[time-nuts] OT - HP 5183A Waveform Recorder - is it worth playing with?

Pete Lancashire pete at petelancashire.com
Wed Jun 2 17:12:10 EDT 2010


$17,800 the good days :-)

Did the user i/f to the HPIB ever get published ?

-pete

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM, Rick Karlquist <richard at karlquist.com> wrote:
> I designed the memory board for that, among other things, and was
> the project manager for a while.  It seemed pretty daring to use
> DRAM instead of SRAM, and 64k DRAM's at that.  When we started,
> 4k DRAM's were mainstream, and 16k DRAM's were the next big thing.
> By the time we got into production, 256k DRAM's were ubiquitous at $2.
>
> It was a two box product.  The digitizer proper and a "top box"
> containing a display.  There was a "private" HPIB between the
> top and bottom boxes, as well as a "public" HPIB on the top box.
> Due to pressure from customers, we eventually allowed them to
> connect to the "private" HPIB connector on the bottom box
> and not use the top box at all.  The top box had a 9836 computer
> inside of it running the Pascal operating system.  Kind of like
> newer instruments that have a Windows computer in them.  Windows,
> of course, didn't exist at the time, and even MS-DOS was barely
> in existence.  At that time, I would say the 9836 ran circles
> around any PC.
>
> It had an "adaptive sample rate" feature that seemed like a good
> idea at the time, but turned out to be of limited usefulness.
>
>
> BTW, the sample rate is 4 MHz.  I don't know what you mean by
> a 3 MHz sweep rate.  Obviously, this wouldn't make sense.
>
> You can, of course, now get 12 bit digitizer PCI cards for your
> PC.
>
> Rick Karlquist N6RK
>
>
> Jerome Peters wrote:
>> Just curious about peoples experiences/thoughts about the HP5183A Waveform
>> Recorder.
>> It's a 2 channel 12 bit digitizer with 512K word memory, 3MHz max sweep
>> rate (no display, HPIB must be used to transfer data).
>> The sweep rate if pretty slow for a lot of applications, but the 12bit of
>> vertical resolutions is intriguing, and both channels can have
>> differential input capability.
>> I've seen some recently for ~ $100.00 but have been unable to find a
>> manual.
>>
>>
>> -          Jerome
>>
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>
>
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