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Azur Electronics

I bought the HP 8175A Digital Signal Generator 'spares or repair' unit on eBay UK for £21. The 8175A originally cost $10,050 in 1986. I wanted the Signal Generator to use with my HP 1630D Logic Analyser. This unit has Option 001 Fine Timing Board $1,100 and Option 005 Set of Pods $4,950. A total cost of $16,100.

Front Panel showing push-button controls
Rear Panel showing Pod connections
July 2014

Downloaded the Operating and Programming Manual, however the Operating and Service Manual was not available, but thanks to Nick I now have a copy. The Service Manual is essential for any refurbishment work.

Taking off the top cover showed that some screws were missing and some loose coax cables inside. There was a fair amount of dust especially around the fans. Decided to strip it all down to assembly level and inspect everything before powering up. For details see Repair HP 8175A Digital Signal Generator.

The 8175A now powers-up and passes all its self-test routines. Amazing after nearly 30 years and just shows the quality of HP test equipment.

Start-Up Configuration Display

The 8175A provides parallel and serial data with programmable patterns and pattern durations. HP-IB is included.
Number of Channels: 24 parallel, 2 serial.
Bits per Channel: 1024 parallel, 8192 serial.
Max NRZ Bit Rate per Channel: 50Mbit/s parallel, 100Mbit/s serial.
Programmable Pattern Durations: 20ns to 9.99s range, 10ns resolution.
Fine Timing Option 001: 100ps delay resolution on 4 Channels.
Interaction with DUT: 8bit Trigger, 8 Flags.

Pods and lead sets
Option 005 includes 4 off HP 15462A TTL/CMOS Pods and 1 off HP 15463A Trigger Pod , both with HP HP 15463-63201 Lead Sets.

1 of the TTL/CMOS Pods is missing except for its cable. 2 of the Lead Sets are missing. Need to find some replacements. Please Contact Me if you have them available.

In addition, there is 1 off HP 15461A ECL Pod with its Lead Set. This cost $800. 
Normally 5 off HP 15408A Plug-On Grabbers with Ground Leads were supplied, for some reason I have 7.

Various other Adaptors were available, see page 13 of the Operating and Programming Manual.

I expect that more adaptors will be required for multi-channel use.

Now need to work through the Operating and Programming Manual (only 204 pages) to learn how to use this signal generator.

November 2016

Checking all the specialist batteries in my test equipment, see Batteries In Test Equipment. The 8175A has a 2.4V 0.11AHr NICAD Battery on A20 Assembly, Reference BT1, Part No 1420-0251. Made by GE Part No K02A113AA-GT1 8621.

A replacement battery 2.4V 0.35AHr NiMH was fitted.
The 8175A configuration is saved in RAM. The 8175A needs powering up occasionally to charge the battery.  

... more to follow ...