HP-150 & HPIB (GPIB, or IEEE-488)


Gentlemen and Ladies, For the HP-150:
How to I get the HPIB (on the back) to work with a DMM (Digital Multi-Meter)?
I purchased several HP-150 computers after observing that the connector on the back appeared to be an HPIB connector.
Today, from this web site, I learned that it IS indeed HPIB on the back. I have a number of books on the HP-150, but nothing mentions anything about HPIB. Do I need special hardware and/or software?
I've previously used HP desktop calculators with HPIB, but not a HP-150. (Note: I'm not good with software!)
Thanks, Fred.


Do you have some special programming language ?

Maybe HP BASIC? If you have this one, you can easily try to program it with

OUTPUT:705;"Your message to the DMM here"

when 7 is the interface number of your HPIB I/F (common on the other HP machines) and 05 is the HPIB address of your DMM.

I don't believe, that you need another piece of hardware.

Your disk drive/harddisk is the "normal" HPIB device and if this works, then your hardware must be o.k.

These are just some hints - I didn't try this with a 150. I'm working with a 9826, which is easier to handle than a Windows machine with Visual Basic, ...

Besides that, the 9826 has never hung...


The HPIB interface on the 150 was normally used just for connecting disk drives and printers rather than
lab instruments. Note I said 'normally used', not 'only used'. It is possible to control instruments using
this bus on the 150 (and you can have disk drives, etc, hooked up at the same time).
You do need special software, and how you do it depends on the programming
language you are using. Basically you use the MSDOS OPEN function call to
open the HPIBDEV device and then use the IOCTRL function call to read/write data blocks to the device, send commands and so on.
There is a section on doing this in the HP150 Technical Reference Manual (which I have) with an example program in C to talk to the 9111A graphics tablet.
You really need that manual, though, as the formats of the command blocks to pass to the IOCTRL command is not at all simple. I don't think I can easily post anything useful to this forum.


The HP150 had a whole heap of extensions (to DOS) for handling the touch screen and other HP features. These were mostly implimented as calls to the OS using INT 21.

I didn't look into it, but there may have been INT 10 stuff as well.

The HP 150 MS-DOS programmers reference manual gave information on how to talk directly to the touchscreen, but I don'r recall it covering HP-IB extensions.

I seem to recall some additional software... But I can't remember its name. The BASIC it came with was an MSDOS variens, not the HP BASIC that other models had. I don't recall if there was a version of HP BASIC for it.

Not a lot of help, sorry.


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