DEC PDP-8/m ECRM Autoreader OCR Scanner, Model 5902 S/N 0429

This OCR capable Model 5902 document scanner was made by ECRM in Bedford, MA in 1977. The scanner is capable of interpreting proofreader's markup and doing OCR at a rate of 500 WPM. It it has a DEC PDP-8/m at it's core that was made in Westminster, Massachusetts. ECRM advertisements from the mid 70s show this scanner selling for $37,500, which is $186,196.25 in today's money.

The paper tape reader that is above the PDP-8/m was manufactured by Comtec in Cumberland, RI. Comtec was bought by Zebra Technologies.

We received the manuals and documentation for the scanner, and the software on paper tape. We have permission from ECRM to scan and post the documentation here.

This scanner included a Data Systems Design 210 dual 8" floppy diskette subsystem. We don't know if that was originally part of this scanner, but we did find adds from ECRM that show the DSD floppies installed above the PDP-8/m.

It looks like the scanner might have originally shipped with a PDP-8/e processor. The PDP-8/m is the same as the 8/e, but can only hold half as many Omnibus boards.

Boards in the PDP-8/m

Paper Tape Software