Vintage Computing Paper Tape Reader

Building the reader

I don’t have step-by-step illustrated building instructions here. But with the sectional view of the PCB stack below and the following hints the build should be straightforward.

Sectional view of PCB stack and key components

Sectional view of the stack of PCBs which make the chassis, as well as the key electronic components. For clarity, only 5 of the 8 data sensors and LEDs are shown.

Builder’s hints

Preparing the PCBs

Paper tape reader, individual parts

The stack of PCBs that make the paper tape reader.

Paper tape reader, illumination and detection module

The pre-assembled modules: Phototransistor detector with apertures (left) and LED illuminator with apertures and spacer tape (right). Two sockets and wires provide power to the LEDs.

Populating components

Populating sockets and pins

Paper tape reader, fully assembled

I opted for sockets for the resistor array (so I can try different values) and the Arduino (in case I need to get to the soldering joints beneath it).

Programming the Pro Micro

Design files