Serial analyzers (was Re: VAX 11/730 quickie)

tony duell ard at
Tue Feb 23 07:25:26 CST 2016

> I've always eyed the 4952... being as my penchant is HP and much of my test
> equipment is same-vintage HP gear (I'll give a vote for the 1631D logic
> analyzer, combo LA and digital scope - the scope is sorta poor, but handy -
> the LA is great for what I work on).

I would love to find the upgrade kit to turn my 1630 into a 1631, but they are
not exactly common.

> However, I spent a significant portion of my career in front of a serial
> analyzer so I'm pretty familiar with them. As much as I really WANT the 4952
> to be "it", it isn't - for me. Mainly because I have found that having a
> unfolding or removable (or permanently in the usual spot) keyboard takes up
> far too much bench space - or is unusable when standing the unit upright
> (very often it was convenient to set the LA on the floor and on the models I
> use - the keyboard and screen face straight up).

Right... That is an interesting point. With the sorts of machines we work on
you want to take the test gear to the machine and not vice versa and there
is often nowhere convenient to put a large instrument

I was given a unit badged by Black Box (I can get the details which is almost
small enough to be handheld. It has an 8 line LCD display (in monitor mode, 
alternate lines give the data in each direction, one is in inverse video so it's
quite clear) and a membrane keyboard with nice clicky metal domes. I forget
the internals, but it's something like a Z180, nothing really custom apart from
the ROM. One oddity is the power switch, which is both a slide switch (to 
completly disconnect the battery) and keys on the keyboard. Given that the
RAM contents (data and config) are backed up by a lithium coin cell even when
the slide switch is turned off, it is not clear why they did it this way. I suspect
the HP units do rather more, but this does everything I need apart from not
going down to 50 (or 45.45) baud.


> Just my 2 millidollars worth...

Don't you mean 20 millidollars?


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