[volt-nuts] HP3458A - comparison FW 8 vs. FW 9

Frank Stellmach frank.stellmach at freenet.de
Sun Jan 19 10:13:19 EST 2014


I compared the content of firmware 8 from my own HP3458A with the latest 
firmware 9.
Changes of firmware 9 over FW 8 is nowhere documented by HP - that's 
On the agilent forum, no one of the agilent guys wanted to respond to my 
question about that version..

So I was even more curious, what's the content of the change, and if it 
makes sense to update to the new version.

I did a low level comparison, just byte by byte over all 384k.

It turns out, that 10 bytes only are different, 4bytes of them I assume 
being 2 basic absolute jump addresses at the end of the EPROM like RES, 
IRQ, NMI, or so.

One byte I assume to be referenced to the idn? GPIB command, as it is 
located directly before the HP3458A identifier string. Perhaps that has 
something to do with the change of name from HP to agilent.

As I'm not familiar with the 68000 processor, I did not attempt any 
disassembly of the code.

It's quite obvious, that no functionality change or important correction 
of bugs happened.

Therefore, I will not update the firmware in my instrument.

I assume, that in this version, perhaps those undocumented commands 
MREAD, MWRITE have been blocked, by changing their entry addresses in 
the command parser.

Perhaps somebody from the volt-nuts list can analyse better those 
different bytes?!


Compare firmware.bin and firmware_rev9.bin...
Difference @ OFFSET 553
File1 = 8
File2 = 9
Difference @ OFFSET 1FFFF
File1 = AA
File2 = AB
Difference @ OFFSET 4E21C
File1 = FD
File2 = 1
Difference @ OFFSET 4E21D
File1 = 1C
File2 = DC
Difference @ OFFSET 4E223
File1 = 8C
File2 = 8D
Difference @ OFFSET 4E224
File1 = D1
File2 = C1
Difference @ OFFSET 5FFFC
File1 = 2B
File2 = 2A
Difference @ OFFSET 5FFFD
File1 = 79
File2 = 7A
Difference @ OFFSET 5FFFE
File1 = B2
File2 = A6
Difference @ OFFSET 5FFFF
File1 = 98
File2 = 59
10 Differences

More information about the volt-nuts mailing list