Author Topic: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread  (Read 5362 times)

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Offline VE7FIM

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HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« on: January 26, 2017, 04:37:05 am »
We need a thread covering the HP 70000 (HP 70K) product line, also known as the Modular Measurement System (MMS), so here goes:

The HP 70K was an extensive series of products manufactured by HP between based around two modular chassis and a series of modules that could be assembled to construct a variety of instruments, including spectrum analyzers, DMMs, oscilloscopes, digitizers, microwave switching and more. These products were extremely well built, and many systems are still operational today. The HP 70K product line was some of the first that required computer-controlled calibration and diagnostics, so one of the challenges of maintaining these systems is setting up an HP 300 based computer system with the right software.

There's a fair amount of information about there about these products out there. Here are some good starting points:

Restoring a Classic Spectrum Analyzer - http://www.vectis-research.com/Blog/files/SpectrumAnalyzerPart1.html
HP Document Index - https://medium.com/p/master-hp70k-document-index-4fb5fd6e7d90
HP 70K info at PRC68 - http://www.prc68.com/I/HP71100C.html
Signal Path Teardown - https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/video-teardown-analysis-part-salvage-from-an-hp-microwave-analyzer/

So, if you have any resources, projects, teardowns, etc, post them here!

Here's part of our HP 70K setup, which we use as an SDR front-end and for signal analysis:
 
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Offline VE7FIM

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 05:44:02 am »
Looks like someone in the MMS marketing team was a Zelda fan.  :-DD

 

Offline pa3gyf

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 12:58:56 am »
Count me in  :clap: though you might want to consider joining https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/hp_agilent_equipment/info

Another resource:
http://artekmanuals.com/manuals/hp-manuals [yes, it costs money; but this guys takes the effort to scan rare manuals into pdf].

I'm currently trying to upgrade the firmware on my 70900a, in order to be able to use a 70300a tracking gen. I purchased recently. I'm also about to complete some Java software that gets/displays traces and does configuration through gpib (Prologix Ethernet).

And of course I went through the usual routine of replacing some electroliths/fuses/semi-rigids and the Li-battery to get the unit to work.

Interesting setup, BTW  :)

BR
 

Offline VE7FIM

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 04:06:51 am »
Thanks! I'm working on an SDR-based module that will replace the 70902A/70903A, but I don't have much spare time.

Already on that mailing list, and Artek has some great scans. I purchased a few of their CLIP scans.

Good luck with the firmware upgrade, it can be tricky without replacing the process (or memory) board — do you have a HP 9000 system set up?

Here's a few more interesting resources:

Hugo Vifian's retrospectives on "Project Redwood"
http://hpmemoryproject.org/timeline/hugo_vifian/hp_santa_rosa_00.htm

The MMS catalog (see the top of https://medium.com/p/master-hp70k-document-index-4fb5fd6e7d90) has lots of detailed information on the MMS product line, and the various modules and systems that were built as of 1998.

It's such a shame that this product line ended up being dropped.
 

Offline rickells

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 02:35:22 pm »
hi,

I recently acquired an HP 70001 mainframe + HP 70206a display with several standard modules (900a/b, 902a, 903a, 905a, 908a).
It did not come with the HP  MSIB MMS cables.

I found two web links to make the MSIB cables:
    http://www.rbarrios.com/projects/HP-MSIB/

    http://www.prc68.com/I/HP71100C.html

Also, a link on the repair of a 70004a display unit:
   http://www.rbarrios.com/projects/HP70004/

Any others that folks are aware of ??





   will be testing it out, soon.

Would be interested in exchanging info and experiences.
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 09:05:06 pm »
Hi,

I am another HP 70000 SA owner. I got the system some years ago, and recently did a little upgrade
from a 70904A (100Hz to 2.9GHz) to the 70908A (100Hz to 22GHz) frontend.

The system consist of:
HP 70004A Display with 4 slots:
HP 70902A IF module
HP 70903A IF module
HP 70900A LO

HP 70001A Mainframe 8 slots:
HP 70310A frequency reference (to be able to feed 10MHz from my Z3801A to the system)
HP 70300A tracking generator up to 2.9GHz
HP 70700A digitizer
HP 70908A RF Section up to 22GHz

A HP 70904A and a 70905A are also here, but I think I will sell one of them.

The 70900A is running with the processor board of a 70952A optical spectrum analyzer, which contains the latest firmware and works great.

But I have a problem (not sure if it is a problem):

The system has the 70300A Tracking Generator (20Hz-2,9GHz) included. When I  check the frequency of the
tracking generator (span 0Hz, not sweeping), it is off for a different amount depending on resolution BW of the analyzer.
But the offset is constant even for very different output frequencies:

Center Freq.   Res. BW   Output Freq.   Offset

1 MHz   10   1.000.018,00   18
   30   1.000.022,00   22
   100   1.000.026,00   26
   300   1.000.037,00   37
   1k   1.000.055,00   55
   3k   1.000.030,00   30
   10k   1.000.405,00   405
   30k   998.530,00   -1470
   100k   993.780,00   -6220
   300k   1.030.028,00   30028
   1M   1.037.528,00   37528
   3M   1.337.528,00   337528

10 MHz   10   10.000.018,00   18
   30   10.000.022,00   22
   100   10.000.026,00   26
   300   10.000.037,00   37
   1k   10.000.055,00   55
   3k   10.000.030,00   30
   10k   10.000.405,00   405
   30k   9.998.530,00   -1470
   100k   9.993.780,00   -6220
   300k   10.030.028,00   30028
   1M   10.037.528,00   37528
   3M   10.337.528,00   337528

100 MHz   10   100.000.018,00   18
   30   100.000.022,00   22
   100   100.000.026,00   26
   300   100.000.037,00   37
   1k   100.000.055,00   55
   3k   100.000.030,00   30
   10k   100.000.405,00   405
   30k   99.998.530,00   -1470
   100k   99.993.780,00   -6220
   300k   100.030.028,00   30028
   1M   100.037.528,00   37528
   3M   100.337.528,00   337528

As You can see, the offset is allways the same regardless the center frequency, but I think it should be
much closer to the CF.

All equipment runs from the same 10MHz reference. The SA seems to be accurate in CF, and the 300MHz
on the front to the LO is also perfect.

No errors show up. Output frequencies are stable.

Any ideas what to check?
 

Offline VE7FIM

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 08:34:49 am »
I have a similar setup, and I haven't observed this particular problem.

Do you know what specific firmware revision you have in your 70900A?

I'll switch out my 70900B for a 70900A later this week, and run some tests to see if I can reproduce this behaviour.

Does the problem persist if you swap out the 70908A RF section for a 70904A?
 

Offline jfphp

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 05:41:29 pm »
There is a tracking adjust like for other TG. One oscillator is not synthesyzed and tracking drift is specified.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 05:57:31 pm by jfphp »
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 02:21:41 pm »
I did a firmware upgrade on a new acquired 70900B Local Oscillator Module, and would like to share what I did:

On the main logic board (with the 68020 CPU) is a daughter board with firmware and RAM. The firmware is in 8 27C010 PLCC EPROMs:



I removed all 8 EPROMs with my hot air gun (carefully) :



Then I soldered 8 new PLCC32 sockets on the board. Tried it with hot air, but moved to hand-solder them. Be carefull to get every pin to solder well:



I put the latest 70000 Series Firmware (961024 (B06.04)) in 8 new flash chips (AM29F010-12), put them in the sockets and it worked fine.



For another HP 70900A, some time ago I bought a HP 70952B optical spectrum analyzer module (non-working, cheap), it has a complete 70900B mainboard in it. You can put it into the 70900B LO, and it has the newest firmware and processing power! And the firmware/RAM board of the 70952B also has 1MB RAM instead of 256KB. Boards looks the same as the 256KB board, not shure if swapping the RAM chips will do it.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:15:12 pm by pquadrat »
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 06:06:39 pm »
Next firmware module upgraded, this one without sockets:


I used flash ROM chips (AMD AM29F010-120), You can also use 27C010-120 or -150 EPROMs. I do not know if to fast ones make trouble (sometimes they can).
Programmed with a MiniPro TL866CS programmer, connected over USB, using a PLCC to TIMM adapter (see first picture).

I now have the older firmware versions 920724 and 940120 available as BIN files.

You can find the newest version here: http://ftb.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index.php?id=manuals&dir=HP_Agilent/HP_70900_Modular_Measurement_System

« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 06:14:00 pm by pquadrat »
 

Offline VE7FIM

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 09:20:54 am »
But I have a problem (not sure if it is a problem):

The system has the 70300A Tracking Generator (20Hz-2,9GHz) included. When I  check the frequency of the
tracking generator (span 0Hz, not sweeping), it is off for a different amount depending on resolution BW of the analyzer.
But the offset is constant even for very different output frequencies:

I tried to reproduce this problem with my system, but was unable to.

Can you upload a photo of the rear of your system? The Tracking Adjust is only +/- 500 Hz, where the Tracking Offset is up to +/- 10 MHz, and is done via the 21.4 MHz input, so an issue with the 21.4 MHz input that could be related to what you are seeing.

P.S. Impressive soldering job there on the firmware upgrade!
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 02:36:45 pm »
But I have a problem (not sure if it is a problem):

The system has the 70300A Tracking Generator (20Hz-2,9GHz) included. When I  check the frequency of the
tracking generator (span 0Hz, not sweeping), it is off for a different amount depending on resolution BW of the analyzer.
But the offset is constant even for very different output frequencies:

I tried to reproduce this problem with my system, but was unable to.

Can you upload a photo of the rear of your system? The Tracking Adjust is only +/- 500 Hz, where the Tracking Offset is up to +/- 10 MHz, and is done via the 21.4 MHz input, so an issue with the 21.4 MHz input that could be related to what you are seeing.

P.S. Impressive soldering job there on the firmware upgrade!

Just a quick reply: I was able to solve the problem, I used a differnet set of SMB cables, I think one of my interconnect cables has a problem. After working on the system, the issue disappeared once, but came back soon. But now I think it is working reliable.
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 02:54:41 pm »
I had to replace the YTO module on one of my 70900B (took it from my 70900A, which was working fine). I got it adjusted, without the help of the old BASIC maintenance software. I found the software on Keysight's web site, but was not able to see the BASIC code, it is a "packed" BASIC format.

Sometimes it is referred as "Module Verification Software", sometimes "Operation Verifcation Software". Is this the same? Is this also the software for calibration/adjustements?

Does anyone know how to make the files readable? I do not want to set up a HP 9000 series 300 computer, I just want to send the rightHP 70000 instructions directly via GPIB.

Thanks
 

Offline pquadrat

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 04:36:21 pm »
But I have a problem (not sure if it is a problem):

The system has the 70300A Tracking Generator (20Hz-2,9GHz) included. When I  check the frequency of the
tracking generator (span 0Hz, not sweeping), it is off for a different amount depending on resolution BW of the analyzer.
But the offset is constant even for very different output frequencies:

I tried to reproduce this problem with my system, but was unable to.

Can you upload a photo of the rear of your system? The Tracking Adjust is only +/- 500 Hz, where the Tracking Offset is up to +/- 10 MHz, and is done via the 21.4 MHz input, so an issue with the 21.4 MHz input that could be related to what you are seeing.

P.S. Impressive soldering job there on the firmware upgrade!

Just a quick reply: I was able to solve the problem, I used a differnet set of SMB cables, I think one of my interconnect cables has a problem. After working on the system, the issue disappeared once, but came back soon. But now I think it is working reliable.

Please ignore the things I have written above. The cables were not the cause, this issue occurs with one of my two HP 70902A IF sections. With the other 70902A in the system, all is fine, and the output frequency of the tracking generator is correct. Problem is, this IF section has a noise problem.
 

Offline VE7FIM

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2018, 02:02:07 am »
Does anyone know how to make the files readable? I do not want to set up a HP 9000 series 300 computer, I just want to send the rightHP 70000 instructions directly via GPIB.

Unfortunately, the HP 70K verification and calibration software is written in Rocky Mountain Basic, and uses pre-compiled routines that aren't easy to translate or emulate on other platforms.

While one could watch the GPIB traffic to reverse engineer what the software is doing to the MMS module, the conditional logic and calibration constants still would need to be extracted from the software.

As an aside, this _would_ be a good approach to make re-loading the firmware on a 70700A easier. This is a common problem, since when the battery goes on this module, the firmware is lost ("pgm gone").

Getting a 9000 Series 300 system up and running is the easiest way to run this software.
 

Offline Raindog

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2020, 02:11:57 am »
Greetings all. I have been piecing together a HP 70K series spectrum analyzer for my small home test and measurement lab. So far things are working, however the battery in the HP 70900A local oscillator is bad, does anyone know where I can get a suitable replacement battery (i.e. Digikey / Mouser)? I can open the oscillator and look but I'd rather open it just once when changing it out. I also have a bad battery in the HP 70206A display unit but that one is ordered and I'm waiting for it to show up. Despite these issues I really like the modular approach to these instruments.  Many leaps and bound over my other spectrum analyzer (HP 853A w/ HP 8557A).
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Offline 0culus

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2020, 03:17:41 am »
Greetings all. I have been piecing together a HP 70K series spectrum analyzer for my small home test and measurement lab. So far things are working, however the battery in the HP 70900A local oscillator is bad, does anyone know where I can get a suitable replacement battery (i.e. Digikey / Mouser)? I can open the oscillator and look but I'd rather open it just once when changing it out. I also have a bad battery in the HP 70206A display unit but that one is ordered and I'm waiting for it to show up. Despite these issues I really like the modular approach to these instruments.  Many leaps and bound over my other spectrum analyzer (HP 853A w/ HP 8557A).

I'm not super familiar with these instruments (I prefer the menu-less UX of the 8568/8566 personally), but have you tried looking for manuals? Keysight hosts tons of manuals for obsolete HP and Agilent gear, for example.
 

Offline Raindog

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2020, 05:56:52 pm »
I have been going to the Keysight and downloading all the manuals I can find for the modules I have and future modules I will install later. The documentation for the HP 70900A module is pretty detailed but I haven't been able to find schematics or parts lists (yet). I figured I'd at least post the question here since someone somewhere has had to deal with this issue before. My first choice was the HP 856x series but had a difficulty finding one that wasn't all beat up, had previous calibration stickers removed improperly or wasn't over priced. But all in all I like the 70k for the flexibility.
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Offline 0culus

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2020, 09:13:36 pm »
I have been going to the Keysight and downloading all the manuals I can find for the modules I have and future modules I will install later. The documentation for the HP 70900A module is pretty detailed but I haven't been able to find schematics or parts lists (yet). I figured I'd at least post the question here since someone somewhere has had to deal with this issue before. My first choice was the HP 856x series but had a difficulty finding one that wasn't all beat up, had previous calibration stickers removed improperly or wasn't over priced. But all in all I like the 70k for the flexibility.

Unfortunately the 70000 series came at a time when CLIP manuals were becoming rarer. I’d be surprised if some manual doesn’t tell you what battery it needs though.

I was lucky enough to find a NOS 8566B. Feel free to PM if you want pics. Don’t want to derail your thread.
 

Offline 0culus

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Offline Raindog

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2020, 02:28:33 am »
Thanks! I had a sneaky suspicion that it was the same battery used in the HP 70206A display only with leads attached. One is on the way, Both of these batteries are in the AA form factor and I have discovered a regular 1.5v AA can be used in a pinch in the 70206A if need be, at least long enough to get rid of the confidence check error on boot up. WOW, a NOS HP 8566B, that's quite the score. Most HP 8566B's I find on eBay are pretty beat up with an array of issues ranging from gouged front panels, missing knob caps, missing or broken rack handles, etc.  Every now and then you can find a nice one.

A buddy of mine who used to work for Motorola rescued one that was headed to the dumpster, all because they couldn't find one of the interconnect cables. Other instruments rescued form the dumpster included several HP 8590, 8560 spectrum analyzers, Tektronix 24xx series scopes (one is a Tektronix 2465 I got for free) and a mint Bird 43 watt meter with slugs I paid $30 for. It's astonishing what is thrown away all because they don't want to spend the time to auction it off.

Once again, thanks for the help!  :-+
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Offline 0culus

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Re: HP 70K/HP 70000 Modular Measurement System Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2020, 03:54:23 am »
Thanks! I had a sneaky suspicion that it was the same battery used in the HP 70206A display only with leads attached. One is on the way, Both of these batteries are in the AA form factor and I have discovered a regular 1.5v AA can be used in a pinch in the 70206A if need be, at least long enough to get rid of the confidence check error on boot up. WOW, a NOS HP 8566B, that's quite the score. Most HP 8566B's I find on eBay are pretty beat up with an array of issues ranging from gouged front panels, missing knob caps, missing or broken rack handles, etc.  Every now and then you can find a nice one.

A buddy of mine who used to work for Motorola rescued one that was headed to the dumpster, all because they couldn't find one of the interconnect cables. Other instruments rescued form the dumpster included several HP 8590, 8560 spectrum analyzers, Tektronix 24xx series scopes (one is a Tektronix 2465 I got for free) and a mint Bird 43 watt meter with slugs I paid $30 for. It's astonishing what is thrown away all because they don't want to spend the time to auction it off.

Once again, thanks for the help!  :-+

You're welcome! Please come share some pictures of your 70k system-in-progress in the TEA thread! https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/


Beware that if you are looking for help stopping the Test Equipment Acquisition habit, it is the WRONG place!!!  >:D Also, here is the post where I shared pics of my 8566B and accessories. And I agree with you, it's simultaneously amazing and sad what gets thrown away amongst rather expensive test equipment. In many cases, minimal effort is needed to get it working again if you can get your mitts on it.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 03:57:18 am by 0culus »
 


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