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'[EE] EE or Programmer Calculator'
2008\10\23@024611 by Forrest W Christian

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I'm getting a bit tired of using windows calc and/or the scientific
calculator I keep in the drawer for EE and/or embedded programming
calculations.

Over the years, I've looked at various software and hardware
calculators, and really haven't ever found one which I felt was oriented
towards the type of calculations that someone doing embedded work would
need ...   I.E. things like unit conversions (*F/*C, in/cm), base
conversions (dec/hex/binary), ohms law calculations, etc. etc. etc.

One personal peeve I deal with is when I am doing base conversions...  
yes, I know the calculators have the concept of "base", but why can't I
just enter the value as 0x345 and have it know that is hex, instead of
having to switch to hex mode, enter the value, then switch to
decimal...  Then when I do another one remember to switch to the
appropriate mode first.

I've seen some programmer's calculators which are basically based upon
entering a c-style expression and it evaluates it.   I like this, but I
also would like the calculator to know things like unit conversions and
ohms law, which usually these are lacking.

Does anyone have a favorite ee and programming calculator that they
wouldn't give up?



2008\10\23@043701 by Philip Pemberton

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Forrest W Christian wrote:
> Over the years, I've looked at various software and hardware
> calculators, and really haven't ever found one which I felt was oriented
> towards the type of calculations that someone doing embedded work would
> need ...   I.E. things like unit conversions (*F/*C, in/cm), base
> conversions (dec/hex/binary), ohms law calculations, etc. etc. etc.

My TI-89 Titanium will do those -- you enter the value like this:

100uH>mH

And the calculator handles the unit conversion itself. IIRC it's also smart
enough to figure out that:

100uF * 1k-ohm

Will provide a result in seconds, and handle the unit and SI conversions
automatically.

> One personal peeve I deal with is when I am doing base conversions...  
> yes, I know the calculators have the concept of "base", but why can't I
> just enter the value as 0x345 and have it know that is hex, instead of
> having to switch to hex mode, enter the value, then switch to
> decimal...  Then when I do another one remember to switch to the
> appropriate mode first.

Another thing the '89 will do... The unit specifier is '0h' for hex, '0b' for
binary (I think there's one for octal but I can't remember what it is). You
can do things like:

123>Bin                [convert to binary]
0h24                [displays in decimal]
0h24>Bin        [unit specifier and conversion to binary]
((0h123*456)+567)>Hex        [have a guess :) ]

> I've seen some programmer's calculators which are basically based upon
> entering a c-style expression and it evaluates it.   I like this, but I
> also would like the calculator to know things like unit conversions and
> ohms law, which usually these are lacking.
>
> Does anyone have a favorite ee and programming calculator that they
> wouldn't give up?

See above :)

--
Phil.
spam_OUTpiclistTakeThisOuTspamphilpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/

2008\10\23@044506 by Christopher Head

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Qalculate has a number of these features: entering numbers in the forms
0x789A and 0b1001, unit conversions, and a fair handful of built-in
functions. It also does fractions and exact calculations with radicals.
Apparently it also does basic matrix and vector math...

The input mechanism is quite nice too: you have a free-form text field
in which you type an expression, but the parsed version of the
expression is displayed below the field as you type.

Chris

Forrest W Christian wrote:
[snip]
> Does anyone have a favorite ee and programming calculator that they
> wouldn't give up?

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2008\10\23@051643 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Forrest W Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam@spam@imach.com> wrote:
> Does anyone have a favorite ee and programming calculator that they
> wouldn't give up?

I've seen people using calculators like HP49 (or the old version HP48)
last time.
http://www.hp.com/calculators/

TI has similar offerings.

Once upon a time, I was very interested in these tools and actually
run various emulators using My PC and my Pocket PC. Later I found
them not very useful after all since I could not deal with the RPN.

Xiaofan

2008\10\23@094506 by Timothy Weber

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Forrest W Christian wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Google!  Has been discussed here before - maybe not exactly what you
were asking about, but I find typing "4.5 V / 30 kiloohms" into the
browser search box pretty easy.  Or "0x35 / 256 * 5 V" or "0x35 to
decimal" or "4 pennyweights to tons".
--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2008\10\23@104922 by Harold Hallikainen

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>
> Once upon a time, I was very interested in these tools and actually
> run various emulators using My PC and my Pocket PC. Later I found
> them not very useful after all since I could not deal with the RPN.
>
> Xiaofan


While I use Google calculator when I need to do base conversions, I use my
HP 15-C for everything else. I still have my very first calculator, the
HP-35, that I got in 1972. I grew up with RPN (or, before that, the slide
rule). When trying to use calculators with algebraic entry, I always have
unbalanced parenthesis somewhere. With RPN, I solve the problem like I did
with my slide rule (starting at the innermost parenthesis and working my
way out, seeing all the intermediate calculations as I go along). I teach
electronics at night a the local community college. Students have more
trouble with their calculators! On most calculators, some keys are RPN
(like the sqrt key, where you put in the number, then hit sqrt), where
other keys are in-fix. Also, I have to convince my students to put their
calculators into engineering notation mode instead of counting out
(incorrectly) a tone of zeros after the decimal point when giving me a
current in nA. I tell them "if the circuit has a resistor of 4.7M, key it
in as 4.7e6 instead of 4700000." When your calculator says "e-3" say
"milli."

Anyone have the T shirt that says "[enter] > [=]"?

Harold



--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2008\10\23@132105 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Philip Pemberton wrote:

> Forrest W Christian wrote:
>> Over the years, I've looked at various software and hardware
>> calculators, and really haven't ever found one which I felt was oriented
>> towards the type of calculations that someone doing embedded work would
>> need ...   I.E. things like unit conversions (*F/*C, in/cm), base
>> conversions (dec/hex/binary), ohms law calculations, etc. etc. etc.
>
> My TI-89 Titanium will do those -- you enter the value like this:

FWIW, there is an emulator http://lpg.ticalc.org/prj_tiemu/ (probably
others, too).

Gerhard

2008\10\23@132526 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Timothy Weber wrote:

> "0x35 to decimal"

Thanks, I didn't know this.

Try "1 * 0x55" for a shortcut ("0x55 * 1" doesn't work.)

Gerhard

2008\10\23@145704 by M. Adam Davis

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You should look at the free http://www.speqmath.com/ - it has a very
nice free-form input, does binary/hex/octal/etc the usual way (0xff,
for instance).

It does unit conversions, though it's not perfect.

5Ohm/35A
       Ans = 0.142857143 V

Works, but

5Ohm * 0.14285V
       Ans = 0.71425 Ohm*V

gives you the weird Ohm*V (A is defined as an amp, but doesn't have a
conversion... sigh).  Still, it has a ton of constants and units, so
you can convert nearly anything into anything else, and you can do it
in binary if you like (useful for A/D conversions).  It is also very
nice for graphing functions and plots.

I don't use it very much - I use excel for most complex stuff
(analysis toolpack provides dec2hex and hex2dec, which is sufficient),
but I'm starting to use it more.  Saving an excel spreadsheet with
calculations and being abel to modify one variable and have the whole
sheet change, and being able to send that to any client knowing they
already have the software is pretty powerful.

So, the real answer for me is "excel" (no, google spreadsheets doesn't
cut it yet).  When I need to solve something algebraically, I usually
grab a pencil, but occasionally I'll reach for the TI-89.

But since you're looking for a standalone calculator, Speq, and TI-89
are my picks.

-Adam

On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 2:46 AM, Forrest W Christian <forrestcspamKILLspamimach.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\10\23@174132 by John La Rooy

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On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 5:56 AM, M. Adam Davis <.....stienmanKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> You should look at the free http://www.speqmath.com/ - it has a very
> nice free-form input, does binary/hex/octal/etc the usual way (0xff,
> for instance).
>
> It does unit conversions, though it's not perfect.
>
> 5Ohm/35A
>        Ans = 0.142857143 V
>
V=IR?

2008\10\23@175330 by M. Adam Davis

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Wow, I didn't even notice that.

Let's play.

Cap = 0.000010 F
       Cap = 10 µF
PowerSupply = 10V
       PowerSupply = 10 V
Resistor = 1MOhm
       Resistor = 1 MOhm
5Ohm * 5A
       Ans = 25 V
5Ohm/35A
       Ans = 0.142857143 V
(5Ohm) / (5A)
       Ans = 1 Ohm/A
5Ohm/(5A)
       Ans = 1 Ohm/A


Hmmmm!

So precedence of units is lower than multiply and divide.  Not desired
operation...  Have to send another note to the program author and make
a suggestion...

-Adam


On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 5:41 PM, John La Rooy <EraseMEpiclist.jlrspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTlarooy.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2008\10\23@175823 by M. Adam Davis

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Interestingly, this works:

PowerSupply = 10V
       PowerSupply = 10 V
Resistor = 1MOhm
       Resistor = 1 MOhm
PowerSupply/Resistor
       Ans = 10 µA

-Adam

On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 5:53 PM, M. Adam Davis <@spam@stienmanKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> -

2008\10\23@190856 by David Meiklejohn

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>
> While I use Google calculator when I need to do base conversions, I use my
> HP 15-C for everything else. I still have my very first calculator, the
> HP-35, that I got in 1972. I grew up with RPN (or, before that, the slide
> rule). When trying to use calculators with algebraic entry, I always have
> unbalanced parenthesis somewhere. With RPN, I solve the problem like I did
> with my slide rule (starting at the innermost parenthesis and working my
> way out, seeing all the intermediate calculations as I go along).

I still use my HP 15C as well.  Bought it as an EE student back in '83 or
'84.  RPN still feels natural and comfortable to me (even if my kids think
my calculator is weird) and, although the 15C is old and slow and only
shows one line, I really like the "landscape" layout and, more
importantly, the solid feel.  Built to last and comfortable to use.


David Meiklejohn
http://www.gooligum.com.au

2008\10\23@190900 by Philip Pemberton

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M. Adam Davis wrote:
>> Cap = 0.000010 F
>>        Cap = 10 µF
>> PowerSupply = 10V
>>        PowerSupply = 10 V
>> Resistor = 1MOhm
>>        Resistor = 1 MOhm
>> 5Ohm * 5A
>>        Ans = 25 V
>> 5Ohm/35A
>>        Ans = 0.142857143 V
>> (5Ohm) / (5A)
>>        Ans = 1 Ohm/A
>> 5Ohm/(5A)
>>        Ans = 1 Ohm/A

The TI-89ti's CAS engine has its own little peculiarities -- using your examples:

5Ohm/35A entered as "5_ohm/35_A" -- CAS reduces this to:

   5 * _ohm
  ----------  * _A  =  .142857_V
      35

But the same entered as "(5_ohm)/(35_A)":

   5 * _ohm                       _ohm
  ----------  * _A  =  .142857 * ------
   35 * _A                         _A

How very peculiar.

I can see what it's doing -- 5*_ohm is 5 with unit specifier set to "Ohms".
Dividing that by 35 produces the correct answer, but with the Ohms unit
preserved. Apply the Amps conversion and the unit specifier changes to
"Volts". I think....

--
Phil.
spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespamphilpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/

2008\10\23@192945 by John La Rooy

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On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Philip Pemberton
<TakeThisOuTpiclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTphilpem.me.uk> wrote:

>
> The TI-89ti's CAS engine has its own little peculiarities -- using your examples:
>
> 5Ohm/35A entered as "5_ohm/35_A" -- CAS reduces this to:
>
>    5 * _ohm
>   ----------  * _A  =  .142857_V
>       35
>
> But the same entered as "(5_ohm)/(35_A)":
>
>    5 * _ohm                       _ohm
>   ----------  * _A  =  .142857 * ------
>    35 * _A                         _A
>
I think you have an extra "* _A" on your second example

Remember that "ohm" is equivalent to "Volts per Amp"



John

2008\10\24@035315 by John Chung

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I find that a programmable cal like TI can use variables which are sufficient.

John


--- On Fri, 10/24/08, John La Rooy <RemoveMEpiclist.jlrspamTakeThisOuTlarooy.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

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