The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics introduced the Altair 8800 and hit the newsstands in December of 1974, so it is only natural that around the New Year people start thinking about the old computer. [Shadowtron] did more than think about it. He ordered some replica PCBs and is building a new one. Even better, he’s posted an amazing number of videos (up to number 56 as I write this) detailing his progress. You can find part 1, below.
The boards are from Trailing Edge Technology. There’s a backplane board (about $100) as well as a few boards to fit it available for about $30 each — unpopulated, of course.
We’ll confess we haven’t watched all 56 videos yet. They cover the construction of the CPU and front panel, the serial I/O board, floppy drives, software, and a homebrew EPROM board (using 1702s, no less).
I have to confess, I’ve always wanted a real Altair — but probably won’t ever get one. But if I were going to build one, this would be the guide to watch as it covers just about everything.
Of course, there are replicas (I have a few and even helped develop one). Plus you can run a great simulation on your PC or even in a browser. But there’s something about knowing you have the real deal — or as close as you can get to it — that makes an intangible but real difference.