[time-nuts] Difference between HP 5370A and 5370B

Rick Karlquist richard at karlquist.com
Tue Apr 26 13:15:19 EDT 2005

I remember back when the 5370B was being designed that
there were three vendors who made GP-IB interface chips.
All three were implemented incorrectly resulting in bugs,
but the bugs were different.  All three vendors refused
to fix the bugs.  There was also an HP made "PHI" chip
that interfaced with GP-IB.  It might have actually worked
correctly.  I remember that the HP5183 had a bug where it
would go into serial poll by mistake after about 12 hours
of continuous bus activity.  There was no way to fix this
bug, AFAIK.

Rick Karlquist

jim_johnson at agilent.com said:
> Hi David,
>    Apparently the GPIB fix occurred in the
> 5370B models only and as far as he knows, there
> could be some units out there with "bad" firmware
> in them and some with the GPIB fix.  The problem
> still remains where they didn't change the firmware
> revision number so there's no way to confirm it
> one way or the other, besides having your GPIB hang
> up on you.  Sorry, but that's about the best that
> can be done on this issue.  I hope your 5370B is
> a later model that has the fix in it!
> Regards,
> Jim
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com]On
>>>Behalf Of David Kirkby
>>>Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 1:52 PM
>>>To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
>>>Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Difference between HP 5370A and 5370B
>>>jim_johnson at agilent.com wrote:
>>>> Hi again David,
>>>>    I talked to xxxxx this morning and here's what
>>>> he said:
>>>> The 5370B has a different processor board than the
>>>> "A" model, with on-board RAM (the "A" had a separate
>>>> RAM board).  The "B" has had an upgrade to its DAC
>>>> board.  The "B" has a different input module that is
>>>> more stable than in the "A".  The firmware has had an
>>>> upgrade in the "B", as the HPIB (GPIB) would occasionally
>>>> hang up in the "A" model.  The bad news is that the
>>>> newer firmware carries the same rev. number as the old one
>>>> so you can't easily tell which one you have installed.
>>>I'm slightly lost there. You seem to be implying the B's have newer
>>>firmware than the A's, but then saying its not easy to tell if
>>>you have
>>>the new firmware, since the revision is the same. If the newer
>>>was installed only in B's, then all you would need to do is
>>>look at the
>>>model number. Clearly then I assume either some B's have the old
>>>firmware, or some A's have the new firmware, or perhaps HP
>>>would update
>>>an A to a B firmware.
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