[time-nuts] HP Z3805A com port and monitoring questions

Edgardo Molina xe1xus at amsat.org
Sat Oct 13 22:18:17 EDT 2012

Dear Group,

Good evening. I bought two HP Z3805A units a few weeks ago. They were bare units without antenna or power supply. After struggling to find a suitable 24V 3A noise free power supply for each of them, I mounted a couple of Symmetricom antennas and just fired them up. 

After around 25 minutes, the GPS Lock light lighted up. As the manual for this particular model is unobtainable in several searches through the Internet, I found that the readily available manual for the Z3801A would cover much of the Z3905A operation. I also got a software for monitoring the operation from BD Systems Inc. In Colorado. Now that I am sure both are operating and locked only by looking at the front panel lights, I would like to ask a couple of questions regarding their communication to the PC.

1. Is the DB-25 serial port carrying RS-232 signals? I see the port of the Z380A1 is different: RS-422.
2. If the port is plain RS-232 is it possible to use a Serial to USB adapter? I have heard about the inconsistencies that such an adapter could cause when used with a TBolt. Should I assume this is the same case with the Z3805A?
3. There was once a project for building a TBolt state monitor on a 2 line LCD screen. I own three of those monitors and they are just great.  Is there an equivalent for these HP GPS units?

Any suggestions for the operation of these units and your ever expert and kind advise is always welcome. You all have a nice weekend!

Kindest regards,

Edgardo Molina
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