The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 21

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #1 Posted by Wolfgang on 9 Feb 2013, 1:16 p.m.

Hi, I hope not to annoy too many with this posting. I just received a HP41CV I got from e-bay and wanted to post my thoughts about this calculator.

It is a long post and if it is OK with the forum members I will split it into parts over the next couple of days.

Just for my background: I am a longtime HP48 user, got it right when it was released in 1990. Before that I had a HP28. I started with a TI59 somewhere in the early 1980's.

Back to the 41 . I received it and my first reactions where: 1) Wow, much smaller than I have expected. 2) Hurray, the key's feel like they are supposed to feel.

My 48sx has aged and has quite a lot of bad pixels, so I got some years ago a HP50g. I never got really used to it. I always compared it to my 48sx and saw the short comings. That's why I tried the HP35s but again, while better in the build it was not that old HP feeling which accompanied me so many years.

But first things first. Here my absolute number one priority for calculators:

Programming !

Now programming the HP41 is different to the HP48. I love to program small job related "little helpers". Nothing fancy, so keystroke programming fits me perfect.

It was like I have not done anything else before, probably my TI59 was kicking in. (I do own a TI59, so heads up, TI59 vs HP41 is for a later post. Do not expect any ranting,I do like the TI59 but I love RPN)

I have to discover the capabilities of the HP41, that will take a few days or weeks. So far I did some quick programs like the Ulam Conjuncture and some Semiconductor calculations and all programs ran right away.

So after the first evening with the HP41 I am happy and eager to move on.

Please, if this is the wrong place to post my excitements , let me know. Right now I am just happy that after some disappointing experiences it looks I have found fresh hope to get a calculator which seems to fit my needs. I understand I am looking here at a vintage calculator but honestly I do not care if it is old, I need something to be productive AND it holds up to my standards.

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #2 Posted by Walter B on 9 Feb 2013, 1:40 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Hallo Wolfgang,

This is the perfectly right place to post your excitements. Enjoy!

d:-)

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #3 Posted by Eddie W. Shore on 9 Feb 2013, 2:19 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Concur - post all excitement here!

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #4 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 9 Feb 2013, 2:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Welcome to the club!
Enjoy

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #5 Posted by aurelio on 9 Feb 2013, 3:36 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Compliments for the purchase, have fun!

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #6 Posted by Thomas Klemm on 9 Feb 2013, 7:49 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Two links that might be useful:

Cheers
Thomas

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #7 Posted by Jake Schwartz on 9 Feb 2013, 8:38 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Thomas Klemm

Hi,

....some day when a search for popular program modules begins, don't forget to check out the PPC ROM, containing 8K and 128 or so of the favorite programs and routines from the user community when it was created in 1980-81.

Jake

                  
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #8 Posted by Wolfgang on 10 Feb 2013, 1:23 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Jake Schwartz

Thomas, Jake,

thanks for your suggestions. My programming is reduced on some very special semiconductor calculations. Most of it straight forward, not even needing any fancy programming techniques . I loved the solver on the HP48sx for that. My RPL programming is/was very limited, mostly do just IO masks to help key in the values. That's why I disliked the HP35s, it is too limited in the alpha numeric department and has no interfacing capabilities to store externally programs.

I hope I can get the HP41 mastered to the extend that I can have the formulas solved like on the HP48sx and have too the alphanumeric input. As much as I like the HP48, I do not need anymore the graphic capabilities. Otherwise I may have just got another HP48sx from ebay.

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #9 Posted by David Hayden on 10 Feb 2013, 9:56 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Hi Wolfgang!

I look forward to your posts. My experience was the opposite of yours: I've owned an HP-41CV since the early 1980's and bought a 50g about 4 years ago, knowing absolutely nothing about RPL.

Dave

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user [ The Wand]
Message #10 Posted by Wolfgang on 10 Feb 2013, 12:11 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Thanks for your encouraging comments. The calculator came with a full package. Included all documentation and tons of user programs. There was also a card read, a printer and 'the Wand"

I was not sure of what to think about a barcode reader. Thinking it was more of a gadget. I was soo wrong!

In fact I discovered that it might be the most useful tool I got in the package.

There is this nice online tool where you can copy paste your program and generate barcode . With the wand it is very easy (if you master the special way to hold it) to scan in this program. That makes now the perfect link between the modern computer age and the HP41. Typing in the program on my computer is much handier than to use the HP41 itself and I can also debug my code on a simulators/emulator. Have the code in a save place and access it via the Wand . An boy how fast this Wand is. The lines do zip in in no time. I was surprised when I just out of a mood tried to scan the barcode backwards (right to left) and it worked. So now I just move in a Zig-Zag pattern through the code and have it scanned in no time.

Absolute impressive !

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user [ The Wand]
Message #11 Posted by Thomas Klemm on 10 Feb 2013, 2:05 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Wolfgang

Quote:
There is this nice online tool where you can copy paste your program and generate barcode .

The project nutstudio provides a utility to generate barcodes as well.

Quote:
That makes now the perfect link between the modern computer age and the HP41.

The PIL-Box comes to my mind.

Kind regards
Thomas

            
Re: HP41cv experiences of a new user [ The Card Reader]
Message #12 Posted by Wolfgang on 15 Feb 2013, 11:29 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Wolfgang

I want to conclude my "mini series" with the last item I had in my HP41 package , the card reader. This one , as many others, had a problem with the transport wheel. So first I tried to do a 100% homemade approach. I had repaired TI59 readers with a similar problem by using a piece of a rubber hose which I had to grind down in diameter a bit. The HP card reader has a much smaller diameter on the wheel and what had worked for the TI did not work well for the HP. I got unreliable card reader operation . So purchased these little O-rings and had the card reader up and running in no time. For an old Ti59'er the card reader is a very important part of life. I think with the HP41 that is not as important. The HP has permanent storage, so data gets not lost when turned off.

Right now I write and debug my programs on the simulator, plot the barcode and scan it in the real HP41 with the wand. I am quite happy with this workflow.

So that is the end of the report about my first steps into the HP41 world.

Hope you had enjoyed my little postings.

The two projects still on my list: 1) rebuild the rechargeable battery pack, need to find 1/3 aaa batteries for that.

2) Build an USB power adapter for the HP41, just because this is such a handy way to extend battery life on my office desk.

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user [The Printer]
Message #13 Posted by Wolfgang on 10 Feb 2013, 1:06 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Third part of my discovery report :-)) As said the setup had also the 82143A printer included. Here my story and a lesson about how important it is to read the manual first.

As a true engineer I reject to read manuals, what can they tell me what I do not already know ?

So I powered the printer and plugged it into the HP41. Result....nothing, no lamps on nothing happened. Pressing the paper advance did do nothing at all.

So I looked closer at the printer, found the battery bay , opened it and the battery fell right in my hands. The printer made suddenly some noise, the Power lamp went on. So I plain clear to me that the battery was as dead as it can be.

Pressing the "Print Button" made the print head doing something but the paper did not advance. What now follows is a long debugging story and I will not go into details. I was opening the printer up examined almost all parts , just to find they work fine.

I went online to search for a solution .... and found it. Here in the MoHPC forum someone described that the Printer must have a battery attached to work correctly and cited even the printer handbook that you can damage the printer if you have the battery not installed.

OMG !

Well I rigged up a battery pack with AA rechargeable batteries . Guess what, the printer just works fine. So I went yesterday night to the nearest Fry's and got my self 4 rechargeable baby cells. I rebuild my TI59 battery pack a couple of times, so I was not afraid to crack open the battery pack and replace the old cells. Worked easy and the printer is now fine.

I think I read a while back a report of a HP user comparing the 82143A Printer with the TI 100A printer cradle for the TI59. He was saying that the TI printer is so much faster. I can not see that , the program listing shoots out as fast as it does on my TI. Print quality is the same . I have not tried the graphic mode but I expect it is the same as on the 100A .

I already warned that I would do some TI vs HP comparison, so here it comes.

1) The TI printer has a better build quality from the look and feel I have opened both printer and I am amazed about how clean my particular HP printer looked from the inside. Really like new. the TI printer is a Tank and is also a Battery charger for the battery pack. My PC-100A printer can support also a lot of different TI calculators. From the SR52 up to the TI58C. As far as I know the 82143A is usable just on the HP41-series.

2) It is hard to get the right paper width for the TI printer. For some reason TI's original paper is wider than the nowadays available thermos paper. Not too much of an annoyance as long as you do not need the whole width the printer is capable of. the HP printer came with it's original blue printing paper. I throw it out immediately and replaced it with standard black paper which improved the print quality a lot.

3) both printer have graphic and alpha numeric capabilities. The HP has clearly the edge on the easiness of handling. With the TI printer getting alpha numeric on the printer is a Op-code orgy. However with bearing in mind that the TI printer was released in 1976 and the HP in 1980 I think the point goes to the TI given his age.

4) A little nite picking now: My fat fingers have some trouble to fiddle the paper into the HP printer, works much better for me on the TI printer.

5) The battery power of the HP makes it nice and mobile. The TI printer does not have this option at all

6) I like the TI system of a printer cradle much more than the cable spaghetti of the HP. HP did a much nicer job with the IR printer for my HP48sx but still the cradle is in my view the best way to operate. Desktop to handheld on the fly, just perfect.

So my temporary verdict about the HP41 printer solution: It is not as good as it was with my HP48sx and the much older PC100A from TI. However it is fast and easy to use.

And last but not least, I do use this just for a few hours, so I may have not discovered some of it's nicer features. Remember I reject to read manuals from front to back :-))

So please advise me.

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user [The Printer]
Message #14 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 10 Feb 2013, 1:56 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Wolfgang

Quote:
Remember I reject to read manuals from front to back :-))

I think you should: I have fond memories of me reading them in '79, they were a good reading, well worth the effort.

Greetings,
Massimo

                  
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user [The Printer]
Message #15 Posted by Garth Wilson on 10 Feb 2013, 3:56 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy)

Yes, although modern manuals are terrible, the HP manuals of that day were wonderful. I would read through, and by the time I got to the end, I felt like I knew the product well, even though I never got to the "hard part" (because there wasn't any!)

                        
Re: Manuals
Message #16 Posted by Maximilian Hohmann on 10 Feb 2013, 4:30 p.m.,
in response to message #15 by Garth Wilson

Quote:
.. the HP manuals of that day were wonderful...

That's so true! I remember reading the manual of my father's HP-67 cover to cover when he got that calculator. And later the manual of my own Ti-59. But those probably were the last two manuals I ever read as I went on to become an engineer too ;-) And now I use Apple computers that don't even come with a manual. This is what I call real progress: From a little thing that can do almost nothing but needs 500 pages of explanations to a big thing that can do almost anything (just ask Siri!) and needs no explanation at all!

Edited: 10 Feb 2013, 4:30 p.m.

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #17 Posted by Mike Morrow on 10 Feb 2013, 1:39 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Quote:
I do own a TI59, so heads up, TI59 vs HP41 is for a later post.

Welcome!

But please be fair to the TI-59 when you compare it to the HP-41C series. The TI-59 appeared in early 1977, a few months after the HP-67. The TI-59 was accurately the contemporary competitor to the HP-67, not to the HP-41C that came out almost three years after the TI-59. The HP-41C was the first small calculator that had a real "operating system" in firmware to organize and control its functions. There was nothing like that before.

This is a good place for people with your interests in these devices.

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #18 Posted by Wolfgang on 10 Feb 2013, 2:03 p.m.,
in response to message #17 by Mike Morrow

Mike, for all counts I do not want to do any TI or HP is better than XY .

It is just that I have the TI59 used for some time. Both the HP41 and the TI59 are keystroke programmable, so I thought I do some comparison because right now they sit next to each other on my desk. It might would be more fair to compare the HP41 with the TI95. Both are alphanumeric keystroke programmable. Just I have more experience with the 59.

The HP41 is for me a replacement for my HP48sx and I would not dare to compare them because they are two different animals.

I am more on the search for the calculator (system) which fits my needs.

Who knows, maybe HP decides to get a pimped HP35s with USB port and full alphanumeric capabilities. Kind of non graphic alternative to the HP50g.

That would pick my interest.

                  
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #19 Posted by Walter B on 10 Feb 2013, 3:56 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by Wolfgang

Quote:
... maybe HP decides to get a pimped HP35s with USB port and full alphanumeric capabilities. Kind of non graphic alternative to the HP50g.
AFAIK HP doesn't :-( But there's a user project started: search for 43S in this forum. It may become what you are looking for (but will take some months, presumably n x 10^1).

d:-)

                        
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #20 Posted by Wolfgang on 11 Feb 2013, 9:31 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by Walter B

I discovered that there are ways to switch the processor board and of a HP41 and get a modern version with all the roms and a serial interface build in. Also a nice way to stay classic but have the modern world close by.

                              
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #21 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 12 Feb 2013, 5:38 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by Wolfgang

Yep! You were quick at it: we had to wait for some 30 years for Monte's marvel... ;-)

Massimo

                              
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #22 Posted by Dan Grelinger on 13 Feb 2013, 9:36 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by Wolfgang

I will put in a good word for the 41CL. It is truly a marvel. It preserves practically all of the 'good' of the HP-41CX, and adds much to it, making it the perfect combination of 'new' and 'old'.

                              
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #23 Posted by 羘gel Martin on 13 Feb 2013, 10:44 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by Wolfgang

No other calculator beats the CL - it really is the ultimate calculator - just my opinion of course. Am I biased? well sure, aren't we all?

                                    
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #24 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 13 Feb 2013, 3:39 p.m.,
in response to message #23 by 羘gel Martin

Quote:
No other calculator beats the CL - it really is the ultimate calculator - just my opinion of course. Am I biased? well sure, aren't we all?

创创创创创创创创创创创抖抖抖抖
创创创创创创创创创创抖创创创创创抖
创创创抖抖洞创创创抖创创创创创创创抖
创创炊创创炊创创抖创创炊洞创炊洞创创抖
创创炊创创炊创炊洞创创炊洞创炊洞创创创抖
创创炊创创洞炊洞创创创炊洞创炊洞创创创炊
创创创洞创洞创洞创创创创创创创创创创创创抖
创创抖抖抖抖抖抖创创创创创创创创创创创创抖
创炊创创创创创创洞抖创创创创创创炊洞创创抖
创抖创创创创创创洞炊洞创创创创创炊洞创创抖
炊洞创抖抖抖抖抖洞创炊洞创创创炊洞创创创抖
炊创创创创创创创炊创创炊抖抖抖创创创创炊
炊洞创创创创创创炊创创创创创创创创创创抖
创洞创抖抖抖抖抖抖创创创创创创创创创炊
创抖创创创创创炊创抖创创创创创创创创抖
创炊抖抖抖抖抖洞创创抖创创创创创创抖
创创创创创创创创创创创炊抖抖抖抖抖

      
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #25 Posted by Siegfried (Austria) on 12 Feb 2013, 2:53 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wolfgang

Hi and thanks for sharing your experiences. I used a HP-15C "lent" from my dad during most of senior high school which got lost/stolen on my first job. Since then I've had a soft spot in my heart for HP calculators and during the last two years I have started to collect a few. I am now awaiting a HP-41CV (coveted but out of reach during my youth) with card reader and would like to ask the gurus if they could give some hints on what expansion modules to look for to make the calc "fully operational". Does one need the advantage/extended functions and/or time module(s) if one is more of a nostalgic tinkerer and less inclined to really use the calc for serious maths/work? (I will probably not try to buy further peripherals.)

Thanks for your thoughts!

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #26 Posted by Walter B on 12 Feb 2013, 3:32 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Siegfried (Austria)

Hallo Siegfried,

IMHO the Advantage Module is a must - it lets your HP-41CV do what every HP-15C could do. Time Module depends on you wanting to use it as a timer.

d:-)

            
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #27 Posted by Mike Morrow on 12 Feb 2013, 11:47 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Siegfried (Austria)

When I sold my 1980 HP-41C to buy a HP-41CX in 1984, it of course came with the CV's memory, time module, extended functions module, and additional functions found only on the CX. Pretty impressive out of the box. I added a X-memory module, HP-41 Advantage module, thermal science module, and HP 82242A IR printer module. I considered my HP-41CX then to be pretty well populated for any day-to-day problem. I had a rarely used card reader and I carried the MATH/STAT and NAVIGATION modules in the excellent HP black leather case that I bought in 1977 for my HP-67.

I still have it all...almost new condition, though the card reader rollers are gummed-up. It's a nostalgia trip to use...except for its expansion capability it is significantly inferior to the HP 42S in almost every particular...IMHO, of course. But there's never been a better calculator keyboard than that found on the HP-41C-series.

Frankly, I never liked the Advantage module. I preferred my HP-15C.

                  
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #28 Posted by Ron Ross on 13 Feb 2013, 5:47 p.m.,
in response to message #27 by Mike Morrow

Ah..HA!!!

A good word for the Hp 15c??? Getting sentamental???

I admit Mike, I nearly always like your posts and reviews (aside from your picking on the HP 15c and all voyager layouts). Other than your negative reviews of voyagers, your opinions and logic are spot on in my book. Your points on the voyagers are also noted, but I do like their layouts and use an Hp12c for a general 4 function calculator.

I will take up one arguement with you about the new Hp15c LE. You have said it is worthless as a professional tool because of the PSE bug and the random bit count of the program byte count. That would certainly hold true if the Hp 15c LE were to be used as a serious computational device like the HP 15c of old was. However, how many serious Engineers would use their Hp15c like that? It is a simple number cruncher for sophisticated math and simple keystroke programmable ie simple 20-30 step programs. Do any more and you should be using a different tool in today's world.

So, the Hp 15c LE served its intended audience unless that audience didn't evolve from T-Rexsouriouses.

I don't argue the fact and certainly wished Hp had instead released an Hp42s (or better, an Hp42s+ with the addition of all the conversion features of the Hp48G, a usb plug, an SD card to transfer real programs and 32K to 1 Meg of RAM). That would have been a dream machine.

I also like the idealogy of Walter when he states that a calculator should be a pocket calculator. That is my gripe with my main squeeze, an Hp 48G (although I have recently started to use an Hp 32sii). The Hp 50G can easily do anything and everything for anyone RIGHT NOW! All you have to do it carry it around. It takes up half the space of any breifcase or backpack (okay, I'm kidding, kind of). My Hp35s is nearly as big as an Hp48G, why is that?.

That is another reason I applauded the Hp34s selection of using the Hp30B calculator platform. It was significantly smaller than the oversized Hp 35s.

Even Ti has gotten brain rot on this matter. A plain simple Ti-30 is about the right size for a calculating tool, their new multi-view ti-30 and ti-36 professional are extra long and bulky. Their redeaming feature is a cover plate to protect the keyboard. I still prefer a case, but that is personal taste and not neccessarily a wise taste.

I have a Ti Nspire too. It is a great portable dedicated computer that had a dedicated math keyboard. Great for expoloring math concepts (after you learn how to use the beast ie sitting in class with a knowledgable instructor). However, it ain't that great for real world engineering. When I want to crunch numbers, I don't want to wait for my calculator to boot up. And then enter calc mode or have three layers of screens to move around in! I want to crunch numbers!!! But that may be the T-Rex in me and not the evolving engineer I should be...

Edited: 13 Feb 2013, 6:03 p.m.

                        
Re: HP41cv expiriences of a new user
Message #29 Posted by Mike Morrow on 13 Feb 2013, 8:02 p.m.,
in response to message #28 by Ron Ross

Quote:
A good word for the Hp 15c??? Getting sentamental???

I admit Mike, I nearly always like your posts and reviews (aside from your picking on the HP 15c and all voyager layouts).


Thanks, Ross! Actually, I've stated many times that the original HP-15C is overall the second best RPN calculator ever made, with the HP 42S in first place. I've got one of mine always near my PC.

Quote:
I will take up one arguement with you about the new Hp15c LE. You have said it is worthless as a professional tool because of the PSE bug and the random bit count of the program byte count.

I must plead not guilty, Ross. I was disappointed by the PSE bug and even more so by the power management issues, but I have always considered it a very serviceable calculator. I bought two! But I consider the original HP-15C to be a more satisfying machine to own.

I have never called the HP 15C-LE "worthless", but I know several others have used that characterization. It's a very usable device that has a few unfortunate emulation errors that will never get fixed. That's the worst that I have to say about the HP 15C-LE.

Quote:
It is a simple number cruncher for sophisticated math and simple keystroke programmable ie simple 20-30 step programs. Do any more and you should be using a different tool in today's world.

That's also why the original HP-15C is just a serviceable as the HP-15C-LE (with 120 times the speed) for almost anything one is likely to need such a machine to do.

Quote:
I don't argue the fact and certainly wished Hp had instead released an Hp42s...

A truly great machine, now a quarter-century old and never matched in HP's line of RPN machines.

Quote:
The Hp 50G can easily do anything and everything for anyone RIGHT NOW!

The HP 50G is the most capable handheld machine that has ever been made for serious work, IMHO. OK, forget about smartphones for a minute. :-)

Quote:
That is another reason I applauded the Hp34s selection of using the Hp30B calculator platform. It was significantly smaller than the oversized Hp 35s.

I would love to see an HP 42S+ made officially by HP in the form of the HP 30b. There would be a need for sound and IR output as well from the hardware. The HP 30b is at least eight times faster than the HP 50G on those tasks for which it is capable.

Quote:
I have a Ti Nspire too...However, it ain't that great for real world engineering. When I want to crunch numbers, I don't want to wait for my calculator to boot up.

I'm with you there as well.

Edited: 13 Feb 2013, 8:05 p.m.


[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall