HP HP-2117F on ebay

J Blaser oldcpu at rogerwilco.org
Wed Dec 13 23:47:45 CST 2006

Jay West wrote:
> J Blaser wrote....

> >I don't know anything about HP minis, so I don't know what to look for, but 
> >for those on the list that have HPs and might be interested...
> >
> > The main unit: item # 320060663740
> > The FP unit: item # 320060663048
> >
> > No bids yet.
> And hopefully there won't be... unless you want parts - cause it's got 
> issues.
> I noticed this system on ebay a night or two ago. I was going to post a 
> warning here to people about it, but just didn't get a roundtuit.
> 1) The power supply for the cpu has been pulled (ie. is not present). That 
> doesn't bode well  ;) 
> 2) The DCPC card (that's DMA to you and me) appears to be missing and the 
> cable is dangling. This was standard on the 2117 (1000F aka 21MX/F) I think.
> 3) There is NO memory, nor a memory controller in the box, they appear to 
> have been snagged.
> 4) Either the FEM board has been pulled, or they just used the wrong cable 
> to connect the FAB to the cpu board. Given that slot 10 is empty and thus 
> creates a break in the interrupt chain, I'm guessing the former. That means 
> you're likely missing microcode. Could just be vendor microcode... or your 
> base instruction set  ;) 
> 5) There appears to be something homebrew on the TBG board in slot 11. At 
> least it's nothing I've ever seen. Given the RPL markings on the front this 
> tends to make me think of process control. Maybe the cable was to allow some 
> other device to generate the time based interrupts.
> 6) Third party board in slot 12. Who knows.
> 7) 13037 disk interface in slot 13, that matches the front panel markings as 
> likely boot device.
> 8) Note the 8 channel mux card is not compatible with TSB. Note also the 
> non-standard edge card connection. PSI board?
> 9) 7970 tape controller set, handy to have.
> 10) Two microcircuit boards. I happen to REALLY like these. If anyone buys 
> this sytem, I'd be willing to pay for one or two of these cards  :) 
> 11) Missing board in slot 22... there goes your interrupts. Who knows, maybe 
> this system ran something that was only polled.
> 12) Don't recognize the board in slot 23.
> On the plus side, it IS an F series... the FP unit is auctioned separately 
> and they are calling it a power supply. Nope, it's a floating point unit. 
> There IS no power supply - and there sure is supposed to be  ;) 
> I am not familiar enough with the F series to know if that FP unit includes 
> all the necessary boards and/or connectors.
> Random thoughts....
> Jay

Jay, thanks for the rundown on this system.  The closest I've ever come to an HP mini was when I saw a 6' rack that with one at the local university surplus 'store'.  Unfortunately, they were only relocating the system to another part of campus, so would not sell it.  Frankly, I was interested in it *because* it was fully racked with drives, etc., and had an ASR-33 with it.  It was clearly a whole system.  (BTW, I did convince them to sell me the ASR-33!)

But, this business with ebay is really starting to annoy me, since it's nearly impossible to find a whole system, these days.  Everybody is just parting out the bits and pieces, like that whole series of the '11/40' unibus boards that end this evening.  I'm becoming a bit disheartened with the 'chop shop' mentality.  And, that's trouble for someone that is ignorant of what key components may or may not be required to get a system functional again.  It sure is easier to 'shop' for parts that when you already have knowledge of the system in question.

On the other hand, I think that's what I like about this 'hobby'... the exploration and (re)discovery of what these old systems really were/are and how they are operated.  I admit that it isn't just the operation of my little collection of qbus systems (PDP's and VAXen) that is the end all, but rather the discovery, in my case (versus re-discovery), of how these system were constructed, configured and operated.  Truthfully, this is the fun part for me.

So, thanks to you, Jay -- and others on the list -- for keeping the fires burning, and helping us 'ameteurs' out from time to time.


More information about the cctalk mailing list