Peripheral Products

PC Instruments with HP-150

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Name: PC Instruments
Product Number: 6101X
Introduced: 1985
Division: New Jersey Division
Ad: Click to see
Original Price: Unknown
Catalog Reference: 1986, page 193
Donated by: Ian Johnston, Victoria


On March 26, 1985, HP's New Jersey Division introduced a range of instruments to interface with the HP-150 and IBM personal computers. The modules included:

61010AA - 16-bit digital I/O ($650),
61011AA - 8-channel relay MUX ($650),
61012AA - 12-bit dual voltage D/A converter ($800),
61013AA - 4.5-digit digital voltmeter ($650),
61014AA - 5 MHz function generator ($1500),
61015AA - 100 MHz universal counter ($900),
61016AA - 50 MHz digitizing oscilloscope ($1500),
61017AA - 8-channel relay actuator ($650).

The personal computer communicated with PC Instruments via HP's Personal Computer Interface Bus (PC-IB). Up to eight PC Instrument modules could be controlled with each interface card. The interface cards were:

61060AA - PC-IB for HP-150 ($500),
61061AA - PC-IB for IBM PC ($500).

PC Instruments also included a range of software for the HP-150 and IBM-compatible PCs to control the instruments and to manage the data.

PC Instruments was product line 6B for the New Jersey Division. HP sold just over $1M worth of the products in 1985. Revenue jumped to over $7M the following year, before fading to under $3M in 1987.

Collector's Notes:

The individual instruments that make up this collection are now very rare. Even more rare are the interface cards required to connect the instruments to a personal computer. The museum has a full set of this product as well as an interface card for the HP-150 and one for a PC. The few instruments we have tested with the HP-150 interface card have worked fine. Our version of the software for the HP-150 has a curious habit of forcing CRT display information somewhat to the left. In order to get a centered display, we need to adjust our normal display output well to the right. We have two copies of the software for the HP-150 and both produce the same affect.

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