Author Topic: "FDC failure" on scope  (Read 6594 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
"FDC failure" on scope
« on: May 04, 2013, 02:26:53 am »
Hi folks,

So I am eying this Agilent 54810A scope on ebay and it's got an "FDC failure" error message on boot. For those who know these machines, what's the likelihood that it'll be a simple fix, i.e. a replacement of the floppy drive and/or of its controller? It seems like a good deal but I wanted to see with you before I commit to spend several hundred dollars and all I get for my money is a brick  :-DD

Thanks in advance!
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15091
  • Country: za
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 05:41:17 am »
FDC failure means the drive has died. Either you get a replacement, or fix it, the normal thing is dust and dirt blocking the optical sensing parts, and thus the controller doing the self test does not get an expected result, as it drives the head to zero, then steps back out to check it is getting a track 0 response, and checking the size and write protect switches. Another fault is a dead drive motor, as the track index pulse magnet has fallen off.
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 01:26:33 pm »
Thanks a lot SeanB for your quick reply! I'll take a stab at fixing it and will come back to report how it went.

Jerome.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 2766
  • Country: gb
  • Occasionally active on the forum, available via PM
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 03:21:43 pm »
So I am eying this Agilent 54810A scope on ebay and it's got an "FDC failure" error message on boot. For those who know these machines, what's the likelihood that it'll be a simple fix, i.e. a replacement of the floppy drive and/or of its controller?

Hard to say, it can be a defective floppy drive (or one that's full with dirt), but we had a few cases where the floppy controller (if I remember right a separate SuperI/O controller on the mainboard) in our 54810A died, which meant having to replace the mainboard.
Brexit n - The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 03:33:18 pm »
So I am eying this Agilent 54810A scope on ebay and it's got an "FDC failure" error message on boot. For those who know these machines, what's the likelihood that it'll be a simple fix, i.e. a replacement of the floppy drive and/or of its controller?

Hard to say, it can be a defective floppy drive (or one that's full with dirt), but we had a few cases where the floppy controller (if I remember right a separate SuperI/O controller on the mainboard) in our 54810A died, which meant having to replace the mainboard.

Thanks for your reply Wuerstchenhund, I'm crossing my fingers hoping that I don't have to change the motherboard! We'll see.
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 2766
  • Country: gb
  • Occasionally active on the forum, available via PM
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 03:49:51 pm »
Thanks for your reply Wuerstchenhund, I'm crossing my fingers hoping that I don't have to change the motherboard! We'll see.

You're welcome. These first gen Infiniium scopes (using a AMD K6 Socket7 CPU and running Windows 95 and 98) weren't the most reliable ones, we had several of these scopes and quite a bit of trouble.

The later Infiniiums running Windows 2000 were more reliable.
Brexit n - The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 04:00:34 pm »
Thanks for your reply Wuerstchenhund, I'm crossing my fingers hoping that I don't have to change the motherboard! We'll see.

You're welcome. These first gen Infiniium scopes (using a AMD K6 Socket7 CPU and running Windows 95 and 98) weren't the most reliable ones, we had several of these scopes and quite a bit of trouble.

The later Infiniiums running Windows 2000 were more reliable.

This may be a silly question, as I have little experience with "PC-like oscilloscopes", but how customizable are they compared to a PC? I am already planning to change the floppy to a FD emulator (I have read that this works with other Agilent gear so I'm willing to try it on the 54810), but will I be able to change the CPU or overclock the existing one, add RAM, etc?
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 2766
  • Country: gb
  • Occasionally active on the forum, available via PM
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 04:28:16 pm »
This may be a silly question, as I have little experience with "PC-like oscilloscopes",

There are no silly questions.

Quote
but how customizable are they compared to a PC? I am already planning to change the floppy to a FD emulator (I have read that this works with other Agilent gear so I'm willing to try it on the 54810), but will I be able to change the CPU or overclock the existing one, add RAM, etc?

Well, a floppy emulator should be transparent (after all, it emulates a floppy, right?), so shouldn't matter if the scope is running Windows or some embedded OS.

On Windows scopes you usually can upgrade CPU (albeit there may be limited support through the scope's BIOS) and RAM. Overclocking is usually difficult (these mainboards are no gamer boards with O/C settings in their BIOS), and it's a pretty stupid thing to do on a test instrument anyways. Older scopes, like older PCs, also may have limitations re. hard disk sizes, so there's limited upgradeability there.

The question however is if it's worth it. Your scope probably won't run any faster, and unless you're running other apps like MathLab on the scope then upgrading it is often a waste of money, especially on old scopes like the 54810A in question. Unless you have the parts laying around it's probably not worth buying them.
Brexit n - The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 04:19:38 pm »
This may be a silly question, as I have little experience with "PC-like oscilloscopes",

There are no silly questions.

Quote
but how customizable are they compared to a PC? I am already planning to change the floppy to a FD emulator (I have read that this works with other Agilent gear so I'm willing to try it on the 54810), but will I be able to change the CPU or overclock the existing one, add RAM, etc?

Well, a floppy emulator should be transparent (after all, it emulates a floppy, right?), so shouldn't matter if the scope is running Windows or some embedded OS.

On Windows scopes you usually can upgrade CPU (albeit there may be limited support through the scope's BIOS) and RAM. Overclocking is usually difficult (these mainboards are no gamer boards with O/C settings in their BIOS), and it's a pretty stupid thing to do on a test instrument anyways. Older scopes, like older PCs, also may have limitations re. hard disk sizes, so there's limited upgradeability there.

The question however is if it's worth it. Your scope probably won't run any faster, and unless you're running other apps like MathLab on the scope then upgrading it is often a waste of money, especially on old scopes like the 54810A in question. Unless you have the parts laying around it's probably not worth buying them.


Thanks again for all your answers, I have taken good note of your recommendations! I am excited to see what lands in my hands but it's going to be another week or so before I receive it. I will keep you all posted, but I already really appreciate your support. This is going to be fun... I hope!

Jerome
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 08:38:31 pm »
Alright, I received my 54810A yesterday and all it took to allow it to boot was to disable the floppy drive from the BIOS. Now the next step is to get me a floppy emulator and try to repair that rather large ding it has on its backside. Apart from that I'm very happy with it! It could have more memory (32k compared to my LeCroy's 8M), and it sadly doesn't have a segmented acquisition mode, but I absolutely love the persistence, the user interface, and the great usability of the FFT and other math functions. It's going to be difficult for me do decide whether I should keep this one or the Swiss beast (which also has the non negligible advantage of being significantly smaller, has 4 channels and can go up to 4Gs/s with an adapter)... decisions decisions  ^-^
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7218
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 08:46:32 am »
Thats not a floppy drive but a ls120 superdrive. Those are ide drives

The floppy should be disabled in the bios. If you got the 810. Take a peep at the motherboard. If its the i tel board with the big to220 on a heatsink front left you are ok. If its the via board with the big blue capacitor glued on close to the coin cell: change the electrolytics. They die.

If you need firmware for those machines i have all versions ever made. I need the vin number on the back of the machine to see what can be upgraded to what.

I also have plenty of spare parts for those. From displays , comtroller cards, input attenuators and more. I even have motherboards and cpu's.

Those are great machines. I have an 825n, 831b and 832d myself.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 02:04:20 pm »
Thanks a lot free-electron for your detailed reply! The vin# is 025 (let me know if the serial would also be of any help), and I did have a look at the motherboard yesterday, and if memory serves me well I saw a large TO-220 package bent horizontally to a heatsink. I would be interested in several expansion card but I need to look at what's available. I know there's a sound card but I don't think I'd be needing that. I also saw that everything seems to be populated to house channels 3 and 4. While I assume it is not just a matter of slaping 2 additional channels on to the front end, is there somehow a way to turn the 810 into a 815? Thanks in advance!
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7218
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 06:26:11 pm »
If the VIN number is 025 and the serial number prefix is US3919 or greater:

Your scope has a hardware configuration that allows easy upgrading to the most recent
revision of software (version A.04.50 as of this writing). You can also easily perform a
system recovery on this scope.

System recovery

Order 3.5 Recovery VIN# 025 (Media: LS-120). Do not attempt to use the 4.30 Recovery
disks, as the older motherboard in these scopes requires the older disk image. Once you have
recovered to A.03.50, you can safely upgrade to the latest revision (A.04.50 as of this
writing).

Software upgrade

Order the most recent revision of the Upgrade disk available on LS-120 media, or download
this software from the locations listed below.

If you choose to download the software, you will need to transfer all the files in each .ZIP file
to a blank LS-120 disk. Then perform the upgrade in the usual manner (click Utilities |
Upgrade Software).

Note that the A.04.50 LS-120 upgrade is a “partial” upgrade that does not contain the
WebEnable software. To use the WebEnable feature, you must upgrade to A.04.30 before
using the A.04.50 upgrade.

A.04.30 Upgrade:
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_3/4_3_upg.zip 3

A.04.50 Upgrade:
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_5/4_5_upg.zip

If the VIN number is 025 and the serial number prefix is less than US3919:

When your scope shipped from the factory, it did not have the LS-120 (120 MB) floppy
drive. Officially, this drive is required to upgrade the scope to revision A.04.00 or higher.
The drive also makes it possible to perform a system recovery from LS-120 media. You can
easily identify the LS-120 drive by the gold icon in the center of the drive door. LS-120
drives also have an electronic (not mechanical) eject button.

If your scope has a standard floppy drive, you should consider upgrading to the LS-120 drive.
This drive will allow you to easily perform upgrades and system recoveries that are officially
supported. To upgrade your scope, you will need to purchase the E2633-68703 upgrade kit.
The kit includes the LS-120 drive, all necessary hardware for mounting and connecting the
drive, and an LS-120 0 disk containing the most recent revision of software.

System recovery

Officially, there are three methods of recovery available to customers: LS-120 recovery, hard
drive replacement, and service center repair. Alternatively, some customers have been
successful using third-party external CD-ROM drives.
The preferred method of recovery is via installation of the LS-120 upgrade kit listed above.
If your scope has this drive, order the 3.5 Recovery for VIN# 25 (Media: LS-120).
A second method is to replace the hard drive with a drive that has the operating system and
software preinstalled. Since hard drive part numbers tend to change with time, contact
Agilent Parts for the most recent part number. Consult your scope’s service manual for
detailed hard drive replacement instructions. Service manuals are available for download at
http://www.cos.agilent.com/manuals/scopes.html.

A third method is to have the Agilent service center perform the recovery. Contact the
service center at 800-829-4444 to schedule this repair (choose the “repair and calibration”
option in the phone menu). A fee will be assessed for units that are no longer under warranty.
Some customers have been successful performing system recoveries with external CDROM drives from companies such as MicroSolutions. These drives connect to the scope’s parallel port. Since this method of recovery is unsupported by Agilent, customers are
responsible for all configuration of the external drive.

For the recovery to be possible, you will need to mount the external drive and boot the scope
from a floppy disk (the drive’s manufacturer may be able to provide this disk for you). At the
DOS prompt, you must be able to navigate to the drive and see the drive’s contents with the
dir command. If you can successfully get to this point, you should be able to perform a
recovery with a special A.03.50 recovery CD. You may download the CD image at the
location given below or contact Agilent technical support for a copy of this CD.

The following recovery software is available for download. This is an .ISO CD-ROM image
file. You will need to use CD burning software such as Nero or Easy CD Creator to create
the CD from this file. Do not simply copy the file onto the CD as this will not work.
A.03.50 Recovery CD:
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/3_5/3_5_rec.iso

Software upgrade

If your scope does not have the LS-120 drive, order the latest Upgrade disk that is available
on 3.5” Floppy media (revision A.03.72 as of this writing). Versions A.04.00 and higher are
not offered on standard 3.5” floppies.

Alternatively, you may download the A.03.72 upgrade at the following location. You will
need ten blank floppy disks labeled 1 through 10. When you execute the file it will create ten
folders; one for each disk. Copy the contents of each folder to the corresponding disk and
then perform the upgrade in the usual manner (click Utilities | Upgrade Software).
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/3_72/ 3_72_upg.exe

If you have upgraded your scope to an LS-120 drive, you can upgrade the software to the
most recent revision (A.04.50 as of this writing). Order the appropriate Upgrade disk(s)
available on LS-120 media, or download this software from the locations listed below.
If you choose to download the software, you will need to transfer all the files in each .ZIP file
to a blank LS-120 disk. Then perform the upgrade in the usual manner (click Utilities |
Upgrade Software).

Note that the A.04.50 LS-120 upgrade is a “partial” upgrade that does not contain the
WebEnable software. To use the WebEnable feature, you must upgrade to A.04.30 before
using the A.04.50 upgrade.

A.04.30 Upgrade:
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_3/4_3_upg.zip

A.04.50 Upgrade:
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_5/4_5_upg.zip

If your scope does not have an LS-120 drive but you do have a working external CDROM drive as mentioned in System recovery above, it is possible to upgrade to revision

A.04.00 or higher.

To upgrade your non-LS-120 scope to A.04.xx, you will need the A.04.xx upgrade software
on CD and the appropriate boot disk on a 3.5” floppy. You may contact Agilent technical
support for copies of these disks, or download the files at the locations given below. The
boot disk supports the MicroSolutions model 167550 Backpack CD-ROM drive. You may
need to modify the files for compatibility with your drive.

Note that the A.04.50 LS-120 upgrade is a “partial” upgrade that does not contain the
WebEnable software. To use the WebEnable feature, you must upgrade to A.04.30 before
using the A.04.50 upgrade.

Boot disk for A.04.xx upgrade from CD (save contents to floppy):
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/bootdisk/CD_boot.zip

A.04.30 Upgrade files (burn contents to CD):
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_3/4_3_upg.zip

A.04.50 Upgrade files (burn contents to CD):
ftp://ftp.agilent.com/pub/callpub1/ddt/scope/548xx/Upg_Rec/4_5/4_5_upg.zip
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7218
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 06:27:42 pm »
easiest way is to attach a cdrom drive to ide2 and go that way. if needed i can write LS120 floppies with the ghost image
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 06:56:54 pm »
 :-+ Thanks for this awesome reply free_electron, I truly appreciate you took the time to give me all the details. Sadly my serial number prefix is US3845, and I checked, I definitely have a floppy drive. I would love to get hold of the E2633-68703 upgrade kit but it looks like it's not going to be that easy. I looked around but couldn't find anything on ebay, unless my ebay-fu is lousy today. If you happen to know where I can get one from, or even happen to have one available, count me interested! Otherwise, how difficult would it be to retrofit a LS-120 drive bought on ebay?

PS: please forgive my silly question above about adding two channels to the scope, I was clearly not in my right mind...  :palm:
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7218
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2013, 07:35:58 pm »
i may have that laying around. i definitely have the ls drives. the machine has the adapter already in it. simply unplug the floppy and floppy cable. follow the floppy cable. it goes to one of the PCI boards. and from the pci board there is another to the motherboard. ( not the IDE ! , the floppy ) unplug both those cables. ( not the IDE on the pci card ! )
look again on the pci card. you'll see a the ide being translated to the fine pith ide of a laptop drive. unplug the large IDE cable and install an IDE cable with a split connector.

hmm. i realize it is hard to describe in words if you 've never done this. leme take a few pictures. i'm working on a 825 right now with a failed attenuator for a friend of mine. just replaced it running cal now. i'll snap a few pictures so you see how it is installed.

running self calibration is a bit tricky on these machines. the service software has some quircks.
you need to run probe cal first ( vertical menu ). disconnect everything. set attenuators manully to 1:1 on ther vertical menu. then run probe cal and follow the prompts. you need a short bnc ( less than half meter). the scope uses an internal 32 bit ( yes 32 bit ... ) dac to cal the input.

once that is done you can do the real cal. make sure to let the machine heat up for half an hour prior to doing that. you may get trigger failures otherwise.

the LS drives are matsushita or mitsubishi:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-3-5in-359007-001-LS120-SuperDisk-Drive-MF357H-453MG-/370811752744?pt=US_Floppy_Zip_Jaz_Drives&hash=item56561a5128

thats the exact one with the right connector. there is others with different connectors but those don't work as they dont fit the adapter
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2013, 08:05:20 pm »
Alright, just bought the LS drive from your link. I will give a thorough look into the machine tonight and see if I can figure things out based on your description. I may also need to buy some IDE cables but I'll do that later, once I am sure of what I need. Best of luck with your 825 repair!
 

Offline free_electron

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7218
  • Country: us
    • SiliconValleyGarage
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2013, 08:50:59 pm »
825 works like a charm. i took pictures.

you need the fine pitch ide cable for laptop drives with 3 connectors.

be VERY carefull when closing the machine the case tends to get caught on the two metal standoffs with the red caps on em at the botom of the machine ( where the acquisition board sits. if you thump them hard you will cause a short in the pcb ! the standoffs bite through the top layer and short the power to the ground plane if you thump them !

also the flex cable to the probe interface tends to snag when closing. be very careful.

as for upgrades.

you have the intel motherboard

-empty pci only mouse bracket
-pci with acquisition board/front control <-custom board !
- pci with display and drive / floppy control  <-custom board !
- empty pci
- isa soundblaster model ct7140
- isa gpib <- agilent custom
- isa lan card
- empty isa

that is a maximum kitted out machine

there are people that covert em to flash. a compactflash card in ide adapter works fine but you need to partition and format in machine.
will post pictures later

sb : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Creative-Labs-Sound-Blaster-CT4170-16-Bit-ISA-Sound-Card-/140974819721?pt=US_Sound_Cards_Internal_&hash=item20d2c10989

the soundblaster allows for voice commands ! you speak to the scope. channel one up. timebase up etc..
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 08:54:13 pm by free_electron »
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2013, 01:44:26 am »
Sorry for the delay, the LS-120 drive took a while to get to me. But now I've got it, it's time to figure out how to plug in this puppy. I had a quick read of the instructions to install the E2633 performance kit, which give a nice detailed guide to installing a LS-120 drive. It looks like the easiest way to do it is to use the 54810-66531 adapter board which has all the connectors needed to rewire the HDD and the main IDE cable form the motherboard. If by some dumb luck anyone happens to have one to spare, I'd love to buy it. Thanks in advance!

Jerome.
 

Offline amyk

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6482
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2013, 11:18:09 am »
Just curious... are these scopes basically a standard PC or does the motherboard contain some of the "scopey bits" too? Could you put those bits into a standard PC and use it as a scope?
 

Offline Aldobrandi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Country: us
Re: "FDC failure" on scope
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2013, 03:10:37 pm »
Sadly the architecture of these guys is way beyond my head. I know you can boot into the OS and use it like a PC, and another funny thing is when the scope boots up it looks like it's just a "program" loading in a windows environment (you even have a "start" button and an "Agilent Loader" tab. In the "Start menu" you basically have all you would find in Win95 (including the calculator ;D) plus a special app "Agilent Oscilloscope". This however disappears as soon as the scope is fully loaded. There's a way to boot into the OS but I lack the floppy to do so. I made a little video to show you but for some reason my camera is acting up and I can't find the file on the SD card. If I can work it out I'll post on my Youtube channel later. I hope this gave you elements of a response. I'd also be interested to know how the PC and the Scope bit interact.

Cheers!
Jerome
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf