BlinkenBone - download and run simulated panels

Parent Category: Projects Category: BlinkenBone software Written by Administrator

Blinkenlight front panels for everybody!

Connecting a real Blinkenlight front panel to SimH is extremely cool, but has one drawback: Only the panel-owning guy (that's me!) has the full fun, all others have to watch some videos.

So the second-cool thing would be a realistic software simulation of a given Blinkenlight panel, which can be distributed to everyone.

blinkenbone real-pdp11-40,panelsim-1

Above you can see the simulated panel running on a PC monitor, below there is the real PDP-11/40 panel.

Download from and run a complete SimH & panelsim distribution

For all supported vintage computers, I packed together SimH, disk images with operating systems, PDF docs, the Java panel and startup scripts into one runnable "distribution".

A distribution is just a big .zip or .tgz with a startup script. Download from GitHub.

The is one distribution for every platform, one distribution contains all simulated machines.

Docs for every machine and hints how to have to fun are given here.

Installation: How to run under Windows (Win32):

  1. You should be logged in with Administrator rights
  2. Download the archive file "" from GitHub.
  3. Unzip in a directory of your choice.
  4. Execute one of the start-up scripts: "pdp1140.bat", "pdp8i.bat" and so on. SimH and panelsim are started in parallel and communicate.
  5. If starting the first time, the Windows Firewall will panic and asks you to allow the network communication between client and server. It will ask for three (3) programs.
  6. Enjoy!

This should work from Windows XP to Windows 10.

Installation: How to run under Ubuntu 14 32/64bit

The distributions for desktop Linux were developed under Ubuntu, but the stuff should run on other Linuxes too. Starting from Ubunntu 13, the  x64 releases do not run 32 bit software by default anymore. So i had to add a distribution for Ubunto-x86 too.

  1. SimH is compiled with network support. So make sure you installed "libpcap" before installation, as described in the SimH compilation readme.
  2. Download one of the archive files "panelsim_ubuntu-x*.tgz"
  3. Unzip in a directory of your choice.
  4. Use this command: "tar -xvf panelsim_ubuntu.tgz -z "
  5. Execute the "" script: "sudo"
  6. Enjoy!

This does not seem to work with all Linux distributions: I was unhappy with an older Suse 10.

Installation: Running on Raspberry Pi Raspbian

There is also a distribution for the RaspberryPi under Raspbian. The RPi2 is almost powerful enough to update even big Java panels as fast as required. You can use a HDMI monitor or plug-on one of those "touch screen" displays.

Isntallation is the same as for desktop Ubuntu, but there are some specials:


The Java PANELSIM program

Some facts:


pdp10 ki10 virtual small