[time-nuts] HP 5071A second life

Matus Michael Michael.Matus at bev.gv.at
Thu Jun 30 08:51:04 EDT 2016

I have an old HP 5071 Cs-standard here on my desk. The oven of the (second) tube has lost its Cs completely so the instrument is no longer working. Since the electronic is quite old we acquired a complete new 5071A (now from Symmetricom).

I tried to "reactivate" the HP as a fancy desktop clock without success. Tried different commands on the serial bus but was not able to switch off the fatal error states (which is ok for the proper use). It is not possible to set Time and Date, nor perform a synchronisation. The display just stays dark. Also the reference oscillator is driven to one end causing a horrible frequency stability.

Does somebody know a procedure to override the error states so that the display works with a depleted CBT by programming? I do not want to modify the hardware. And to state it explicitly: I do not need a actual time/frequency standard just a mockup for my desk.


Dr. Michael Matus
BEV - Bundesamt fuer Eich- und Vermessungswesen
Leiter des Referates Dimensionelle Groessen, Frequenz, Zeit
(Head of Section, Dimensional Quantities, Frequency, Time)
Tel. +43 1 21110-6540, Fax +43 1 21110-996000
1160 Wien, Arltgasse 35, Austria
michael.matus at bev.gv.at

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