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Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
02-09-2019, 09:19 AM
Post: #1
Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
Thought I’d document this as I’m aware of a few other people who may have this excellent Pocket PC. I was given, a few months ago a Sharp PC-1500 Pocket Computer with a CE-155 8k memory module and also a Sharp PC-1500A with a CE-161 16k Ram Card (CR2032 powered) and finally the icing on the cake - a CE-150 base unit with the ALPS plotter/printer and the required Rem/Mic/Ear sockets to save programs to tape cassette. All the items were in what I call Old/New condition - still shrink wrapped, never opened, never used but 35+ years old but in full working condition. The biggest challenge was finding 4 new coloured pens (Black,Red,Blue,Green); I found a number of sites with suggestions on how to revive the dried up pens in my CE-150, messy and didn’t really work! Eventually I found (with clues from others) a medical company in Germany (http://www.lass-hno.de/index.html) who sold me 4 new pens for €19. I’ve documented below all the avenues I travelled in case any of you want to revive any of your vintage equipment as these 4 pens were used in ALPS printers in many other systems:-

“Thanks for the information - I’ve now got my PC-1500A in the CE-150 all up and running. The pens seem to have a lot of activity going for them but they have been left for years by the last owner so are totally dried up.
Since I last emailed you I found this site still selling the little pens - they’ve quoted me €19 +€10 postage to the UK.
http://www.lass-hno.de/
However I’ve asked if I can order 12 but haven’t had a reply yet.
I also found:-
Pens that also fit CE-150

Commodore 1520
Atari 1020
Tandy CGP-115 (26-1480, 26-1481, or RS 10274850 pens)
Oric MCP40
Sharp CE150, CE515, CE516, MZ1P01 (EA-850B or EA-850C pens)
Casio FA10 (BP1 or BP2 pens)
Mattel Aquarius Printer
Workslate Printer
All of these have common pens for these XY type Plotter/Printers with the Alps printer carriage.
Felt tips are available(The Recorder Company) but I need ball point, black pens for seismographs that we used to manufacture.
These pens are 23mm long tip to tip and 5mm in diameter, ball point on one end and taper to a rounded point on the back end.”

Denny
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02-22-2019, 03:48 AM (This post was last modified: 02-22-2019 03:50 AM by Xorand.)
Post: #2
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
I have the same setup, fully working (I had to replace the leaking NiCd batteries in the CE-150). I also have a Radio Shack CGP-115 printer that uses the same Alps plotter mechanism, so having pens around already was handy.

I've found in the US that you can order pens from Best Electronics. Their website is http://www.best-electronics-ca.com . The website is a nightmare to navigate and comes straight out of the 1990s.

They carry both color and black pen sets. I ordered a few tubes of each last year. It has been my experience that the red pens dry out first (of the ones I have, only one still works intermittently). The greens aren't far behind. The blues and blacks seem to hold up best.

The other issue with the Alps plotter mechanisms are the small drive gears that split as they get old. My CE-150 fortunately had not been afflicted with this issue (yet), but my CGP-115 was. I also purchased some replacement gears from Shapeways here [LINK].
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02-22-2019, 10:58 AM
Post: #3
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-22-2019 03:48 AM)Xorand Wrote:  I've found in the US that you can order pens from Best Electronics. Their website is http://www.best-electronics-ca.com . The website is a nightmare to navigate and comes straight out of the 1990s.

Could you give an exact part number or stock number to order? I can't find the pens on that site.

Tom L
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is it a Mazel Tov cocktail?
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02-22-2019, 01:58 PM
Post: #4
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
Thx !! This posting could not have come more timely, as I've just bought a Tandy CGP-115 4-pen printer/plotter with a 36-pin Centronics connection (not delivered yet) and was looking for new pens.

I've ordered a set of pens (and 4 1/2" wide paper roll) from this German vendor you've mentioned in the meantime, so hopefully it will all be delivered next week.

My intention was to try to connect it to my HP-41 via the HP82165A HP-IL/GPIO interface or CMT-200.
Anybody out there that has experience with that ?

Will keep you all posted when I get this up-and-running (or not)


regards,

GVHOVE
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02-23-2019, 06:06 AM
Post: #5
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-22-2019 10:58 AM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(02-22-2019 03:48 AM)Xorand Wrote:  I've found in the US that you can order pens from Best Electronics. Their website is http://www.best-electronics-ca.com . The website is a nightmare to navigate and comes straight out of the 1990s.

Could you give an exact part number or stock number to order? I can't find the pens on that site.

Sure. It is a pain to navigate. Here's the page: [LINK]. The pens are a little more than halfway down (search for 1020).

Also, the color pen sets are his stock number CO61420-01. The black pen sets are stock number CO61420-03. Either four color, or four black pen sets are $6.00 US each.
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02-23-2019, 06:09 AM
Post: #6
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-22-2019 01:58 PM)GVHOVE Wrote:  Thx !! This posting could not have come more timely, as I've just bought a Tandy CGP-115 4-pen printer/plotter with a 36-pin Centronics connection (not delivered yet) and was looking for new pens.

I've ordered a set of pens (and 4 1/2" wide paper roll) from this German vendor you've mentioned in the meantime, so hopefully it will all be delivered next week.

My intention was to try to connect it to my HP-41 via the HP82165A HP-IL/GPIO interface or CMT-200.
Anybody out there that has experience with that ?

Will keep you all posted when I get this up-and-running (or not)


regards,

GVHOVE

The CGP-115 also has a serial input (switchable). Not sure if that would help.

Here's a source I found for 4 1/2" single ply paper rolls: [LINK]. They sell in boxes of 25. Maybe we could get a group buy going. Smile
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02-23-2019, 06:19 AM
Post: #7
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
By the way, here are my setups.

My PC-1500A with 8K RAM module and CE-150:

[Image: i-6x6wpFB-L.jpg]

My Tandy 102 setup with CGP-115 plotter, diskette drive, tape recorder, barcode wand and several software sets (on cassette).

[Image: i-MNK9J8D-L.jpg]

Sample output from the CGP-115 from a program I wrote to print out a month (or year) calendar:

[Image: i-FVfSpxL-L.jpg]
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02-23-2019, 06:27 AM
Post: #8
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-22-2019 01:58 PM)GVHOVE Wrote:  My intention was to try to connect it to my HP-41 via the HP82165A HP-IL/GPIO interface or CMT-200.
Anybody out there that has experience with that ?

You can refer to the article "Using the Radio Shack CGP-115 Plotter with the HP-41“ in the PPC Journal V11n3 p12 describing the connection with a HP-82166A GPIO converter.
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02-27-2019, 11:05 AM
Post: #9
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
Didier,

Merci for the tip on the PPC Journal article.

I have not been able to locate that, but I did find in my archive a copy of an article written by J.F. Garnier in Micro-Revue #7 (Jul-Aug 1985) called "Interfacage de l'imprimante CGP-115", which could possibly be a translation of the PPC Journal article.

Would very much appreciate it if somebody could send me a copy of that PPC Journal article. There also seems to have been an article published about barcode printing with the CGP-115, but I'm not sure whether that was in the PPC Journal.


Thx !!

GVHOVE
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02-27-2019, 12:08 PM (This post was last modified: 02-27-2019 12:18 PM by Didier Lachieze.)
Post: #10
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
Check your PMs Wink

(and thanks for the reference to the Micro-Revue article, I didn't noticed it).
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02-27-2019, 01:19 PM
Post: #11
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-27-2019 11:05 AM)GVHOVE Wrote:  I have not been able to locate that, but I did find in my archive a copy of an article written by J.F. Garnier in Micro-Revue #7 (Jul-Aug 1985) called "Interfacage de l'imprimante CGP-115", which could possibly be a translation of the PPC Journal article.

Jean-François Garnier a gracieusement mis en ligne une liste de journaux et de livres de langue française:
Jean-François Garnier has made available on his site these French Journals & Books:
Liste de journaux et de revues de langue française aussi disponible en ligne:
These French journals and/or magazines are also available online:
Bonne lecture!

Sylvain
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02-27-2019, 01:42 PM
Post: #12
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-27-2019 11:05 AM)GVHOVE Wrote:  Merci for the tip on the PPC Journal article.

I have not been able to locate that...

Jake Schwartz offers a DVD that includes ALL the PPC journals and other published materials, plus the proceedings of past HHC conferences, plus journals from other PPC related clubs, plus a LOT more here:

http://www.pahhc.org/ppccdrom.htm

The collection is a must-have for all HP calculator collectors and fans, with more than 44,000 pages of articles from the 70's until today.

--Bob Prosperi
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02-27-2019, 02:15 PM
Post: #13
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
Un Grand Merci, Messieurs !

I have added these links to the French reference material on the top of my favourites list AND have ordered a copy of the PPC DVD about 5 minutes ago ($27.50 is such a bargain).

It's great to see how the HP-classics users community succeeds in safeguarding the historical knowledge AND manages to keep it available for current and future enthusiasts.


Thx again !

GVHOVE


PS: now just waiting until my Tandy printer gets delivered
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02-28-2019, 08:41 AM
Post: #14
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-27-2019 11:05 AM)GVHOVE Wrote:  ... I did find in my archive a copy of an article written by J.F. Garnier in Micro-Revue #7 (Jul-Aug 1985) called "Interfacage de l'imprimante CGP-115", which could possibly be a translation of the PPC Journal article.

No, it was an original article written by me from my own experience with the CGP-115, I had no access to PPC-US articles at the time.

Main points of my article regarding the hardware interfacing:
- a llitlle bit of electronic is needed to make the CGP-115 work with the HP82166 due to an incompatibility in the STROBE signal. I proposed 2 solutions.
- the HP82166 can be powered directly from the CGP-115.

J-F
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02-28-2019, 10:19 AM
Post: #15
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
J-F,

In the meantime I have read both articles and I can confirm they are very "complémentaire".
(My excuses for even considering the possibility of you just translating an article :-)
Can you imagine that when I posted that message I actually thought I might be the first one trying to connect the CGP-115 to the HP-41CX ?
You already wrote about this 35 years ago !

My plan is using HP-IL/GPIO (HP82165 and/or HP82166) AND alternatively the CMT-200 to perform some speed tests.
Maybe I can also switch between the standard functions of the PLOTTER ROM and the miniplotter function-set of the PANAME ROM to see which works better.

Will keep you all posted on my progress ... (hope I can call on you if I get stuck)


regards

GVHOVE


PS: still waiting on the printer to be delivered
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02-28-2019, 05:31 PM
Post: #16
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-23-2019 06:27 AM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  You can refer to the article "Using the Radio Shack CGP-115 Plotter with the HP-41“ in the PPC Journal V11n3 p12 describing the connection with a HP-82166A GPIO converter.

A 7-page gem by the great Roger Hill, who still attends the annual HP Calculator Conferences....

Jake
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02-28-2019, 07:19 PM
Post: #17
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-28-2019 10:19 AM)GVHOVE Wrote:  Maybe I can also switch between the standard functions of the PLOTTER ROM and the miniplotter function-set of the PANAME ROM to see which works better.

The CGP-115 will work (through the 82166) with the plotter functions of the Paname ROM, but not with the Plotter ROM since this module is using the HPGL language that the CGP doesn't understand.
Actually, I designed a HPIL-Centronics plotter interface with HPGL support exactly for the purpose of using the CGP with the Plotter ROM. The interface was produced and sold by the Kristal company in 1985. Very few were sold, one can be seen here.
Since I assume you can read French :-) you can refer to the manual of the HPIL-Centronics interface in Micro-Revue n°6, 1985, p125.

[/nostalgia]

J-F
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03-02-2019, 12:21 AM
Post: #18
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(02-28-2019 07:19 PM)J-F Garnier Wrote:  Actually, I designed a HPIL-Centronics plotter interface with HPGL support exactly for the purpose of using the CGP with the Plotter ROM.
The interface was produced and sold by the Kristal company in 1985.
Bonjour Jean-François,
Very little is said in the article on the hardware implementation side.
Did you use the 82166A or use the parts that was included in the 86166C for the HP-IL side ?
Did you use an Intel 8051 MCU to implement the HP-GL logic handler ?
Do you still have board available ?
Sylvain
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03-02-2019, 01:29 AM
Post: #19
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(03-02-2019 12:21 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  Do you still have board available ?

The ultimate collector!

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03-02-2019, 10:11 PM
Post: #20
RE: Sharp PC-1500A with CE-150
(03-02-2019 12:21 AM)Sylvain Cote Wrote:  Did you use the 82166A or use the parts that was included in the 86166C for the HP-IL side ?
Did you use an Intel 8051 MCU to implement the HP-GL logic handler ?
It was not based on the HP kit, since it is not possible to customize the ID/AID/SPOLL responses with the HP MCU.
It was based on the 1LB3 chip and a 6502 MPU + ROM + RAM + I/O.
Why the 6502 and not a microcontroller? Just because I designed the interface on my home system, a OSI Superboard based on the 6502. On this picture of the time, you can see my system with a custom HPIL board, a 82166, and even the CGP in the background.

Quote:Do you still have board available ?
No complete interface, but I still have the board schematic and the 6502 assembly source - so in theory it could be rebuilt :-)

J-F
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