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HP17BII will not power on
05-24-2018, 08:10 PM
Post: #1
HP17BII will not power on
I have an HP 17BII that I used to get myself through my MBA, so it has some sentimental value to me. I hadn't used it for a while, and I tried to power it up and it would not start. I thought the batteries were dead so I replaced them with fresh ones and I heard a beep and it came to life. Later, when I went to power it off, nothing... it was as if it did not recognize the command. I tried just hitting the CLR key which shares the same key (minus the yellow shift key) and it would not clear. I was able to power it off by removing the batteries, but now when I put them back in it will not power on.

Sounds like the unit is having a problem with that key. Is there something I can try to fix it?
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05-24-2018, 08:31 PM
Post: #2
RE: HP17BII will not power on
Hello,
Did you try to reset it? I have experienced strange things, when inserting batteries into a unit that has not been used for a long time.
A description of the reset procedure can be found here. Search for "How do I reset the HP 17BII to its factory default settings?".

Regards
Bernd
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05-24-2018, 08:51 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2018 08:52 PM by burkhard.)
Post: #3
RE: HP17BII will not power on
Just the other night, I had something similar with a 32SII, also in the Pioneer series, so likely similar electrical architecture.

The calculator worked fine, but the display seemed a little low in contrast, so I popped the three LR44 batteries out and installed three new ones. Nothing. It wouldn't turn on.
So I took those out, checked their open-circuit voltage and all were OK. I checked the old ones and they were only marginally less. I put the old ones back *knowing* it had worked just a couple of minutes earlier on them, but still no good... no response at all to ON or any other key.

I had heard that sometimes (on Voyagers at least), they go "dead" and it's necessary to take the batteries out and jumper briefly (a second or so, not critical) the + and – terminal in the battery compartment, which discharges an internal capacitor. I never had to do that myself, but apparently others have. A wire would work, or a paper clip. I spread open a pair of metal tweezers that were handy to span between the contacts.

I gave that a try on my 32SII and voilà, it fired right up!

So, give that a try.
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05-24-2018, 09:26 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP17BII will not power on
(05-24-2018 08:31 PM)Bernd Grubert Wrote:  Did you try to reset it?

Bernd, when the unit was on, the CLR key key would not work, so there is no way for me to reset it as you need that key

(05-24-2018 08:51 PM)burkhard Wrote:  I had heard that sometimes (on Voyagers at least), they go "dead" and it's necessary to take the batteries out and jumper briefly (a second or so, not critical) the + and – terminal in the battery compartment, which discharges an internal capacitor. I never had to do that myself, but apparently others have. A wire would work, or a paper clip. I spread open a pair of metal tweezers that were handy to span between the contacts.

Just tried this and still nothing.
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05-24-2018, 10:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP17BII will not power on
Leave the batteries out overnight and then retry.
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05-24-2018, 11:17 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP17BII will not power on
It's possible the keyboard is the issue.

Try pressing firmly (but not hard) in the area between the keyboard and display when you press the [ON] key. If it comes on, it's likely other keys in the same column behave the same.

This can occur when the contacts inside the case don't make good contact; pressing that area temporarily holds the contacts in place.

The good news is this can be fixed. Check and let us know if this makes any difference.

--Bob Prosperi
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05-25-2018, 04:28 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP17BII will not power on
(05-24-2018 10:13 PM)Zaphod Wrote:  Leave the batteries out overnight and then retry.

I will try that.

(05-24-2018 11:17 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  It's possible the keyboard is the issue.

Try pressing firmly (but not hard) in the area between the keyboard and display when you press the [ON] key. If it comes on, it's likely other keys in the same column behave the same.

I have already tried this and no dice.
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05-28-2018, 02:07 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP17BII will not power on
Okay, so tried the batteries out over night and no luck. Sounds like I'm going to have to open this up. I believe I recall seeing the articles on how to do that, but what should I be looking for when I open this if the power/CLR key is not working? I know it would be easier to just but a replacement, but again, the sentimental value of this calculator, and the personal satisfaction of fixing something is just too great.
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05-29-2018, 02:05 AM
Post: #9
RE: HP17BII will not power on
A good start might be to make sure the key contact closure is actually working. Use this link for a Pioneer keyboard layout.

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...i?read=451

The power key is actually brought out to two separate contacts, independent of the matrix for the other keys. For more information on Pioneer internals, I've found this article to be quite valuable

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...cgi?read=5

The Pioneers are not terribly difficult to open and repair. All but one or two of mine were acquired as For Parts or Not Working. Cheaper that way Smile

~Mark

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05-29-2018, 01:57 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP17BII will not power on
For those looking to open and try to repair these HP Pioneer calculator series, I would also suggest a couple of repair videos by Logan West:

HP 32SII Calculator Keyboard/Screen Repair (and other Pioneer models)

HP 20s Calculator Screen/Keyboard Repair

And this Takayuki HOSODA information that ibncludes a partial schematics as well.

Jose Mesquita
RadioMuseum.org member

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