HPIL Video Interface 82163A vs. B



I know there are two versions of the HP-IL Video Interface 82163, a US version (A) and a EUROPE version (B). What is the difference between the two? Or in other words can I use a US version on a european TV set that can deal with NTSC? Of course the power adapters are different, but that's not an issue i guess.



Well I'd bet that the only differences would be NTSC vs. PAL, and probably a different power adapter (IIRC, these HP boxes used external adapters and didn't have internal power supplies).

(BTW Don't some European countries use SECAM? Can PAL sets display SECAM or vice versa??)

Bill Wiese

San Jose,CA USA


See http://www.alkenmrs.com/video/wwstandards1.html for in-depth information on global video standards currently in use. Click on 'World Standards' to find the standard in any particular country. I hope this helps a bit.

Best, Wilson


IIRC the internal differences are :

1) The position of an internal link connected to the (custom) video controller chip that selects 525 or 625 line standards

2) The frequency of one of the crystals

3) Some of the components in the RF modulator circuit.

(3) is irrelevant unless you're feeding into the aerial (antenna) socket of a TV. The other 2 don't matter if you're using a monitor that will work with the appropriate standard.

In other words, you can use a 82163A in Europe if you have a monitor that will display a US TV signal (525 lines).

OK, yes the AC adapter is different too. The 82163 takes in the 8V AC and converts it to 5V DC internally. So provided you use the appropriate adapter for your mains there's no problem there either.


Thanks guys.

For the AC adapter: is it the one that is used with other devices like for instance the thermo printer? That whould solve that problem.



It's the normal 8V AC adapter. The one that's used with the topcats (90-series calculators), the 82143 HP41 printer, 82161 tape drive, 82162 HPIL thermal printer, 82163,82164,82165,82169 HPIL interfaces, 9114 disk drive, HP71B, HP75, 2225B Thinkjet, etc, etc, etc.

HP were fairly sensible back then. If the plug is obviously designed to fit, then it'll work.


That's not true of the HP92198 HPIL 80-column video interface though. That one takes 9VAC from a DC-10 jack, not the rectangular plug that so much other HP equipment used.


Yes, but the 80 column video interface is not an HP design. It came from a company called 'Mountain Computer Products' or something like that.

Incidentally, that one can be set in software to do either US or European video. The power-on default is US. I've considered looking at the firmware EPROM to see if I can work out the patch to make it default to European video...


Dear Tony,

thanks for your details about hardware differences of model A and B. Would it be possible to convert model B to model A by changing less hardware components ?

This question is absolutely interesting - because I want to use the vidio interface in combination with a small LCD display. For this I feed the Monitor output signal from the video interface to the LCD monitor input.

Actual the monitor runs in European PAL mode - and I get a screen response. The LCD monitor includes both NTSC or PAL mode - unfortunately in PAL mode some pixel lines are removed - and from this some incomplete charkters result. Therefore most of the displayed text lines are showed correctly, but less text lines are displayed wrong.

Now I hope, that from using the NTSC mode a perfectly display will result. For testing this I need the modell A or better a solution for converting the existing modell B to modell A.

Please Tony give me a solution for this :-)))

With best regards - Christoph Klug


OK, I've got the service manual in front of me.... You need to find 2 components on the PCB -- Y2 (a crystal) and R6 (a 10k resistor)
Start from the video output socket. Above it are 2 coils, above that is a crystal. That's Y2.
Now there's a 40- pin chip 1LF4-0001, the video controller, not far from the video output socket. Between it and the socket is a 14 pin chip (HP's number is 1826-0903, I am pretty sure it's an LM1372 or something). Below that chip is a 10k resistor, axis parallel to the short edge of the PCB. And alongside that are 2 solder pads, spaced as for a resistor.
OK, the changes. For PAL, R6 is between the 2 pads closest to the video socket, for NTSC it's between the 2 pads closest to the 40 pin chip
Y2 is a 3.24MHz crystakl for PAL, a 3.29MHz crystal for NTSC. Good luck finding those!
I can't find any changes to the RF modulator components, but I suspect the modulator should strictly be re-aligned. If you're not using the RF output, don't bother, though.


Dear Tony,

thanks a lot for your detailled describtion. But the problem would be to find an exotic 3,29MHz crystal oszillator :-(

Best regards - Christoph


Dear Tony,

as I found out, HP uses an own video chip design inside the video interface - therefore the belonging 3,29MHz crystal oscillator is an absolutely exotic part and not available for common use....

Regards - Christoph


One minor point, which may be due to English/German translations :

You want a crystal, not a crystal oscillator. The latter is normally a 4-terminal component about the size of an 8 or 14 pin IC, and contains the crystal together with the other components needed to make it oscillate and output a TTL-level square wave.

There are companies who will make custom crystals (radio amateurs often know about them, since they need odd crystals to put commercial-band radios onto amateur bands). If you're prepared to wait for several months, it's not too expensive...

Have you tried moving R6 and leaving the crystal? The result would be 625-line video with non-standard timings, but your monitor might lock to it. Worth a try, I think.


Dear Tony,

thanks a lot for your assistance. Now I set the 10K resistor to NTSC position. The crystal (in German Quarz) is unchanged. Now it seems that the small LCD Monitor is abel to syncronize correctly - and I get a screen response without missing pixel lines :-)

Best regards - Christoph


Glad I could be of help.

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