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Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
03-12-2021, 03:37 PM
Post: #1
Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
I've got an HP-IL adapter for my 41 and a PIL-BOX on the way, and I figure I ought to maximize my investment by looking for a 71B, so I've been casually shopping around for one of those. Is there anything particularly important I should know before pulling the trigger?

I know there are a couple of different ROM versions, but aside from the array redimensioning bug in 2CCCC, it sounds like there aren't many significant differences. Is that accurate?

The base 17.5 KB of user RAM sounds like it would be plenty for starters (that's like 8 times as much as a 41's main memory!), but are there options for increasing it more than the paltry 4 KB RAM modules that I see?

Any other common issues or problems that I should be on the lookout for?
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03-12-2021, 05:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
Start here:

https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-5286.html

My Collection: 55, 67T, 25PLP, 34C, 15C, 16C, 41CV, 41CX, 41-CL, DM41X, DM42, 42S, 48G, 71B, 75C, 95LX, HP-150, Portable+, HP-86, Integral PC.
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03-12-2021, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2021 06:52 PM by Sylvain Cote.)
Post: #3
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-12-2021 03:37 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I know there are a couple of different ROM versions, but aside from the array redimensioning bug in 2CCCC, it sounds like there aren't many significant differences. Is that accurate?
Common ROM version are 1BBBB and 2CDCC. I personally use the 1BBBB version most of the time and I am quite happy with it.
Jean-François Garnier has a dedicated web page for HP-71B ROM Versions and Bugs.

For the HP-IL module, you should definitively buy a 1B version.

(03-12-2021 03:37 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  The base 17.5 KB of user RAM sounds like it would be plenty for starters (that's like 8 times as much as a 41's main memory!), but are there options for increasing it more than the paltry 4 KB RAM modules that I see?
Unfortunately, you just missed Hans Brueggemann FRAM71B production run (holy grail RAM card reader module).
Fortunately, Mark Fleming just released his HP-71B MultiMod ROM Emulator.

RAM module options are ...
  • Front port RAM module from HP: 4K
  • Front port RAM modules from CMT: 32K & 64K
  • Card reader port RAM modules from HHP: 32K, 64K, 96K & 128K
  • Card reader port RAM modules from CMT: 32K, 64K, 96K, 128K & 160K
  • Card reader port FRAM modules from Hans: 512K & 1024K
EPROM/Flash module options are ...
  • Front port EPROM modules from CMT: 32K & 64K (needs CMT EPROM Programmer, very rare)
  • Card reader port EPROM module from HHP: 32K
  • Card reader port EPROM module from CMT: 32K
  • Card reader port Flash module from Mark: 128K (112K available)
... and has Daniel mentioned the HP-71B Compendium (PDF version)
(03-12-2021 05:08 PM)twoweims Wrote:  https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-5286.html

Sylvain
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03-12-2021, 06:15 PM
Post: #4
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
.
Hi,

(03-12-2021 03:37 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I know there are a couple of different ROM versions, but aside from the array redimensioning bug in 2CCCC, it sounds like there aren't many significant differences. Is that accurate?

I've been using the HP-71B version 1BBBB very extensively since it was released 37 years ago, writing hundreds of programs large and small, simple and convoluted, and never ever have I stumbled upon any bug, not once. Thus, I'd recommend you to also consider 1BBBB if you find one in better condition/price than a newer version. Avoid 1CCCC at all costs.


Quote:The base 17.5 KB of user RAM sounds like it would be plenty for starters (that's like 8 times as much as a 41's main memory!), but are there options for increasing it more than the paltry 4 KB RAM modules that I see?

Of course there are ! Here you are, one of my HP-71B fitted with CMT 128 Kb RAM:

[Image: ZZ71BCMT128.jpg]

They're probably expensive but, at least for me, an absolute must. I also own a card-reader but I stored it away and have used the CMB 128 Kb module in its place ever since.

Last but not least, once you've got your HP-71B (or before) have a look at the many pictures and programs I've written for it, available as JPG and/or PDF at my HP site.

V.

  
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03-12-2021, 06:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
Fantastic info, thanks guys!

I figured there were probably bigger (i.e. $+++) RAM options out there. Smile

Is the HP-IL adapter version number printed/stamped on the chassis somewhere, or does one have to query the module to find it?
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03-12-2021, 06:22 PM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2021 06:26 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #6
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-12-2021 06:18 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Fantastic info, thanks guys!

I figured there were probably bigger (i.e. $+++) RAM options out there. Smile

Is the HP-IL adapter version number printed/stamped on the chassis somewhere, or does one have to query the module to find it?

HP-IL adapters with version 1B firmware appeared around date code 8603 which is stamped on the module. Alternatively, executing VER$ will display the ROM versions.
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03-12-2021, 07:41 PM
Post: #7
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
I have mainly 1BBBB AND 2CDCC versions - I switch from one to the other without thinking too much about it except for ONE thing. The 1BBBB needs the SHOWPORT LEX file update, I use it all the time and the earlier models does it “not quite right”
(03-12-2021 06:18 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Fantastic info, thanks guys!

I figured there were probably bigger (i.e. $+++) RAM options out there. Smile

Is the HP-IL adapter version number printed/stamped on the chassis somewhere, or does one have to query the module to find it?
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03-12-2021, 08:28 PM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2021 08:43 PM by J-F Garnier.)
Post: #8
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-12-2021 07:41 PM)KimH Wrote:  I have mainly 1BBBB AND 2CDCC versions - I switch from one to the other without thinking too much about it except for ONE thing. The 1BBBB needs the SHOWPORT LEX file update, I use it all the time and the earlier models does it “not quite right”

BTW, the updated SHOW PORT command is the cause of the updated version to be called 2CCCC and not 1CCCC, since it is was a functional change, quite the same as the 28C 1BB/1CC versions updated to the 28S 2BB version. All other changes in the HP-71B 2CCCC are bug fixes (plus one new bug later fixed in 2CDCC).

J-F
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03-12-2021, 08:49 PM
Post: #9
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
I have mainly 1BBBB AND 2CDCC versions - I switch from one to the other without thinking too much about it except for ONE thing. The 1BBBB needs the SHOWPORT LEX file update, I use it all the time and the earlier models does it “not quite right”
(03-12-2021 06:18 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Fantastic info, thanks guys!

I figured there were probably bigger (i.e. $+++) RAM options out there. Smile

Is the HP-IL adapter version number printed/stamped on the chassis somewhere, or does one have to query the module to find it?
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03-16-2021, 12:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
I'd like to thank everyone that was kind enough to send me offers to sell a 71B. I've made a purchase, and have a small starter kit on the way. So no further offers necessary for now - at least not until I decide I need a 9114 floppy drive. So like June maybe. Wink I've also got one of Mark Fleming's MultiMods ordered.

Battery question: I'm assuming I can use any good quality NiMHs from reputable brands - Eneloop, EBL, etc. Do you get enough warning time with the low battery alert when using rechargeables?

I see Joe Horn has compiled a nice little collection of LEX files:

http://holyjoe.org/HP71/lexlist.htm

Are there any listed here (or available elsewhere) that are generally considered essential, and used by a large percentage of programs? I'll be installing KEYWAIT for sure. Eventually I'll have to figure out how to use EMU71 to build a ROM image from a hand-picked collection of LEX files and flash it to the MultiMod.
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03-16-2021, 01:10 PM (This post was last modified: 03-16-2021 01:11 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #11
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
Hello!

(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Battery question: I'm assuming I can use any good quality NiMHs from reputable brands - Eneloop, EBL, etc. Do you get enough warning time with the low battery alert when using rechargeables?

I use mine with "normal" (non well-known brand that is) NiMHs and get the low battery warning well in advance. Be aware that the calculator draws a little current when turned off, so if you don't use it for longer periods (rather months instead of weeks) you may find the batteries drained.

With all those accessories you plan to buy, the best thing would be to power it from the mains anyway.

(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Are there any listed here (or available elsewhere) that are generally considered essential,...

Essential for what? Do you want to use your HP-71B for controlling a vaccine production plant or just play around with it to see what it can do and how it interacts with all those accessories?

The only really essential thing regarding the 71B that comes to my mind is the MATH ROM. Without that, you will not be able to try out all those wonderful algortihms invented by Valentin :-)

Regards
Max
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03-16-2021, 02:01 PM
Post: #12
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 01:10 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Essential for what? Do you want to use your HP-71B for controlling a vaccine production plant or just play around with it to see what it can do and how it interacts with all those accessories?

The only really essential thing regarding the 71B that comes to my mind is the MATH ROM. Without that, you will not be able to try out all those wonderful algortihms invented by Valentin :-)

Well, I live only an hour drive away from Pfizer's factory, so maybe I can head over there and lend them a hand. Big Grin

My use cases will probably be similar to most of my other calculators: math, stats, prototyping algorithms, amusements, and "what can I make it do". HP's Math ROM will likely have a permanent home on the MultiMod, though I might buy an original eventually to free up some space for other ROM images.
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03-16-2021, 02:54 PM
Post: #13
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Are there any listed here (or available elsewhere) that are generally considered essential, and used by a large percentage of programs?

This is essentially the same question I asked when I offered to burn EPROM's. Since you mentioned Joe's collection of LEX files, here's his list of essential LEX files.
https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-96...l#pid90007

Dave
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03-16-2021, 02:58 PM
Post: #14
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I see Joe Horn has compiled a nice little collection of LEX files:
http://holyjoe.org/HP71/lexlist.htm

Please be aware that that list is ancient ("Last updated 12 April 1989"). A much more complete effort is the "The Online LIF Disk Project" which contains every HP-71 file that I've ever had access to: http://holyjoe.net/HP71/Online-LIF-Disk-Project.zip (20MB zipfile containing over 3000 files).

I rarely play with the '71B any more (life is short and toybox is full), so other folks here are the best source of information about which files are the "essential" ones. Happy Programming!

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
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03-16-2021, 03:22 PM (This post was last modified: 03-17-2021 01:47 AM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #15
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 02:58 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Please be aware that that list is ancient ("Last updated 12 April 1989"). A much more complete effort is the "The Online LIF Disk Project" which contains every HP-71 file that I've ever had access to: http://holyjoe.net/HP71/Online-LIF-Disk-Project.zip (20MB zipfile containing over 3000 files).

(03-16-2021 02:01 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  HP's Math ROM will likely have a permanent home on the MultiMod, though I might buy an original eventually to free up some space for other ROM images.

For about the same price as a Math ROM you can buy an EPROM module that can be programmed with J-F's version 2B of the Math ROM.
http://www.jeffcalc.hp41.eu/emu71/mathrom.html

Dave
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03-16-2021, 04:26 PM
Post: #16
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 02:58 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  
(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I see Joe Horn has compiled a nice little collection of LEX files:
http://holyjoe.org/HP71/lexlist.htm

Please be aware that that list is ancient ("Last updated 12 April 1989"). A much more complete effort is the "The Online LIF Disk Project" which contains every HP-71 file that I've ever had access to: http://holyjoe.net/HP71/Online-LIF-Disk-Project.zip (20MB zipfile containing over 3000 files).

I rarely play with the '71B any more (life is short and toybox is full), so other folks here are the best source of information about which files are the "essential" ones. Happy Programming!

Ah, I saw the reference to the PIL-Box and assumed it was newer. Smile I'll be sure to check out the updated collection. Thanks!
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03-16-2021, 05:59 PM
Post: #17
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 04:26 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  
(03-16-2021 02:58 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Please be aware that that list is ancient ("Last updated 12 April 1989"). A much more complete effort is the "The Online LIF Disk Project" which contains every HP-71 file that I've ever had access to: http://holyjoe.net/HP71/Online-LIF-Disk-Project.zip (20MB zipfile containing over 3000 files).

I rarely play with the '71B any more (life is short and toybox is full), so other folks here are the best source of information about which files are the "essential" ones. Happy Programming!

Ah, I saw the reference to the PIL-Box and assumed it was newer. Smile I'll be sure to check out the updated collection. Thanks!

Bring a chair... the OLDP is enormous, over 9000 (!) files. Though there are plenty of dupes, and some of them are for 41 or 75 or Portable Plus, and some are documents (thankfully), etc. the vast majority are 71 LEX files.

--Bob Prosperi
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03-16-2021, 07:04 PM
Post: #18
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
I know my batteries are dying because I get lots of keybounce and extra keypresses. 8^)
I have a 16K RAM cartridge.
The ROM's I have are the Curve Fit, MathPac and the Forth/Assembler.
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03-16-2021, 07:30 PM (This post was last modified: 03-16-2021 07:30 PM by Garth Wilson.)
Post: #19
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Battery question: I'm assuming I can use any good quality NiMHs from reputable brands - Eneloop, EBL, etc. Do you get enough warning time with the low battery alert when using rechargeables?

I don't use my 71's very often anymore, so I don't remember how long batteries lasted when I was using them regularly; but it was a long, long time. Now that I use them so seldom, a set of alkaline batteries lasts me many years. When the BAT (low-battery) annunciator comes on, there's still a lot of time left to change them, at least if they're alkaline. I've never tried with rechargeables.

I have a lot of the LEX files shown on Joe Horn's page, and probably more besides, mostly from the Paris users' group. There's a real wealth there! There's also a utility that lets you merge a bunch of them into one, so if you're reloading files, you don't have so many to do. I merged a lot into one and called it MULTILEX.

The modules I consider most essential are HPIL, Math, then Forth/Assembler (some may not have as much use for that though), and whatever extra RAM you choose. I have a 96KB CMT one in the card-reader port, and a 64KB front-port one.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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03-17-2021, 12:21 AM
Post: #20
RE: Anything I should know before buying a 71B?
(03-16-2021 12:50 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  Are there any listed here (or available elsewhere) that are generally considered essential, and used by a large percentage of programs?


For me the absolutely essential, which are loaded at all times on my physical/virtual HP-71Bs, are the following:
  • The Math ROM. Or better, J-F Garnier's Math Pac 2. Essential, can't live without it.
          
  • The JPC ROM. Essential. can't live without it
          
  • The HP-IL ROM. For anything I/O and boolean operations.
          
  • The LEX file STRINGLX. Essential, can't live without it.

All other are for me unnecessary, never use them but of course your mileage might vary.

A final advice: do not have many LEX files loaded at a time, either individually or packed in a single LEX file, because (apart from hogging RAM unnecessarily) having many can and will very appreciably slow down the HP-71B. Keep permanently loaded just the ones you actually use most frequently and keep the rest at hand just in case, to be loaded occasionally if needed and then deleted after use.

Remember, the physical HP-71B is one slow machine and if you have it searching all the time among hundreds of keywords and polling many LEX files for the various polls the system issues, you'll potentially slow down operations noticeably.

V.

  
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