Adding a port series HP xw6600, xw8600, and other workstations

Based on some advice from Dan_in_WGBU (which is a HP engineer and an excellent source of information in this forum), here's how to add a serial port backplane HP.  To access a serial port still can be very useful for some projects.

As is done with many more recent work positions the xw6600 and the xw8600 both have no ports series on their basket funds, but HP has designed some of their motherboards with a special type of powered serial port header consisting of two rows of pins... 8 pins on 1 side, 7 on the other.  Who is supposed to accept a cable sheet with a record of 8 holes with a 'white' (filled plastic) which allows the other end go on the motherboard header in only one correct orientation.  For the xw6600 this header is down on the lower edge of the motherboard, just left of the SATA port to the left, under the lowest PCI slot.  It's a '8 x 2 males header' with a single missing pin, which is where plastic filled wil end of shooting overall.  The same device is used with a number of new jobs Z, too.

The small device at the other end of the ribbon cable is known as a "2nd serial port adaper" since when virtually all workstations had a built-in serial port in the bottom of basket.  With the HP xw6600 and before xw8600 workstations this unit should really be called the "1st serial port adapter".  Dan indicates that this unit can be used on any HP motherboards with special serial port header powered 8 x 2 this necessary.  You can see the unique circuit board at the end of supplypaper-mother of the device below, which receives power from the motherboard to the appropriate serial interface and signals.  Note that this is not a simple transmission device on a cable in water, which is used by some other manufacturers to get signals to/from the motherboard serial port.  Head of series of motherboard HP 8 x 2 location is easy to find in your Workstation Service and technical reference Guide.  These manuals are easy to find via Google.

Combined perimeter wire / Ribbon / two brackets PCI 'part option' number PA716A, but the key for a cheap purchase on eBay must know he has reference number is 264534-001 283984-001 (alias).  You can find them on eBay in one of these three designations, with the more expensive under the option part number.  Make sure you get the included ribbon cable... Mine cost me about $10.00 total, including shipping.

XP/W7 32/64-bit OS will recognize this material added automatically, and I bet that Windows 8.1 would be too.  Here is an example of the complete kit, you will get directly from HP, including full-height and low profile PCI brackets.  Many found on eBay are sold without this special ribbon cable coming from the top... Be sure to get one of these.  I bought used... difficult to wear one of these stars:

I can't post the patterns, but it's OK for me to show the pinout of the connector on the motherboard, since most of them are already in technical reference guides.

The serial port follows the standard RS232, once the card is installed.  On the motherboard, the serial port UART signals are routed to the Super IO on the connector of P53, but the motherboard is not the interface RS232 circuit needed to provide the interface voltage levels to meet the EIA/TIA-232 standard and to provide ESD protection on the serial port.  So do not try to connect a serial port connector and connect it directly to the motherboard.  It will not work and may damage the motherboard.

The PA716A card is very simple.  It contains an RS232 interface circuit, more a handful of components ensure the electric compatibility and quality of the signal.  This card is identical to the one used on some HP desktop computers and workstations since about 2002.  If you can get one at a great price, it's probably not worth making your own.

Tags: HP Desktops

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