The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 11

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ArmorAll (protectant) for HP-97 exterior?
Message #1 Posted by Paul Brogger on 30 Mar 2003, 12:20 p.m.

Norm (the 34C zealot) inspired me to get back to the one HP LED unit I've got: a beat-up HP-97 that I wasn't sure would work again.

In fact, though, it was the battery pack which was the problem, and after rebuilding it (actually, after stuffing four Radio Shack sub-c's into the plastic housing) and charging for a bit, it works wonderfully!

During the process of cleanup, I used "Armor All" to un-stick the "form feed" button, and to generally clean up and treat the exterior, after using enamel paint thinner to remove some dried-up old tape stickum that was visible in places. The result looks fantastic! While there are certainly a few dings & scratches, the finish looks brand new-ish.

But (only) then I got to wondering -- is a protectant like Armor All really a good idea, long-term? Does anyone have an opinion or relevant experience?

Re: ArmorAll (protectant) for HP-97 exterior?
Message #2 Posted by Bill Wiese on 30 Mar 2003, 1:34 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Paul Brogger

Hi... Congrats on your restoral, good show! I don't think the ArmorAll will *hurt* anything in the sense of dissolving plastic, etc.

However it could cause build-up after drying and accrete under the keys, and the keys could stick again.

I don't think it's corrosive, and is prob close to pH neutral since it's used on cars.

I love ArmorAll (and the STP equivalent, Son-of-A-Gun). Good for shoe shines, etc.

ArmorAll and others also offer some tire-shine/wheel gloss compounds that are not the same as regular ArmorAll. (I'm talking about the clear stuff often used at car washes.) WATCH OUT for this stuff: it's tires/wheels only. Don't use it on seats, dashboards or HP97s!!

Bill Wiese San Jose, CA

Re: ArmorAll (protectant) for HP-97 exterior?
Message #3 Posted by Dave Shaffer on 30 Mar 2003, 7:46 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bill Wiese

As far as I'm concerned, ArmorAll is wonderful stuff. It is basically a re-plasticizer. Any chemists here should step in, but as I understand it, plastic gets "old" when the long-chain hydrocarbon molecules which comprise the stuff break into shorter molecules. ArmorAll helps reverse the process. Basically, it soaks in - I've never seen any evidence of residue, at least on plastic surfaces.

I once got a completely unsolicited compliment at the Sears car shop on how good my 10-year old 1966 Mustang back seat looked after I ArmorAll-ed it.

I learned about it from a friend of mine who used it on his airplane consoles. If it's safe there, it's probably OK for your calculators!

Re: ArmorAll (protectant) for HP-97 exterior?
Message #4 Posted by db(martinez,california) on 30 Mar 2003, 7:52 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bill Wiese

just a question - i'm no chemist: back in the 70's, i and others used armor all on vinal dashboards and seats that were old but intact. they softened and got new looking but in a month or two they cracked. this may only be a problem with flexible &/or uv damaged "naugahide" but could it be a problem for calculators?

btw: what's a "nauga" and have they become extinct? you don't see them used in upholstery any more.

Message #5 Posted by Norm on 31 Mar 2003, 12:21 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by db(martinez,california)

Naugahide is carefully trimmed & tanned leather-like hide of the ferocious Nauga-beast. These creatures are found only in the tidal lowlands of the country of Naugandia.

Re: naugahide
Message #6 Posted by Richard Garner on 31 Mar 2003, 9:59 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Norm

Naugas are the last true remnance of Dragons on Earth and it takes the tallance of a Dragonslayer to slay one.

The Naugahyde website
Message #7 Posted by Norm on 31 Mar 2003, 3:10 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Richard Garner

OK, no more joking around about Naugahide. (Its Naugahyde, not naugahide).

Leave the joking to the company that makes it. They have a website as well as a FAQ list.

Obviously, they wished to have a clever name for a vinyl product.

and now we know the rest of the story
Message #8 Posted by paul harvy on 2 Apr 2003, 1:25 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Norm

the 34C zealot
Message #9 Posted by Norm on 31 Mar 2003, 12:29 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Paul Brogger

Well here, I am, Norm the 34C zealot.

Just got back from a long day of Sunday doorbelling. Going thru the neighborhoods on my bicycle with suit and tie, and an HP-34C and color xeroxes of HP calculator brochures in my briefcase. I knock on the door...

"howdy ma'am, I'm here to tell you about the life-changing virtues of the RED LED calculator. Have you got any RED LED calculators already in your household?"

* SLAM! *

Next house, different people, same story. Sometimes I wonder if its worth keeping the faith.

Then I get off my bicycle and knock on the door of the Brogger residence. "Howdy Ma'am, I'm here to tell you about the life-changing virtues of the RED LED calculator and how they will save you from headaches and sorrows and bad eyesight of LCD calculators"


Howdy Sir, have you got any believers in the RED LED calculators in this household?"

"WHY CERTAINLY, I was just trying out some Armor All on my HP-97".

"Ah yes, an older model unit but that one does have RED LED's. I'm here on your doorstep today to declare to the world that it is ONLY the HP-34C that is the one and true RED LED calculator".

"Why JUST WHAT do you think you are saying, I happen to like HP-97 just fine".

"Certainly sir, but please allow me to leave you with a genuine 1979 brochure for the HP-34C, and one of our other 34C zealots will contact you in a month or 2".


As an HP-34C zealot, it was a long day of getting the door slammed in my face, but, the marginally goood reception at the Brogger residence allowed me to breathe easy until it all starts over again next weekend.

Re: The 34C zealot strikes again!
Message #10 Posted by Paul brogger on 31 Mar 2003, 9:40 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by Norm


I was going to suggest that you need to get out more often, but now it appears that you do! I'm now at a loss for treatment options . . .

(I'm glad you accepted the title in the spirit with which it was granted!)


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