The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 13

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Message #1 Posted by Eric Lundgren on 8 Oct 2003, 7:51 p.m.

In my search for matrix capability I found a 15c for 249...will it hurt my reputation to be caught paying this much? According to the museum it has numerical integration too, and has the solid build that I admire. This of course would be a team mate to my most often used hp, the 32sii. Any opinions?


Re: HP-15C
Message #2 Posted by Marx Pio on 8 Oct 2003, 8:18 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eric Lundgren

Hi Eric,

249 USD for a HP15C?. Too expensive. A brand new HP49G+ do matrix algebra and much more for less bucks.


Re: HP-15C
Message #3 Posted by Larry Corrado, USA (WI) on 8 Oct 2003, 8:36 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eric Lundgren


FWIW, I've been tracking HP-15C's on Ebay for the past month. I found the average price (9/2-10/7) to be $219, with a std dev of $55 and n = 27. This was with a rather generic "completed items" search, which did not include the poorly listed units, which presumably sold for somewhat less. (Who knows how many of those there were.)

I agree: the 15C is a great machine. Should one pay $249? How important are looks to you? Is owner's manual included? Advanced functions manual? My own feeling is that you could do a lot better by waiting a bit.


Good Luck, Larry

Re: HP-15C
Message #4 Posted by Dan on 8 Oct 2003, 10:47 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Larry Corrado, USA (WI)

I think that one is a little overpriced, considering that it has some obvious defects, and an engraving. Who want's someone elses initials on there? It would be like if your wife has a tatoo with an old boyfriend's name - you know about it, but you don't want the constant reminder. However, I see nothing wrong with paying even a lot more for one that is in mint condition. There's nothing better than that new calculator smell, when you open a perfect HP 15C that has been sitting in its box somewhere for 20 years. I think the one you're referring to should probably sell for closer to 200, or maybe 175 considering that it looks like it has some screen defects.

Re: HP-15C
Message #5 Posted by Karl Schneider on 8 Oct 2003, 11:51 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eric Lundgren

Eric --

$249 seems a bit high to me for a HP-15C, unless it is functionally perfect and comsetically immaculate.

However, the 15C is definitely worth having (I bought mine in Nov 1983). At work, I also use a 32Sii, but would take the 15C if forced to choose between one or the other, because of the matrix and complex-number functionality.

As Marx Pio points out below, other units also have matrix functions. However, ease of use and clarity of display are also important; the 15C and 42S are better in those respects for matrices than the RPL-based units (28, 48, 49).

Overall, the 42S matrix functions are slicker and faster than the 15C functions. However, the 15C does a few things better: Matrix annunciators include the label (e.g., "C 4 2" in the displayed X-register, while the 42S will show only "[ 4x2 Matrix ]". If you have matrix descriptors in both the X and Y registers of the 42S for an operation, you'd better remember which matrix is which, because only matrix addition is, in general, commutative.

Edited: 8 Oct 2003, 11:53 p.m.

Re: HP-15C
Message #6 Posted by on 9 Oct 2003, 5:27 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Karl Schneider

Paying $249 for a calculator capable of matrix, num integration, solve and complex is far too expensive.

Paying $400 or even more for an unused 15C mint and complete in its box is cheap.

There are 2 "distribution channels", if I may say so. Using the calculator and collecting them. The difference between these 2 concepts are as important as between day and night.

Re: HP-15C
Message #7 Posted by bill platt on 9 Oct 2003, 8:56 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Eric Lundgren

I bought a heavily used 15c for $110. Yes, it is missing the nameplate, and had damage to the back plate, and the owner's name engraved. But it did come with the original manual, box, sleeve, and even the pink plastic bubble pack. The 15-c is a neat device, but quite slow. I am glad to have it, though. It is way compact, has gobs of memory for RPN programming, every function on the buttons, a handy back plate guide, and a very clear display. On of the very best pocket calculators, (so wonderfully compact) though for my use the 32sii is as good or better for most operations--and has that nice alphanumeric feature.

BUt 250 bucks is a lot.



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