thick white plastic/rubber covers on them. This would have been a logical upgrade considering how small and thin the switches are.

Were these available when the Altair was sold? I wonder where one would find a suitable replacement for these little covers.

Kurt


Yes, we regularly put vinyl switch covers on. Not only did it allow us to visually group them by four for easier hex data entry, it also
was easier on the fingers when entering a long listing. Remember, many people didn't have a terminal and all programs and data had to be
entered via the front panel. The Altair 8800a and b had flat switches that were much easier on the fingers. You can still get switch covers at:

https://www.digikey.ca/products/en?pv234=48&FV=fff40011%2Cfff804a2&k=switch&mnonly=0&newproducts=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=100
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Re: Rubber switch covers

Postby kurthamm » June 13th, 2019, 12:35 pm

Thanks! That is great info. I figured. There has always been a market for addons that the manufacturers just didn't think about. Then, the manufacturers incorporate it and that company takes a hit. Kensington made a living on that kind of thing.

That link lists pages of results. Can you point me to an item # for the proper covers?

Kurt
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Re: Rubber switch covers

Postby kurthamm » June 13th, 2019, 12:37 pm

also, what would the color scheme have been? Alternating red and white or black and white? or user preference?

Kurt
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Re: Rubber switch covers

Postby toml_12953 » June 14th, 2019, 2:04 am

kurthamm wrote:also, what would the color scheme have been? Alternating red and white or black and white? or user preference?

Kurt


User preference. MITS didn't sell them so people bought them wherever they could. I have each group of four a different color just for the heck of it.
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Re: Rubber switch covers

Postby toml_12953 » June 14th, 2019, 2:10 am

kurthamm wrote:Thanks! That is great info. I figured. There has always been a market for addons that the manufacturers just didn't think about. Then, the manufacturers incorporate it and that company takes a hit. Kensington made a living on that kind of thing.

That link lists pages of results. Can you point me to an item # for the proper covers?

Kurt


Any of the ones that say CAP TOGGLE in the description will fit. You don't want CAP ROCKER. Other than that, It's all up to your taste.
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