Author Topic: My HP 85A  (Read 2203 times)

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Offline joeqsmith

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My HP 85A
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:53:13 pm »
I started posting about this computer after Dave had acquired one and made a few videos of it.  Sadly, mine was not in working condition and I have slowly been working on going through it.   I posted several pictures of it in Dave's original Blog. 

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-904-hewlett-packard-hp85-professional-computer/
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 02:15:15 am »
Neat. What will its role be in your lab once you've got it up and running again? Some nifty automation for testing meters?
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 02:37:16 am »
I was looking on some of the forums and various sites and saw some person who made a small solid-state disk drive emulator for it.  It looks like they had a card reader on it.  I'm amazed at what some people have taken the time to do with these old machines. 

Maybe I can get it to spin a tape or something. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 02:49:36 am »
Yeah, solid state storage is really popular for reviving vintage computing devices. I'm almost tempted to pull out some of my old computers. Too many projects. ;D
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 03:30:05 am »
I know what you mean.   I have been making time to go over some of mine that are in need of repairs.  This one has never ran since I've had it.  It was used in the service group at HP until it was scrapped.  The rubber had already decayed by then and sadly I did not take the time to do anything with it.  The foam and rubber did a lot of damage. 

For those of you who wondered if this old computer would ever run again, enjoy the video.

https://youtu.be/fffhkLRajY8

How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 04:17:37 am »
Nice restoration, Joe. Thanks for the tour and demo. I also recognized all those tape formats. An Irwin tape drive might even be in a box that I put somewhere. ^-^
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Offline SeanB

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 10:05:54 am »
Careful of the tapes though, I had a box of old ones in storage ( old decade old QIC backups), and every one ( even the still sealed new tapes) had the rubber drive belt disintegrate in storage, and they snapped when touched, and welded themselves to the tape as well. Still have the drive though, looked at it yesterday in it's plastic static dissipative bubble wrap there in a box.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 04:56:34 pm »
Nice restoration, Joe. Thanks for the tour and demo. I also recognized all those tape formats. An Irwin tape drive might even be in a box that I put somewhere. ^-^
I still have a few of the old tape drives as well.   That dual Pentium PC I showed in the video for my home made CPU designs has the last DAT drive I ever used.  You can see it right at the start of the video.  I have enough hardware, I should put together a tape drive shootout.   :-DD

https://youtu.be/C8txvmXUIJQ
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 05:00:03 pm »
Careful of the tapes though, I had a box of old ones in storage ( old decade old QIC backups), and every one ( even the still sealed new tapes) had the rubber drive belt disintegrate in storage, and they snapped when touched, and welded themselves to the tape as well. Still have the drive though, looked at it yesterday in it's plastic static dissipative bubble wrap there in a box.

I broke a couple of belts when I was looking at the tapes that were damaged from the foam.  The one I showed in the video was the best out of the three and even it was in rough shape.  The ones in the storage containers all look fine. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 05:56:15 pm »
My earliest mass backup, aside from the big box of diskettes that were the DOS backup, when you could backup the computer using only 40 odd diskettes to do a backup in a sane manner, was A Danmere backup card and my Hitachi VCR as the mass storage device, using an E180 tape as the half hour storage for a full 80M backup.

Probably still have one or two of the tapes around, and a VCR that will work for playback ( plus 2 video recorders as well with the cassette autoloaders), though I lack both the software and something that still supports a regular 8 bit ISA slot to put the card in.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2017, 07:20:32 pm »
LOL!!  We had one of those for work!!  I think I showed them my IRWIN and they ended up getting one.  From what I remember, they were using a standard VCR and the software would allow you to manually run it. 

I later switched to an 80Meg, IRWIN drive.  These just used the floppy controller or you could install one of their cards.  I started using SCSI with the 486 and bought a tape drive for it.  It seems that I was running maybe some sort of Seagate software to run them.    I remember being impressed as LINUX would support them. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2017, 07:40:18 pm »
LINUX from almost the beginning would support tape over SCSI very easily, as the original TAR command simply used the SCSI LUN as output file device. No mess of drivers, tape backup software or such, though there were wrappers to make TAR more user friendly, being just a shell script to sanitise input and try to limit the options you had to send.

Yes the VCR was a nice cheap alternative, as it was cheap, common and the tapes were ultra cheap as well, quite a good thing when a QIC drive was a much more expensive item, and the tapes were a lot of money as well. That it took longer and was mostly manual was not really much of a problem, just do not play the tapes to a TV set, as many did not like the video signal, and tore horribly, and some VCR models really did not like the video to record, you had issues with some budget models that cheaped out on record AGC, though later models with all in one chipsets for the video path, one 80 pin chip did every part from video in to video out, including the head switching, and also did OSD as well, all over an I2C bus to the other 80 pin microcontroller that did the syscon and VFD drive, and then a third did the audio, including on Panasonic machines the HIFI audio.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2017, 08:24:03 pm »
I don't remember the IRWIN drives being all that expensive back then. 

It looks like I was using Seagate Backup Exec for the old Pentium tower.  I am not sure what I was using when I switched to the QIC-150s.   It seem when I started running NT it had support built in.  I would guess I have this same model drive and tape sitting on my shelf.   


How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline timb

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2017, 11:59:26 pm »
My earliest mass backup, aside from the big box of diskettes that were the DOS backup, when you could backup the computer using only 40 odd diskettes to do a backup in a sane manner, was A Danmere backup card and my Hitachi VCR as the mass storage device, using an E180 tape as the half hour storage for a full 80M backup.

Probably still have one or two of the tapes around, and a VCR that will work for playback ( plus 2 video recorders as well with the cassette autoloaders), though I lack both the software and something that still supports a regular 8 bit ISA slot to put the card in.

That’s pretty cool that a data to VHS backup solution existed back then.

I remember doing something similar using a miniDV in the early-2000’s. I want to say you could do 60GB per tape. Basically it was a purely software solution, no extra hardware needed. You just hooked a camera or tape deck up over FireWire and it would backup/restore whatever files you wanted.

I think I’ve still got a couple of tapes with data on them. If only I had a system with FireWire! And a miniDV camera.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2017, 05:26:17 am »
I have enough hardware, I should put together a tape drive shootout.   :-DD

Vintage tape drive shootout. Too funny! Hopefully, the parts don't start to shoot out of the drives. :-DD
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: My HP 85A
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 11:56:22 pm »
Pretty close to the videos setup.  Archive Viper w/ 250Meg tape.   Background is my UK made HP drive good for 4GB.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 


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