What is this HP 9000/220?

From: Joe <rigdonj_at_intellistar.net>
Date: Fri Jan 2 03:30:03 1998


   I have one sitting in my dining room! It's one of the HP 9000 200
series computers (9826 aka 9000 216, 9836 aka 9000 236, 9000/220, etc).
They were replaced with the 9000 300 series and those have been replaced in
turn. They date to the early '80s and use a 10 Mhz 68000 CPU. Like most
HPs, the hardware and software are both unique to them. Languages for them
included disk based BASIC, Pascal and something called HPL. HP offered a
lot of different cards for them including BASIC and Pascal in ROM (both
very rare), 16 bit parallel intrfaces called GPIO (General Purpose I/O),
several different HP-IB interfaces, RS-232 interfaces and lots of LAN type
cards. Memory boards were available in 64K, 256K, 1 Meg and 4 Meg sizes.
256 K are by far the most common.

  When it boots, it will list the installed memory and devices. In case,
you haven't guessed everything is interfaced via HP-IB. HP-IB allows
several buses per system and up to 32 devices per bus. Each item on a bus
has a "select code" between 1 and 32. When the system boots you will see
things like "98622 at 12". That means that it found a HP 98622 board at
address 12 on the internal HP-IB bus. The 98622 is a GPIO board. Look at
the covers on the back. You'll see the part numbers on them and usually
they will have the select code marked on them as well. There are two
columns of eight expansion slots on the back. BUT you will only see four
metal covers in each column! Some cards do not have a metal plate and some
do. You may remove a plate with it's attached card and find another card
under the same plate but not attached to it. ( I hope that makes sense.)
Memory boards do not have metal covers. Interface boards do.

  Video: Yeap, typical HP, it uses a non-standard video output. I doubt
you'll find a monitor that will work on it except the proper HP one. If
you send me the part number from the video card I'll tell you which
monitors will work with it.

   More about HP-IB: There sould be a connector for an external HP-IB bus
on the back. It will probably be on the same card as the keyboard
connection. It will look like a Centronics connector (the same type as a
parallel printer uses) except it will only use 24 pins. And before I get
flamed, yes I know it's actually an Amphenol connector but in the computer
industry they're known as Centronics connectors because that's what
Centronics used and they made most of the early printers. These systems
did not have any internal disk drives, they were all external and were
connected via HP-IB, as were the printers. (You could connect a serial
printer to a RS-232 port, but I've never seen it done.)

  The keyboard interface is also non-standard. There are two different HP
key baords that can be used on it but I don't have the numbers handy.

  If you decide to get rid of it, I'd like to have it. I have a 9000 /220,
two 9826s and a 9836.



At 02:00 AM 1/2/98 -0600, you wrote:
>A friend of mine dumped a small, meant-to-be-rack-mounted box that is
>marked as a Hewlett Packard 9000 220, (model 9920-A). It has several cards
>inside including a composite video car, a color output card, and one
>meant for the keyboard. I tried to find out something about it but haven't
>gotten very far, there were a few references to the auxiliary cards in
>articles posted on comp.sys.hp.hardware. It appears to be a 286 workstation
>maybe, and will boot, but I can't make out the prompts, since it won't sync
>on the only composite monitor I have with BNC input.
>Can anyone shed some light on this thing and what cann be done with it?
>Kirk Scott
>Net-Tamer V 1.09.2 - Test Drive
Received on Fri Jan 02 1998 - 03:30:03 GMT

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