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Azur Electronics

HP 8018A SERIAL
DATA GENERATOR
The HP 8018A Serial Data Generator was bought as "damaged" on eBay UK. This is a dual channel 50MHz serial data generator with a 1024 bit memory capacity per channel. Word mode A&B, Data mode A&B, PRBS mode A only, Mixed mode A only. Option 001 HP-IB (not fitted), Option 002 Card Reader (connector available for punched cards!). The original cost was $3,475 in 1980. A Operating and Service Manual was downloaded.

Front view with comprehensive controls and connectors
Rear view
Top and bottom views with covers removed
November 2007

The unit is in fairly good condition and needs a good clean-up. Some switches are damaged on the front panel. Hopefully, when I get round to repairing this unit it will provide some specific pulses that I need for another project.

Stripped down to assembly level and all cleaned-up. Of the 45 push-button switched, 6 have their plastic covers broken. The Manual/Reset switch is broken.


December 2007

Replaced the Manual/Reset Switch. Tested the various data outputs and all ok.


October 2008

About to start performance testing and found that Sections 3 to 7 are missing in the Manual. So need to find complete Operating and Service Manual.


February 2016

After a long delay, still using the 8018A but no missing Manual Sections yet.


January 2017

Bought a second 8018A for spares or repair.  Started testing and found that the -5.2V rail on the power supply was low voltage and oscillating badly.  The first unit had the same fault as well.

Some repair work is therefore required. For details see Repair HP 8018A Serial Data Generator


March 2017

Have finally obtained the complete Operating and Service Manual, thanks to Dave at Artek Manuals , all 115 pages!  Now both units repaired and tested at last.

This is a very useful Pulse Generator as for instance some complicated pulse trains with short pulse widths and long periods can be formed. The bit rate can be varied from 50Hz to 50MHz, or synchronised to another Generator with the external clock input. First Bit, Last Bit and Word Trigger outputs are provided.

The 8018A is a complex and adaptable Serial Data Generator with a lot of useful functions. Reference to the Operating and Service Manual is required to operate it correctly.

As I don't need two units, one is FOR SALE.