Hewlett-Packard 5082-7415 LED Display from 1976

In this article we examine a five digit, seven-segment LED display from Hewlett-Packard, the 5082-7415:

According to the data sheet (HP 5082-series.pdf) and other research this was available for a period of time around 1976 and used with other 5082-series modules in other HP products. Such as the Hewlett-Packard 3x series of calculators, for example:

Using the display is very easy – kudos to the engineers at HP for making a simple design that could be reusable in many applications. The 5082-7415 is a common-cathode unit and wiring is very simple – there are the usual eight anodes for segments a~f and the decimal point, and the five cathodes.

As this module isn’t too easily replaceable, I was very conservative with the power supply – feeding just under 1.6V at 10mA to each of the anode pins. A quick test proved very promising:

Excellent – it worked! But now to get it displaying some sort of interesting way. Using the following hardware…

  • Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board
  • Two 74HC595 shift registers
  • Eight 560 ohm resistors
  • Five 1k ohm resistors
  • Five BC548 transistors
  • A large solderless breadboard and plenty of wires

… it was connected in the same method as a four-digit display (except for the extra digit) as described in my tutorial. Don’t forget to use the data sheet (HP 5082-series.pdf). You don’t have to use Arduino – any microcontroller with the appropriate I/O can take care of this.

Here is a simple Arduino sketch that scrolls through the digits with and then without the decimal point:

And the results:

Now for something more useful. Here is a function that sends a single digit to a position on the display with the option of turning the decimal point on or off:

So if you wanted to display the number three in the fourth digit, with the decimal point – use

with the following result:

We make use of the displayDigit() function in our next sketch. We introduce a new function:

It accepts a long integer between zero and 99999 (number) and displays it on the module for cycles times:

For demonstration purposes the sketch displays random numbers, as shown in the video below:

Update – 23/04/2012

Finally after some more hunting around I found some four-digit (possible knock-off versions of the) HP QDSP-6064 display units on eBay (item #120876219746) as shown below:

They worked very nicely and can be driven in the same method as the 5082-7415s descibed earlier. In the following video we have run the same sketches with the new displays:

In the meanwhile, I hope you found this article of interest. Thanks to the Vintage Technology Association website and the Museum of HP Calculators for background information and Freetronics for the use of the Eleven.

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John Boxall

Founder, owner and managing editor of tronixstuff.com.

6 Responses to “Hewlett-Packard 5082-7415 LED Display from 1976”

  1. lemorlenny says:

    Reviewing this display has me really excited!

  2. Orcinus says:

    Those are nice displays :)

    There was also a three digit version (that was actually more common in calculators, as it allowed for easier grouping). I’ve snagged a bunch of them off of ebay:
    http://arduous.orcinus.me/2011/07/yummy-led-displays-are-yummy/

    You might also find these a lot of fun:
    http://arduous.orcinus.me/2011/07/interfacing-a-siemens-dl2416t/

    … and here’s a quick weather station application of it:
    http://arduous.orcinus.me/2011/07/weather-station-thingy/

    • John Boxall says:

      Well done. I have some of those displays as well, was going to use them with a CPLD demonstration but it was not to be.
      Will fire them up maybe next month.
      cheers
      John

  3. Rohan says:

    WOW!!! Amazing piece of display!!

  4. Jamie says:

    Your contribution to the arduino community is invaluable, Thank you.

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