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6565Re: [midatlanticretro] Just acquired a HP 9825B

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  • Christian R. Fandt
    Nov 22 8:06 PM
      Hi Matt,

      Great little machine you've got there. Really advanced technology for the
      time (1976 when introduced) all in a very small package.

      I've got two 9825s, one basically dead, that I've known well since they
      were brand new in the late 1970s. Got them when removed from service at a
      former place of employment along with all the documentation and accessories.

      With the upgraded RAM, and perhaps an upgrade to the System ROM with this
      option, the 9825B will then be referred to as 9825T, as yours is now. FYI,
      the 9825A when upgraded in this way became the 9825S.

      The basic 9825B which came along in 1979 or 80, has a couple of
      improvements over the initial "A" version from '76. They include among
      other things a built-in System ROM, instead of a removable System ROM
      cartridge on the side, and a very nice Cherry-brand full travel keyboard
      instead of the original and failure-prone "chiclet" type.

      I recall that the elastomer paper drive roller had occasionally gotten a
      little "dry", or rather lost its grip. I believe I used isopropyl alcohol
      to revive the surface; but its been since the early 90s that I've really
      used the machines and cannot recall the exact solution. But try that first.
      Use 99% IPA, not the drug store type which is only 70% (with 30% water of
      which goes by the moniker "rubbing alcohol"). A well-stocked pharmacy may
      have 99%. If you really have to use the drug store stuff, for Heaven's sake
      don't get the stuff with the lotions, or perfumes or other crap added!
      Trust me on this. Maybe denatured alcohol will work too.

      As for how to program the machine and to learn a LOT about the 9825 family
      I firmly suggest rummaging all through The Museum of HP Calculators
      at http://www.hpmuseum.org/ . Additionally, MoHPC offers a set of DVDs
      which have all the HP manuals I have EVER known for the 9825A/B machines
      plus almost a thousand other HP documents (!). $30 is really reasonable for
      the electronic versions of the 6-to-8 inch stack of paper manuals like I
      have in my library. Note that I have absolutely no connection whatsoever
      with the MoHPC except for being a huge fan. I easily get lost in that
      website and spend way too much time reading interesting stuff on HP gear.

      I used to be rather fluent in HPL, but that was back in the mid-1980s.
      Really efficient language. Some of the array programming I used was
      incredibly powerful and complex, yet quite short in code length. Oh well.
      Time marches on . . .

      As for thermal paper, we used the HP-supplied stuff but there was a Texas
      Instruments part number we also bought. However, being that neither is
      available anymore as far as I can tell, try using a thermal calculator
      paper with the same width dimension, say +/- 0.20" or so. Width is
      important so that the paper doesn't either jam or otherwise go kattiwampus.

      A 98034, I think, is the RS232 module.

      Good luck on finding a floppy system. They were the 9885M. See:
      http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp9825.htm near the bottom. You'll see even more
      info on the MoHPC website by rummaging around or in the manuals on DVD if
      you get them.

      There were few store-bought app software carts as much of the applications
      were custom-written by the user for whatever purpose the machine was used.
      You'll see a few short clips of HPL on that
      http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp9825.htm webpage.

      DC-100 carts are almost to point of either hen's teeth or pure unobtanium.
      Might be lucky to find some used or even NOS somewhere.

      HOWEVER, and this is VERY IMPORTANT (emphasis is demanded here): Do NOT
      insert any tape cart until you KNOW that the rubber tape drive roller has
      not turned to a sticky goo!! Simply touch lightly the roller with a dry
      fingertip and remove. If there's ANY evidence of stickiness, then you're
      outta luck for now. If slightly sticky, pressing firmly on the roller may
      then cause it to deform and either stay deformed or very slowly return to
      shape. Otherwise, like I have on the tape drive on my 1982-vintage HP250-30
      business computer, the drive roller has literally turned to a goo and
      flowed down the roller shaft. Ugh. What a project to clean up and repair
      when I get time (whazzat?!?)

      Your roller is fixable, but that is for later when it is indeed determined
      repair is needed. Please let me know what you find. Others here who are
      savvy to HP tape drives know of what I speak. We have found a way to
      replace the gooey thing with a new roller surface. My working 9825 has this
      problem too. We'll work it out.

      Checking epay is a good recommendation to find some of the hardware stuff
      of which you seek. Keep an eye peeled for items you've identified as needed.

      Good luck with it!

      Regards, Chris F.


      Upon the date 02:23 PM 11/22/2007, Matthew Patoray said something like:
      >Hi all,
      >I just acquired a HP 9825B computer with an optional
      >upgrade to 61K of ram. The printer has a drive problem
      >and will not feed paper, what is a common cure for
      >I am also looking for the basics of how to operate and
      >program the unit.
      >I am also looking for the following
      >A compatible Thermal paper for the printer.
      >An RS-232 card
      >Floppy disc drive system with interface card
      >Any Software cartridges
      >Any DC-100 tapes, or what might also work
      >Operating guide
      >Yahoo! Groups Links

      Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
      Jamestown, NY USA cfandt@...
      Member of Antique Wireless Association
      URL: http://www.antiquewireless.org/
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