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50g - Differences in production batches
04-01-2021, 09:42 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2021 10:51 AM by Marco Polo.)
Post: #1
50g - Differences in production batches
Some time ago I got a spare HP50g unit.
My workhorse is a 50g I got in mid 2007 as warranty replacement of my 49g+.
The spare unit came without box/blister, but with canvas pouch. I presume it is more recent than my workhorse.
Examining the two units I noted some differences (see photos)
1) the "bezel" of the spare unit is not as smooth as the other. Furthermore it seems to have some "glitter" in the mould
2) the words painted on the spare unit are ticker
3) the certifications on the back are different, with a reference to a HP49G+(2) on the spare unit
4) the battery compartment is identical, but in the spare unit some wires are visible through the apertures

Anybody can help to understand when the spare unit was produced and if there is any further hidden differences?

Thanks
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04-01-2021, 12:44 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2021 12:49 PM by 3298.)
Post: #2
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
The serial number format is slightly different, too: still starting with three letters (presumably factory code; I've only seen CNA, but allegedly CHN also exists), one digit (last digit of the year), two digits (week number), but after that the formats diverge. The old one ends with a 5-digit plain number indicating which unit in that week it is; the new one uses 4 symbols (letters and digits) encoding that information in an unknown format (this procedure obfuscates production volume).

With those serial numbers I can deduct that your old one was made in week 15, 2007, the new "spare" one is from week 28, 2016. Having just the last digit of the year makes for some ambiguity between very early and very late serial numbers because the 50g was produced for slightly more than 10 years, but this serial number format change eliminates that.

By the way, my unit (CNA038... = week 38, 2010) still has the full "old" look: leather pouch, thin letters, 5-digit batch ID in the serial number, certifications, etc. I'm speculating that these changes all happened at approximately the same time, but nobody knows for sure (except perhaps people who were involved in making the changes).
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04-01-2021, 01:44 PM
Post: #3
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-01-2021 12:44 PM)3298 Wrote:  With those serial numbers I can deduct that your old one was made in week 15, 2007, the new "spare" one is from week 28, 2016. Having just the last digit of the year makes for some ambiguity between very early and very late serial numbers because the 50g was produced for slightly more than 10 years, but this serial number format change eliminates that.

I'm pretty sure no units were made in 2016, as in late 2015 Tim reported production had already ceased, so this makes this unit from mid-2006, in fact quite early production. Checking my own units it paradoxically appears that the early units did not have the "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" raised lettering on the back, while later ones did (e.g. I have 2 units from 2012 that do have this and several from 2006/2007 that don't). Presumably "HPK" is for "HP Kinpo", but just a guess.

--Bob Prosperi
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04-01-2021, 02:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
Apparently the unit is not an early production: the canvas pouch and the rom 2.15 already flashed suggest so...
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04-01-2021, 05:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
Just checked internal serial and fw revision.
"spare": Version HP50-C rev 2.15, serial CNA4415354
"old": Version HP50-C rev 2.15, serial CNA7121330
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04-02-2021, 06:44 AM
Post: #6
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-01-2021 01:44 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(04-01-2021 12:44 PM)3298 Wrote:  With those serial numbers I can deduct that your old one was made in week 15, 2007, the new "spare" one is from week 28, 2016. Having just the last digit of the year makes for some ambiguity between very early and very late serial numbers because the 50g was produced for slightly more than 10 years, but this serial number format change eliminates that.

I'm pretty sure no units were made in 2016, as in late 2015 Tim reported production had already ceased, so this makes this unit from mid-2006, in fact quite early production. Checking my own units it paradoxically appears that the early units did not have the "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" raised lettering on the back, while later ones did (e.g. I have 2 units from 2012 that do have this and several from 2006/2007 that don't). Presumably "HPK" is for "HP Kinpo", but just a guess.
We puzzled over that mystery earlier, and concluded that even 2017 serial numbers exist. You posted in that thread, so you should have known. Wink
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04-02-2021, 12:24 PM
Post: #7
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 06:44 AM)3298 Wrote:  
(04-01-2021 01:44 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  I'm pretty sure no units were made in 2016, as in late 2015 Tim reported production had already ceased, so this makes this unit from mid-2006, in fact quite early production. Checking my own units it paradoxically appears that the early units did not have the "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" raised lettering on the back, while later ones did (e.g. I have 2 units from 2012 that do have this and several from 2006/2007 that don't). Presumably "HPK" is for "HP Kinpo", but just a guess.
We puzzled over that mystery earlier, and concluded that even 2017 serial numbers exist. You posted in that thread, so you should have known. Wink

I indeed do recall... in that conversation it appeared a unit from week 1 of 17 had been confirmed via the warranty website. In this case however, the unit starting with 7 does not have the "HPK..." legend, which seems to be common to all late devices. I've concluded it's early, but until more definitive info. is available, I'll grant you it's not proof.

--Bob Prosperi
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04-02-2021, 05:25 PM
Post: #8
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 12:24 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  
(04-02-2021 06:44 AM)3298 Wrote:  We puzzled over that mystery earlier, and concluded that even 2017 serial numbers exist. You posted in that thread, so you should have known. Wink

I indeed do recall... in that conversation it appeared a unit from week 1 of 17 had been confirmed via the warranty website. In this case however, the unit starting with 7 does not have the "HPK..." legend, which seems to be common to all late devices. I've concluded it's early, but until more definitive info. is available, I'll grant you it's not proof.
The OP says he owns that one since 2007, so the CNA715 unit is definitely an old one. With "even 2017 serial numbers exist", I was merely pointing out that your "no later than 2015" isn't true, which makes the 2006 date you proposed for the CNA628 one no longer a necessary conclusion (and improbable, given the other signs of a late unit).
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04-02-2021, 06:31 PM
Post: #9
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 05:25 PM)3298 Wrote:  The OP says he owns that one since 2007, so the CNA715 unit is definitely an old one. With "even 2017 serial numbers exist", I was merely pointing out that your "no later than 2015" isn't true, which makes the 2006 date you proposed for the CNA628 one no longer a necessary conclusion (and improbable, given the other signs of a late unit).

You're right, I was focused on the 17 issue. I agree the CNA628 unit certainly does appear to be from mid-2016, later than had seemed. Tim's announcement in late '15 was regarding parts availability, leading to end of 50g production; perhaps that was the last buy of those end-of-life components, but the supply actually lasted for mfg. runs well into 2016.

It remains curious why HP would add that "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" legend late in production... Huh

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04-02-2021, 08:35 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2021 08:39 PM by cdmackay.)
Post: #10
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
For what it's worth, I have two units that are supposed to be from the final 150-unit batch supplied by HP Europe, in late 2018; they are:

CNA62800M0

CNA62800JR

edit: when registered at HP, the site reported for both a warranty date of 16th July 2016, which is indeed in week 28

Cambridge, UK
41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 71B 17B/BII/bII+ 28S 42S/DM42 32SII 48GX 50g 35s 30b/WP34S Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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04-02-2021, 09:03 PM
Post: #11
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 08:35 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  For what it's worth, I have two units that are supposed to be from the final 150-unit batch supplied by HP Europe, in late 2018; they are:

CNA62800M0

CNA62800JR

edit: when registered at HP, the site reported for both a warranty date of 16th July 2016, which is indeed in week 28

Thanks for that update, seems consistent with the above. What is the source of the info "from the final 150-unit batch"? Presumably this came from someone at Hp, but that seems unusually specific and exact?

Sigh... If this is indeed the case, and confirmed to be the true end-of-line, now I'll have to look for a CNA628xxxx unit for the collection to bookend with my early 2006 unit (CNA634xxxx, Aug '06).

--Bob Prosperi
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04-03-2021, 07:36 AM
Post: #12
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 05:25 PM)3298 Wrote:  The OP says he owns that one since 2007, so the CNA715 unit is definitely an old one. With "even 2017 serial numbers exist", I was merely pointing out that your "no later than 2015" isn't true, which makes the 2006 date you proposed for the CNA628 one no longer a necessary conclusion (and improbable, given the other signs of a late unit).
I am pretty sure about this. My 49g+ had a broken key (it was already a warranty replacement of a defective unit) and had to fight with HP support not to have a third 49g+. They accepted replace with a 50g, which came without box but with vinyl pouch. It was may 2007.
I purchased the spare unit two years ago on Amazon for a fair price (about 50 eur), it came without box but with canvas pouch and USB cable. Appeared to be absolutely mint.
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04-03-2021, 08:51 AM
Post: #13
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
Hi everyone,

I have 4 HP50G units out of which 3 are the "normal" black & 1 unit the Blue type. The Blue finish calculator is the last one I purchased via a seller in USA (as I recollect) & it has no serial number at all on the back. It also doesn't have the "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" which is present on one of my Black calculators.

Does anyone know why the Blue unit doesn't have a serial number?

Thanks,

Michael
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04-03-2021, 11:07 PM
Post: #14
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-02-2021 09:03 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  Thanks for that update, seems consistent with the above. What is the source of the info "from the final 150-unit batch"? Presumably this came from someone at Hp, but that seems unusually specific and exact?

Sigh... If this is indeed the case, and confirmed to be the true end-of-line, now I'll have to look for a CNA628xxxx unit for the collection to bookend with my early 2006 unit (CNA634xxxx, Aug '06).

hi Bob, my source was the retailer, who are a respected official UK HP outlet. They told me, in Oct 2018:

We've still got around 16 of the final 150 HP50G left in Europe and they are selling quite quickly. HP Europe contacted us with an offer to buy the last 150pcs they had a few months ago. They're all sealed in retail pack.

I agree, I'd not have expected that detail from HP themselves.

I'm sorry to give you an excuse to search for another 50g to buy Smile

Cambridge, UK
41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 71B 17B/BII/bII+ 28S 42S/DM42 32SII 48GX 50g 35s 30b/WP34S Prime G2
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04-04-2021, 02:46 AM
Post: #15
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-03-2021 11:07 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  I'm sorry to give you an excuse to search for another 50g to buy Smile

No need to apologize cd... Wink

I wouldn't mind but I just bought another 50g (CNA950xxxx) because it was complete and NIB, and this one came in actual BOX, which I've never seen before, I've only seen the various styles (2 or 3 at least) bubble-packs before this one.

And I just saw a 50g on the bay with s/n CDA628xxxx) but this is from 2006, as it has no "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" legend.

--Bob Prosperi
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04-04-2021, 08:36 PM
Post: #16
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-04-2021 02:46 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  And I just saw a 50g on the bay with s/n CDA628xxxx) but this is from 2006, as it has no "HPK-49GPLUS(B)" legend.

right; both of my 2016 units do have that legend.

Cambridge, UK
41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 71B 17B/BII/bII+ 28S 42S/DM42 32SII 48GX 50g 35s 30b/WP34S Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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04-13-2021, 11:33 PM
Post: #17
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
Are there any significant differences (other than age) between early models and later models? Is one preferable to the other, assuming firmware is updated to the latest version?

Thanks,
Wally
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04-14-2021, 12:40 AM
Post: #18
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-13-2021 11:33 PM)WallyEmm Wrote:  Are there any significant differences (other than age) between early models and later models? Is one preferable to the other, assuming firmware is updated to the latest version?

Thanks,
Wally

It's inevitable that someone will post that using one of these choices is like heaven itself while the other is like cleaning sewers in hell, but I find I can pick up any one at any time, and they all seem to feel and act about the same. I have units ranging from 2006 (earliest production) to some made in 2015, near the end of production and as I've said, I don't see any notable differences.

The Blue units, on the other hand, despite the questionable primary color choice, I find to be easier to read in dim/poor light than the black units, due to the better contrast of the color scheme used for the keyboard and bezel labels.

--Bob Prosperi
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04-14-2021, 04:33 PM
Post: #19
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-03-2021 08:51 AM)Michael Lopez Wrote:  Does anyone know why the Blue unit doesn't have a serial number?

I don't know, but my blue unit doesn't have serial number on the back either. (It was bought on eBay in September of 2014.) Nor does it recognise the SERIAL command.

(04-13-2021 11:33 PM)WallyEmm Wrote:  Are there any significant differences (other than age) between early models and later models? Is one preferable to the other, assuming firmware is updated to the latest version?

The older models came with with a "leather" case whereas (some?) newer ones had a fabric case of ballistic nylon (I think it might be called). I was surprised to learn that my "leather" cases are actually PVC when they disintegrated in the ghastly way that only vinyl does. This reason alone might be enough to favour a newer model.

The first 50g I got (in late 2006, I think) had its LCD damaged by freezing temperatures while I was waiting for a bus and was replaced by HP under warranty, but the replacement too suffered somewhat from ensuing Canadian winters and has dark areas on the display that increased in number over the years. My newer models have not had this problem so maybe there was a change in the display used; they've certainly been outside with me on many -30C days without mishap.
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04-14-2021, 05:07 PM
Post: #20
RE: 50g - Differences in production batches
(04-14-2021 04:33 PM)nlj Wrote:  
(04-03-2021 08:51 AM)Michael Lopez Wrote:  Does anyone know why the Blue unit doesn't have a serial number?

I don't know, but my blue unit doesn't have serial number on the back either. (It was bought on eBay in September of 2014.) Nor does it recognise the SERIAL command.

I don't believe any of the blue 50g units came with serial number stickers, or at least I don't recall any being reported.

I just checked mine and it does respond to the SERIAL command normally. I can't see how some units may or may not respond, assuming they all use the same f/w version.
Is your 2014 unit updated to ROM v2.15? If so, I think it should respond, I'd say check it again, perhaps it was just a typo or something similar?

--Bob Prosperi
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