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HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
09-22-2014, 05:32 PM
Post: #1
HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
I hope it is ok for this thread to be started--I've done a partial teardown on my HP Prime and thought others might want to see the innards. Also it might be a good place to discuss the SmartStream and other connection options other than wireless.

Here is a link to my SmugMug site:
http://www.view-finder.us/Other/HP-Prime.../i-kM7X4S6

Please 'Like' so I can see the level of interest.

The file I uploaded here is just the first part. There are 23 hi-res photos on SmugMug.
   

D
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09-22-2014, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2014 05:54 PM by Adriweb.)
Post: #2
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
Pretty cool.

I myself took a photo of the inside, but didn't go as far as removing parts like you did Big Grin

[Image: x2u5TXh.jpg]
(warning : big image Tongue)

This is a DVT model, though, so maybe there are some differences... (?)

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09-22-2014, 06:41 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
"DVT Model"?
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09-22-2014, 07:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(09-22-2014 06:41 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  "DVT Model"?

EVT, DVT, PVT, etc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering...ation_test

e.g. sharing is a good way to ensure you never participate in anything private with a company because you won't be asked to test in the future...

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
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09-22-2014, 10:41 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
That's good advice!

While I've made a habit of disassembling nearly every piece of gear I owned, I certainly would not do that with something on loan under an NDA. I truly hope HP is as tolerant of calculator-tinkerers as they were back when I visited the plant in Corvallis and met Henry Horn, Bill Wickes and others with a red-carpet treatment.

Judging from the HP web presence, calculators no longer have the panache (or bottom-line contribution) that they once enjoyed.

C'est la vie.
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09-23-2014, 03:18 AM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2014 03:22 AM by Adriweb.)
Post: #6
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(09-22-2014 07:04 PM)Tim Wessman Wrote:  
(09-22-2014 06:41 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  "DVT Model"?

EVT, DVT, PVT, etc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering...ation_test

e.g. sharing is a good way to ensure you never participate in anything private with a company because you won't be asked to test in the future...

Hum, not sure if this was a comment for me, but just in case, I (we, TI-Planet) was allowed to share photos, videos, reviews etc. about the device HP-France (via Helene Pelloux) sent us, otherwise we wouldn't have shared anything obviously Smile

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09-23-2014, 02:40 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
One of your images suggest that there was some thought put into having a speaker for the HP Prime.

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09-23-2014, 03:42 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
If you mean 'BUZZ100', probably a piezoelectric buzzer. Do you see anything on the board that could drive a speaker? Would a teacher want students to have that 'feature'?

BTW, there sure are a lot of vacant solder-pads on the board. For testing? Expansion?

I have to constantly remind myself--despite the power of the Prime--that the era of the calculator as the working tool for engineers and scientists has given way to larger, even more powerful devices. That the mission of the Prime (as seen by HP, I think) is to serve students in an educational setting. Hence, the ability for the instructor to 'wipe' the memory or impose restrictions on the functions that may be used.

I could envision a 'Pro' model of the Prime: free of 'test-taking' restrictions with some better I/O so that real data could be transferred or accessed quickly, perhaps over wireless connections. Imagine a Prime with a real-time feed of investment data and a stochastic trading model in the hands of someone who knew how to use it? Hmmmm . . .
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09-23-2014, 08:28 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(09-23-2014 03:42 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  If you mean 'BUZZ100', probably a piezoelectric buzzer. Do you see anything on the board that could drive a speaker? Would a teacher want students to have that 'feature'?

The SoC has a full stereo sound output system which could have gone to a headphone socket at least. It also has a SD card interface. I wonder if the strain relief moulding at the bottom of the case in picture 2 might have been put there for a reason other than case closure. The TI-Planet webpage has links to various hardware docs that detail the capabilities of the SoC and memory chips.

Like most such devices, it includes a range of i/o pins that would make a neat data-logging device like an arduino, without that ridiculous proprietary add-on.

The neat keypad parts suggest it would be eminently possible for HP to correct its grevious color choices and ship everyone some replacement keys!
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09-23-2014, 08:40 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(09-23-2014 03:42 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  If you mean 'BUZZ100', probably a piezoelectric buzzer. Do you see anything on the board that could drive a speaker? Would a teacher want students to have that 'feature'?

Yeah, I meant the BUZZ100 solder points. The idea was that hardware tinkerers could possibly add their own modifications; I really wasn't suggesting that HP actually put in a speaker (I am indifferent on the matter).

I would really like to see someone make a replacement set of keys since I don't think HP is going to do a new set any time soon (and if they do, it will only be available on new units and not as a mod kit).

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09-23-2014, 10:35 PM
Post: #11
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
   


One motivation for opening my Prime was to reduce the glare from the shiny silver keyboard overlay. It works for me, but not for the faint of heart.
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09-23-2014, 10:57 PM
Post: #12
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
Now for adding a backlight to light up the keyboard during evening hours or when you're in bed -- cause who doesn't program and do calculations just before bed, right? :-)

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09-23-2014, 11:51 PM
Post: #13
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(09-23-2014 10:57 PM)Han Wrote:  Now for adding a backlight to light up the keyboard during evening hours or when you're in bed -- cause who doesn't program and do calculations just before bed, right? :-)

as long as you stop programming when you dooze off lol
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09-25-2014, 05:12 PM
Post: #14
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
Warranty Coverage

I have a Prime that I bought from Amazon. During the process of registration, I happened to check 'warranty coverage' and found that "the warranty had expired" several months ago. I called h/p tech support (as suggested on the web page) and learned several things:
1) The "expired" message was based on manufacture date (via the serial #)
2) If you have a receipt, the h/p warranty for "product defects" is one year from date of purchase
3) The G8X92AA is anticipated to launch in the US for the holiday season (soon I hope)
4) Whatever calculator engineering and manufacturing/repair that existed in Corvallis, OR is long gone. Brought a tear to my eye, it did.

Everybody here probably knew all the above, but just in case . . .

D
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10-09-2014, 11:56 PM
Post: #15
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
G8X92AA

I now have one and have looked inside.

Well, it is not just a few wires added as jumpers; it is a whole new board. Other than the CPU, most of the big chips have been relocated as well as many of the smaller ones. The board itself is covered with captan (the sticky orange plastic film found around electronics) and the inside of the back cover now has a thin copper lining with the USB plug grounded to this with conductive foam when the back is in place. The PC board for the keypad has also been redesigned with test-points remove or relocated.

In other words, it looks like a piece of electronic gear that is meant to support high-speed processing and communications and not leak RF.

Which begs the question: why was the original Prime's communication capability removed with 6030 firmware? Hmmmm . . .?
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10-10-2014, 06:30 PM
Post: #16
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(10-09-2014 11:56 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  In other words, it looks like a piece of electronic gear that is meant to support high-speed processing and communications and not leak RF.

Which begs the question: why was the original Prime's communication capability removed with 6030 firmware? Hmmmm . . .?

I think you meant "which raises the question:" ... that aside, I also think you may have already answered your own question as well.

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10-11-2014, 04:38 PM
Post: #17
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
"Begging the question" implies that the answer is known (or in my case, assumed), as Han correctly inferred. Having seen the insides of quite a number of portable electronic devices, I have a pretty good idea of what RF shielding looks like: the NW280AA has none; the G8X92AA is practically a Faraday cage.

My conjecture is that h/p got its FCC and CE certification and launched the Prime in the US first, but Europe got targeted for the first of the education package (Prime, StreamSmart 410, Fourier Sensors, wireless kit). Then when the Europeans tried out the interconnectivity, someone noticed that there was interference and there was retesting, followed by some corporate fancy-footwork and the G8X92AA got promoted as the "wireless" graphing calculator with a €20 premium on price.

The h/p US tech-support crew did not even know about the SS410 and referred to "not supporting a discontinued product", presumably the old SS400. Then I found (on registration), that the US h/p database has an error in the part-number listing GBX92AA vs. the 'correct' G8X92AA.

Yet the plan (according to one tech person) is to roll out the "wireless" gear for the US holiday season.

All this seem strange considering that the "wireless kit" is a school, not personal item and what about the kids that have a NW280AA? Either there will be a 'software fix' to support the school environment (unlikely as the h/p advertising is clearly distinguishing the Primes) or there will be a quiet replacement plan (I would do this through the schools--"here Johnny, is your new calculator in exchange for you old one") or h/p will stonewall on the defect and fob off complaining customers with "there was an errata page in the package that says the calculator doesn't do what the package says it does."

We'll see if h/p still has "the right stuff" and offers anyone who needs one a replacement.
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10-13-2014, 06:22 PM
Post: #18
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
HP PRIME REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

I just spoke with a tech rep from h/p about my claim that "the original Prime wouldn't work with the SmartStream 410" (I have one) and he reported that h/p has started a replacement program:

1) I need to send in a 'proof of purchase'
2) They verify (how??)
3) They send an authorization
4) I ship the calculator (alone, no cables, cover, etc.) to h/p
5) They send me the new model

Shipping is by something with tracking (for verification)

The cost? My shipping ($5 at USPS)
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10-13-2014, 07:37 PM
Post: #19
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
(10-11-2014 04:38 PM)dbbotkin Wrote:  The h/p US tech-support crew did not even know about the SS410 and referred to "not supporting a discontinued product", presumably the old SS400. Then I found (on registration), that the US h/p database has an error in the part-number listing GBX92AA vs. the 'correct' G8X92AA.

Yet the plan (according to one tech person) is to roll out the "wireless" gear for the US holiday season.

All this seem strange considering that the "wireless kit" is a school, not personal item and what about the kids that have a NW280AA? Either there will be a 'software fix' to support the school environment (unlikely as the h/p advertising is clearly distinguishing the Primes) or there will be a quiet replacement plan (I would do this through the schools--"here Johnny, is your new calculator in exchange for you old one") or h/p will stonewall on the defect and fob off complaining customers with "there was an errata page in the package that says the calculator doesn't do what the package says it does."

We'll see if h/p still has "the right stuff" and offers anyone who needs one a replacement.

This doesn't seem to speak well for the Prime. I really hope HP gets everything sorted out for the holiday season. :-(

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10-14-2014, 12:32 AM
Post: #20
RE: HP Prime Hardware (internal and external)
Well considering the issues associated with the breakup of h/p into 2 divisions (a cause, not an excuse, at the corporate level) and relative importance of the calculator group (a fact unknown to me) and the integrity of the calculator tech support people I have spoken with, I have nothing but respect for the suffering of those attached to the Prime project. Another post here (Tim Wessman?) commented on the relative maturity of the 50G (software enhanced from 1999) and the incredible power of the newbie Prime and I agree that is unfair to compare on the basis of glitches. But, I don't mind being a beta-buyer, some might.

The problem is at the senior corporate level--too much B-School and not enough engineering--and even the senior team/project leaders are hobbled by a 'build it cheap' philosophy. OK, much of that 'cheap plastic' is the result of initiatives to make products easily recyclable and reduce environmental impact. Apple can make a product that is both elegant and recyclable, albeit with higher cost.

How much extra would it have cost to injection-mold the case using a plastic like in the 'old' h/p's (my h/p67 for example) or to let some real users review the color scheme for the keys (or better, stick with the colors that worked)? And that shiny silver metal add-on is a joke. (I took my Prime apart and painted the silver to flat black: it made the keys much more readable)

The PC board hardware and the latest software is phenomenal and there is room in the case for future goodies, I wonder if there is a large enough market for a Prime Pro to make it worthwhile to build one?
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