Terminal Tab


This virtual HP-IL device emulates a terminal (display and keyboard). It can be used as a display device without using a keyboard by all HP-IL controllers. The keyboard emulation is supported for the HP-75 and the HP-71B (see below).

HP-IL configuration:

Accessory ID0x3E
Default Address8

The display supports all escape sequences which are specified on page 328 of the HP-71B reference manual. In addition the emulator supports the escape sequences ESC S (scroll one line up), ESC T (scroll line down>, ESC U (display next page) and ESC V (display previous page). Selected text can be copied to the system clipboard.

The display supports four character sets:

  • HP-41: Alternate character set of the HP82152 thermal printer. Characters > chr(127) are displayed inverse video. Use this character set if the controller is a HP-41. Note: the character with code 002 is displayed without over bar.
  • HP-71: Character set of the HP-71 calculator. Characters > chr(127) are displayed inverse video.
  • HP-75: Character set of the HP-75 calculator. Characters > chr(127) are displayed inverse video instead of underlined because of technical and readability issues.
  • Roman-8: This character set should be used if the controller is a HP-71 where the ROMAN-8 character set was enabled with the aid of a LEX file.

Note: although it was possible to map nearly all characters of the HP calculators to Unicode, some very special characters may not be displayed correctly due to missing characters in the system fonts.

Requirements and setup for the keyboard emulation (HP-71)

The Enable IDY frames option in the pyILPER configuration must be enabled if pyILPER is connected to the PIL-BOX. You need at least the firmware version 1.6 installed on the PIL-Box as well.

Set the character set and keyboard type to HP-71 in the Tab configuration menu (see below).

Install the KEYBOARD LEX and the PILTERM Basic program which are provided in the LIF disk image file PILIMAGE.DAT which is part of the pyILPER package.

The function Copy PILIMAGE.DAT to workdir in the Utilities menu copies the file PILIMAGE.DAT from the pyILPER software directory to the current pyILPER working directory. Mount PILIMAGE.DAT to a virtual drive and copy the KEYBOARD LEX file and the PILTERM Basic program to the HP-71B.

Enter RUN PILTERM from the HP-71B keyboard and make the terminal tab of pyILPER visible. You should now see a blinking cursor. Click into terminal window. Now you can enter characters that are sent to the HP-71B as keyboard input.

If the keyboard hangs press the ATTN key twice at the HP-71 and rerun the PILTERM program from the HP-71 keyboard.

If you need to reconfigure the loop simply run the PILTERM program from the terminal window again.

Keyboard mappings:

PC keyboardHP-71 key
Shift upJump Begin
Shift downJump End
Shift leftCursor to begin of line
Shift rightCursor to end of line
Ctrl downNext catalog

To enter any character which is not available on the PC keyboard you can use the ALTnnn input method (see below). It is not possible to enter characters with a character code > 127.

Requirements and setup for the keyboard emulation (HP-75)

You need the HP-75 IO-ROM to use the keyboard emulation. In addition you have to install the PILHP75 basic program which included in the LIF disk image file PILIMAGE.DAT. See the chapter above how to mount this file as a virtual drive.

Set the character set and keyboard type to HP-75 in the Tab configuration menu (see below).

Copy the file to the HP-75 and enter run 'pilhp75'. Proceed as specified in the chapter above.

Keyboard mappings:

PC keyboardHP-75 key
Shift F5Last error
Ctrl F5Last input
Ctrl F6Reset Display
Shift F7Literalize and underscore

For all other input to the HP-75 use the keystrokes as specified in the user manual. Nearly all key combinations should work. There is no emulation for the HP-5 LOCK key.

To enter any character below character code 127 use the appropriate keystroke or the ALTnnn input method (see below). To enter characters with code > 127 use the prefix CTL I/R which is Shift F7 on the PC keyboard.


  • The calculator does not process any keyboard input while a Basic program or a calculator command is running. Thus you have to interrupt them with the ATTN key of the calculator.
  • Key combinations that display information temporarily while the keys are held down do not work.

Common keyboard features and issues

The keystrokes CTRL-Spacebar to Ctrl-Z are not supported because they interfere much with window managers. If you need any character from this code range use the method described below.

To enter a numeric character value hold down the ALT key and enter a 3 digit numeric value (000 - 127).

For MAC Users the following shortcuts are available:

ShortcutCharacter or function
ALT-Itoggle insert/replace

Beyond that the Meta key must be used for the Ctrl key combinations on macOS.

You can paste keyboard input from the system clipboard. Use this feature with care.

The ALT-A to ALT-Z key combinations with the exception of ALT-I and ALT-L (see above) can be used as user defined shortcuts. These shortcuts can be specified in the file menu.

Note: Some key combinations might be reserved for the window manager and thus are not forwarded to the pyILPER application. In this case try to disable or redefine the affected key combination in the window manager.

Device function keys

The keystrokes PageUp and PageDown scroll the window to the previous and next window respectively. These keystrokes do not send any data to the controller. Instead they insert the corresponding Escape sequences in the display command buffer immediately.

Device controls

Device enabled checkbox: If checked then the virtual HP-IL terminal device is available on the loop. Please mind to reconfigure the loop each time this box has been checked or unchecked.

Tab configuration menu

  • Terminal width: Switches between a 80 column and a 120 column output Note: toggling this option will clear the display.
  • Color scheme: choose a black, amber, green or "paper" color scheme.
  • Font size: set the font size of the terminal output. If Default is selected, the setting of the pyILPER configuration is used.
  • Scrollup buffer: alter the number of lines of the display scroll buffer. Note: changing this value will clear the display.
  • Character set: select the character set that is emulated (HP-41, HP-71, HP-75 or Roman-8).
  • Keyboard type: set to HP-71 or HP-75 depending on the calculator being used.