Tektronix 3001GPX power up & boot


 

Chris,

Interesting. I've only seen reference to two hard drive controller boards for the 3001GPX, ST506/ST412 controller that I have in mine, and an IDE controller. If/when the hard drive in this fails I don't know what I will do to replace it. I assume that the retro-computing community has a solution for ST506 drives that involves a microcontroller and a flash card, but I haven't looked into it.

-- Jeff Dutky


cmjones01
 

On Mon, May 23, 2022 at 12:17 AM Jeff Dutky <jeff.dutky@...> wrote:
The expansion chassis looks like a mixed bag: on one hand you have a bunch of extra capability (including a color display, that uses a TekLink connection?, and the DSO option) that you can get with it, but on the other hand it is really big and loud (based on one video I found on YouTube of someone demoing a 3002 boot process). If I stumble across a 3002 with the DSO option I will probably snatch it up, but the two that I see on eBay are moderately expansive, and don't appear to have the DSO board.
I'm the guy who posted the boot process on YouTube. Sadly I have
little more to add to the discussion, since I sold the 3002 years ago.
I can confirm that it was loud, yes. Though it had a lot of clever
features, I never really got on with it and had real trouble getting
the triggering to do anything. I do remember it had an ESDI hard drive
which was very unusual, and one of the reasons I decided to move on,
since I couldn't see a way of maintaining it if the drive died.

Chris


 

I meant "HSM" not "HSB"

-- Jeff Dutky


 

Jim,

Thanks for the reply. I was going to replace the battery anyway, as it's about the only thing that I can do to address any immediate deficits with the instrument, but fingers crossed that it does the trick.

I'd been wondering about the HSB feature. It looks like I only have the GPX probe pods. I will have to see if I can find any of the HSM pods. I did read (in the manuals I found on-line, and in the 1994 Tek catalog) that the DSO option was only available if you had the 3002 expansion chassis. The DSO option does sound very nice, however.

The expansion chassis looks like a mixed bag: on one hand you have a bunch of extra capability (including a color display, that uses a TekLink connection?, and the DSO option) that you can get with it, but on the other hand it is really big and loud (based on one video I found on YouTube of someone demoing a 3002 boot process). If I stumble across a 3002 with the DSO option I will probably snatch it up, but the two that I see on eBay are moderately expansive, and don't appear to have the DSO board.

-- Jeff Dutky


Jim Ford
 

Hi, Jeff.

That 3001GPX appears (from TekWiki) to be a more portable version of the Prism (or is it Prison?!) system logic analyzer/DSO that I used at a former employer back in the late 1990's. In the early 2000s, I consulted for the same company and took out some of my pay in the form of test equipment, including 2 Prism systems. I ended up selling them on eBay, but I'll try to remember how those things worked.

Mid 2000s I bought a TLA711, AFAIK the next generation Tek logic analyzer/DSO system, and used it for a while before the realtime clock battery died. In that case, it did indeed refuse to boot up. So I wouldn't be surprised if your 3001GPX does the same.

BTW, the Prism system had the General Purpose logic analyzer pods called GPX and 2 optional HSM (High Speed Module) pods with IIRC 10 channels each and 2 optional DSM probes. The HSM was interesting and useful because it had 2 thresholds per channel. Handy for checking for bus contention where one transceiver was trying to pull signals high and another was trying to pull them low. I've not seen that capability elsewhere before or since. You'd have a one and a half bit signal on the screen, almost like analog. And speaking of analog, that's where the DSM came in. It's a DSO with IIRC 400 MHz BW and 8-bit resolution, automatically sync'd to the GPX and HSM pods. Why is that signal chattering between states? Hook up the DSM and look at the waveform. Aha! Slow risetime because something is capacitively loading the bus. Etc.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'll see if I can dust off the brain cells.

Good luck with the 3001GPX!

Jim Ford

------ Original Message ------
From "Jeff Dutky" <jeff.dutky@...>
To TekScopes@groups.io
Date 5/22/2022 3:35:52 PM
Subject Re: [TekScopes] Tektronix 3001GPX power up & boot

Several of updates:

1) I verified that the hard drive option (Opt. 1M) is actually installed (which I already suspected from the "Opt. 1M" tag on the back, along with a tag indicating that the hard drive is a Seagate ST-151, rather than the later IDE version, and because the boot screen says that it loaded the software from hard disk, and says that it parked the heads when I put it in standby).

2) I let the instrument try to boot from the software on the hard drive for 25 minutes, with not change in the boot screen messages, and no apparent progress.

3) I've been reading through the service manuals, and it doesn't look like there is a way to make the boot process show verbose messages. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any diagnostic guidance for a failure to boot. My only option seems to be to boot from the diagnostic floppy (which I have images of, but I have not created a floppy from them yet).

4) I also see that there is a battery to keep the clock-calendar memory, which I assume needs to be replaced. It doesn't sound like the battery backed NVRAM holds other information (e.g. calibration constants) so maybe it won't be a big deal after I replace the battery. Would a dead battery keep the machine from being able to boot? I am skeptical.

5. All of the power on self tests pass, and I have a steady image on the CRT, which tells me that a lot of things are working correctly. The fact that I'm not seeing error messages from reading the hard disk seems to suggest that it is also working correctly. Do I need to have the probe pods connected for this to boot?

-- Jeff Dutky





 

Several of updates:

1) I verified that the hard drive option (Opt. 1M) is actually installed (which I already suspected from the "Opt. 1M" tag on the back, along with a tag indicating that the hard drive is a Seagate ST-151, rather than the later IDE version, and because the boot screen says that it loaded the software from hard disk, and says that it parked the heads when I put it in standby).

2) I let the instrument try to boot from the software on the hard drive for 25 minutes, with not change in the boot screen messages, and no apparent progress.

3) I've been reading through the service manuals, and it doesn't look like there is a way to make the boot process show verbose messages. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any diagnostic guidance for a failure to boot. My only option seems to be to boot from the diagnostic floppy (which I have images of, but I have not created a floppy from them yet).

4) I also see that there is a battery to keep the clock-calendar memory, which I assume needs to be replaced. It doesn't sound like the battery backed NVRAM holds other information (e.g. calibration constants) so maybe it won't be a big deal after I replace the battery. Would a dead battery keep the machine from being able to boot? I am skeptical.

5. All of the power on self tests pass, and I have a steady image on the CRT, which tells me that a lot of things are working correctly. The fact that I'm not seeing error messages from reading the hard disk seems to suggest that it is also working correctly. Do I need to have the probe pods connected for this to boot?

-- Jeff Dutky


 

I just acquired a Tek 3001GPX with all the goodies (keyboard, three P6490 acquisition probes, and 2 extra probe lead assemblies for the P6490s). It powers on, passes all it's self tests, says that it is loading and running software from the hard disk, but it never shows the main menu: it just stays on the boot screen. I haven't given a huge amount of time to boot, but I've given it a few minutes.

How long should a 3001GPX take to boot from the internal hard drive? Am I just too impatient?

-- Jeff Dutky