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HP-IL cable clones?
05-27-2014, 09:04 PM
Post: #1
HP-IL cable clones?
Some things are hard to get or cost ridiculous prizes as far as I can see.

One category are HP-IL cables.

Does anyone know a reasonable source?

did anybody ever see something like a usable clone anywhere?

Just curious, but there might be others in need...

Thanks,

a.n.
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05-27-2014, 09:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
True. Some vintage items are no longer available or are very expensive on TAS. AFAIK there are no suitable replacements or clones.

There's a good chance that someone on this forum has spare cables. I suggest you post in the classified section.

Dave
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05-28-2014, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-28-2014 05:45 PM by anetzer.)
Post: #3
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(05-27-2014 09:18 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  AFAIK there are no suitable replacements or clones.

Thank you.

Yes, AFAWK...

But: Are those cables technically complicated. Are the specs published somewhere? Do they feature any IC's?

Some links I found:

The HP-IL Interface Kit Technical Guide

Hewlett-Packard Journal , January 1983

The HP-IL-System: An introductory guide to the Hewlett-Packard interface loop : an introductory guide to the Hewlett-Packard Interface Loop

Control the World with HP-IL (Gary Friedman, 1987)


Might designing a pair of HP-IL plugs be a suitable for a 3D-printing adventure?

a.n.
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05-28-2014, 06:02 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Some thoughts from an old thread.

I believe connectors could be (easily?) made nowadays by 3D printing.

Greetings,
    Massimo

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05-28-2014, 06:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
I agree that someone could 3D-print the connector housings and there are connector pins out there that come close to the originals. However, the original post was for a "reasonable source" and considering 3D-printing now elevates the complexity of obtaining cables.
How many cables do you need? If it's 100 then perhaps the 3D-printing solution is worth considering. If you only need a pair then a free set from a considerate forum member sounds easier and cheaper.

Dave
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05-28-2014, 07:31 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(05-28-2014 06:18 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  If it's 100 then perhaps the 3D-printing solution is worth considering.

Well, no one of us will ever need 100, but 50 might consider two...

If initiatives to re-engineer HP-97 printer gears or to print one hundred or more manuals for a specific model come to fruition on this forum, there might just be enough interest to have a bunch of IL-cables produced that cost significantly less then US$ 50 a piece....

On the other hand, I don't yet have access to a 3D printer, but if the necessary description files could be downloaded, things like IL connectors might well be among the first things to try.

So there's two approaches which might be considered...

Thanks for discussing this...
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06-14-2014, 03:00 PM (This post was last modified: 06-14-2014 03:00 PM by anetzer.)
Post: #7
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(05-27-2014 09:18 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  AFAIK there are no suitable replacements or clones.

I can hardly understand that there is not at least a small specialty market for clone plugs. I only hope that 3D printing will bring some private initiative, once those printers become more widespread.

In the meantime: Is there anything special about the cabling? Are those cables in any way twisted or shielded, coaxial or supercooled?

Me thinks not. I would use some stereo headphone wires. Am I wrong?

a.n.
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06-14-2014, 04:02 PM (This post was last modified: 06-14-2014 04:10 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #8
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Understand that there's more to the connectors than you might think. In addition to the plastic housing there's the metal contact pin, which you will not be able to 3D-print. So you'll have to find a similar pin to begin with. It's retention mechanism will undoubtedly be different from the HP-IL connector pin, so the 3D model of the housing will need to be modified to accommodate the different pin.

My suggestion is to find some suitable pins and insert them into the HP-IL connector. Then push some Shapelock thermoplastic around the pins and a little into the connector receptacle. Once the thermoplastic sets it'll hold the pins in place and act as a housing. Easy peasy.

Wiring is no big deal. Specs are readily available.

But you didn't answer my question, anetzer, how many do you need? Again, if it's only a few then I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find a Member who would sell or perhaps even give them to you.

Dave
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06-14-2014, 04:24 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Actually, the connector pins are specified with manufacturer and model numbers which are still in production and readily available. I'll dig that up this weekend. So *no* changes are needed there.
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06-14-2014, 05:58 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
How about moulding the shells from plastic casting resin. There are silicon compounds available that you could use to make moulds from an existing connector and I am sure they would be precise enough and after moulding you would just need to drill holes for the pins and you would likely have to fix the pins in place with something like epoxy.
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06-14-2014, 06:09 PM (This post was last modified: 06-14-2014 06:22 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #11
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(06-14-2014 04:24 PM)Jim Horn Wrote:  Actually, the connector pins are specified with manufacturer and model numbers which are still in production and readily available. I'll dig that up this weekend. So *no* changes are needed there.

So 3D-printing is back on the table!

From the HP-IL Reference Spec:
The connector contacts were chosen for high reliability and long life. For reference, the contacts should be equivalent to those manufactured by ITT Canon, part number 031-9540-000 (male) and part number 030-9542-001 (female). The connector body is of molded polycarbonate while the integral strain relief is of PVC.
For applications where the distance from one device to the next is 10 meters or less, relatively inexpensive "zip" cord cable may be used. The wires are 24 AWG stranded ( 26 X 38 AWG) individually tinned copper. The wires are spaced 0.060 inches center-to-center with a PVC jacket, 0.065 X 0.130 inches. A polarity rib must be visible on the jacket.


Edit: The wire spacing determines the differential impedance of the cable. For short runs it shouldn't make much of a difference.

Thanks, Jim.

Dave
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11-11-2014, 11:22 AM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2015 12:07 PM by Martin Hepperle.)
Post: #12
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Looking into the matter yields the following costs:
- male and female pins are available for about $2 each, so $8 for one cable.
- using a 3d printing service for the casing shells costs about $5 per connector,
- 1 meter of a suitable cable maybe $2 per cable,
=> the total material cost per cable would then be about $20-25 and you have to assemble it yourself.
The numbers above also include shipping costs.

I will write a Do-It-Yourself article describing how to make your won cables. A small number of kits may be offered through the classifieds section in 2015.

Martin
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11-20-2014, 11:38 AM
Post: #13
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(06-14-2014 04:02 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  My suggestion is to find some suitable pins and insert them into the HP-IL connector. Then push some Shapelock thermoplastic around the pins and a little into the connector receptacle. Once the thermoplastic sets it'll hold the pins in place and act as a housing. Easy peasy.
Dave

thanks for bringin this up, dave!
instead of SHAPELOCK, the european reader may give this substance a try: POLYCAPROLACTON, about EUR 20 per kilogram, comes in pellets form and is easily processed in a cup of hot water from a "senseo".

hans
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01-11-2015, 02:20 AM
Post: #14
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(11-11-2014 11:22 AM)Martin Hepperle Wrote:  Looking into the matter yields the following costs:
- male and female pins are available for about $2 each, so $8 for one cable.
- using a 3d printing service for the casing shells costs about $5 per connector,
- 1 meter of a suitable cable maybe $2 per cable,
=> the total material cost per cable would then be about $20-25 and you have to assemble it yourself.
The numbers above also include shipping costs.

I will write a Do-It-Yourself article describing how to make your won cables. A small number of kits may be offered through the classifieds section in 2015.

Martin

Have you found the part numbers at Mouser or Digikey? They would be very useful, as searching their catalogs (esp. Digikey's) is an exercise in frustration.

That said, I purchased my very own Ultimaker 2 3D printer in late november (I'm still waiting for it... echoes of HP calculators in the late 70s not being available for weeks after being announced...). Making HPIL cable housings should be a breeze if someone tells me what the corresponding part numbers for the connectors and wire.

Shapelock sounds good in theory, but it's a bitch to work with for small parts. Ditto for hot glue.
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01-11-2015, 03:43 AM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2015 03:46 AM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #15
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Agreed. Shapelock is a cheesy solution compared to 3D printing. Personally I've searched for these parts in the U.S. using Octopart and FindParts and the prices are still around $2.50USD per pin. Looking forward to an update to this thread. Smile

Dave
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01-11-2015, 04:46 AM
Post: #16
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(01-11-2015 03:43 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Agreed. Shapelock is a cheesy solution compared to 3D printing. Personally I've searched for these parts in the U.S. using Octopart and FindParts and the prices are still around $2.50USD per pin. Looking forward to an update to this thread. Smile

Not surprising. These are "twist pins" made for military interconnects that sell for around $100 for a 9-pin D connector. While there are manufacturers other than Cannon for twist pins they are all equally expensive. I think that the only way to bring down the cost would be to find some other pin and socket connector that has the same diameter and offers a snug fit. I don't think that this will be easy. Regular RS-232 pins are too large (about 1 mm), BTW.

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01-12-2015, 10:23 AM (This post was last modified: 01-12-2015 10:39 AM by Martin Hepperle.)
Post: #17
HP-IL cable clones
(11-11-2014 11:22 AM)Martin Hepperle Wrote:  [...]
I will write a Do-It-Yourself article describing how to make your won cables. A small number of kits may be offered through the classifieds section in 2015.
[...]

Well, here is an update to this thread. As promised I have written an article of how to make your own HP-Il cables.
You will find it under http://www.mh-aerotools.de/hp.

I can also place a copy here on this web site in the articles section, if this is of interest.

If there is enough interest (say, parts for more than 50 cables) I could also offer kits consisting of the required parts. This would allow to reduce the relative importance of shipping costs of the individually sourced parts.

Martin
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01-12-2015, 12:40 PM
Post: #18
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Wow, thank you so much, Martin! this is fantastic stuff.
Funny enough, my FRAM71 bezels were also printed by Trinckle, and i got the impression that, besides the overall dimensional "fidelity" (laser sinter in this case) being far better than expected, the low wall thickness of the IL female receptacle could pose an issue.
what is your experience?

hans
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01-12-2015, 02:37 PM
Post: #19
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
Hello Martin!

(01-12-2015 10:23 AM)Martin Hepperle Wrote:  If there is enough interest (say, parts for more than 50 cables) I could also offer kits consisting of the required parts. This would allow to reduce the relative importance of shipping costs of the individually sourced parts.

You can count me in for 3-5 cables! (Not that I really need them, but I have quite a few accessories for the HP-71 and less cables than devices which feels somewhat strange).

Regards
Max

NB: Did you by any chance study Aerospace Engineering in Stuttart in the early 1980ies?
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01-12-2015, 03:53 PM
Post: #20
RE: HP-IL cable clones?
(01-12-2015 12:40 PM)Hans Brueggemann Wrote:  Wow, thank you so much, Martin! this is fantastic stuff.
Funny enough, my FRAM71 bezels were also printed by Trinckle, and i got the impression that, besides the overall dimensional "fidelity" (laser sinter in this case) being far better than expected, the low wall thickness of the IL female receptacle could pose an issue.
what is your experience?

hans

Hans,

as I was not sure about the material I had them laser-sinter as well as ABS-layer the connectors. Both types are well useable and robust enough. In the end I even prefer the ABS parts due to their less porous surface finish. However they are partially hollow between the inner/outer surfaces (Trinckle seems to have no option to specify how much "infill" you want). One should not step on them, though - for this purpose the (sintered and thus almost massive) polyamide parts are better suited.

Regards,
Martin
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