A significant factor in this was that it was the first system that used a standardised hardware bus implementation, the Omnibus, which obviated the need for complex backplane wiring - you simply slotted in a set of cards to do whatever you needed. It is the direct ancestor of the expansion buses in todays pc's.
racks are part of the largest pdp-8 configuration I've ever seen, from
the control room of the Tornado hydraulic systems test rig at British Aerospace,
near Preston. There were only the two cpus shown above, but a total of
about ten racks of equipment, more than half being custom built control
systems for the test rig- DEC racks, but no DEC contents. I left most of
that in place, as it was so specialised it had no meaning without the rig
it controlled... and that weighed hundreds of tons, and took up a fair
sized hanger, so I decided to leave it behind. I contented myself with
removing the cpus and their peripherals, which included more lovely DF32
fixed head disks - used as substitute for expensive core memory.
Here are some of the bits I removed:
All this lot is in storage awaiting assesment - should work ok, but
I couldn't power it up on-site to test as they had started dismantling
the control room and the power was off.