HP-IB Mass Storage Emulation (Help)

From: Mail List <mail.list_at_analog-and-digital-solutions.com>
Date: Mon Feb 17 09:42:27 2003

The Hewlett Package HPIB cards are on eBay from time to time also.

At 09:01 AM 2/17/03 -0500, you wrote:
>A PC's parallel port CANNOT emulate an HPIB bus without a good deal of
>external hardware, and
>if you did the performance would be terrible, nearly unusable.
>Why not simply get a National Instruments HPIB card and write some code to
>turn a standard PC into
>your emulated HPIB stroage system?
>No hardware needs to be fabricated, its a fairly simply matter of writing
>some code so some part of the PC's
>hard disk is used to emulate the HPIB disk.
>Also HPIB disks are VERY common, and also VERY reliable. Ask on this
>listy and you will hear stories of
>CS/80 drives from HP being underwater, thrown into dumpsters, and other
>suffering forms of abuse without
>any problems at all.
>As for capacity issues, many HPIB drives (like HP's CS/80 drives) have a
>rather low limit (in modern terms) on
>their maximum capacity due to the limited disk address field size. Modern
>devices like ATA (IDE) drives are many
>times larger than this maximim capacity. So a true emulation of these
>devices (needed for driver compatibility)
>will not be able to use much of the modern drives actual capacity.
>Given that you can find a working CS/80 drive on eBay for short money, is
>this project worth doing?
>If so, I'd have to reccomend using a commercial HPIB interface board and
>some code running on a PC rather
>than developing any custom hardware. It pains me to say this, as I'm a
>hardware engineer, but sometimes the
>best solution is not to design any hardware. This is exactly such a case.
>Vassilis Prevelakis wrote:
>>I have been working for some time on a pet project to make a mass
>>storage emulator for HP-IB systems. Given the massive improvement in
>>capacity that has taken place the past 10 years, most mass storage
>>devices from the 80s look pathetic.
>>For example, take the HP 9133H which is a massive unit that can store
>>about 5Mb. Even the compact flash cards that are bundled with popular
>>digital cameras can do better than that.
>>I started my project by trying to utilize the HP-IB drivers that are
>>part of the NetBSD Open Source Unix clone (which runs on the HP 300
>>series), but I have come to realize that the HP-IB cards are the
>>creating a new legacy issue.
>>Open Source drivers for HP-IB cards are very hard to find and thus any
>>solution that depends on them becomes de facto legacy (once the card
>>itself is no longer sold, finding the card becomes almost as difficult
>>as finding HP 9133H drives).
>>So I looked hard at the HP-IB bus itself (using the schematics from the
>>Series 80 adaptor) and it looks like a simple parallel bus. So why use
>>a custom card, if the PC parallel port can be adapted to drive an HP-IB
>>If the PC parallel port can be used, then I can port the NetBSD drivers
>>to use the parallel port, rather than the HP 300 HP-IB interface. The
>>NetBSD drivers also support SS-80 compatible mass storage devices,
>>which means that the implementation can be verified against a real
>>HP-IB mass storage device. If this works than the drivers will have to
>>be modified so that they become a mass storage "server" rather than a
>>"client" (i.e. a device that responds to mass storage requests, instead
>>of a computer that issues such requests).
>>Small i386 compatible single board computers are easily procurable and
>>embedded versions of *BSD and Linux systems run on these SBCs (they
>>even accept compact flash cards or more traditional hard disks). This
>>means that we can make a mass storage device that can physically fit
>>inside the cabinet of the main unit (e.g. Integral PC, or HP-87).
>>Anybody willing to provide assistance to this effort, is welcome to
>>contact me. However, I think that going through this list may be
>>more beneficial so that other people can contribute in the technical
Received on Mon Feb 17 2003 - 09:42:27 GMT

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