New finds: HP9825 etc.

From: Christian Fandt <>
Date: Sun Aug 6 11:19:49 2000

Upon the date 12:11 PM 8/5/00 -0500, Joe said something like:
>At 11:44 PM 8/3/00 -0400, you wrote:
>>On 2000/08/03 at 8:08am -0500, you wrote:
  -- snip --
>>It does have the side ROM drawer (and is marked 9825A), though it has the
>>full-travel keyboard (which IMHO is *horrible* -- nothing like the
>>contactless keys on the 9845).
> You should be glad that your didn't get the original chicklet keyboard!
>Your's probably had it originally but it was probably replaced sometime.
>AFIK ALL A models came with the chicklet keyboards but a lot of them were
>replaced with full travel keyboards. The HP designers were proud of the
>chicklet keyboard but it seems that all the users hated it.

That's right Joe, on points you make above.

The chiclet kbrd was a right pain. On our first 9825A that was purchased
for use on a production machine, the 'Continue' key collapsed after quite a
few operations. The operator hit that key at least once for linear encoder
that was calibrated on that machine. Usually 100-200 encoders per day, five
or six days per week, for about three years before that switch gave out.

Typically, like our Tony Duell, I set to finding out if I could fix it.
Also, production was shut down because of this so there was a second, more
important reason ;-) I dismantled the keyboard to pieces and carefully
setup the flat spring's curve and soldered the contact to at least
temporarily fix it. Back into production.

I promptly ordered a replacement keyboard from HP (for $350 as I recall)
and received a kit containing a new upper front case section which has the
fastening mounts for the display, tape drive and printer and of course the
keyboard plus a nice Cherry keyboard. The badge on front said 9825B
indicating the case section was simply pulled from the then-built B's
inventory to make the retrofit kits.

The operators were literally thrilled over the better keystroke action as
they had to type serial numbers of the encoder under test plus occasionally
other notes for each calibration run. I still have that repaired keyboard
plus I eventually ended up with that old 9825"B", nee A. I also eventually
got our second 9825T which we put on a second machine that myself and a
couple of other engineers built plus all docs, peripherals, accessories,
etc. :-)

However, during a production day, that old "A" developed a shorted
series-pass transistor in its switching PSU board which put ~+18 volts onto
the +5 V supply bus. Well, you know what happened next. I recall very well
the HP Service Manager down at the old Paramus, NJ Service Center grousing
that this happened occasionally and that those %$_at_*)! designers did not put
in a crowbar circuit or other protection to prevent smoking the whole
machine. Over $2000 worth of replacement assemblies caused the machine to
be junked by the company (no way was it worth it as we had just one
calibration machine using a 9825, the other had been 'updated' to one of
those new-fangled Zenith Z150 peecees and I could find used 9825T's at that
time (~1991) for $1500-$1800). My car became the 'dumpster'.

Regarding the comment by someone in this thread (at 8:08 AM, 3 Aug as shown
above), what makes the replacement kybd so horrible? Could that have been
an early version of a replacement before the Cherry's were used?

Regards, Chris
-- --
Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA
        Member of Antique Wireless Association
Received on Sun Aug 06 2000 - 11:19:49 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:32:44 BST