[time-nuts] RS 232 to GPIB update on IOtech 488 series

paul swed paulswedb at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 22:06:15 EST 2011


So somehow the ones you have may have the clock chip. Mine do not and they
are IOtech.
But that said I will copy the eproms and give it a try. Sure it won't like
that the nv rams not around but even with that error the unit was working.
I actually have it driving a HP 436 tonight and I would agree with you very
very easy to get working.
Plan to put a set of eproms on your site to share.
Regards
Paul.

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 9:04 PM, <shalimr9 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have 3 such boxes. Two are BlackBoxes (one was just the converter, which
> I converted into a controller by copying the EPROM from the other box, the
> hardware otherwise being identical) and one is the IOTech.
>
> When they were marketted, the IOTech was about twice the price of the BB.
>
> They work very well and are among the easiest to write software for, on a
> par with the Prologix. They need an external supply.
>
> The Prologix are significantly faster though and of course, smaller,
> available new, reasonably priced and very well supported.
>
> Didier KO4BB
>
> Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless thingy while I do other things...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: paul swed <paulswedb at gmail.com>
> Sender: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
> Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 17:13:59
> To: paul swed<paulswedb at gmail.com>; Time-nuts<time-nuts at febo.com>
> Reply-To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
>        <time-nuts at febo.com>
> Subject: [time-nuts] RS 232 to GPIB update on IOtech 488 series
>
> A thread has been running about using the IOtech rs232 to GPIB converters.
> Thought I would share what I have run into all good.
>
> These boxes come in two flavors
> simple 1 device controller/peripheral
> Full controllers that operate a full 488 bus and can also do the simple
> modes.
> IOtech made these for many companies as an example BlackBox, Omega and
> National Instruments and a wide range of names and numbers. The rs 232 runs
> all the way up to 57Kb/s on some boxes.
>
> They all seem to hold up to the years quite well. Essentially the 5 I have
> found at flea markets all work.
> There has been a comment that you could simply change eproms and new
> functionality would happen.
> Thats most likely true in a series but not to make a simple into a full
> controller. (Most desirable)
> A full controller would be the IOtech 488a or 488ex most other numbers are
> simple units with a bit more buffer or higher 232 speed.
>
> But the difference between the simple and controller seem to really be 2
> things.
> The eprom and the addition to the ram socket of a DS1216 clock and memory
> battery chip.
> Believe it or not the DS1216s available from Mouser and perhaps DigiKey for
> $28 each. Thats 1988 technology with a life.
> The eproms for a simple and the 488ex full controller will be uploaded to
> Diddiers site in the next few weeks.
> Need a safe haven for those images.
>
> Further I had NV corruption failing the 488ex. It actually all seemed to
> work just fine actually. Just a red error light.
> This was fixed by;
> Pulling the sram chip and grounding all pins for 30 min.
> Re-install
> Command a warm reset and then a save. The light went away.
> Further the original date time chip rolls over to 1900 not 2000. Don't
> think that really matters a heck of a lot.
> Or at least not $28 worth to me.
>
> So a pretty hardy set of boxes and you can still find quite a bit of
> documentation on most all of them.
> Regards
> Paul
> WB8-TSL
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