The HP 5036A Microprocessor Lab was designed by Hewlett Packard to be a learning tool for acquiring the basics of microprocessor operations. It was also used to help students, technicians and engineers understand how to repair faulty microprocessor-based systems.
Mounted in a brief case, the HP 5036A provided both the hardware and software basics and vital troubleshooting information needed to solve hardware problems. The board held a 8085A CPU, 2 KB ROM and 1 KB RAM. Displays for the Address/Register/Data were 6 digit, 7-segment LED displays. Output port had 8 LED's, one for each line. Address bus had 16 LED's, one per line. Status lines had 6 LED's; one per line. I/O's 8-bit latched output port with LED indicators, and 8-bit input port with DIP switch. Several DIP switch were used to disconnect MPU data lines from data bus, select test loop program or run a program in test mode. Twelve user-programmable fault jumpers on circuit board simulated various hardware faults.
The HP 5036A shipped with a very complete 450+ page course book, which covered both hardware and software in detail in separate chapters containing summaries, hands-on experiments and quizzes. Once these chapters were completed, the course built up to a series of troubleshooting experiments employing recommended troubleshooting instruments (HP 5024A Logic Troubleshooting Kit, HP 5006A Signature Analyzer...) that challenge the user and reinforce microprocessor operating concepts. The book also contained information on the use of oscilloscopes, signature analyzers, logic analyzers, and logic probes for troubleshooting microprocessor-based products.