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Thread: Epson HX-20 from Bundeswehr, some questions about unusual memory expansion and so on.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Guisborough, England
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    130

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    Thanks for the note.

    My micro cassette was working, but after a long time of no use, when I tried to use it, it read a file for a little while and then came up with an error, so there's something wrong. I suspect the drive band (a rubber band) is a little corroded? I've tried to open the unit up, to see if band can be replaced, but it's difficult to get at. So my mc unit is slightly in bits just now. I've used an external cassette instead, and that seems to work OK.

    Interesting about the expansion unit, I wondered if the extra plugs on the top were connected with power or data links, but you're saying power both in and out?

    While I had the unit, I'd replaced the battety two or three times, but back then you could buy a proper repl battery pack. Now you cannot, although I think you could get one made, but what cost??

    Regarding the printer, if you're printing, then I would use the machine with the power adaptor plugged in and on, so the unit can draw power from the adaptor. I think that will work OK. I think I used to do that while using the TF unit (when the two units were speaking to each other!!). But, maybe you've not got the correct mains adaptor? So this may not be an option? Certainly, the 4 AA batteries may not store enough. My external battery pack uses 4 of the size D cells. Note, the manuals say that the charger CAN be used like this, but ONLY if the batteries are there, as they are part of the curcuit, which as you say, isn't very clever.

    Regarding the link, yes, I was getting a graphic from hosting provider as well. Using Chrome. I'll try it again with another browser?

    Geoff

  2. #12

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    Interesting about the expansion unit, I wondered if the extra plugs on the top were connected with power or data links, but you're saying power both in and out?
    You mean the Bundewehr charger thing in the the case that has expansion unit written on it?
    Well. The plug on the top is actually extension of orignal RS-232 8 pin DIN connector. It is here because it would be hard to connect a cable to orignal socket when HX-20 is in this suitcase like case. This way its easier to connect things to this port.
    There is also a socket that outputs 30V on the top. From what i have read on case it seems to be used for a lamp.
    And then you got a 3 pin socket at the left side. I have no idea what it is for but i can only guess that it is for a kind of external power (from the aircraft?) or so.
    This Bundesweh charger unit (this way i gonna call it because it has nothing to do with real expansion unit but the text on the top) has only 2 connection cables going to the HX-20. One goes to the power adaptor socket (where you plug orignal charger) and another goes to the 8 pin DIN RS-232 port, but it is just extension of the port and it is directly connected to the 8 pin DIN socket on top.

    This BCU (Bundeswehr Charger Unit, the short way i gonna call it) has 2 trim pots inside. One is changing the voltage on the cable that goes to HX-20, i have no idea what the other one does, i tried to turn it but i couldn't find what it does.

    Regarding power supply and printing. I cannot use power adaptor because my HX-20 have power adaptor's plug stucked in the socket. I was trying hard to remove it but it seems to be stuck there forver The only way to get rid of it seems to be replacing the the socket.

    I gonna add a photo of the inside of the BCU in attachments.

    IMG_4827.jpg

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Guisborough, England
    Posts
    130

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    Hello,

    Just found an interesting game from japan for HX-20.

    Found it via link http://www.chrismcovell.com/diary.html

    I'm still checking this out, so story is not complete yet.

    I've now got game loading, and finally it will run. Still some queries about game key commands.

    Game is not brilliant, but there are some interesting programming techniques involved.

    NB - the game will operate ONLY if loaded in Program Area 1. Due to one of the 'tricks' in the programming!

    Geoff

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by macieksoft View Post
    But how was HX-20s used in Bundeswehr?
    I served in a logistics regiment in the German army in the late 90s (in an electronics support group). From time to time we had HX20 for service and cleaning. I believe that one application was as field computer for land survey/geodesy (and maybe artillery). Leaking NiCd batteries was a problem back then as well as today for these units.... I believe they have been used in Germany by civil authorities as well for land survey applications.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Guisborough, England
    Posts
    130

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    Regarding the above, I have had my HX-20 since late 1982, when I got it new.

    Over the years, I think I had 3 repl batteries. Maybe 4. Never had any hint of one leaking. I understand that a leaking NiCad is not healthy?

    What sort of thing causes/encourages leaking? Was I just lucky never to have seen it. I still have at least two 'dead' packs sitting about now, no longer holding any charge. Again, no hint of any leak.

    Geoff

  6. #16

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    There are many factors that can cause leaks. Cell quality matters a lot. Cheap beatteries (i mean non rechargable AA and AAA ones) you can buy everywhere gonna leak if you don't use them for months.
    Good cells should survive more time, but eventually they gonna get a leaks too.
    From what i heard overcharging them a lot can also cause leaks, aswel as extreme temperatures (especially during charging).

    (and maybe artillery)
    Would be nice to have some code for a artillery ballistic computer

    And regarding games, here are some: http://www.wickensonline.co.uk/app/index.html#/hx20

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffB17 View Post
    Over the years, I think I had 3 repl batteries. Maybe 4. Never had any hint of one leaking. I understand that a leaking NiCad is not healthy?
    No leaking NiCd batteries are not healthy for you (Cadmium is poisonous when ingested) or the hardware (eating away the tracks on the PCB). From Commodore machines (PC10, Amiga) I have learned that VARTA is more prone to leakage than other brands they have used. Two weaks ago on the VCF in Berlin I saw my last HX20 with leaking batteries caused severe damage on the kapton foil cable....but I cannot remember the battery brand. Maybe Epson used like C= different brands with different long term corrosion resistance?

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