06-16-2018, 08:48 AM
Post: #1
 jomorley Junior Member Posts: 10 Joined: Jun 2018
Hi

I've just got myself a great little 33C. It works well but, for some reason, the radix is a comma and not a decimal point.

It's not a big deal but is irritating! I thought that a point would be the default but removing and replacing the batteries does not work.

Any ideas how I can change it from a comma, please?
06-16-2018, 11:33 AM
Post: #2
 Katie Wasserman Super Moderator Posts: 629 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
The 33C is one of the "Spice" series of HP Calculators. That series came with two different LED display modules -- one for the US market with radix points and one for European markets with radix commas.

The only way to change from one to the other is to swap the LED module. Easy to do, but you'll need a a donor Spice calculator.

-katie

06-16-2018, 11:57 AM
Post: #3
 Sylvain Cote Senior Member Posts: 1,274 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 11:33 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  The 33C is one of the "Spice" series of HP Calculators. That series came with two different LED display modules -- one for the US market with radix points and one for European markets with radix commas.

The only way to change from one to the other is to swap the LED module. Easy to do, but you'll need a a donor Spice calculator.

Hello Katie,
Are you sure of that ? I seem to remember a post here on the museum that said otherwise.
Sylvain
06-16-2018, 12:00 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2018 12:16 PM by Dieter.)
Post: #4
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,397 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 08:48 AM)jomorley Wrote:  I've just got myself a great little 33C. It works well but, for some reason, the radix is a comma and not a decimal point.

It's not a big deal but is irritating!

Things are different throughout the world. ;-) I'd be irritated by a decimal point as the radix mark, and commas as thousands separators. Just as half of the world would, while the other half prefers the other way round. That's why HP produced two different versions of the Spices.

(06-16-2018 08:48 AM)jomorley Wrote:  I thought that a point would be the default but removing and replacing the batteries does not work.

Yes, that's correct. This is a hardware thing. The LEDs always can display both points and commas, and they have to do so because one of these is the radix mark and the other one the thousands separator. Which is which is not set by software but by hardware:

(06-16-2018 11:33 AM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  The 33C is one of the "Spice" series of HP Calculators. That series came with two different LED display modules -- one for the US market with radix points and one for European markets with radix commas.

Hmm... I don't think that my knowlegde of HP calculator hardware internals is even close to Katie's, but in this case I am quite sure that there were no two different LED modules as the calculators always displayed both dots and commas: either 1.234,45 or 1,234.45 – depending on the region where they were sold.

As far as I remember the switch between both display modes was done by a jumper on the PCB. Take a look at this thread in the old forum. One of the posts even says that it was Katie who provided this information. ;-)

Sadly the most interesting picture in Luiz's post has vanished. But it really seems to be nothing more than having two points on the PCB connected or not. Maybe someone here has some more detailled information.

Edit: I see Sylvain was 3 minutes faster. And the other thread in the old forum even has two pictures – by Katie ;-) – that show the PCB details. Since it's a bit hard to detect: there is a thin black line pointing upwards from the yellow text label, and at its upper end you can see the jumper in place (radix mark is dot).

By the way, this is not a US vs. Europe thing: take a look at this map on Wikipedia.

Dieter
06-16-2018, 02:27 PM
Post: #5
 jomorley Junior Member Posts: 10 Joined: Jun 2018
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
Thanks, everyone.

As it appears to be a hardware problem and I'm an impatient bundle of fingers and thumbs then I'll just have to get used to the comma!

Thanks again … very interesting.

Regards

Jo
06-16-2018, 03:31 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2018 03:31 PM by John Smitherman.)
Post: #6
 John Smitherman Member Posts: 81 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 12:00 PM)Dieter Wrote:  By the way, this is not a US vs. Europe thing: take a look at this map on Wikipedia.

Dieter

Agreed, it appears to be more of a British / British colony vs Continental Europe / Continental European colony influence.
06-16-2018, 05:10 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2018 05:11 PM by Dieter.)
Post: #7
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,397 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 03:31 PM)John Smitherman Wrote:  Agreed, it appears to be more of a British / British colony vs Continental Europe / Continental European colony influence.

These were my thoughts as well.

Finally I found a picture of a Spice PCB with the jumper removed / disconnected, i.e. the radix mark is a comma. Take a look at Kees van der Sanden's website, at the bottom of the linked page.

It looks like it shouldn't be too difficult to re-connect the two contacts in order to change a radix-comma calculator into a radix-dot version.

Dieter
06-16-2018, 06:20 PM
Post: #8
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,272 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
Two more pictures, courtsey of Katie Wasserman:

http://wass.net/repairs/Spice1.JPG

http://wass.net/repairs/Spice2.JPG
06-16-2018, 06:50 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2018 06:51 PM by Gerson W. Barbosa.)
Post: #9
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,272 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 08:48 AM)jomorley Wrote:  ...for some reason, the radix is a comma and not a decimal point.

It's not a big deal but is irritating!

I do believe it is! About 30 years ago I went through the trouble of burning a new EPROM for my MSX computer just because of that. Fortunately, on the HP-33C it is just a matter of rewring a jumper (for me it was even easier, I just had to cut it out). This might work for most units. Opening it up should be the most compicated part ( https://www.voidware.com/calcs/spicerepair.htm ).

From Katie Wasserman's website:

DECIMAL-POINT IS COMMA :-)

06-16-2018, 06:57 PM
Post: #10
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 1,980 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  DECIMAL-POINT IS COMMA :-)

Yeah Gerson, forever so! :)

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
06-17-2018, 04:33 PM
Post: #11
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,397 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  About 30 years ago I went through the trouble of burning a new EPROM for my MSX computer just because of that.

Now that you mention it: I remember I had a patched version of the Turbo Pascal runtime library to get a decimal comma instead ot the usual point in the compiled .exe file. ;-)

Looking at your screenshot and the BASIC code I wonder how this interfered with the comma in PRINT statements: In BASIC the comma is used for printing tabulated data: So in a standard environment PRINT 12,345 returns

12         345

(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  Fortunately, on the HP-33C it is just a matter of rewring a jumper (for me it was even easier, I just had to cut it out).

Fortunately, on the '41 it is just a matter of setting/clearing a flag. ;-)
After a master clear (MEMORY LOST) the first thing I do is a CF 28.

(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  From Katie Wasserman's website:

Yes, these are the pictures linked in the old thread Sylvain referred to.

Dieter
06-17-2018, 09:17 PM
Post: #12
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,272 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-17-2018 04:33 PM)Dieter Wrote:
(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  About 30 years ago I went through the trouble of burning a new EPROM for my MSX computer just because of that.

Now that you mention it: I remember I had a patched version of the Turbo Pascal runtime library to get a decimal comma instead ot the usual point in the compiled .exe file. ;-)

On second thought there was no need to burn an EPROM since on MSX computers it was possible to exchange ROM and RAM banks through a slot-switching operation and then making the desired changes in RAM (a BASIC program with parts is Assembly was required). But I did burn an EPROM to change some default function keys descriptions (for example, cload" to bload" since by that time the former ( cassette load ) was not used anymore.

(06-17-2018 04:33 PM)Dieter Wrote:  Looking at your screenshot and the BASIC code I wonder how this interfered with the comma in PRINT statements: In BASIC the comma is used for printing tabulated data: So in a standard environment PRINT 12,345 returns

12         345

I changed only the outputs (an easy task as I had The MSX Book which gave information on what ROM regions to check), but the decimal-points kept being entered as such. Thus, I would enter

20 PRINT 12.345

which would list as

20 PRINT 12,345!

the "!" was automatically added to indicate a real single precision number.

On the other hand, if the line were entered as

20 PRINT 12,345

the corresponding listing would be exactly the same and upon execution it would return what you have suggested.

(I've just checked these out on the emulator).

(06-17-2018 04:33 PM)Dieter Wrote:
(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  Fortunately, on the HP-33C it is just a matter of rewring a jumper (for me it was even easier, I just had to cut it out).

(06-17-2018 04:33 PM)Dieter Wrote:  Fortunately, on the '41 it is just a matter of setting/clearing a flag. ;-)
After a master clear (MEMORY LOST) the first thing I do is a CF 28.

Just as easy on the HP-15C as well (a simple ON/. operation).

(06-17-2018 04:33 PM)Dieter Wrote:
(06-16-2018 06:50 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  From Katie Wasserman's website:

Yes, these are the pictures linked in the old thread Sylvain referred to.

You are right. Sorry for the redundancy!

Gerson.
06-17-2018, 10:34 PM
Post: #13
 Katie Wasserman Super Moderator Posts: 629 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
I've been out of this game for too long, I was thinking about the Woodstocks when I wrote my reply about the Spices.

-katie

06-17-2018, 11:07 PM
Post: #14
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 4,038 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-17-2018 10:34 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I've been out of this game for too long, I was thinking about the Woodstocks when I wrote my reply about the Spices.

So jump back in whenever you can, the water is just fine.

--Bob Prosperi
06-17-2018, 11:16 PM
Post: #15
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,272 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-17-2018 10:34 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  I've been out of this game for too long, I was thinking about the Woodstocks when I wrote my reply about the Spices.

That explains it all. I second Bob Prosperi.
06-22-2018, 07:09 AM
Post: #16
 jomorley Junior Member Posts: 10 Joined: Jun 2018
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
You guys are amazing. Thanks so much for all the info and effort. I was hoping for a magic software solution analogous to the "CF28" but I guess that I'll just have to put up with the comma. I lived in The Netherlands for a couple of years but never quite got used to bank statements etc. having a comma where I expected a decimal point and vice versa.
06-22-2018, 06:21 PM
Post: #17
 Guenter Schink Senior Member Posts: 330 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-22-2018 07:09 AM)jomorley Wrote:  You guys are amazing. Thanks so much for all the info and effort. I was hoping for a magic software solution analogous to the "CF28" but I guess that I'll just have to put up with the comma. I lived in The Netherlands for a couple of years but never quite got used to bank statements etc. having a comma where I expected a decimal point and vice versa.

Very dangerous. I recall to have made an offer once on Ebay in the US (instead of Germany) and intended to offer $25 and 50 cents, but I put in 25,5. Guess what I looked like when I detected that, in fact, I had offered$25500. Fortunately I was able to correct that immediately, pooh.

Günter
PS: Put in here \$25.5 just to show the magnitude, don't recall the exact value.
06-23-2018, 10:19 AM
Post: #18
 jomorley Junior Member Posts: 10 Joined: Jun 2018
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
I can imagine how you felt. Cold sweat! By mistake I clicked on Buy It Now once and rented the two of us a villa for 6 in France.
06-23-2018, 06:09 PM
Post: #19
 Guenter Schink Senior Member Posts: 330 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: HP33C radix is a comma
(06-23-2018 10:19 AM)jomorley Wrote:  I can imagine how you felt. Cold sweat! By mistake I clicked on Buy It Now once and rented the two of us a villa for 6 in France.