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9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
09-11-2016, 07:15 PM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2016 07:17 PM by 4ster.)
Post: #1
9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
I'm thinking about trying to find one of the above in working condition for my collection of 41s. I already have an upgraded HP-IL module with an Extended I/O module. I intend to use the disk/tape drive as backup storage of programs and maybe for future data storage. I have a working card reader and an untested parts/backup card reader and a good supply of magnetic cards.

9114B
Pros:
Battery is easily replaceable with a new 6v gel cell of equivalent size.
Uses 3.5" floppies (I still have a bunch of these and they seem to not be degrading)
Reportably "robust" and reliable for an old device with a high probability that it will work
Cons:
Harder to find
Has some compatibly issues (wakeup and sleep issues) with the HP-41 since it was not originally designed to work with the 41.

82161A
Pros:
Battery rebuild is a little harder, but do-able
Designed to work with the 41
Easier to find
Cons:
Tapes are very hard to find and will probably need new felt pads to get them running when sourced.

Are my pros and cons hitting the mark? What have I missed?
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09-11-2016, 08:25 PM
Post: #2
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
What about a PIL-Box and ILPer ?

Jean-Christophe.
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09-11-2016, 08:41 PM
Post: #3
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-11-2016 07:15 PM)4ster Wrote:  Are my pros and cons hitting the mark? What have I missed?

Virtually all 82161A tapes require the pressure pad behind the tape to be replaced. Many tapes seem to also have lost magnetic material, but not all; some are working fine (with new pad). The loss of material may be due to how tapes were stored?

For the 9114B, it's best to use DS/DD (aka 720KB) media and not the DS/HD (1.44MB) type. Also, you can easily make an adapter to let it run directly off the external power supply, and no battery is needed, though you are right, it is fairly easily rebuilt/replaced.

9114B is MUCH faster, though for 41-sized objects, and under 41 HP-IL control, the difference is not dramatic, except for tape seek time (to find and transfer files stored at the end of the tape).

--Bob Prosperi
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09-11-2016, 10:32 PM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2016 10:59 PM by 4ster.)
Post: #4
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-11-2016 08:25 PM)jch Wrote:  What about a PIL-Box and ILPer ?

Jean-Christophe.

I've looked at the PIL-Box. I have gravitated toward mac (I do have an old PC running Win 2000) and have a poor personal history of figuring out communication between devices. I unsuccessfully installed WINE for running a Windows only device to PC application I wanted to use. Crossover may be easier to use. I was a fair hand running KERMIT between devices. If its not super simple I am usually stumped. Is there a "PIL-Box for Dummies" set of instructions for set up and use?

I have had a 82164A HP-IL/RS-232C Interface for almost 30 years that I have never been able to figure out. It was originally purchased to transfer data files to a PC but I moved from the "41 as a data collector project" to a real dedicated field data collector for that application. The 82164A just sits there with the power light on - and nothing else happens - no matter what I do. (Well, I can get the T/R indicator to light briefly by pressing "Reset.") :-)

The PIL-BOX is probably the most practical way to go if I can get my PC or mac to talk my 41.
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09-11-2016, 10:44 PM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2016 10:48 PM by smp.)
Post: #5
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-11-2016 10:32 PM)4ster Wrote:  The PIL-BOX is probably the most practical way to go if I can get my PC or mac to talk my 41.

I use Parallels on my MacBook Pro (early 2011), with either Windows XP or Windows 7. ILPer works under Windows XP for me. When I plug in the PIL-Box, the MacBook Pro asks where do I want the USB device to go, to the Mac or to Windows. I answer that I want it to go to Windows, and the connection gets made. Pretty simple operation.

I've also used my 9114 directly alone, and also in combination with my PIL-Box. It is pretty sweet.

smp
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09-12-2016, 01:35 AM
Post: #6
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
FYI

I am a daily user of the PIL-Box from Jean-Fran├žois Garnier and it is working with all mainstream OS (Windows, OSX & Linux).
I have several machines at home running several OS either natively or virtually through Parallels Desktop, vmWare Fusion/Workstation & VirtualBox.

I use the python program pyilper from Joachim Siebold on Linux & macOS/OSX.
I also use the Virtual HP-IL set of tools ILPer/ILPilBox/ILVideo/etc from Christoph Gie├čelink on Windows natively, with CrossOver on OSX and through virtual machines (Parallels/vmWare/etc) on Linux/OSX.

On OSX, the easy path is the pyilper application and it work perfectly.

If you want more flexibility or a more exact replication of the original peripherals then the "Virtual IL" tool set is the way to go.
On OSX I mostly use Parallels with a Windows 7 virtual image and I never had any issue.
I also sometime use CrossOver to run "Virtual IL" but although it runs perfectly the feeling is not the same as the full virtual path.

Sylvain
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09-12-2016, 03:30 AM
Post: #7
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
Before there was eBay which made things more available but also shot prices up, I was a HP-71 with disc drive at a swap meet for $25. I can't believe I didn't grab it!!! I did however, on another occasion, get a second 71 as a backup to my first one, brand new, with case and manuals but no box, for $25, and on another occasion, a second tape drive as a backup to my first one, also for $25 IIRC. I have a 41cx with the merged HPIL/XIO module. I still use the 41 every day.

So I have no experience with the disc drive, but I have the tape drive. I have my 41cx with a double extended memory module in it, and I have an extra 160KB of RAM in the 71, and the memory has been so dependable that I went many, many years without using the tape drive. I have programs in the 41 that have been there continuously, without ever reloading, for over 25 years. I did have a problem a couple of years ago with a CMT 96KB card-reader RAM module on the 71 though, which seems to have been a configuration problem. I had to reload a lot of old files into the 71 from tape. The batteries were so bad that I couldn't use the tape drive even with the power supply, so I removed the battery pack and clipped onto the prongs underneath to connect to a regulated 5V supply, and started loading. Tape after tape, file after file, it all worked perfectly, just like it did in the late 1980's.

The fast-forward and rewind times for a tape with a lot on it may be a bit of an inconvenience; but I have various tapes for the 41 and others for the 71, each kind of like a folder, classifying files according to different areas of work. This way the tapes used especially for the 41 never got very full, so the fast-wind times were pretty short.

The availability and price of tapes will probably be a problem. It would be nice if someone would make something to put in the tape-drive housing that would let you use SD cards. Then they would be interchangeable with other computers.

Quote:I have had a 82164A HP-IL/RS-232C Interface for almost 30 years that I have never been able to figure out. It was originally purchased to transfer data files to a PC but I moved from the "41 as a data collector project" to a real dedicated field data collector for that application. The 82164A just sits there with the power light on - and nothing else happens - no matter what I do. (Well, I can get the T/R indicator to light briefly by pressing "Reset.") :-)

I have the FSI164A (from Firmware Specialists, Inc., bought from EduCalc) which is nearly 100% compatible with the HP82164A. The main differences are that the FSI, even though a little cheaper, came with two RS-232 channels standard, and could be expanded up to 8, and it could optionally be run off of batteries. Its transmit and receive buffers are about 10 times as large. Something you might be missing in setting up the '164 is the REMOTE and LOCAL (called NOTREM on HP-41) commands. Without going into REMOTE, sending a string for example is taken to mean you want to send that out over the RS-232, instead of being a command for the interface converter. So on the 41, you might do for example:

Code:
 1  MANIO
 2  1
 3  SELECT
 4  "C0;SB6;R1"
 5  OUTA
 6  NOTREM

Notes for individual lines:
Line 1: I usually used it in manual mode and specified hard addresses, because I also had the HP8169A HPIL-to-IEEE488 interface converter on the loop which is basically transparent but the IEEE-488 side does not have auto-addressing, and you have to give it actual addresses set on them by DIP switches, for example 8 for the relay box, 9 for the signal generator, and 22 for the DMM. For devices that are on the loop, you can also have the calc look for the device, for example,

Code:
  "FSI164A"
  FINDID
  STO 00     \ Keep the address for later reference, to avoid searching again.
  SELECT
  <etc.>

Line 4: The "C0" tells it there will be no protocol. The "SB6" tells it to do 300bps. I used this for a niche-market product we developed in the 80's with a tape modem that put data on one track of a stereo cassette. The other track was used for voice. The "R1" clears the receive buffer.

This is from something similar I did with the HP-71:

Code:
RESTOREIO
A=DEVADDR("RS232")
REMOTE @ OUTPUT A; "C0;SBA;R1" @ LOCAL

I used the FSI164A with the 71B-Talk software that ran on a PC to transfer data and use the PC's keyboard and monitor as and extension of the 71.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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09-12-2016, 04:50 AM
Post: #8
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-11-2016 10:32 PM)4ster Wrote:  
(09-11-2016 08:25 PM)jch Wrote:  What about a PIL-Box and ILPer ?

Jean-Christophe.

I've looked at the PIL-Box. I have gravitated toward mac (I do have an old PC running Win 2000) and have a poor personal history of figuring out communication between devices. I unsuccessfully installed WINE for running a Windows only device to PC application I wanted to use. Crossover may be easier to use. I was a fair hand running KERMIT between devices. If its not super simple I am usually stumped. Is there a "PIL-Box for Dummies" set of instructions for set up and use?

I have not used my PIL-box for a while, but last time I ran it on Mac OS X native. No Windows compatibility thingie is needed.

What you need (apart from the HPIL device emulation software on the host side) is a driver and then (optional) a configuration to improve performance.
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09-12-2016, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2016 01:13 PM by 4ster.)
Post: #9
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-12-2016 04:50 AM)hth Wrote:  
(09-11-2016 10:32 PM)4ster Wrote:  I've looked at the PIL-Box. I have gravitated toward mac (I do have an old PC running Win 2000) and have a poor personal history of figuring out communication between devices. I unsuccessfully installed WINE for running a Windows only device to PC application I wanted to use. Crossover may be easier to use. I was a fair hand running KERMIT between devices. If its not super simple I am usually stumped. Is there a "PIL-Box for Dummies" set of instructions for set up and use?

I have not used my PIL-box for a while, but last time I ran it on Mac OS X native. No Windows compatibility thingie is needed.

What you need (apart from the HPIL device emulation software on the host side) is a driver and then (optional) a configuration to improve performance.

Could you expand on this a little? I didn't do my research before purchasing Crossover from the MacWorld store yesterday. I should have figured out that Crossover needs the latest (or nearly latest) mac OS to run. Crossover would not instal on my old system. So the Crossover path is closed at the present time.

Garth, thanks for the useful tips on RS232 over IL, I'll give that a try.
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09-12-2016, 07:13 PM
Post: #10
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-12-2016 01:09 PM)4ster Wrote:  
(09-12-2016 04:50 AM)hth Wrote:  I have not used my PIL-box for a while, but last time I ran it on Mac OS X native. No Windows compatibility thingie is needed.

What you need (apart from the HPIL device emulation software on the host side) is a driver and then (optional) a configuration to improve performance.

Could you expand on this a little? I didn't do my research before purchasing Crossover from the MacWorld store yesterday. I should have figured out that Crossover needs the latest (or nearly latest) mac OS to run. Crossover would not instal on my old system. So the Crossover path is closed at the present time.

Garth, thanks for the useful tips on RS232 over IL, I'll give that a try.

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=241022

I will probably try to get it running on my new laptop soon, it would be useful.
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09-12-2016, 07:51 PM
Post: #11
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
I have an 82161A that I keep for recovering data from old tapes. Based upon what I've read and experienced, virtually all tapes are unreliable as they are all old and there's no source for new ones.

The 9114 is a step up, but the PIL-Box is my preferred choice. No batteries, virtual media, and better speed. The only drawback is that's it's not portable.

Dave
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09-12-2016, 10:58 PM
Post: #12
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-12-2016 07:51 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  The only drawback is that's it's not portable.

Dave,
You could hook it up to a netbook, like an Acer Aspire One, running XP or W7 and get some real portability.
Sylvain
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09-13-2016, 03:31 PM
Post: #13
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-12-2016 10:58 PM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  
(09-12-2016 07:51 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  The only drawback is that's it's not portable.

Dave,
You could hook it up to a netbook, like an Acer Aspire One, running XP or W7 and get some real portability.
Sylvain

Hi Sylvain,

I do have it hooked up to an ultrabook, but all the portability I require is moving from the den to the living room and back. Others, however, might desire to take their calculator system into the field. Now that I think about it, a netbook is more portable than a 9114. If my 200LX only had a USB port. Smile

Dave
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09-14-2016, 02:12 AM
Post: #14
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
I just started my PIL-Box on my Mac OS X, using the default FTDI drivers that comes pre-installed with El Capitan. It just ran immediately with pyIlper installed according to instructions.

The FTDI drivers are still needed for shortening the latency, but it has recently moved to the "right place" as Apple wants it. Which of course is not where they used to be, so at the moment I do not know where to fix the latency. It also requires disabling the Apple supplied drivers and since it worked anyway, I decided to live with the driver Apple supplies for the moment and its default latency.
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09-14-2016, 07:02 AM
Post: #15
RE: 9114B disc drive vs 82161A tape drive
(09-14-2016 02:12 AM)hth Wrote:  ... I decided to live with the driver Apple supplies for the moment and its default latency.

Starting from PIL-Box firmware 1.5, it is no more needed to change the latency value. Actually, the default value works the best, at least in the PC world, I'm not sure for Mac.
Latency has little (or no) importance with the HP-41C. With the HP-71B, the best is to test different latency values to check if my assumption is true for the Mac world too.
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