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I recently picked up an HP Compaq nc6220 and a docking station for it. Looking at the back, I saw a port that I didn't recognize:

picture of docking station with unknown port identified

It's too small to be a normal DE-9 connector. What is this port? What is it used for?

The docking station has HP product number EN488AA.

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It looks the same as the connector in the back of a Dell lattitude docking station. Which is a custom plug to run to the rest of the dock where it connects to a power on/off/charging part. In other words: it might not be a standard connector. – Hennes Oct 20 '12 at 22:45
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It could be a non standard video output - the image above it is identical to the one I see on S-Video TV outs on laptops (VGA outs would have a symbol like a box with lines on either side).

A little research shows that the manual for what may be another dock refers to a similar port as a monitor stand port.

enter image description here


It is to connect to a HP Monitor Stand (PA507UT), unfortunately documentation for all the models is poor but I did find this Link and this Link enter image description here

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Correct document for the EN488AA… Advanced Docking Station – Moab Oct 20 '12 at 23:18
I think you grabbed the wrong image...scroll down to the one labeled "HP docking station", my link paste gets truncated. – Moab Oct 20 '12 at 23:24
ahh. Too lazy for yet another screenshot, to fix it up again since this does show the answer clearly. Now I'm curious to what this port actually does - most of what I see seem to be simple, solid plastic stands.. – Journeyman Geek Oct 20 '12 at 23:28
Its to connect to an "HP Monitor Stand", scroll down for… – Moab Oct 20 '12 at 23:34
It is not 'non standard video out for certain' since it is not video out at all. Might want to edit that. – Hennes Oct 21 '12 at 0:55

I'ts not a RS-232 port, the pins are closer to eachother. It's supposed to break out the LEDs and power button from the dock to your monitor stand. This is (I guess) useful when you use them together because the dock sits in the monitor stand and you cannot reach the buttons that easily anomre.

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I can shed light on this whole thing

It is a cable for the leds on the hp monitor stand. hence why it called monitor stand port.

As per the description in the product details in the link, it says that the monitor stand lights up when laptop on on and docked etc. just like the docking station does. It is because when it is in the stand, you couldnt see the lights on the docking station as it sits at the back, under the monitor.

Took me alot of research and thought to figure this out!

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To me, this looks like a standard serial/com/RS232 socket without the grip things (damn... what the hell do you call the twisty things!?)

enter image description here

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I believe they are called hex jack screws – Journeyman Geek Oct 20 '12 at 23:08

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