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HP Forum Archive 16

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pioneer keys
Message #1 Posted by e.young on 10 Sept 2006, 1:57 p.m.

I have noticed variability in the feel of several of the pioneers that I have (HP32sii and 42s). While normally the tactile response is good, 2 machines that I bought off ebay had keys that felt slightly spongy. The ones I purchased new have seen lots of use, and the tactile response is good. The ones I got from ebay were stated to have not been used much for a long time.

If a pioneer sits dormant for a period of years, is it likely that the keys can go spongy? I have an 11c that has sat dormant for years and the key action is still excellent.

My vote for best keys has to go to the voyager series.

Re: Pioneer-series keys
Message #2 Posted by Karl Schneider on 10 Sept 2006, 3:22 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by e.young

I have a 1990 32S that has one "spongy" key, but all work properly. I don't know the cause.

My vote for "best key feel" goes to fullnut HP-41's. Voyager keys (except on the earliest models, which tend to rattle and are somewhat stiff) are very good also.

-- KS

Re: pioneer keys
Message #3 Posted by Randy on 10 Sept 2006, 6:15 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by e.young

IMO, late production 32Sii's made in Indonesia have some of the worst keyboard consistency and feel.

Pioneer keyboards that have been subjected to high temperatures can develop soft keys. The flex domes are formed on a single biaxial oriented plastic sheet, get it too hot and the domes relax.

I've seen several 48GX's that have been left in hot trucks - probably on the dashboard with the windows closed. The keyboards, while they work, have absolutely no tactile feedback. Softer than a good TI :^)

41's and Voyagers use stainless steel snap discs. Unless they fracture from use or get crud inside the keys, they pretty much go forever.

41 fullnuts get my vote for best feel.

Edited: 10 Sept 2006, 8:21 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

Re: pioneer keys
Message #4 Posted by bill platt on 10 Sept 2006, 6:21 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Randy

Great explanation. Thanks.

Re: pioneer keys
Message #5 Posted by e.young on 11 Sept 2006, 1:10 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Randy

I agree about the late model 32sii's. They also have the annoying tendency to make snapping sounds on some of the keys. Those models also just have painted keys.

I had a 32sii that was made in 1991, and it had horrible tactile feedback-sort of stiff spongy with no click when keys were pressed; this was a machine I won on Ebay. A 42s I recently aquired has something similar but to a much lesser degree. It also was made in 1991 (both made in Singapore). Another 32sii I have from Ebay but made in 1993 has great keyboard feel-about the equal of my 11c.

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