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HP Forum Archive 16

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HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #1 Posted by Matt Agajanian on 26 Aug 2006, 4:05 p.m.

I wondered if there was a comprehensive features/functions chart somewhere that compares these three models. If so, where can I find such a chart?

      
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #2 Posted by Gene Wright on 26 Aug 2006, 8:01 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Matt Agajanian

Not that I am aware of.

However, the differences are very slight.

HP48gII: Non-standard Serial port, 131x64 dot matrix LCD screen, 48Mhz ARM, 128K ram (80K available to user). Silver color.

HP49g+: USB port, 131x80 dot matrix LCD screen, 75Mhz arm, 512K ram, 1MB flash ram (800K or so available to user), SD card slot. Gold color.

HP50g: same as HP49g+, except USB port AND serial port. Black color.

            
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #3 Posted by Stephen Easterling on 26 Aug 2006, 10:29 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Gene Wright

So why buy a 50g?

                  
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #4 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 27 Aug 2006, 2:32 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Stephen Easterling

Quote:
So why buy a 50g?
To have the latest and greatest gadget? To generate more profit for HP?

Seriously though, some may find the serial port essential, even though it's really not "RS232", but rather uses 3.3V TTL signal levels.

In my opinion, the keyboard and faceplate legibility is better, and I prefer it cosmetically.

If you don't already have a 49g+, it makes a lot more sense to buy a 50g+, unless maybe you can find a 49g+ a lot cheaper.

If you buy a 49g+, unless you can check the serial number first, it's hard to tell whether it has the improved keyboard.

Regards,
James

                        
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #5 Posted by Eric Smith on 27 Aug 2006, 2:21 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by James M. Prange (Michigan)

Quote:
some may find the serial port essential, even though it's really not "RS232", but rather uses 3.3V TTL signal levels.

Minor nit - it uses 3.3V CMOS signal levels.

                              
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #6 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 28 Aug 2006, 1:53 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Eric Smith

Quote:
Minor nit - it uses 3.3V CMOS signal levels.

I stand corrected then; my electronics skills are mostly 2 or 3 decades out of date, and sometimes it shows.

In any case, although connecting a 50g directly to another device that uses the same signal levels should work, a level shifter is needed to connect it to a real EIA-232 (RS-232) port.

Note that a USB cable is included with the 50g, but no "serial" cable is included. For any do-it-yourselfers, something built around low-power chips such as the ICL3221 or MAX3221 series seems ideal to me. Other than that, Precision Surveying Solutions (Tim Wessman's outfit) might offer a custom-made cable. See http://www.pssllc.com/ and this comp.sys.hp48 thread.

Regards,
James

            
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #7 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 27 Aug 2006, 2:37 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Gene Wright

Also, the 48gII operating system ("ROM") really is ROM; it's non-updatable. The 49G, 49g+, and 50g can be updated, because the "ROM" is actually stored in flash memory.

Regards
James

                  
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #8 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 27 Aug 2006, 6:29 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by James M. Prange (Michigan)

PS:

The 50g requires 4 AAA cells instead of only 3. See http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.hp48/browse_frm/thread/96e4695744e66f37/ for some discussion of this.

The 50g can be powered by a USB host, or presumably a 5V power supply to the 50g's USB port. It may warmstart if the USB host is powered down or up while the 50g is plugged in though; see http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.hp48/browse_frm/thread/e36da17f68ad1782/.

The serial port includes a 6V (nominal) power line, supposedly connected directly to the battery, for whatever a user has the ingenuity to use it for. Presumably the 50g could also be powered through this connection (with the battery removed), or with rechargeable cells installed, a battery charger could be connected here.

The case is held together with screws (although concealed under the display cover) instead of heat stakes. See http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.hp48/browse_frm/thread/a78fc4f5444673e5/ for information on removing the screen cover without damaging anything.

Regards,
James

                        
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #9 Posted by Stephen Easterling on 27 Aug 2006, 9:53 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by James M. Prange (Michigan)

Thanks, James, for the updates and differences between these calcs. I already have a 49g+ with ROM 2.00. After I updated the ROM, the keypad problem went away and I have been happy ever since. I actually like its color and layout, etc. and don't use a serial port. So until the "collector" side of me gets around to buying it just to have in my collection, I'll just be happy with the 49g+.

Thanks again!

                              
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #10 Posted by Matt Agajanian on 27 Aug 2006, 3:32 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Stephen Easterling

Thanks, it seems the 50 is the way to go. BTW, is there Macintosh software/sync stuff to go with it or is the connectivity software Windows only?

                                    
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #11 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 27 Aug 2006, 11:32 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Matt Agajanian

You're welcome, Matt.

Yes, if someone is going to buy a 49g+ or 50g, then the 50g certainly seems to be the better choice. The only circumstance where I'd recommend the 49g+ is when it can be verified that it has the improved keyboard, and it's substantially cheaper. See this comp.sys.hp48 thread for information on which serials have which keyboard. I don't know whether prices for the 49g+ have dropped, but it seems reasonable to me to expect that they should.

I doubt that the 50g would be supplied with communications software for the Mac, but see Michael Heinz's HPConnect application at http://hpconnect.sourceforge.net/.

I believe that communication software for use with Linux is also available, but I don't know a URL for it.

By the way, I've read several reports of problems with the version (v2.33 Build 2434) of Conn4x included on the CD with the 50g. For MS Windows, you might better use v2.2 build 2353, available here, or at http://www.hpcalc.org/.

Finally, if you get a 50g (or 49g+, for that matter), then I recommend that you update the ROM to the latest revision; see my latest response to Stephen.

Regards,
James

                              
Re: HP-50/49/48G II Differences
Message #12 Posted by James M. Prange (Michigan) on 27 Aug 2006, 10:40 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Stephen Easterling

Quote:
Thanks, James, for the updates and differences between these calcs. I already have a 49g+ with ROM 2.00. After I updated the ROM, the keypad problem went away and I have been happy ever since. I actually like its color and layout, etc. and don't use a serial port. So until the "collector" side of me gets around to buying it just to have in my collection, I'll just be happy with the 49g+.

Thanks again!


You're welcome, Stephen. Indeed, if someone already has a 49g+ and is happy with it, I wouldn't recommend that he buy a 50g, although it does have some improvements.

I do recommend that you update the ROM to revision 2.09 (build 92) though. This ROM is for both the 49g+ and the 50g; I surmise that it detects which hardware it's installed on. See here for the download and installation instruction page, or this is a link to the .zip file itself (which now includes the new equation libraries).

About the equation libraries: First off, they can be considered optional; if you don't want them, then simply purge libraries 226 and 227 from port 2, and recover about 67KiB in that port. The libraries supplied with ROM revisions lower than 2.08 use unsupported entry points, so they're dependent on the ROM revision, and in particular, won't work with revision 2.09. The libraries included with the 50g and ROM revision 2.09 use only supported entry points, so work with any 49 series ROM, at least back to revision 1.18. So, if updating a 49g+ (presumably with a revision lower than 2.08), then replace (or purge) libraries 226 and 227 in port 2; if updating a 50g (originally supplied with revision 2.08), the libraries don't need to be replaced, although you could purge them to recover some capacity in port 2.

Regards,
James


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