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Spice Low Power
10-01-2019, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2019 08:20 PM by PANAMATIK.)
Post: #1
Spice Low Power
Hello, I'm back after a rather long pause from this forum.

Now I have to announce a new Low Power circuit for the SPICE calculators.

For the first time there is a repair kit for the SPICE calculators like HP-34C

Similar to the previous "Woodstock Low Power" kit, I made a layout fitting into the SPICE calculators. It will have all the features of the Woodstock Low Power - Real Time Clock, Stopwatch, 512 k Flash memory, space for more than 100 programs per calculator, LED Alphanumeric display, Infrared printing to HP82240 and switching between all models HP-31, HP-32, HP-33C, HP-34C, HP37, HP38C. And of course it will replace the complete electronics and switching power supply for the Low Power standby mode without discharging the batteries.

Only GPS (Global Positiong System) navigation is not available, because there is no space inside the calculator for the GPS module.

[Image: uc?export=view&id=17SJz4kSWeBnEEKUC6O_5LCoco61YWiW2] SPICE Low Power layout

The SPICE calculators have a big 40-pin chip, which contains all arithmetic control electronics, display and keyboard interface. The idea is a pin compatible replacement for this chip and the RAM and ROMs as well. The installation is much easier than the Woodstock LP, because all pins can be accessed directly and no addtional wires have to be connected. In the SPICE solderless version you have only to remove the power supply, replace all chips and solder only two additional wires. For the soldered version it needs to unsolder the existing chips.

I will get the prototype boards soon. And I hope it will be a success like the previous repair kits.

Price will be the same as Woodstock LP 149,- Euro + shipping, including Infrared printing.

Bernhard

That's one small step for a man - one giant leap for mankind.
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10-01-2019, 06:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: Spice Low Power
That sounds great!!! I never bought a Spice and this might be a fun addition to my collection.
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10-01-2019, 06:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: Spice Low Power
Very cool, so now there is a silver lining (no desoldering required) to owning a solder less spice calculator!

Check out NQ41!
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10-01-2019, 07:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-01-2019 06:27 PM)Craig Bladow Wrote:  Very cool, so now there is a silver lining (no desoldering required) to owning a solder less spice calculator!

I also hope that the new circuit will work reliably solderless. But I still don't know until I get the first boards. Otherwise the new circuit can be easily soldered to the existing pads.

Bernhard

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10-01-2019, 07:09 PM
Post: #5
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-01-2019 06:14 PM)David Hayden Wrote:  That sounds great!!! I never bought a Spice and this might be a fun addition to my collection.

Try to find an HP-34C. This is the top SPICE model. Otherwise you can transform any other SPICE model to an HP-34C LP. Provided you find the right buttons somewhere. It could also be an idea to make overlays for the SPICE series. Then everybody can buy a cheap HP-31/32/37/38 and convert it to a HP-33C or HP-34C with lot of extra functions.

Bernhard

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10-01-2019, 07:54 PM
Post: #6
RE: Spice Low Power
Sounds great. I have a non working HP 38.

My site http://www.emmella.fr
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10-01-2019, 08:18 PM
Post: #7
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-01-2019 07:54 PM)badaze Wrote:  Sounds great. I have a non working HP 38.

I also used a (working) HP-38C for my prototype SPICE LP firmware development. The firmware is already working. Firmware development was much easier this time, because obviously it is based on the Woodstock LP firmware and I could reuse many parts of it.

The HP-38C programmable high end financial calculator seems a very odd machine to me and I didn't hesitate to repurpose it.

Bernhard

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10-02-2019, 07:46 AM
Post: #8
RE: Spice Low Power
Great, I'm just checking your site and LP Manual - really amazing.

Just one note/request/idea: During my work (mechanical engineer) and hiking I use my 15C frequently. Is it a big deal to install a barometric pressure sensor, an inclination + tilt angle and a bearing sensor with eg. 0.2mbar and 0.2° accuracy?
With these sensors my little 15C can measure inclination of slopes, angle of repose for bulk materials, slopes of air slides in power plants, slopes of concrete chanels for slag handling, etc...
With barometer (and thermometer) it is possible to wrote simple programs to calculate air properties.
With tilt sensor you can simple measure heights of buildings, chimney, etc or you can wrote simple navigation programs which can calculate your location.
If a bearing sensor also installed, the tilt+bearing data is enough for measuring celestial objects position.

For the site work these sensors are the basic and your calculator became a site instrument - I dont know why these sensors never installed as standard inside a calculator.

Csaba
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10-02-2019, 08:34 AM
Post: #9
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-02-2019 07:46 AM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  ... Is it a big deal to install a barometric pressure sensor, an inclination + tilt angle and a bearing sensor ...

Csaba

When I made the electronics and firmware of an e-bike some years ago, it had to implement an inclination and tilt sensor, which made sense to automatically increase motor assist when going mountain upwards. Pressure sensor would also have been a good idea, showing the altitude made during a trip.

It would be possible of course, as all engineering ideas are possible. The PIC processor has only one pin unused left, and I could add at least one of these components to the SPI bus without additional interfaces. In the case of the SPICE Low Power circuit I already needed more layout space than the original HP chip did and the new circuit occupies part of the switching power supply space.

There are many other ideas: I added a FM Radio module to the HP-25 new ACT, and a small speaker into the HP-25 case in 2016, and had already the complete firmware running including automatic radio station search and selecting broadcast frequency with the calculator buttons. But receiving quality was so bad, I assume because of the nearby old HP switching power supply, that I couldn't offer it to the public.

But don't forget, ideas are easy, the realization to a useful product is difficult.

I miss also a Geiger counter in modern smartphones (and in old calculators as well). In some russian and japanese regions of the world this could be very useful, and maybe in even more countries in the future.

Bernhard

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10-03-2019, 04:18 AM
Post: #10
RE: Spice Low Power
It sounds like you are wanting a tricoder.

I would love to convert an old HP calculator to do this. My unrequited wish list would include:
  • GPS receiver
  • Accelerometers (often comes with the GPS)
  • Gyroscopes (often comes with the GPS)
  • Magnetometer (compass, sometimes with the GPS but often useless)
  • Temperature sensor (sometimes comes internally with the above sensors)
  • Real time clock (can be ignored with GPS fix)
  • Barometric pressure sensor
  • Relative humidity sensor
  • Geiger counter
  • EMP sensor (lightning detector)
  • Gas sensors

A classic might have space for these, although the power requirements of some would be excessive (e.g. gas sensors usually require heating and often a lot of space).

My (at best) negligible hardware design skills are an impediment. As Bernhard essentially noted, talk is cheap.


Pauli
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10-03-2019, 05:52 AM
Post: #11
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-03-2019 04:18 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  A classic might have space for these, although the power requirements ....

I like to add an ATLAS particle detector and a LIGO gravitational wave detector, although the power requirements ....

Bernhard

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10-03-2019, 03:26 PM
Post: #12
RE: Spice Low Power
Can't wait for completion to get my 34C working!!!!!


Thanks Bernhard!!!!!
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10-03-2019, 06:26 PM
Post: #13
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-03-2019 03:26 PM)hewlpac Wrote:  Can't wait for completion to get my 34C working!!!!!

I don't know how many SPICE calculators are out there to be repaired. I think they are less sensitive to wrong charging than the Woodstocks. I would appreciate when many of them could be repaired. In my collection all of them were working after some effort. In most cases the battery contacts were broken or the solderless chips had bad contact.

I think also of the idea of producing a new battery board with flat ribbon cable and new contacts. But thats is only an idea at the moment.

Bernhard

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10-03-2019, 08:39 PM
Post: #14
RE: Spice Low Power
Excellent news, Bernhard!
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10-04-2019, 12:59 AM
Post: #15
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-03-2019 06:26 PM)PANAMATIK Wrote:  I think also of the idea of producing a new battery board with flat ribbon cable and new contacts. But thats is only an idea at the moment.

Bernhard

That would be a welcome item to offer since that seems to be a very common failure point due to battery leakage. Much like Diego's 41 flex replacement. I for one would buy one!

Who decides?
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10-04-2019, 05:28 AM
Post: #16
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-04-2019 12:59 AM)mfleming Wrote:  
(10-03-2019 06:26 PM)PANAMATIK Wrote:  I think also of the idea of producing a new battery board with flat ribbon cable and new contacts. But thats is only an idea at the moment.

Bernhard

That would be a welcome item to offer since that seems to be a very common failure point due to battery leakage. Much like Diego's 41 flex replacement. I for one would buy one!

Ditto. I've a few to fix.

Greetings,
    Massimo

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10-04-2019, 05:47 AM
Post: #17
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-03-2019 05:52 AM)PANAMATIK Wrote:  I like to add an ATLAS particle detector and a LIGO gravitational wave detector, although the power requirements ....

LIGO wouldn't require much power, just very accurate alignment and a vacuum.
Not sure about ATLAS.


Pauli
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10-04-2019, 11:26 AM
Post: #18
RE: Spice Low Power
Hello!

(10-04-2019 05:47 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  Not sure about ATLAS.

I guess the power requirements and also the supply of supercooled liquid Helium can somehow be accomodated, but the mass of 7000 tons makes it a bit tiresome to carry around...

And regarding the original topic: Great as usual! Unfortunately my non-working "spices" have also some mechanical damage to the casing (due to the cheap brittle plastic that HP used for this series) and/or lots of corrosion damage due to barttery leakage which even includes the displays. So no suitable donor for an upgrade unfortunately.

Regards
Max
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10-04-2019, 11:53 AM
Post: #19
RE: Spice Low Power
(10-04-2019 11:26 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  ... Unfortunately my non-working "spices" have also some mechanical damage to the casing (due to the cheap brittle plastic that HP used for this series) and/or lots of corrosion damage due to battery leakage which even includes the displays. So no suitable donor for an upgrade unfortunately.

Same to me. Anyone planning a 3D Print of the SPICE casing ? Would be a real challenge.

Bernhard

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10-07-2019, 10:22 PM
Post: #20
RE: Spice Low Power
Great, it's a very good news!
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