digital equipment corporation · maynard, massachusetts
PC04 Paper Tape Information
This is the PC04 high speed paper tape reader/punch. Paper tape was an inexpensive method for storing and transferring data.

PC04 Specifications
Tape Format 1 inch 8-level 10 characters per inch
Reader Speed 300 characters per second (30 inches per second)
Reader type Optical
Reader tape requirements Unoiled fan-folded, 12% optical transmittance max
Punch Speed 50 characters per second
Punch type Mechanical
Punch tape requirements Unoiled or oiled fan-folded
Environmental  55 to 110 F, 20-95% humidity
Weight 40 lbs
Size 10.5x19x15 (HxWxD) inches
Cost Punch and controller $3900 and $320 installation from DEC in 1974
  $37 per month for maintenance

Documents related to PC04 and PC8E

These pictures color are a little off, I tried a different film which didn't work well. The red looking handles on the boards are the M series Maroon modules. Since PC monitors aren't noted for good color calibration what you see may not be what I see either.

The following picture links also have descriptions of what is shown in the pictures.

Thumbnail Picture Selector

Current size small. Select picture size for links below   Small  Medium  Large

Front of unit ( 42K)  Back of unit ( 38K)  Punch side of unit ( 47K)

Following are with covers removed
Front of unit ( 28K)  Punch side ( 55K)  Top view ( 70K)  Cardcage closeup ( 53K)  Backplane side ( 56K)
Front side of boards ( 51K)  Back size of boards ( 59K)
Paper tapes ( 61K)

Following are a repair I made June 23 2012
M044 Crispy resistor ( 48K)  M044 back ( 54K)

Videos of operation of PC04. How to view The large realvideo files are the best but slow to download. The large MPEG has some artifacts from being recorded with interlaced video from a camcorder and is larger than the realvideo.

Reading PDP-8 Editor binary tape.
Realvideo: large (397K) small ( 40K)
MPEG: MPEG not available yet.

Punching PDP-8 Binary loader.
Realvideo: large (795K) small ( 80K)

View of punch mechanism feeding tape.
Realvideo: large (200K) small ( 21K)

Feel free to contact me, David Gesswein djg@pdp8online.com with any questions, comments on the web site, or if you have related equipment, documentation, software etc. you are willing to part with.  I am interested in anything PDP-8 related, computers, peripherals used with them, DEC or third party, or documentation. 

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