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Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
01-13-2020, 01:23 PM
Post: #1
Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
I've been looking for a calculator for use in electronic and firmware engineering for ages. I'm thinking of features like:

- SI unit support, including input
- Decent hexadecimal support
- Binary/hex/decimal conversion with editor
- CRC calculation
- Built in formulas for common circuits

Some Casio models have two ENG buttons for going up or down x1000, but don't use SI notation. It gets to be a bit of a chore constantly doing e10,9,sign over and over. The CG-20 and a few other models let you assign SI units to the function keys and enter them with one press, and also display SI units on screen.

Were there ever any calculators designed for engineers like me?
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01-13-2020, 09:34 PM
Post: #2
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
HP Prime should do the trick.
Built in SI units and all other thinkable units and constants.
HEX/DEC/BIN/OCT calculations and conversions
(Not sure about CRC though)

What's not there, can easily be "installed" or programmed.
There is an electric/engineering library available on this forum in the library/programs section.

Scientific and Engineering notation as well.

Inputs coosable between Algebraic, RPN or Textbook.

Also has a strong built-in CAS

Esben
28s, 35s, 49G+, 50G, Prime G1 HW A, Prime G2 HW D, SwissMicros DM42
Elektronika MK-52 & MK-61
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01-14-2020, 03:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-14-2020 04:39 PM by Jaco@cocoon-creations.com.)
Post: #3
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-13-2020 01:23 PM)kuro68k Wrote:  I've been looking for a calculator for use in electronic and firmware engineering for ages. I'm thinking of features like:

- SI unit support, including input
- Decent hexadecimal support
- Binary/hex/decimal conversion with editor
- CRC calculation
- Built in formulas for common circuits

Some Casio models have two ENG buttons for going up or down x1000, but don't use SI notation. It gets to be a bit of a chore constantly doing e10,9,sign over and over. The CG-20 and a few other models let you assign SI units to the function keys and enter them with one press, and also display SI units on screen.

Were there ever any calculators designed for engineers like me?

There was this Casio once, https://youtu.be/POp3fMAYvks

Are you willing to buy a DM42, work in RPN exclusively, define and specify what you want and help develop what you want? If so, I will offer to add and change defined menus and functions on the open source WP43C (not the 43S) for this purpose. I have already added an ELEC menu with some things I need, but I would like to add more electrical stuff.

Jaco Mostert, Elec Eng
42S, DM42, WP34C/S, 28C, 35S, 32Sii, owned 11C; used 67, 85; iOS: 42s, Free42, WP31S/34S, HCalc; OSX: WP34C.
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01-14-2020, 03:35 PM
Post: #4
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
The Prime also does integer arithmetic so it would be easy to do your own CRC function.
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01-14-2020, 07:11 PM
Post: #5
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
Yes, this is a HP forum, and yes, I am member here since end of the 90's, yes, I am using mainly HP calculators, but you know that, the TIs also can do it.

Check it and decide: EE Pro (TI)

TI-89 can handle units? Yes.
Hex support? Yes.
The other conversions? I guess, yes - these are typically common for graphing units. As I can remember the word length 32 bits and can not set. Bitwise operations, shift and rotate also available. The HP I guess more advanced in this field - but must to check the requirements and do not forget, you can define your own functions...

Check the available programs eg. here: TI-89 Programs - maybe you can find interesting stuffs.

And the main question: the cost (from eBay) of a Prime is approx USD 120-150, a TI-89 Titanium is approx USD 50. I think, there is no question.

BTW: your nick is kuro68k. Maybe this is not a coincidence: TI-89 series (assembled with Motorola 68k processors) Wink

Csaba
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01-14-2020, 07:34 PM
Post: #6
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
Hello!

(01-14-2020 07:11 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  TI-89 ...

I didn't dare to say it at first, but the Ti-89 (and/or Voyage 200) were the first calculators I thought about when I read the initial post. And the Sharp E500 and E550 maybe. But of course all these are precious antiques now which can't be purchased in a stationary shop round the corner. With a little patience they can be found on the internet for small money though.

Regards
Max
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01-14-2020, 08:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-14-2020 07:34 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

(01-14-2020 07:11 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  TI-89 ...

I didn't dare to say it at first, but the Ti-89 (and/or Voyage 200) were the first calculators I thought about when I read the initial post. And the Sharp E500 and E550 maybe. But of course all these are precious antiques now which can't be purchased in a stationary shop round the corner. With a little patience they can be found on the internet for small money though.

You can still buy brand new TI-89 Titanium calculators. I don't think they've been discontinued yet, surprisingly.

— Ian Abbott
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01-14-2020, 08:42 PM
Post: #8
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
I really like the TI-89 too. You can skip the Titanium version and get the original if you don't like the stupid curved button layout. Not sure why TI and Casio think that looks good...
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01-25-2020, 11:05 AM
Post: #9
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
Sorry everyone, was not getting notifications for this thread. Should be fixed now.

(01-13-2020 09:34 PM)DA74254 Wrote:  HP Prime should do the trick.
Built in SI units and all other thinkable units and constants.

Interesting, so are they accessible with a single key press like the Casio? That's a killer feature for me because when working with electronics you need to press the micro and pico keys for pretty much every calculation.
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01-25-2020, 11:12 AM
Post: #10
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-14-2020 03:11 PM)Jaco@cocoon-creations.com Wrote:  There was this Casio once, https://youtu.be/POp3fMAYvks

Are you willing to buy a DM42, work in RPN exclusively, define and specify what you want and help develop what you want? If so, I will offer to add and change defined menus and functions on the open source WP43C (not the 43S) for this purpose. I have already added an ELEC menu with some things I need, but I would like to add more electrical stuff.

Thanks I had that Casio but sold it a while back.

The DM42 looks interesting, I like the idea that it can be fully customized. I will look at the WP43C firmware, I am a software engineer after all so maybe I can contribute to it.

Thanks for your very kind offer! I will think about what the specification would be. RPN is a little bit of a pain though, as for electronics you are mostly working with formulas out of books or datasheets and it's really nice to be able to replicate them on the screen so you can visually confirm it's correct. Still not a deal breaker though.
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01-25-2020, 11:17 AM
Post: #11
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-14-2020 07:34 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  I didn't dare to say it at first, but the Ti-89 (and/or Voyage 200) were the first calculators I thought about when I read the initial post. And the Sharp E500 and E550 maybe. But of course all these are precious antiques now which can't be purchased in a stationary shop round the corner. With a little patience they can be found on the internet for small money though.

I could get hold of an E550 but it looks like I'd have to write some software to do what I want. I could do that I suppose although the TI-89 looks easier, especially since I already know 68k assembler.

The main thing about the TI is that it has the function keys. Without the function keys you can't really do one-press SI units.
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01-25-2020, 06:33 PM
Post: #12
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-25-2020 11:05 AM)kuro68k Wrote:  
(01-13-2020 09:34 PM)DA74254 Wrote:  HP Prime should do the trick.
Built in SI units and all other thinkable units and constants.
Interesting, so are they accessible with a single key press like the Casio?

No. They take two or three keystrokes, e.g. [ALPHA] [G] or [ALPHA] [Shift] [n]. The lone exception is the Greek letter micro, which is available as [Shift] [9] [micro].

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01-25-2020, 08:14 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2020 08:15 PM by Csaba Tizedes.)
Post: #13
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-13-2020 01:23 PM)kuro68k Wrote:  constantly doing e10,9,sign over and over

I don't understand exactly, I guess you know how to use the [EXP] or [×10^x] key.
As mechanical engineer this is the fastest way to keying prefixes, but the mechanical engineers mainly use kilo-, mega- and milli-, micro- prefixes (no pico-, femto- and strange others Wink ).

My preferred setup on my HPs ENG 3 mode and for estimated calculations ENG 2 (I use in this case the SHOW, if required one more digit).

Because I am a process engineer, very important to use lists, in this case the TIs are very handy, for example I want to estimate something on a range, I have few equations, I put the lists into this equation and the result is a range. With this information I can select the applicable dimensions, motor powers, etc...

To the linked video: the fx-61F has NO linear regression calculation, which is very important in engineering practice.

Csaba
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01-26-2020, 05:22 AM
Post: #14
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-25-2020 11:17 AM)kuro68k Wrote:  I could get hold of an E550 but it looks like I'd have to write some software to do what I want. I could do that I suppose although the TI-89 looks easier, especially since I already know 68k assembler.
You can write C code with it pretty well with TIGCC too.
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01-26-2020, 06:55 PM
Post: #15
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-25-2020 08:14 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  I don't understand exactly, I guess you know how to use the [EXP] or [×10^x] key.
As mechanical engineer this is the fastest way to keying prefixes, but the mechanical engineers mainly use kilo-, mega- and milli-, micro- prefixes (no pico-, femto- and strange others Wink ).

Yeah, sorry, I should have put [EXP], that's the key I meant. So say you want to microfarads, a common unit for capacitors, it's [EXP][9][NEG] I think, is that right?

Actually I say a nice Casio with dual ENG buttons, one for "up" and one for "down". I should have bought it.
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01-26-2020, 07:39 PM
Post: #16
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-26-2020 06:55 PM)kuro68k Wrote:  
(01-25-2020 08:14 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  I don't understand exactly, I guess you know how to use the [EXP] or [×10^x] key.
As mechanical engineer this is the fastest way to keying prefixes, but the mechanical engineers mainly use kilo-, mega- and milli-, micro- prefixes (no pico-, femto- and strange others Wink ).

Yeah, sorry, I should have put [EXP], that's the key I meant. So say you want to microfarads, a common unit for capacitors, it's [EXP][9][NEG] I think, is that right?

Actually I say a nice Casio with dual ENG buttons, one for "up" and one for "down". I should have bought it.

Micro is 10^-6
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01-26-2020, 07:43 PM
Post: #17
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-26-2020 07:39 PM)Paul Berger (Canada) Wrote:  Micro is 10^-6

Yes, meant pico. That's actually one reason why it's nice to have the symbols, it prevents you making trivial mistakes like that.
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01-26-2020, 08:08 PM
Post: #18
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
Ugh, I mean nano... I'm off to bed.
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01-26-2020, 09:28 PM
Post: #19
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-26-2020 06:55 PM)kuro68k Wrote:  
(01-25-2020 08:14 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  I don't understand exactly, I guess you know how to use the [EXP] or [×10^x] key.
As mechanical engineer this is the fastest way to keying prefixes, but the mechanical engineers mainly use kilo-, mega- and milli-, micro- prefixes (no pico-, femto- and strange others Wink ).

Yeah, sorry, I should have put [EXP], that's the key I meant. So say you want to microfarads, a common unit for capacitors, it's [EXP][9][NEG] I think, is that right?

Actually I say a nice Casio with dual ENG buttons, one for "up" and one for "down". I should have bought it.

If you're looking at the DM42, I wrote a program for it (and the 42S, and Free42) that mimics the Casio engineering symbols.

https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-13096.html

Enter a number into X, and press the required symbol in the menu. There's a "Show" button to display the current X value using these symbols, and up and down keys to shift the mantissa and symbol up or down. You can try it in Free42 on your computer to see if it does what you want.

As for the other features, the DM42 and 42S have decent base conversion support, but no interactive bit editor. But that, as well as CRC calculation and circuit formulas probably wouldn't be too hard to program.
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01-27-2020, 10:05 PM
Post: #20
RE: Calculator for electronic/firmware engineers
(01-13-2020 01:23 PM)kuro68k Wrote:  I've been looking for a calculator for use in electronic and firmware engineering for ages. I'm thinking of features like:
- SI unit support, including input
- Decent hexadecimal support
- Binary/hex/decimal conversion with editor
- CRC calculation
- Built in formulas for common circuits .....
Were there ever any calculators designed for engineers like me?

It is difficult to add anything new to all of the above. Calculator for the ages is unlikely to be released now. I would recommend some modern CASIO: you will find almost everything in it except the built-in formulas for calculating electric circuits; these calculators are cheap and relatively durable at the present time; the easy-to-call soft menu allows you to work with the necessary symbols/conversions to 1...3 keystrokes.
There is a spreadsheet mode, support for SI units and non-system units.
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