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The HP 5004A Signature Analyser was required to test my HP 1980B Oscilloscope Measuring System and some other test equipment. The original cost of the 5004A was $990 in 1980.

Front view with Probe, Pod & Grabbers
HP's patented Signature Analysis technique enables the 5004A to display a compressed 4 digit "fingerprint" of the data stream present at a node. By comparing these actual signatures to the correct ones (designed into the product) faults can be identified.

July 2007

After a good clean up and repairs to the data probe and pod wiring, the Signature Analyser seems to be working fine, although all the tests have not yet been completed as I need to generate a particular pulse train. It displays a 4 digit hex character which is read from the DUT (Device Under Test). The characters used are 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A C F H P U (instead of A B C D E F which could be ambiguous, ie 8 and B would have the same display).

Downloaded Manual and HP Journal for May 1977 which covers the 5004A and Signature Analysis.

October 2008

2 more of the tests completed by using the HP 8016A Word Generator and the HP 3762A Data Generator. 2 more tests to complete, hopefully when the 8016A is repaired.

January 2010

Used the 5004A as a test bed for testing the 5005A. With the pod and probe connected to the front panel test points and using the troubleshooting flow chart, all the tests were completed satisfactorily indicating that the Signature Analyser is operating correctly.

April 2010

Having repaired the necessary functions on the 8016A, the performance tests have been completed as far as possible. Data Probe Setup Time is tricky to test and Data Probe Hold Time is not feasible which may be a Manual error or possibly not having exactly the recommended test equipment. In any event the 5004A is performing consistently with the 5005A. Let me know if you have resolved these issues!