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PIL-Box HP-IL connector mod
01-01-2020, 04:03 PM
Post: #1
PIL-Box HP-IL connector mod
Hi all,

if you're tired of (HP-IL) wires hanging out of your beloved PIL-Box,
you may want to have a connector panel like many HP-IL devices offer.

This is how it could look like:
[Image: mypbmd14.jpg]

Interested? Then please read on.

Many years ago, when I got my first PIL-Box, I did as many other people did,
cutting an old HP-IL cable in to to halves, and screwing the ends to the connectors on the pcb.

It worked, but you'll always have some (sensitive) cables attached to the device.
Later I re-used an HP-IL connector panel from a rear panel of an old HP 9114 disc drive.
[Image: mypbmd01.jpg]
Much nicer than the loose cables, but in the long run the above was not the optimal solution,
since these HP-IL connector panels, and especially the attached cables,
are made to be fixed inside a housing, with no tension and torsion applied to the thin cables.

I also thought about fixing those connectors to the case somehow,
but I found no easy way to attach them to the faceplate of the case.
You would have to cut a rectangular hole into the faceplate,
cut out the plastic screw threads, and it would not be fixed anyway.
Trying to fix the HP-IL connectors without the faceplate would even be more complicated, and rather look bad.

So I tried another approach, the HP-IL connector panel from an old HP 82162A printer:
[Image: mypbmd03.jpg]

This panel has to be adjusted in width to be suitable for the small case.
But not too much, as the left and right edges of the panel should fit
the case's left and right cutout.
Therefore the saw should be applied above the AC connector, not left to it.

This way there's enough material left to cover the whole cutout of the case.
However the depth and overlaying parts of the AC connector have to be removed,
and the left and right edges of the remaining panel have to be flattened a bit.
This can be achieved using a fine rasp:
[Image: mypbmd16.jpg]

Then, two of the screw posts of the case have to be sawed as seen on the pic,
and the two cable screw connectors on the pcb have to be unsoldered.
CAVEAT EMPTOR: Prior to both actions, remove the pcb from the case, of course.
[Image: mypbmd08.jpg]

Now the HP-IL connector panel should fit into the place where the faceplate was before:
[Image: mypbmd17.jpg]

Now the HP-IL cables can be soldered to the appriorate pcb contact holes,
which are where the unsoldered cable screw connectors was soldered before.
The cables can be soldered from the bottom side, because there is somewhat more space:
[Image: mypbmd18.jpg]

If all went right, the other case part can be put in place.
Even the screws can be inserted carefully, since the remains of the screw posts will hold them in place:
[Image: mypbmd13.jpg]

[Image: mypbmd14.jpg]

And plugged:
[Image: mypbmd15.jpg]

Nice, isn't it?

Many thanks to Jean-Francois Garnier for inventing the incredible and phantastic PIL-Box,
and for choosing a small and very nice case for it:-)

-- Ray
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