HP HP-2117F on ebay

Jay West jwest at classiccmp.org
Thu Dec 14 12:40:24 CST 2006

Christian wrote....
> Of the three 1000F I have all have their firmware in slot 10 on a FAB 
> because the mainboard simply doesn't have enough sockets for all the ROMs.
I doubt that seriously. I'd like to see how you could put a FAB board in an 
I/O slot ;)

On most 21MX/F's the general F-specific microcode was put on a FAB board 
which goes under the cpu board (as a daughtercard). The reason was simple - 
they didn't want to waste an I/O slot with a FEM. Another reason is because 
many systems had hard coded requirements of what boards you put in what I/O 
slots, and a FEM board messed things up. When the FAB board ran out of room 
then they'd start going to a FEM. When possible, I like to remove the FAB 
and only use the FEM as it's easier to get to the roms and change them (and 
I change them a lot). Most people would rather use the FAB as firmware was 
rarely changed and they valued the I/O slot real-estate.

A wild guess - this system had vendor supplied proprietary microcode on the 
FEM that was in slot 10. When the system was decomissioned, the licensed 
firmware board (the whole FEM) was yanked. The F microcode is likely on the 
FAB underneath.

More to the point... note that a FAB (and FEM) was optional on the E series. 
On the F series, the FAB was required but the FEM was optional. Why? See 

I wrote...
>> 5) There appears to be something homebrew on the TBG board in slot 11.

Christian replied...
> Doesn't hurt.
Well, it sure could if you need a TBG and don't have one already. What if 
the cable was to generate interrupts to the host from an external device, 
and the setup was a 'normally closed' configuration? Your processor would 
become rather sluggish when interrupts were armed :D

> These are simple digital I/O boards. But thanks to DCPC any board supports 
> DMA :-)
There is a reason I prefer these "simple boards". My preferred setup 
typically uses six 12566 boards per system. I find myself changing their 
configuration a lot. It's been a while, but I seem to recall I had to 
generally change the jumper settings any time I wanted to run diags on them 
too. The non-microcircuit badged 12566 boards (GRD TRU +/-) are all soldered 
jumpers, some of them 3 way posts with multiple jumpers. The microcircuit 
badged 12566 boards are generally the later revision that uses jumper plugs. 
MUCH easier to work with if you're changing jumpers a lot. I think the later 
revisions also offer some additional functionality that the older ones 
don't. Something about a "party line" seems to be lurking in foggy memory...

>> 12) Don't recognize the board in slot 23.
> Same as in slot 13.
Doh! I should have noticed that. The led & plugs on the left are a dead 
giveaway. But since that board requires DMA.... and there's nothing in slot 

>> On the plus side, it IS an F series... the FP unit is auctioned 
>> separately
> Well, it isn't an F series. An F series consists of the proper firmware 
> ROMs (SIS, VIS, FFP, FPP) and the external FP processor, but everything's 
> missing. You could plug in the firmware from an E series, and then it's a 
> 1000E.
That's not necessarily correct, the machine on ebay may WELL be an F series, 
and likely is. See that shielded ribbon connector on the back left? That's 
connecting the cpu to the FAB board underneath (as well as a dangling end 
for what was probably a FEM board in slot 10). So I bet ya a lunch that the 
F firmware is whats on the FAB underneath.

Again, Im not an expert on the F series. But the 2111F doesn't have an 
external FP processor does it? Just the 2117F does? Both are certainly F 

> My machine here also has the RTE6 and SIGNAL/1000 firmware ROMs.
I believe I have those... I think I just saw the DS1000 roms a few days ago 
on my workbench. Ya know, there's a problem with just using a FEM board. You 
don't have the sockets for the smaller proms there. Only on the FAB. Ah, 
that's why I wanted to find blanks for the larger proms - so I could migrate 
the IOP firmware to the FEM. WCS would be more fun....


More information about the cctalk mailing list