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HP Forum Archive 08

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would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #1 Posted by barry on 19 Apr 2002, 3:58 p.m.

hello to the group: i was wondering if reproduction parts for HP calcs would sell? my friends have an injection mol- ding shop, and we were looking at a 41C i had just picked up; i have seen WTB ads for port module covers and battery port covers, was wondering if you folks think quality repro parts like this would sell? has it been tried before? are there enuff 41XX out there needing small parts to support this? we figured that after mold & manufacturing costs were taken into account, we would have to sell 1000 of any one part over a period of time to make it worthwhile (and these parts would have to sell for about $4.00 each); too much money for replacement parts? any thoughts out there? what parts would you like to see repro'd? tnx, barry carson city nv

Re: would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #2 Posted by Larry Wiese on 19 Apr 2002, 4:14 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by barry

I'm not sure how large your market would be, but the HP-41 series is a very collectible item. They move very quickly on eBay and the covers seem to have a way of disappearing. Someone did have an advertisement posted here on the hpmuseum for this very thing and I believe they were asking $5 apiece for them. I have also seen them on eBay for around $5 or $6 but don't know how well they sold. Hope this info is of some use to you.

my experiences also, larry
Message #3 Posted by barry on 19 Apr 2002, 4:19 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Larry Wiese

i sell some HP's here (tnx dave!) occasionally, and when i view the ads i see the WTB for the 41 series small parts; that's where we would probably start if we do this; i was considering the HP41C/etc battery compartment (N cell), but it would be a rather more expensive mold, and it would push the price much higher, or have to sell more quantity. the thought here is that we would expand to other small parts for other models also (maybe!). tnx, barry carson city, nv

Re: my experiences also, larry
Message #4 Posted by Larry Wiese on 19 Apr 2002, 4:39 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by barry

Also, for the battery holder you probably would want to include the springs. I might be in the market for something like that if I cannot get my rechargeable pack rebuilt.

Re: would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #5 Posted by doug on 19 Apr 2002, 5:10 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by barry

People will need replacement parts as long as they can get enough to keep their machines working, or to ready them for sell.

I recently needed a battery compartment door for a TI 30, and a TI programmer calculator. I think they are the same. A person I finally found said he might sell some. I asked how much. $30 for the TI-30 and $40 for the TI-Programmer. Then I could do with the doors as I choose. If you have a calculator and lost the battery door or other then how aggravating is tape?

$5 to $10 per door.

If old enough and rare enough or someone just really needs a door to make a unit perfect. $15 up.

Nothing is free anymore. The less of things there are, the less people will be so quick to give these items away or sell for $2 or $5. Given away or sold real low anything lately only to find you need the same item withing a few months and had to pay $20 to get something?

Re: would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #6 Posted by Spice_Man on 20 Apr 2002, 1:15 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by barry

I'd definitely be a buyer of repro parts for the 41 series, classics, woodstocks, SPICE! series, etc. (for broken battery doors, half-cases, and red LED windows).

Better yet, how about some repro electronics? :-)

Re: would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #7 Posted by Ellis Easley on 21 Apr 2002, 3:48 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by barry

How about the sliding latches that go in the Classic battery covers? The way HP made them, the part that makes them stay in the extended position breaks off easily. Also, this is probably not in great demand, but I got two HP75's from EduCalc mounted in the expansion pod and I would like to have the battery cover for the 75 itself, which is discarded when the unit is installed in the pod.

Re: would HP repro plastic parts sell?
Message #8 Posted by glynn on 21 Apr 2002, 6:21 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by barry

I think there would be sufficient market for some of these to merit the project; the port covers, battery-doors for the 41 series, the 75 battery door, also perhaps molded plastic packs for batteries, or of module boxes-- the possibilities are there.

If you are doing the toolwork yourself, rather than simply creating a form directly from an original part, you will primarily concern yourself with precise fit and compatibility; after that, however, it is not only conceivable, but desirable, to IMPROVE, where you can, the design-- and in so doing, differentiate your design from one simply copied. I know that may be hard to imagine right away; do some thinking on the pieces themselves, study them and how they act, and perhaps you'll come up with something.

The improvement/differentiation could do several things:

A. Properly identify your part as a repro-- protecting the market for all-original equipment. As most here are familiar with the demands/wishes of collectors, you should see that this move should not harm your market overall.

B. Protect you from the legal ramifications of "lifting" or copying someone else's design/tooling.

C. Rib or reinforce those areas that may have proven fragile in the field over the lifetime of the part.

D. Provide smooth "label areas" or other feature not included originally in the design. Or alternately, a molded-in legend providing useful information on the calculator's operation... one can imagine the self-test and reset and other subtleties of a calc being documented on a battery door, for instance.

E. Create a brand-image and repute of your own-- so that the hard work you do in this area will translate to a recognition amongst collectors that your parts are valuable in their own right... a small but recognizable logo or "cartouche" so that the source of such a part is known and respected... that would be better in my mind than a "source unknown" knock-off part.

The project has merit, surely. Best of success to you-- looking forward to seeing examples of this being done right. If they are, I'll be a customer, too.

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