HP J6700 deskside

The HP VISUALIZE J6700 workstation is a high-performance system capable of handling the most complex problems in computational analysis, advanced 3-D design, and electronic circuit design and verification.

This page mostly lists notes and things relating to my particular one, but might be useful for some other machines.

Hardware notes

Bits from manuals and openpa:

There is no parallel port, despite what openpa.net says. The handbook links are also dead now. Does anyone have a source for the old manuals?

The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) indicator is located on the front panel. The LCD has two 16 characters lines.

The J6700 workstations can support up to two hot-pluggable, Low-Voltage Differential (LVD) hard disk drives. These hard disk drives are 3.5-inch form factor, 10K RPM devices which connect to Ultra2 Wide LVD (Low Voltage Differential) SCSI interfaces on the disk bay backplane.

Rear panel has something called the Transfer of Control (TOC) Button. Apparently it will cause a dump and reboot in case the system is otherwise completely unresponsive.

System speaker is located in the power supply. System board LEDs are also seen through the grille. Service handbook has the explanations for them.

The J6700 workstation has a remote power-on feature that allows you to power up and shut down your workstation remotely through the RS232 port.

Finding a console

...you may need to perform the following if your screen is blank. Cycle the power to the workstation. Wait 2 seconds after the Num Lock light flashes near the end of the boot sequence, and then press [Tab] to initiate the automatic monitor selection process.

  1. Disconnect the USB keyboard connector from the rear panel.
  2. Connect a serial terminal emulator to the Serial 1 connector (the left serial connector) on the rear panel. Configure the terminal for: 9600 baud, No Stop Bits, No Parity, and 8 Bits.
  3. Power on the workstation. The system will now display the console to the terminal connected to Serial 1 port. Note that you can use a 9-pin to 9-pin serial cable (HP Part Number F1044-80002) to connect an HP OmniBook serial port to the workstation.

Looks like the keyboard is the key to detecting local console vs serial. Serial should work 9600 8N1, port 1, in the traditional way.

I managed to boot using both keyboard/monitor and serial console. Booting was stopped on a few tries by memory errors. I removed all the RAM and inserted it in sets, booting to check and try things. Eventually all RAM was detected and system boots.

Happily, the RTC seems to be ticking away very nearly correct time.

OS install

There now seems to be some Debian 8 pre-release images for hppa and it would seem to be a nice time to see if the machine I got will boot. I did find my HP-UX 11.00 CD as well, but I have no drive that will fit this box.