Acquisition of an Agilent 16702B

It was only a matter of time before I was going to own one of these. Having used the 16700A on the job more than 10 years ago, it was one piece of kit I never forgot the enjoyment of using.

HP 16700/Agilent 16702B
Agilent 16702B in action

It also was inevitable that it’d be an 1670X that I’d go for, not for cost reasons, but to some extent. The affordable 16900’s are clapped out old Pentium III based units that won’t go to anything newer than the ancient Windows XP. This HP-UX based unit on the other hand, is timeless.

One of the first jobs: Replace that flaky, slow old SCSI hard disk with something a bit more modern. As no one has demonstrated any kind of practical (and cost effective) SSD solution for these units yet, I’m not keen to go splashing out on an expensive SCSI to SATA adapter which’ll be unlikely to work. The best hard disk option for repairers appears to be using SCA Ultra320 hard disks from old servers. They’re inexpensive, good performing, large and plentiful.

But first there is an annoying problem: Mine being one with the built in CD-ROM, the hard disk is mounted the opposite way to CD-ROM less units, and the offset of the connector with adapter on the incumbent disk arrangement makes it almost impossible to fit the SCA disk with adapter without slashing up the metalwork, or rebuilding the large SCSI ribbon cable, so I’ve had to make up this little “offsetter” cable to deal with it easily.

scaadapter

And here it is back in the LA

scaadapter_installed

During the re-install I found that the installer just couldn’t seem to cope with the 146GB drive I had installed. I don’t think it’s completely impossible but the LVM configurator is hard coded to always use the whole drive, then complain that it’s too large for the bootloader to boot from. In the end I copped out and installed it on another 9.1GB disk and DD’d it over to my new drive. The bootloader doesn’t mind massive drives, just so long as the root VG doesn’t span its entirety.

I’m not sure where the line between ‘works’ and ‘doesn’t work’ is in terms of disk size, but can confirm that a 73GB drive works, whereas 146GB doesn’t. Maybe 128GB is the maximum?

To transfer the smaller partition set onto the large drive was easy. I simply attached both drives to the analyser at once, boot into the recovery shell from the install CD-ROM and run these commands:

# loadfile dd
# dd if=/dev/dsk/c0t5d0 of=/dev/dsk/c0t6d0 bs=1048576

That took about 5 hours. Note here that SCSI ID 5 is the old 9.1 GB disk I just installed the OS on, and ID 6 is the newer 146GB drive. This had the disadvantage that I’ve wasted most of the drive, but it’s not like it’s ever going to be needed, and only using less than 10% of the drive has considerable performance advantages as the heads barely ever have to move a millimeter to boot the LA.

The upgrade was definitely worth it. With the old drive radiating enough heat to cook a steak, and producing the sound of a hundred maracas in a washing machine, this new drive is cool quiet and a lot faster. It’s now more responsive, and also boots about 15 seconds faster than before. It’s just a shame the rest of it makes a noise level somewhere between a hovercraft and a jet engine.

While I had the unit open – I took the opportunity to photograph two rather sought after but difficult to obtain items:

HP/Agilent 5063-9262 128MB
RARE: HP/Agilent 5063-9262 128MB memory upgrade

This is one tremendously exotic bit of RAM. It is similar to the memory found in old HP-UX workstations which had between one and four 64MB memory modules, but this particular one is a completely logic analyser specific pair of 64MB modules on a single 128MB PCB, despite the system reporting it as two 64MB upgrades.

HP/Agilent 5063-9262 128MB
5063-9262 Underside

Sadly these memory upgrades are only feasibly obtainable with a unit that was sold with them. Keysight apparently have some stock of the above upgrade, but with shipping and administrative charge, it’s cheaper to just buy a used Option 003 analyser, pinch its ram and throw it away.

HP/Agilent 16600-66518 Video memory upgrade
UNOBTAINABLE: HP/Agilent 16600-66518 Video memory upgrade

Even more difficult to come by is the video memory upgrade, which increases maximum resolution from 1280×1024 to 1600×1200. So far as I can tell this upgrade is effectively useless as it will only output 1600×1200 @ 75Hz which no LCD monitor will accept, as 60Hz is the maximum refresh rate for all LCD panels, unless the monitor happens to have some kind of intermediate buffering mechanism which I am unaware of any examples of.

Interestingly though there is a “user defined” display mode which I hoped would allow entry of a modeline or EDID but thus far I have not found any interface to configure it.

HP/Agilent 16600-66518 Video memory upgrade
16600-66518 Underside

The best way to use this Analyser appears to be the same way that I did on the job all those years ago: Remote X11

I was a little disappointed to find that after logging via Telnet using the “logic 192.168.0.x:0.0″ format, that nothing happened? I don’t remember remote X11 being a difficult thing to use on these units. After trying all sorts of X servers, nothing worked at all!

In the end, I followed this guide, got a shell on it, reset the password for the secret “hplogicz” user.

(Quoted from http://www.perdrix.co.uk/)

As the system is booting, use the Esc key to interrupt the boot process, then issue the command BO PRI ISL.  When it asks you if you wish to interact with the boot process, respond with a “y” and press enter, then at the ISL> prompt, issue the command:

hpux -is

to get into single user mode.

Once you have a command prompt, you can use passwd root to change the root password.

In my case I wasn’t interested so much in resetting the root users password (but what the hey, why not) – but instead the hplogicz user which is already in place for this kind of use.

# passwd hplogicz

– and then reboot the LA, logged in via telnet with this account and started the logic analyser application manually with the following commands:

logic:/home/hplogic> export DISPLAY=192.168.0.31:0.0
logic:/home/hplogic> vp &
Agilent 16702B running with remote X11 on MobaXTerm
16702B running with remote X11 on MobaXTerm

So it appears that on mine, the program that normally is supposed to start the remote session (/usr/sprockets/bin/sessionWrapper) wasn’t working, but can be manually fudged around by starting vp the old fashioned way.

42 thoughts on “Acquisition of an Agilent 16702B”

    1. Did you have to do anything special w.r.t. the SCSI2SD to emulate the driver properly? I’m mostly interested in sector size and count. Did you just duplicate the parameters from the factory drive?

      1. From my own experience, that partition configurator in the installer pretty much ignores everything you attempt to specify in it, and calculates everything its self!

    1. I liked the look of the Saleae but the max of 16 channels was a bit limiting. The project I mainly bought this for (8OD) requires around 50 channels to do a proper analysis.

      Fortunately these things are practically worthless these days. I believe this was US $1200 – which is pretty bargain basement considering what it would have originally sold for.

  1. Did you ever do anything with the fans? I’m sure there are more efficient/quieter fans on the market. Also, which SCSI standard is that drive? I think I’m going to go the route of SD/CompactFlash-to-SCSI for mine.

    1. The SCSI standard of the LA is Ultra SCSI (20MHz SE).
      The Drive standard is Ultra 320 (LVD/SE).

      I started looking at quietening it down, until I realised that the majority of the noise comes from the smaller fans in the power supply, which is quite a lot of work to get to let alone disassemble.

  2. Thanks a lot for this howto. I was able to set my 16700A for remote operation according to it.
    Now I don’t need to look for 1600×1200 LCD monitor with refresh rate of 75 Hz (which is unobtanium) as I’m able to use the full resolution of my PC monitor which is 1920 x 1080….
    I was a bit afraid of how it will work over 16700A’s 10MB/s ethernet, but so far so good :).

  3. Great to find this page – I recently acquired a 16702B that was getting thrown out. Tried powering it on, fans spun up, power light flashed, and after about 10 seconds, head a loud pop sound and smelled burn silicon. Long story short, at least 2 of the IRFP450 MOSFETs in the power supply have blown. Have you ever seen this? I can’t seem to locate a schematic for the power supply (Celestica 7000). Caps in parallel with output of bridge rectifier test OK out of circuit; output of bridge rectifier appears to be shorted.

  4. Hello! I just bought an HP 16702B Logic Analyzer (just like yours!) with Option 003 and I want to upgrade the hard drive like you did. Where did you get the adapter for the hard drive and can you provide a link to where I can purchase the stuff to make the custom cable that you made? Thank you!

    1. The cable is a shortened version of a 30CM SCSI extension cable I bought off eBay. Link is no longer valid. As for the SCA -> 50PIN adapter board, pick one. There’s lots on eBay.

      If I were you I’d consider using a SCSI2SD adapter, you might find yourself expending less time and money!

      1. Thank you for your response Admin. I looked at the link to the SCSI2SD adapter last night. Am I right in thinking they use MicroSD cards? It was hard to tell from the pick. I’m a little worried about MicroSD cards. We’ve had trouble with them not lasting for a very long time. I mean, better named brand stuff seems to last better. I was under the impression though that SCSI tends to last forever! I do have to admit, I don’t have much experience with SCSI hardware though. Thanks!!

        1. Well it is your choice. I suppose it could be said that a good quality SCSI HDD would be more reliable than an SD card, but it’s more work to get it in there.

          Performance is largely irrelevant. The Analyser’s CPU is so excruciatingly slow that that HDD has to be very slow to be the bottleneck.

          If you go down the SCSI Hard disk route, don’t buy anything over 73GB, or you’ll be in real trouble trying to get it to work as I’ve mentioned on this post!

          1. Thank you. If I go the SD route, does the size no longer matter? If not, I’ll probably give the SD route a shot and see how it works. I’m just so excited. First time I’ve ever owned a Logic Analyzer and I think I made the right choice with the HP 16702B. Just can’t wait for it to arrive. It comes with two modules, a 16717A 333MHz state / 2GHz timing module and a 16740A 200MHz state / 800 MHz timing module (according to the E-Bay page). I don’t know much about these so the information might be wrong but those are the module numbers, 16717A and 16740A. I also managed to find a great deal on a 16534A two channel 500 MHz 2Gs/s digitizing oscilloscope module but the guy couldn’t get the triggering to work. Hopefully I can figure it out! I’m going to try and replace the fans when my LA comes. If you need a copy of the OS, I believe I have the latest version 2.90.00.

          2. I would like to get a copy of the latest OS. I just obtained a 16702B with three 16717 modules and all the cables and nice HP grabbers. Paid $685 bucks in an auction!

  5. Hi….I got a 16702B….working fine. But I am having a hard time network connecting the LA to a linux computer with a second NIC card ( first one is on DSL modem to internet). I assumed I could use a straight through LAN cable to a Belkin router….and a LAn cable to the LA. DHCP didn’t work so I manually configured LA to :
    Standardlogic
    Hostname “logic”
    Internet Address (IP)= 192.168.1.1
    Gatewayname= “logic-gateway”
    Gateway IP= 192.168.1.0

    The linux computer ( Ubuntu 12.04) is set as follows:
    wired connection 2 = eth3
    connect automatically = checked
    method= manual
    Addresses:
    Address = 192.168.1.1
    Netmask = 255.255.255.0
    Gateway = 192.168.1.0
    DNS servers= blank
    Search Domains = blank
    DHCP client ID = blank
    Require IPv4 for this connection = checked
    only route shown:
    Address = 192.168.1.2
    Netmask = 255.255.255.0
    Gateway = 192.168.1.0
    Metric = 3

    When I ping from the computer to IP 192.168.1.2 ( the LA) it ping successfully
    When P ping from the LA to IP 192.168.1.1 ( the computer it pings successfully.

    BUTTT…..when I I enter 192.168.1.2 in Firefox address bar it reports “Unable to Connect”.
    When I start telnet in a terminal and at the Telnet prompt type “open 192.168.1.2″ it reports” Unable to connect to remote host; No route to host”

    I’m stumped. Could you provide details how you got yours to display the LA screen over network ?
    Any help would be appreciated. Cheers.

    Alan Jacobs
    Green Bay Wisconsin

    Subnetmask= 255.255.255.0
    Nothing in Name resolver
    nothing in Windows name resolver
    netmask = 255.255.255.0

    1. It sounds like your problem is more networking related, so can’t help you there sorry. The LA’s OS will present web interface and telnet out of the box, there isn’t an option to disable it.

      Only thing I’d say from looking at it – You sure 196.168.1.2 isn’t also in use by something else?

  6. Matt…thanks MUCH for the timely & helpful reply. Indeed was a network conflict….DHCP on internet wired connection 1 to ATT-Uverse modem router at 192.168.1.70 was somehow blocking LA address 192.168.1.2. I turned off the internet connection and bingo ! was able to access LA at 192.168.1.2 in Firefox web page. Your article mentions you use telnet for remote access to LA’s GUI. I tried telnet…no go….couldn’t find right “login”, “password”, and “displayname” terms. The LA is not in secure mode- no username or password needed to run the LA itself so I assume these fields are null value. So what syntax would I use to start telnet to access LA GUI? Again thank you for the interest.
    Alan

  7. Hi, I have 16702B with mouse and keyboard problems. They are getting power to them and they are trying to communicate but nothing happening on the LA display. It doesn’t seem to be a hardware problem but I could be wrong. Unit has a touch screen and that works so I have been looking through the files for where things are going wrong but haven’t found anything related to these two devices. Any ideas will be appreciated and thank you for the post.
    Gary

  8. Better yet, does anyone know what brand of external SCSI CD drives will work with the hp 1670x Logic Analyzers? I understand that the interface on the rear of the analyzer is single ended. This make me assume that differential (dual ended) drives may use the same connector.

  9. Thanx for the replies. I did a lot of digging around and found the info I needed. I was able to purchase a real cheap hp C1415A single ended DVD/CD unit, change out the connector on the rear and use a standard issue hp 56 to 50 pis SCSI cable to connect it to the discarded 16700A and have SAE show it as a bootable device. I then got the iOS image for the Latest LA version A.92.90.00 and made a CD. It won’t boot, but that could be anything I’ve done wrong. Drive really not notable, FIld to make a bootable CD etc. I’ll look into it when I’m board, lots of fun indeed.

  10. Thanx for the replies. I did a lot of digging around and found the info I needed. I was able to purchase a real cheap hp C1415A single ended DVD/CD unit, change out the connector on the rear and use a standard issue hp 56 to 50 pis SCSI cable to connect it to the discarded 16700A and have SAE show it as a bootable device. I then got the iOS image for the Latest LA version A.92.90.00 and made bootable CD etc. so far. . So good. I just let the reignite do its thing. I’m wondering if I should have found a way to reformat the drive first. This is because of some of the ‘unable to – – -‘ messages that came over the console before it (the HD & CD dives) did its crunch & chew job.

    1. Correction: that’s hp 1670x version A.02.90.00.

      It’s quite nice that they fixed the 18GB drive limitation on this new version. I just installed it on an 80GB SCA drive and are now running it on an old 16700A with firmware version 1.0. Seems faster than the old 4 GB IBM drive. Defiantly much more quiet.

        1. I’d email the HP/Agilent yahoo group. There’s usually several people on there who have a mirror of it. Failing that I do have it but it’d take me a while to upload it.

  11. The SCSI drive in my 16700B is a 68 pin.

    The adapter card Itead
    States 50 pins. Will this work in a 16700B?
    Does use the micro card.

    1. I am using various types of LVDS drives in my 16700A with either the HD68-pin (with adapter) or 50-pin IDC connector.

  12. I updated my 16700A with A.02.90.00 and am having no luck starting a remote X session with it using Xming on a PC. I’ve used it before on othe X sessions without much problem. I think I am following the instructions detailed by Matt and are using the default Agilent password ‘uh,uhuh’. I’m able to get to the LA via PUTTY and get things started, but it refuses and terminates the X-term session with a message saying no protocol specified. I’m sure it’s just my ignorance with the LA and the details of properly starting XMing. Can any one shed some advice upon this?

  13. Hey all. I’m looking at getting one of these, but it looks like all 5 cards slots in the back have filler panels. Does this mean that it has no analysis ports? Is it not a LA until an LA card gets added?

  14. Hi,

    You said at the time of the writing that no LCD monitor, to your knowledge, would support 1600×1200 @ 75 MHz. Does that still hold true?

    I found this:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824002270

    And it appears as though maybe it can handle that output resolution, unless I’m misunderstanding something.

    It’s an NEC LCD2070NX-BK. From google, I found there’s some other LCD type monitors that supposedly can handle the 1600×1200 @ 75MHz. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. I still have never seen a panel that supports this. I very much doubt it would work. It does say up to 85Hz however this is likely to be for lower resolutions.

      It may or may not work, but realistically, it is not worth spending the money on. Just use Remote X.

  15. I have been trying unsuccessfully to install a IBM Ultrastar IC35L073UCDY10 73.4gb U160 drive using the same SCA to 50 Pin adapter you have. I can not get the drive to be recognized at all in the LA. I tried setting the jumpers to force SE in case the adapter did not supply the connection along with disabling the parity, setting the Disable Unit Attention, and TI Sync negotiation. None of the combinations resulted in the drive being recognized.
    So my question is did you have to set any jumpers directly on the drive or adapter and if so which were they.

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