HP-IL I/F Module and a New(er) PC


Hello Everyone:

I'm sad and here is my tale of woe. Perhaps some wise man (or woman) can show me the way. A while back my old Gateway PIII 933 Mhz (no ISA slots) died a quiet death. My wife bought it for my birthday back in 1999 and I upgraded it to WinXP Home.

My PC prior to that is a Pentium 233Mhz with ISA slots (I built it myself.) and the HP-IL I/F card works fine and it runs Win98. I thought I could rebuild my dead PIII myself (Ha! I'm so smart!) with a later MotherBoard (MB) and microprocessor (uP) as long as it had an ISA slot for the HP-IL card. Then I could combine my HP-IL card with a new(er) PC and run an OS that is still being supported. I thought I was being so cool. But nooooooo, I get shown that not all PC ISA slots and BIOSes are equal.

I hadn't built a PC since the Pentium 233 but with Google and my Laptop, I could overcome any obstacle. I searched that unspeakable website and found an Intel D845GECL OEM MB which included a P4 2.66 GHz and it has one ISA slot. To get it running, I purchased a P4 heatsink and 2 GBs of RAM. After I got the MB it became obvious that the old PIII power supply didn't have the proper ATX power connectors for a P4 MB so I bought a new PS. Then I found that the Gateway case wasn't built to mount a P4 ATX PS, so instead of messing around with cutting and drilling, I bought a new PC case sans a PS.

This weekend, it was time to build my PC ISA masterpiece. Everything worked and I installed my old XP Home OS with no issues. Last night, I put in the HP-IL card and the Phoenix BIOS hangs at the display screen. AAAAAAAH! I take it out and the box boots like a champ.

I know there isn't much to the card but perhaps the UPnP BIOS doesn't like this card. Any suggestions how I should configure the HP-IL card address to not conflict with the BIOS? Can this card live in harmony with a P4 MB?

Thanks for listening (it's a form of geek therapy for me). It's a fast machine and I like it. Another surprise I ran into was that the BIOS doesn't support a B: drive or a 5 1/4" floppy disk drive. Crap! Another idea down the drain!



Dear Gerry,

does the PC start correctly when you change the address dip switches of the IL-card to address setting 300? (The standard address setting is 1700). Furthermore for XP you need a special address routing software tool - which is described in my "IL2000 Interface System" book. Which software you use for the IL-card ?

Regards - Christoph

Edited: 23 June 2009, 8:05 a.m.


Hi Christoph:

I have a copy of your book so I will take a look. Given how thick it is, what chapter or page is it on? I believe I'm using 300 for the base address and I do remember reading something about using 1700. Perhaps I read it in your book.

I'm using EMU41 on my Pentium 233 Mhz machine. I'm looking to consolidate PCs as I don't have the room to leave the Pentium 233 set up just for EMU41. With the HP-IL I/F card, I can use the EMU41 to move 41 programs between the PC, the 9114b and my real 41s.

I was thinking about this last night and the BIOS uses PnP to dynamically assign interrupts and addressing to peripherals. Since the HP-IL card has fixed addressing, perhaps the BIOS is assigning another device to the same address and when it tries to interrogate that device, data is corrupted which hangs the boot process. Does that make sense or am I blowing smoke? Perhaps a solution is to go into the BIOS and block out the address range associated with the HP-IL card so PnP will avoid the HP-IL card all together.

Knowing me, I'm over-thinking the problem. I'll check your book and change the base address to 1700 to see if that fixes the problem.



That makes perfect sense. The HP/IL ISA card is NOT plug and play. You can probably tweak the PnP settings in the BIOS, maybe even to the extent of turning PnP off, or move the card's address around with the DIP switches to an unused address. I hope that's all that is wrong with your setup.

This sort of problem was typical with the ISA bus. PCI was a big step up in this regard, and USB even more so.

If you get it working, please let us know. Using HP/IL on a relatively modern PC with an ISA slot would be nice to have while waiting for JF's USB solution.




One source of problem may be the interrupt level. You can try to disable it on the HP-IL board (unsolder or just cut the strap). Interrupts are not used in Emu41/71, or (AFAIK) in other software for the HP-IL board.

And yes, the USB PIL-Box IS the solution to connect HP-IL to modern computers :-)



Thanks for your responses. I haven't had much time during the week to work on this but I should have time this weekend depending how many honeydos I have assigned to me. I'm in the process, when I can squeeze it in, to install all my apps to make the PC useful for things other than a pretty GUI. Last night, I had to troubleshoot why WMP 11 would play a DVD without audio but WinDVD 9 worked fine. I found I needed to install an AC3 codec from the web even though WMP 11 can use WinDVD's MPEG 2 codec to play the video. Windows is weird.

I'll let you know,



Hi J-F,

Speaking of the Pill-Box, what's the status of such a great project?? Needless to say it's anxiously awaited :-)



I agree, maybe I won't have to do that code, it's hairy. I was working on the same sort of thing when my property all went poof and it is difficult! At least 5 protocols simulaineously. I was
building the code in MCS51 but of course PIC will do, involves a LOT of libraries and top down from 30 years ago. I could maybe help with some macros, my mainframe was saved from the fires, no hardware was saved however (my brother gave me a CV afterwards).
Aside: would anybody like to try -DISASM- 4D?

Edited: 2 July 2009, 6:56 a.m.

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