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05-01-2021 03:27 PM
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
Need User Manual or other documentation for Advanced Docking Stations (A7E32AA #ABA and A7E38AA #ABA))
I recently acquired two different models of the Advanced Docking Stations listed above. Both appear to be in mint condition. That said, I have been unable to find any user manual or other information about these other than a simple list of "specifications" which do little more than enumerate the connectors, ports and so on, along with not-very-useful information such as weight and dimensions.
I would like any information as to where I can obtain application and maintenance information on these products. I am especially interested in supporting at least two independent external video displays and, of course, possibly taking advantage of the the additional USB 3 ports. I may also wish to use the legacy keyboard connector that should support my favorite full-size keyboard model—the original IBM Model M "clicky" keyboards with the PS/2 connector.
I know very little about eSATA and therefore have no immediate expectations to implement that feature in the A7E38AA#ABA unit. That said, I would like to understand the feature and use.
Is there such a thing as a User Manual for this series of Advanced Docking Stations? Help, please!!
Dennis, a.k.a. D2B
9 REPLIES 9
05-01-2021 07:27 PM
I found "QuickSpecs" for these advanced docking stations, but it is not of any particular value. For example, there's mention of a SATA drive bay and something about "battery size lever" but nothing that explains what is required to use them or what function they accommodate. Surely there must have been some kind of user information that clarifies these features?
For example, can one just poke a 2-1/2" SATA SSD in the so-called SATA Drive Bay?
What's the functionality and how do you use the "battery size lever?"
05-02-2021 06:11 AM
Sorry, I don't have specific information in the model of the docking stations of the inquiry, but will mention that I bought a new HP docking station of a very similar designation of the last listed: A7E38AA#BA for a ZBook17 G2. There were no actual instructions included, only some general information as described.
That said, the ZB17 was carefully set into the connector, connected the eternal power supply, keyboard (Dell SK-8135), mouse, and external drive to USB, LAN cable, and a monitor (HP 2711x) to a DVI connector. Without any other action, it simply worked. There is now a second monitor added, a Dell 24" .
As I'd never had a laptop previously, the lack of instructions did not inspire confidence. However, There does not seem to be any hazards in setting up as long as the system is placed carefully into the main connector. That placement is helped by guides, but remains a point of concern until it's been done often enough. Consider making all the system connections first and the docking power supply connected last. The power button on top of the docking station is flush and could be depressed accidentally.
The idea is that sensible, careful connection should be satisfactory- except for the main laptop to station connector, the connectors are standard, everyday parts, and can't go awry.
If you are a connoisseur of keyboards, consider having a look at the massive and retro Dell SK-8135, which reminds me of McIntosh audio equipment of the 1960's. PS/2 keyboards are useful on older systems with limited USB ports for example:
Dell Dimension XPS T700r (1998) > Pentium III (Slot 1) @ 750MHz / 768MB PC100 RAM / AGP ATI Radeon 128MB / SCSI Ultra66 controller / 30 GB + 80GB IDE / Iomega Zip100 backup drive / CD-RW : Memorex 52X / Dynex 10/100 Ethernet/Internet / Soundcard: Audiowerk 2 PCI / Fax Modem : 56K US Robotics / Windows XP 32-bit
HP z620_2 (2017) (R8) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) /GTX 1070 Ti 8GB / Samsung SM951 M.2 512GB AHCI + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit (HP OEM) > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)
[ Passmark Rating = 5789 / CPU rating = 16930 / 2D = 704 / 3D= 12438 / Mem = 2881 / Disk = 15336 / Single Thread Mark = 2298 [5.1.21]
HP z420_3: (2015) (R12) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/ > Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB / ASUS Essence STX + Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K
[Passmark System Rating: = 5437 / CPU = 15217 / 2D = 776 / 3D = 10923 / Mem = 2901 Disk = 5163 /Single Thread Mark = 2382 [4.30.21]
HP ZBook 17 G2: (2015 ) i7-4940MX Extreme (4C@3.1/ 4.0GHz) / 32GB / Quadro K3100M 4GB / Kingston 480GB SATA SSD > 17.3" LCD 1920 X1080 panel > HP docking station> video externally to HP 2711x 27" LCD + Dell 17" (2007) / Logitech 533 _2.1 speaker system
[Passmark System Rating: = 3980 / CPU = 10140 / 2D = 618 / 3D = 2779 / Mem = 2559 Disk = 4662 / Single Thread Mark =2387 [1.3.20]
05-04-2021 08:55 AM
I have found similar results trying out the A7E38AA #ABA Advanced Docking Station. Making a solid connection on this particular unit was frustrating at first and still never easy. It took several attempts to get a proper connection wherein the "latches" actually locked the two together. I still don't know anything about the SATA/eSATA bay nor do I need to know. But then if I knew more about that feature, maybe I could put it to use. It's just very annoying that HP failed end-users by not providing appropriate information on functionality and usage.
As for your favorite keyboard, I am quite certain that it is identical to the IBM version that I use. They look absolutely identical. There was/is a company in Colorado, in or about Denver as I recall, that manufactured those some or all of those keyboards for both IBM and probably Dell, That company is named Lexmark; their name appears on the bottom of at least one of my IBM-branded keyboards. I do know this: IBM spent a great deal of time and effort to research and design this keyboard. The motive for doing this was IBM's desire to develop electric typewriters that were easy to use and free of error when used in business offices by skilled typists. Look on the bottom of your keyboard(s) to see if the name Lexmark appears.
There has never been a comparable keyboard to my knowledge. Contemporary users have no idea what a decent keyboard is like. Most are junk, IMHO.
I still wonder, too, abut the other unexplained feature—something to do with a "large battery" and that little sliding "knob" in the front center of the body of the docking station. That said, HP's support for this product was and still is incredibly lacking.
05-04-2021 12:24 PM
HP advanced docking stations are PORT REPLICATORS, as such they simply replicate the existing ports on the laptop or add a missing port (like a prt port)
no new features are added by these docks so no user manual other than how to connect dock is really needed all specs on thes docks follow the industry standards/specs for each port
some docks howeverer will have onboard sound pci/e slots, these are not port replicator style docks but true expansion devices and they do come with detailed specs in most cases
if you wish to know about eSATA.......then google is your friend
05-05-2021 12:25 AM
The Lexmark "Model M" keyboards are still available, although the body of the keyboard is now black rather than the light beige of the originals. The company that still makes these is now called Unicomp and is located in (no coincidence) Lexington, Kentucky. The current Lexmark product line comprises a line of business-oriented printer, and like Unicomp, they are also headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.
05-05-2021 07:03 AM - edited 05-05-2021 07:05 AM
eSATA: The eSATA feature of the docking station is worth consideration for use with an external backup drive. An external drive running only when backing up and retrieving archival data is a good protection against external threats plus the drives, run only three hours per month last forever.
Using an 2m SATAIII to eSATA shielded cable (Nippon Labs), routed from SATA 0 on the z620_2 motherboard through an open rear PCIe slot, to a Rosewill Aluminum w/fan USB/ eSATAIII enclosure containing an HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB drive, the steady state transfer rate of the weekly 300+GB backup changed from 25-27MB/s to 89-92MB/s, thereby saving quite a lot of time.
Keyboards: The Dell T700r PS/2 keyboard part number is: Dell RT7D5JTW. There is no mention of Lexmark, but of course, now as then, many products are produced by the same firm that are identical except for branding and part number. The RT7D5JTW are called "QuietKey", but seem to still have a satisfying click. There was a, presumably later, black version with the same designation. There is an HP Pavilion Elite m9426f from 2006- it was the MIDI / recording system- having an HP 434820-002 : There are two other PS/2 keyboards around: Dell SK-8110 which arrived with two completely original Dell systems: Precision 390 (2007) and Dimension E520 (2007). Matching trackball mouses as well. Not so glamorous as the SK-8135, but very solid. In my view, the HP 434820-002 is preferable aesthetically to the SK8110.
HP Pavilion Elite m9426f (2006)(RO): Core 2 Quad Q6600 4C @ 2.4GHz / 8GB DDR2 667 PC2-6400 / ATI Radeon HD3650 / WD6400AAKS 640GB > Windows 7 Pro
Passmark system rating = 877, CPU = 3232 / 2D= 374/ 3D=148 / Mem= 909 / Disk= 771] [STM= 847] PT9 10.3.20
05-05-2021 12:29 PM
I disagree with your regarding the need for application information for the A7E38AA #ABA docking station. There is nothing obvious about the features in question. There is a "tray" in the side of the unit. It is either a dummy tray or a tray meant to hold some device, but there is no explanation of what to do with it or what to insert in the slot. Lacking information on this is grossly negligent.
There is also a mechanism in the front face of the main body of the docking station that has something to do with a "large battery" or something like that. Again, HP is grossly negligent by not providing ANY information on its functionality or purpose.
It is also not clear whether or not this docking station is a "port replicator" or a more sophisticated unit as you suggest it might be.
The two diagrams on the labels on top of the main body of this docking station defy interpretation. This too is grossly inappropriate for what is supposed to be a professional-grade accessory to an HP business/workstation laptop computer.
As for backups, I prefer to maintain a clone of the internal SSD, as I do not keep any significant data on the laptop itself. Cloud storage is my preferred alternative to risking loss of data due to a hardware failure on the laptop.
There is no requirement for eSATA devices in my application. I was more interested in the dual ports for video and the PS/2 interface for a far easier-to-use Type M keyboard. It's too bad that this advanced docking station is so much larger than it needs to be in order to obtain these features.
05-05-2021 12:42 PM - edited 05-05-2021 12:43 PM
note product description (A7E32AA#ABA) .........PORT REPLICATOR
personally i think the HP supplied information on this port replicator is more than adequate
05-05-2021 04:10 PM
Having owned sixteen systems since 1993, a dictum of PC use emerged: "no matter how much experience and knowledge is acquired, there will always be another first time", plus, a corollary, BambiBoomZ's Law, "every project requires every tool plus one" . When shifting components between z420_3 and z620_2, I had to buy extremely precise needlenose pliers that could retrieve ssrews and washers from very tight lotions.The last time I bought an external enclosure, it needed that one size Torqx driver not in the box. This applied to working on a cars as well. On a 1957 Jaguar XK140MC with the carburetors off the car, I discovered that SU carburetors still used some Whitworth fittings- not metric or SAE threads or wrenches/sockets. On a 1928 Packard 443- that's apparently before Mr. Hewlitt met Mr. Packard- it seems that the suspension bolt heads were of a locomotive depth. The usual project result: research, expenditure , and waiting for that one new tool.
Fifteen of the sixteen systems were desktops from 1993 to 2020. The first laptop in 2020 meant that any aspect of the laptop that was not identical to the desktop application had to be learned. Some items were obvious- the I/O ports and display connections for example. but the specialized docking station devices were not obvious in terms of the sequence of mechanical configuration. It was possible to work out how to mount the ZB17 G2 in the docking bay, by in a sense reverse engineering the devices, but this was time-consuming and the potential for damage if forcing something was distracting. The "visual alignment" feature in the cryptic list was not obvious in any way.
Certainly, specialized devices respond to research, e.g., the shallow tray that is released by a level on the side is a dummy HP upgrade bay that can be replaced by the actual device which will mount a 2.5" SATA drive and presumably mounting the drive in the upgrade bay , sliding the bay in and locking it will engage the SATA data and power connectors internally. However, that is only the first level of research, yielding the name of the device, and a suggestion- merely a general direction- of what to research next, how to buy the correct device, thirdly, how to install it, forth level, how to configure it, fifth: how to use it, sixth, how to maintain it, and seventh, how to replace it.
When the critical operations for a first time user have to be design analyzed and researched on more than one level- that of acquiring the user's manual, the user is completely justified in assessing documentation as inadequate. The assumption in every manual should be to provide comprehensive nomenclature description and 1,2,3,4,& etc. procedural steps for every feature and device.
Years ago, I knew a manual writer for Toshiba printers , but who also worked on satellite components compliance. Knowing a number of engineers at NASA also, my sense of engineers is that they are deeply insulted when someone starts explaining something to them that they already know and, as they know everything about he devices they are documenting, they assume we users will be irretrievably insulted by simple and complete clarity. Medical doctors sometimes suffer from this kind of experts' arrogance as well.
I say, I'd rather be insulted with complete clarity of the ABC's for simpletons than have to penetrate through several levels of of research of nomenclature and procedure when I should be working.
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