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'[OT] Old Calculator Question'
1998\11\20@155523 by Sean Breheny

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Hi all,

In a display case here at Cornell's physics dept., they have a display
about calculating machines. In it, they have two early scientific
calculators, a TI model and an HP model (something like HP-45, but I can't
remember exactly). They also have a medium sized standard add/sub/mul/div
calculator, which also is an early model. A card in the case says,
paraphrased, "Almost simultaneously in the early sixties, HP and TI
introduced calculators such as these". IS this really true? Were there
hand-held scientific calcs (with not only add/sub/mul/div but logs, trig
funcs, etc. and small LED displays) in the EARLY sixties? I thought that
the most advanced ICs in consumer products then were 7400 series. I am just
curious because the history of this stuff has always interested me.

Thanks,

Sean




+-------------------------------+
| Sean Breheny                  |
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM|
| Electrical Engineering Student|
+-------------------------------+
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1998\11\20@163025 by Don Blanchard

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Date sent:              Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:53:58 -0500
Send reply to:          pic microcontroller discussion list <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.
EDU>
From:                   Sean Breheny <shb7spamKILLspamCORNELL.EDU>
Subject:                [OT] Old Calculator Question
To:                     .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU

I believe the date is a little premature.  I purchased the Model HP-
35 in the early 70's which was the model before the 45.  I still own
it and it still works just fine although I have upgraded substantially.

Don  WA7GTU

{Quote hidden}

1998\11\20@174308 by D. F. Welch

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Actually, the date is probably quite close.
Rockwell started making HH calcs in the mid 60's

-Dan

At 02:18 PM 11/20/98 MST7MDT, you wrote:
>Date sent:              Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:53:58 -0500
>Send reply to:          pic microcontroller discussion list
<PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
{Quote hidden}

73,
Dan Welch
spamBeGonew6dfwspamBeGonespamqsl.net

1998\11\20@212141 by Harold M Hallikainen

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On Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:53:58 -0500 Sean Breheny <TakeThisOuTshb7EraseMEspamspam_OUTCORNELL.EDU>
writes:
>introduced calculators such as these". IS this really true? Were
>there
>hand-held scientific calcs (with not only add/sub/mul/div but logs,
>trig
>funcs, etc. and small LED displays) in the EARLY sixties?


       I got my HP35, one of the first, on November 2, 1972.  I still have it,
and it works, though it needs new batteries.
       I think the HP45 was the "business" calculator.  A little while later
were some HP calculators that used magnetic cards for programming.

Harold


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1998\11\21@044630 by Lee Jones

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>> introduced calculators such as these". IS this really true?  Were
>> there hand-held scientific calcs (with not only add/sub/mul/div
>> but logs, trig funcs, etc. and small LED displays) in the EARLY
>> sixties?

I would guess late sixty's at the earliest.  I recall reading
that part of the HP calculator development work was to make a
hand-held device to assist the Apollo moon landing trajectory
calculations.  I don't know if this is true.

I recall HP creating the market with the HP35 in fall 1972.


> I got my HP35, one of the first, on November 2, 1972.  I still
> have it, and it works, though it needs new batteries.

I lusted after one when they were introduced.  I'd just started
college.  I wanted one even more after a friend bought one.


> I think the HP45 was the "business" calculator.

No!  <shudder>

It was an advanced scientific/engineering calculator.  HP35
shape, keyboard, and display with more functions.  I got mine
sometime in 1973 -- fall, I think.  As a student, I had to save
for a while to come up with the $395.  I still have it and it
worked until recently when the last set of batteries died.
You can split the plastic battery holder; replace with 3 AA
ni-cads; then reglue it.


> A little while later were some HP calculators that used
> magnetic cards for programming.

This was the HP67 (I think).  Never could bring myself to spend
the money for one.  It was $695'ish.

                                               Lee Jones

1998\11\22@150903 by paulb

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Lee Jones wrote:

> I recall HP creating the market with the HP35 in fall 1972.

 A bit later in this country.

>> I think the HP45 was the "business" calculator.
> No!  <shudder>

 As I recall:
HP35: Scientific calculator, about 8 memories, half of which had
different behaviour.
HP45: Scientific calculator.  Had clock/ stopwatch and something else,
?more memories.  HP35 could be kicked into "beta test" version of this
clock mode, but lacking a crystal oscillator, this was not particularly
useful.
HP55: Scientific programmable.
HP65: Scientific programmable with magnetic cards.

> It was an advanced scientific/engineering calculator.  HP35 shape,
> keyboard, and display with more functions.

 I think only the mag card version was a little fatter.

> I still have it and it worked until recently when the last set of
> batteries died.  You can split the plastic battery holder; replace
> with 3 AA ni-cads; then reglue it.

 Tried that, hard to get Ni-cads of the same quality as the original.
Battery replacement severely limited by corrosive "sliming" from Ni-Cds,
even rotted the beautiful gold-plated spring contacts.  Therefore
calculator becomes dependent on the (best built you've ever seen)
transformer/ regulated power supply.

 That limited by second weak point, no strain relief boot on moulded
socket.  Still, careful dissection, re-termination and re-moulding (hot-
melt glue perhaps?) will likely fix that sometime or other.

 As a calculator?  **Superb!**  It's still what I use when I look for
a calculator in the workroom or need to do engineering stuff.  There is
a second-hand/ recycled T-I "Collegiate" sitting in my sock drawer in
case I need to calculate in the bedroom but on checking now, its
batteries are flat).  Mind you, I mostly use the Win calculator to be
truthful.

 I'm sure they *were* the standard for the space program back then, a
quarter century ago.  I wonder how many LCD calculators last even ten
years?
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1998\11\22@155122 by enpassant
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While surfing the Web a while ago I bookmarked this Calculator Collector
Site.
I checked it out today and it is still active.  There are links to many
collectors home pages.
Perhaps you can find some HP calculator history.....
http://www.dotpoint.com/xnumber/collectors.htm

*******
Paul B. Webster VK2BZC wrote:

{Quote hidden}

1998\11\22@213852 by William Chops Westfield

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I would believe that HP and others were probably building electronic
calculators in the early 60s, but to put up a handheld as an example
of such seems inaccurate (I'd bet early 70s for that.)  I distinctly
remember using my dad's office electronic calculator (a large device!)
probably in the mid to late 60s, and I remember the initial handhelds
coming out at big prices (if it has been early 60s, I would be too young
to remember that at all.  In the later 60s, I might have remembered, but
wouldn't have been aware of pricing...)

BillW

1998\11\23@011825 by Russell McMahon

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From: Paul B. Webster VK2BZC <RemoveMEpaulbspamTakeThisOuTmidcoast.com.au>

>Lee Jones wrote:
>
>> I recall HP creating the market with the HP35 in fall 1972.
>
>  A bit later in this country.
>
>>> I think the HP45 was the "business" calculator.
>> No!  <shudder>
>
>  As I recall:
>HP35: Scientific calculator, about 8 memories, half of which had
>different behaviour.


IIRC. HP35 has 1 memory.
Cost $NZ465 in 1972 dropping to $365  ayear later.
$NZ465 then is probably equivalent to about $US2500 or more now in
real terms.

The top position on the 4 high stack went away when you used
transcendental functions (sin/cos/tan and maybe others as well -
memory was obviously at a premium).

>HP45: Scientific calculator.  Had clock/ stopwatch and something
else,
>?more memories.  HP35 could be kicked into "beta test" version of
this
>clock mode, but lacking a crystal oscillator, this was not
particularly
>useful.

IIRC the 45 had 10 memories (or thereabouts), fixed the stack problem
mentioned above and could be put into the multi-channel stop watch
function which was iomplemented on the 55. (STO-RCL-Minus,
enter-minus-7 etc was part of the sequence to do this - too many
years ago now without one in front of me) You could fit a crystal to
the 45 to give it the same accuracy as the 55.

>HP55: Scientific programmable.

IIRC the 55 was a 45 with about 10 simultaneously operable stop
watches as mentioned above. Only one displayed and was controllable
at a time - the others ran "in the background" and could be selected
as required.

>HP65: Scientific programmable with magnetic cards.
>> It was an advanced scientific/engineering calculator.  HP35 shape,
>> keyboard, and display with more functions.
>  I think only the mag card version was a little fatter.


Correctish. The 65 was the only card programmable and rather fatter.
It had "real" subroutines and was more powerful (more functions
anyway) than its predecessors. Cards were about 150mm long as I
recall.

I owned, at various times an HP21, HP25, HP65 and played with 35's,
45's and 55's way back when. The HP35 was legendary for, apart from
its "fantastic" processing power, its robustness - the salesmen used
to throw them out windows I'm told to show how rugged they were. I
dropped one of the first 45's onto carpet (by mistake :-)) and it
died (repairably).

As a comparison in capabilities at the time -  I still have as a
prized possession, my first calculator, a Casio. It was bought new in
1973 by a friend for $NZ200 which in today's money is probably about
$US1000 or more. It still goes. It has 4 functions, no decimal point,
separate gas discharge nixies for each digit in its 6 digit display.
A button allows an extra 6 lower digits to be seen but these are not
used in subsequent calculations. Operation was a constant battle to
maintain significant figures by adding trailing 0's. despite this it
was immensely useful in final year engineering and a large crowd
formed around its owner. I bought it the following year for $NZ100
when he purchased an HP35.

   1/3 = 000000 333333    (second bank visible by pushing button)
   x 1000000 = 000000 000000 as lower digits not used in ongoing
calculation!
so
   100000/3 = 033333 333333
   x 1000000 = 333330 000000 probably as msb only used, no overflow
so it left adjusts etc.

Lotsa care needed to interpret results.

You could implement this with a 16F84!!!

1998\11\23@143036 by Engineering Department

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>I believe the date is a little premature.  I purchased the Model HP-
>35 in the early 70's which was the model before the 45.  I still own
>it and it still works just fine although I have upgraded substantially.


Don,

I have one too and really like the RPN and the display angle -- BUT where do
you get replacement NiCADs?

Tried the local HP reps and they just giggle.

Thanks for any help,

Win Wiencke
ImageLogicEraseMEspam.....ibm.net

1998\11\23@161430 by paulb

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Engineering Department wrote:

> I have one too and really like the RPN and the display angle -- BUT
> where do you get replacement NiCADs?

 It would appear many of us have tried splitting the cute little
frame that (just barely) held the Ni-Cads and replacing them with a new
triplet with tags.

 The problem with this is that there seem to be good and bad Ni-cads,
and even the good ones do tend to leak.  Such leakage *eventually*
destroys the contact springs and risks getting in the calculator proper.
As such, it is a major risk to longevity of the calculator.

 Neat it isn't, but apart from operating always without the battery (as
I have chosen), I can only suggest making a pack of three Ni-cads (in a
plastic, preferably sealed envelope) and strapping it externally, in
which case you might as well connect it to the battery/ charger socket.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1998\11\23@170939 by Lee Jones

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>> I believe the date is a little premature.  I purchased the Model HP-35
>> in the early 70's which was the model before the 45.  I still own it
>> and it still works just fine although I have upgraded substantially.

> I have one too and really like the RPN and the display angle -- BUT
> where do you get replacement NiCADs?

> Tried the local HP reps and they just giggle.


I have an HP-45.  I think the HP-35 used the same battery packs.
The pre-made ones are probably impossible to get from HP anymore.

Last time I needed batteries, I split the little plastic carrier
along it's seam.  Inside are 3 cells, each AA size.  I replaced
them with AA ni-cad batteries designed for flashlights  & toys.
After soldering them to contacts, I carefully glued the plastic
case halves back together.

Now I'd probably get AA size batteries designed for radio control
purposes from a local hobby shop.  Probably better quality and
certainly more amenible to soldering; downside, more expensive.

The supplied wall power cube can charge them fine.

                                               Lee Jones

1998\11\24@225634 by Dwayne Reid

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>I have one too and really like the RPN and the display angle -- BUT where do
>you get replacement NiCADs?
>
>Tried the local HP reps and they just giggle.
>
>Thanks for any help,

Try your local battery suppliers !  We have at least two different suppliers
in my town - they both sell Sanyo 'Cadnica' brand batteries in many sizes.
There are at least 3 different versions of the 'AA' size available with
capacities of 600, 700, 850? mA/hour capacities.  I'm a 'middle of the road'
type so I generally get the 700 mA/hr cells.  They will disassemble the
battery case, weld in the new cells, then glue everything back together
again for about Can $7.00 per cell.  I have at least 3 HP calculators, all
more than 15 years old, still on duty every day.  One at my desk, one on my
bench, one at home.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <EraseMEdwaynerspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(403) 489-3199 voice     (403) 487-6397 fax

1998\11\25@081434 by paulb

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> IIRC. HP35 has 1 memory.

> IIRC the 45 had 10 memories (or thereabouts), fixed the stack problem
> mentioned above and could be put into the multi-channel stop watch
> function which was implemented on the 55.  ...  You could fit a
> crystal to the 45 to give it the same accuracy as the 55.

 Interesting.  Article was in Practical Electronics or similar IIRC?

> IIRC the 55 was a 45 with about 10 simultaneously operable stop
> watches as mentioned above. Only one displayed and was controllable
> at a time

 Naturally - only one display!  On the '45, one stopwatch, nine lap
memories which is I think what you mean.

> Correctish. The 65 was the only card programmable and rather fatter.

 You're dead right on which was which.  I keep forgetting, we (Dad
really) bought the '45 because it had *memories*, instead of the '35!
RAM was real pricey in '73!

 For a fancy stopwatch (who *really* uses stopwatches?) the '55 wasn't
worth the considerable extra money though.

> As a comparison in capabilities at the time -  I still have as a
> prized possession, my first calculator, a Casio. ...  separate gas
> discharge nixies for each digit in its 6 digit display.

 Mmmmm!  Nixies!  Now *that* was a calculator!
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1998\11\25@230928 by Eric Smith

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>> a Casio. ...  separate gas
>> discharge nixies for each digit in its 6 digit display.
>
>   Mmmmm!  Nixies!  Now *that* was a calculator!

No, they weren't Nixies (or equivalent).  CASIO calculators of that era used
individual vacuum-fluorescent tubes, which were seven-segment displays.

Nixie tubes and their equivalents are essentially neon lamps with separate
electrodes for each complete digit or symbol, typically 0-9.

I've got a Monroe 990 desk calculator with a 16-digit Nixie tube display.
Unfortunately it doesn't work, though the Nixie tubes are fine.  I've
been thinking about replacing the electronics with a PIC and some Nixie
drivers (74141?)

Eric

1998\11\27@151007 by Russell McMahon

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From: Eric Smith <RemoveMEericEraseMEspamEraseMEBROUHAHA.COM>

>>> a Casio. ...  separate gas
>>> discharge nixies for each digit in its 6 digit display.
>>
>>   Mmmmm!  Nixies!  Now *that* was a calculator!
>
>No, they weren't Nixies (or equivalent).  CASIO calculators of that
era used
>individual vacuum-fluorescent tubes, which were seven-segment
displays.
>
>Nixie tubes and their equivalents are essentially neon lamps with
separate
>electrodes for each complete digit or symbol, typically 0-9.
>
Yeah. I was actually lazy with that description.
I do have a slightly older mains powered desk calculator that uses
true nixies and has core memory - the memory contents stay in place
indefinitely with the power off.

I also have the memory out of a calculator that used a wire delay
line for both the memories per se and, I think,  the actual working
memory registers. Wire is in a spiral and when the "wave" reaches the
end it is reinjected slightly after the original input to compensate
for the delay in processing the output. The injection point is
mechanically variable using a multiturn positioner. Hi-tech!

.
>I've got a Monroe 990 desk calculator with a 16-digit Nixie tube
display.
>Unfortunately it doesn't work, though the Nixie tubes are fine.
I've
>been thinking about replacing the electronics with a PIC and some
Nixie
>drivers (74141?)


'[OT] Old Calculator Question'
1998\12\03@111734 by Larry G. Nelson Sr.
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Digikey has some nice high capacity cells with solder tabs welded on that
can be used. Use care opening the plastic shell and you can replace the cells.


At 11:01 AM 11/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Larry G. Nelson Sr.
RemoveMEL.NelsonTakeThisOuTspamspamieee.org
http://www.ultranet.com/~nr

1998\12\03@151117 by lilel

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> Digikey has some nice high capacity cells with solder tabs welded on
> that can be used. Use care opening the plastic shell and you can
> replace the cells.
>
>
> At 11:01 AM 11/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
> >>I believe the date is a little premature.  I purchased the Model HP-
> >>35 in the early 70's which was the model before the 45.  I still own
> >>it and it still works just fine although I have upgraded substantially.

Yep, you half to kludge together a battery pack yourself.f  I do this
all the time.  I salvaged an old portable phone, with dead batteries
and no replacements available, by strapping on a battery pack with
duct tape.  I wrote "Rocket Pack" on the batteries because that's
what they look like.  The guy in the next cube from me has a pair of
alligator clips coming out of his old HP calculator, and he hooks it
up to a coupla batteries he stole out of a kodak instamatic camera.
Seems they still have a lot of charge after the camera gets through
with them.
-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\12\03@160709 by Mark Willis

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(Was going to answer, got distracted earlier.)  Another good place is
http://www.nicdlady.com/, she carries Li-Ion, NiMH, and Ni-Cad cells
there, measure your cells & ask & she can tell you which cell size they
are (2/3A, maybe?)

 I had TI calculators, myself, should dig them out & use them instead
of the Sharp EL-520G's I usually use now...  Used the slide rule the
other day.

 (Does it date me, to say that I always thought a DIP was an IC, and a
DIL was a Pickle?  <EG>)

 Mark, EraseMEmwillisspamspamspamBeGonenwlink.com

Larry G. Nelson Sr. wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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