Reburbished HP-85s with QIC tape drives on eBay US



#2

Hi,

I came across this seller recently:

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZla-tech-renewalQQhtZ-1

Please read one of the long descriptions in their listing for their reburbished HP-85s. This explains how they strip the machines down and test each part, then reassemble with new belts and capstan wheels.

Interestingly they also modify the tape drive, so it can use QIC (0.25") tape as well as the standard DC100A (0.15") tape. Each HP-85 comes with two QIC tapes and a CD-R of manuals.

I wish them good luck!

Regards,

John

PS - They also have a link to http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp85.htm !


#3

Wow! These look absolutely great. Sort of reminds me of the IBM 5100. I wonder which came first, the HP-85 or IBM 5100.


#4

I'm pretty sure the IBM 5100 was first. I remember seeing one at a trade show in Paris around April 1976, and it had been out for a while then. The French model I saw had all the BASIC keywords translated into French: "IMPRIME" instead of "PRINT" and so on. Does the Academie Francaise still defend their language to that extent?

The Tektronix 4051 - the one with the green storage tube display - dates from slightly later. And I'm pretty sure the HP 85 followed them both.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#5

My first professional programming job, in 1983, was partly on an IBM 5110. The machine had started life with the APL option, but was then converted to BASIC. But the conversion left all the weird APL keycaps in place, so I had to learn which one was "PRINT" for example. French keycaps would have been a breeze, by comparison. 8)

The BASIC was primitive in comparison with anything else I've seen before or since. It certainly couldn't come close to the HP-85 in power. For example, the only statements you could put after a "THEN" were "GOTO" or "GOSUB". The only other method of branching was a computed goto that I recall being crippled in some way. I can't recall precisely why I thought that, but there you are. The machine was pretty old when I got my hands on it. It was about the size of an HP85, but quite a bit heavier. It sat on top of a half-refrigerator sized dual 8 inch floppy unit. A large print unit to one side completed the ensemble. I was also working on Convergent Technologies' nice new x86 based machines for the main application I worked on. But I had to use the 5110 to maintain some programs the consulting company I worked for had in service. Regardless of the 5110's place in desktop computing history, (that line immediately preceded the IBM PC,) I vastly preferred the CT machines. There I could use Microsoft BASIC to do real programming. 8)

In the interests of keeping this post remotely on-topic, I should note that I later lost my infatuation with mbasic when I ran into Rocky Mountain BASIC on the 9816. 8)

Regards,
Howard

#6

Quote:
I'm pretty sure the IBM 5100 was first. I remember seeing one at a trade show in Paris around April 1976, and it had been out for a while then. The French model I saw had all the BASIC keywords translated into French: "IMPRIME" instead of "PRINT" and so on. Does the Academie Francaise still defend their language to that extent?

The Tektronix 4051 - the one with the green storage tube display - dates from slightly later. And I'm pretty sure the HP 85 followed them both.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]


When PRINT happens to be a BASIC instruction, we Frog-Eaters tend to leave it alone. When it is a function of the computer (i.e. "pull handle to open", thus not part of a specific language), there's no reason we should speak another language than ours, for whatever reason.

And this has nothing to do with Academie Francaise.

I guess USA do the same with foreign products and you're right.

The only excessive attempt to translate unstranslatable stuff I know about is from Thomson machines which were expected to be used by kids at school and the Ministry of Education asked Thomson for FULL French speaking systems. As you can imagine, it's been a flop: everybody wanted a TRS80 or Apple ][...

No flame intended

Take care,
Olivier


#7

Quote:
No flame intended

None perceived. And none intended on my part, either.

Best,

--- Les

[http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#8

This outfit certainly "talks the talk:"

Quote:

Your HP-85 has undergone an extensive restoration process. We feel that each HP-85 is a piece of history and a tribute to the quality and expertise that was Hewlett Packard in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. We have restored your system with the goal of preserving that quality while allowing others to enjoy the experience of owning and using these fine instruments. Here are some of the steps that were performed to restore your system to full functionality:


And the photos and descriptions that follow seem to indicate that they "walk the walk" as well.

The price is high, but if the descriptions are correct, I'd say the systems would be good values. I can't justify getting a third 85, or I might go for this one myself.

Regards,
Howard


#9

The hP-85 was my first PC in 1980. I sold a year later to buy an Applye][ computer since the Apple and its accessories (like disk drives) were much cheaper than what HP was charging.

I did buy a working HP-85 last year only to realize that it was damaged in shipping. The seller took it back and gave me my money back.

Nowadays, I play it safe using the HP-85 emulators which have the Matrix ROM, Advanced Programming ROM, and so forth. Using the emulator also spares me from making a specal physical place for the machine. Calculators are one thing ... PC's are another.

The auction looks very tempting ... but ... space is premium here.

Namir


#10

I wonder how they did the QIC tape drive modification. I would have thought that would at least require a firmware modification. If not, it sounds like an excellent idea. Any ideas?


#11

I've 'asked the seller' that question. I don't think they changed the firmware (99.99% sure). Because their modified machines can still take DC100A tapes, I assume they kept the same tape heads, and just write to about half the width of the QIC tape. I guess the modification is to the tape guide block - perhaps they mill it out by a couple of mm.

Regards,

John


#12

That sure would be the simple approach. You wouldn't get any more tape capacity per inch, but you would gain the use of fresh, readily available media.

Regards,
Howard

#13

Response from seller, a bit light on details as I assume the mods are proprietary:

<in response to tape drive mods>

I, too, am a fan of the HP-85. I purchased my first one in the late 1980’s (used). I have recently retired from book publishing and software development in the automotive performance and racing industries. I have been lucky enough to be able to build a little business working on HP-85s; you might call it my dream job. I spent nearly two years, on and off, coming up with a solid fix for the tape-drive issues in the ’85. I have been able to develop modifications for the tape drive to enable it to use QIC cassettes and provide, once again, very high reliability.

<regarding HP-IB disk drives>

I have not found a lot of the HP-IB disk drives on eBay, however. And the ones I’ve purchased have been in poor shape. Is there a way to use more “modern” drives to fabricate at disk-drive system with your card [the PRM-85]?


Larry Atherton

La-Tech-Renewal


#14

Now, that's an interesting question!

What would be cool would be a CS-80 emulator for a PC with HP-IB card, plus the ROM that allows access with that protocol.

Regards,
Howard


#15

Hi Howard,

The topic of some sort of replacement for an Amigo or CS-80 floppy drive (such as your suggestion of a PC with an HP-IB card) is one that has been raised a few times before.

Has anyone made any progress in building such a system, ie a modern replacment for an HP-IB floppy drive? (Or HP-IL for that matter).

This topic was raised on classiccmp in the past. I assume various people have tried and realised this is harder than it first seems.

I think I recall another approach was to reverse engineer a drive (such as the HP 9121D) based on a disassembly of the drive's microprocessor firmware.

I urge anyone who has started such a project to provide details of what they have done, so save others from repeating exactly the same thing, and maybe being able to go a little bit further. I am sure this problem is solvable, and a co-operative approach would be faster to suceed than a solitary individual.

Regards,

John

PS
Here are some other suggestions / ideas / info:
http://www.series80.org/Articles/downloading-disk-images.html
(last paragraph)

http://www.classiccmp.org/pipermail/cctech/2003-May/014055.html

http://www.motherboardpoint.com/t50776-lf-hp-9121ds-amigo-protocol.html


#16

The HP forum thread pointed to in the last reference (http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport ...) has a Mr. David Ruska of HP offering to supply a hard copy of the Amigo protocol spec to the questioner. His last post to the thread was in 2002. I wonder if he a) still works at HP, and b) can part with yet another hard copy of the spec? Or even c) has similar access to the CS-80 spec?

As far as emulating HP-IL goes, J-F Garnier does a good job of this in EMU71 and EMU41. He implements both the loop controller (HP41/71) side, and several device types, including the 9114 floppy. His source code isn't public, but a sample of HP-IL protocol implementation in 8086 assembler is available in the
Term71 distribution, which does include source.

Regards,
Howard


#17

Quote:
The HP forum thread pointed to in the last reference (http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport ...) has a Mr. David Ruska of HP offering to supply a hard copy of the Amigo protocol spec to the questioner. His last post to the thread was in 2002. I wonder if he a) still works at HP, and b) can part with yet another hard copy of the spec? Or even c) has similar access to the CS-80 spec?


The specs are all on bitsavers, if you searching for the following:

09134-90032-aug-1983.pdf - this manual describes Amigo protocol in the appendix.

5955-3442_cs80-is-pm.pdf - CS/80 programming manual

5958-4129_SS80_Nov-1985.pdf - Subset 80 description

Thanks as ever to whoever scanned these in!

HTH,


John

#18

As John pointed out above, the CS80 and Amigo protocols are available. SS80, a subset of CS80 is also available.

Emu41 and Emu71 emulate the Filbert protocol used on the HP82161 and HP9114, that has nothing to do with CS80 or Amigo. The HP9114 also supports SS80, for use with the HP Portable Plus for instance and SS80 may also be used in the HP-71B Data Acq ROM to access DOS formatted disks.

I plan to support SS80 to fully emulate the 9114. Actually I worked on it a lot of years ago, in an attempt to support the HP Portable Plus. I hope to work again on it soon.

Quote:
[JFG's] source code isn't public, but a sample of HP-IL protocol implementation in 8086 assembler is available in the Term71 distribution, which does include source.

I'm seriously considering to release the source of the HP-IL emulation soon, as part of a more general project. More details later...

J-F


#19

That would be wonderfully, insanely cool of you JF, not to mention generous! 8)

Regards,
Howard

#20

For ss80 and/or cs80, you could look at the source code of my Hp8x emulator (http://olivier.2.smet.googlepages.com/hpseries80). I emulated an 9121 on HP-IB at a functional level (recoded the state machine of the IO processor of the HP-IB card) by simulating the behavior needed by the HP IO roms. Then I did the same for the 9121 protocol.

Olivier

#21

Quote:
The topic of some sort of replacement for an Amigo or CS-80 floppy drive

Apologies for not mentioning this in my previous post, but very few (if any?) HP Calculators support CS-80 drives, so I am not hoping for a CS-80 drive replacement for now. The Series 80 support Amigo or SS-80 drives only for example.

Regards,


John

#22

Googling for "CS/80 protocol disk" finds an off the shelf product that does this:

http://www.arraid.com/Products/aem-8.cfm


This company has range of products to replace a wide range of obsolete disk and tape drives. May be of interested to a weathly computer museum?


Googling for "ss-80 protocol disk" also finds an off-the-shelf product, at an eye-watering $2500:

http://www.tamsinc.com/storage/2085/index.htm

http://www.isa-j.co.jp/english/HP-IB/p_hpib_b.html (same thing)

If nothing else these products show that making a modern replacement for a vintage HP-IB floppy drive is possible. Our mission then is to make it affordable!

Regards,


John


#23

I was aware of those. TAMS are the people that ended up with Rocky Mountain BASIC. They now sell Windows and Linux versions of RMB for way too much money. (At least it's too much for this hobbyist to contemplate purchasing.) they also offer IEEE-488 interfaces for Linux (RHEL4, USB or PCI) for $525.00. That isn't out of line with other PCI interfaces you see on eBay. (However, this thing would take the economical interface prize, if it were ever in stock.)

I know I've seen at least one other source, besides the Japanese manufacturer that TAMS is OEM'ing it's drives from, for new GPIB disk and tape units. They were also quite expensive. The market for these things must be pretty thin, so prices no doubt reflect that.

Regards,
Howard


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  HP85 tape reader; end of tape detection inaki 9 1,368 04-25-2013, 02:25 PM
Last Post: Paul Berger (Canada)
  HP 85 Tape. robertoataulfo 1 473 05-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Last Post: Katie Wasserman
  9830 tape drive question David Ramsey 6 801 08-20-2011, 04:39 AM
Last Post: Tony Duell
  82161A Tape Drive - O-Ring Question Ángel Martin 4 587 06-18-2011, 08:39 AM
Last Post: Ángel Martin
  HP 9865a cassette tape drive Keith Lueck 2 459 11-01-2010, 11:20 AM
Last Post: Keith Lueck
  HP 85B tape drive Leonard Adcock 2 460 12-14-2009, 04:02 PM
Last Post: Leonard Adcock
  Tape Drive copy to PC with 71B IL/RS232. Raymund Heuvel 1 421 01-13-2009, 09:23 PM
Last Post: Egan Ford
  OT: Casio Tape Utilities Marcus von Cube, Germany 0 294 12-24-2008, 10:07 AM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  DC100A or similar END OF TAPE problem: fix? Jose V Gavila (Spain) 1 459 01-23-2008, 04:28 PM
Last Post: Rik Bos
  Tape drives like in the HP 85 - Emulate? Bruce Blevins 2 428 01-06-2008, 11:36 AM
Last Post: Bruce Blevins

Forum Jump: