HP 9000/382 Questions

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 08:43:26 CST 2016

On 2016-01-22 4:52 PM, Pete Lancashire wrote:
> Hello from a newbie to the list
> I've just acquired 2 HP 382's with expanders. Have not had the time to look
> inside them yet.
> End goal is to set one up as an instrument controller i.e. using the built
> in GPIB and potentially a 2nd GPIB card.
> One thing I do not have is a display, keyboard and mouse.
> A few question
> Is there a PS/2 or USB (yea long shot) adapter for the HPIL interface ?
> Does someone have a keyboard/mouse they a not beholding to, or know
> where there maybe one ?
> Once I get the opened up and take an inventory, anything I should look out
> for be trying to power one of them up ?
> Can one boot to a terminal on the RS-232 port. Until I find a kbd/mouse ?
> What would be optimum version of HP-UX to run on them ?
> -pete
Wow great find, those are nice 9000s, I have been looking for one with 
ethernet and SCSI.  You will find lots of documentation for them at 
hpmuseum.net.  It would seem that the display interface is standard VGA, 
however as you discovered the keyboard is HP-HIL.

HP did make a PS/2 adapter module, however it would seem they are 
extremely rare, I would like to get one too.  I have also though of 
building my own, the usual interface is a custom chip made by HP that 
handles most of the protocol, that is coupled with a National 
Semiconductor COP series microcontroller using the microwire interface, 
I have some of these obtained from other HIL devices, the one that is 
the most promising is from an ID module it has all of the HIL hardware 
in it and a ROM-less COP420 so all of its code is in an external EPROM 
making it easy to alter.   There is documentation available for the 
HP-HIL protocol.

There are HP-HIL keyboards and mice available on eBay but they are not 

The 382 apparently has space for internal disks so you may be in luck 
and find it still has an OS installed, the 382 owner guide I found says 
the minimum level of HP-UX is 8.0, I would guess that at some point HP 
stopped supporting the 68K machines but I am not sure when that happened.

I looked through the users guide and there is no mention of using a 
serial console, however is there is an OS installed it is possible that 
a serial port could be set up as a workstation.


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