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My first HP41!
04-13-2015, 10:32 PM (This post was last modified: 04-13-2015 10:32 PM by ElectroDuende.)
Post: #1
My first HP41!
Some days ago I bid for a 41C. It was (I think) a bargain (about 35 euro) because it was not working and provided "as is". This means that the battery flex circuit is completely corroded and all covers are missing. Anyway, I took the risk... and nobody else chose to, so I won it.

Today it arrived and I could check it "deeply". I was surprised with its size; I had never had one of them in my hands, and it is smaller than I expected (too much time using a 48G). The LCD characters are also a lot smallar than I expected!

It is quite an early model (serial #2015AXXXXX) with tall keys. The case is in very good state; posts are perfect, no marks in the LCD glass, no notches in the corners... after opening it I confirmed that the flex circuit is a total loss, but fortunately it can be replaced thanks to D. Díaz. Also fortunately the inner board is clean and not affected by corrosion.

I tested it powering from the "spring loaded balls conector" and 4 AAA batteries. It powered with an expected "memory lost" warning, but everything seems to work flawlessly, from the keys to the LCD and speaker.

I was also surprised by the speed of the unit... used to a 30B at the office and 15C LE at home... it seems really slow! (No, no budget for a CL conversion... yet).

For the moment I'll just order the replacement ribbon circuit and will try to print the covers in a 3D printer using the files available around the forum.

I'll post my advances!
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04-13-2015, 11:22 PM
Post: #2
RE: My first HP41!
Congratulations on your bid. It sounds like you know how to make it whole again. Compared to today's machines, it must seem slow and a bit outdated, but when they first came on the market, they seemed like magic!

Hope you get to enjoy it in restored condition !

Bob
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04-14-2015, 12:44 AM
Post: #3
RE: My first HP41!
Congratulations on the 41C, hope you have fun with it.
I was also lucky to buy a cheap 41C with corroded terminals locally a couple of weeks ago. It came with the games module. When I played pinball on the games module I couldn't help but laugh, we thought it was so great in the 80's, but playing it now it seems real slow and so crass.
It bought back a lot of memories, I would like to try a bit of synthetic programming again, but think I may end up with the same result as playing the pinball game on the 41C.
After seeing Geoff Q's 41CL in action it really took me by surprise how quick it was. So keep that option open.

Any how the calculator is still in pieces as I am using silver epoxy to fix terminals and tracks,
And waiting dry between layers

Ray
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04-14-2015, 04:09 AM
Post: #4
RE: My first HP41!
Quote:I was also surprised by the speed of the unit... used to a 30B at the office and 15C LE at home... it seems really slow! (No, no budget for a CL conversion... yet).

The CL is super, not just because of the execution speed, but also because it comes with a couple hundred module images built in. In your case, you have a Coconut 41, not a Halfnut, so it can accept the CL transplant. The price is that the battery life will be short. Many functions in the modules may enable you to write a much faster-executing program, particularly functions written in M-Code rather than user language, even on a non-CL. Without buying lots of modules, you can have several module images in a stock 41 by loading them into NoV64 or other modern hardware module. One of the outstanding module images (even introduced in the last few years) is Ángel Martin's 41z which gives the 41 a true, 4-level complex stack, a polar mode, complex keyboard, complex store and recall functions, and tons of very fast (for a 41) complex-number functions. Another is his Sandmath module with gobs of math extensions for the HP-41.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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04-14-2015, 09:17 AM
Post: #5
RE: My first HP41!
(04-13-2015 11:22 PM)bshoring Wrote:  Compared to today's machines, it must seem slow and a bit outdated, but when they first came on the market, they seemed like magic!

I would state that the HP41 still is magic. It's kind of the mythic bird Phoenix disguised as an electronic device. Although more than 30 years old it has a huge community and is still supported - well, not just by the manufacturer.
I highly recommend to get the Museum's USB stick with tons of information on HP calculators. Also Jake Schwartz' compilation of the PPC journals is worthwhile. The HP41 holds a big portion of the information contained therein. You will learn the history of your achievement with the aid of these sources. Once you have seen on which base the HP41 stands you will appreciate even more the most recent developments like the 41CL or NOV64.

Enough advertisement - enjoy your machine!

Cheers
Frido
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11-26-2015, 09:02 AM (This post was last modified: 11-26-2015 09:10 AM by ElectroDuende.)
Post: #6
RE: My first HP41!
(04-13-2015 10:32 PM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  Some days ago I bid for a 41C. It was (I think) a bargain (about 35 euro) because it was not working and provided "as is". This means that the battery flex circuit is completely corroded and all covers are missing. Anyway, I took the risk... and nobody else chose to, so I won it.

[...]

For the moment I'll just order the replacement ribbon circuit and will try to print the covers in a 3D printer using the files available around the forum.

I'll post my advances!

Well after my fist post about this restoration prject (and well over my intended finishing date) I have finally ended the work on this calculator!

As I said the calculator was in very good shape (excepting the flex circuit) but missing all "complements", so I ordered:

- flex circuit from D.Diaz
- Battery tray, port covers and side cover from Shapeways
- battery springs from an ebay source mentioned by Sylvain

And when I finally found the time, I put everything together, making this little thing alive again! There are still a couple of things that mke it not to be "perfect":

- There is some dirt under the display protector. Apparently the only way to clean it is desoldering the LCD and, despite being quite a qualified solderer (I've melted several tin rolls in my life) I fell a little anxious about it.
- Key [3] is a little mushi. It doesn't have a clear "click" as the rest do, and key [2] makes if softer than the rest. I'd try the deox-it, but this unit has the control board held in place by a couple of nuts, and I've read that removing them will likely strip the outer thread of the posts, and is, obviously, something I'd like to avoid.

And, of course, I still need to check that the ports are working... I think I'll order some cheap mem module or aplication pac from ebay...

Pictures from the unit:


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11-26-2015, 09:51 AM
Post: #7
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 09:02 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  (...) I have finally ended the work on this calculator!

Congratulations for the successful rebuild!

As a modest collector, I still do not have a single HP-41 in my possession.
I tried and failed a number of times to buy one specimen on eBay.
Asking prices are to high considering the usual condition sate - most of them have issues on the battery compartment and internal circuitry due to battery leaking.
I'm saving it for next year acquisitions.


(11-26-2015 09:02 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  There are still a couple of things that make it not to be "perfect":
- There is some dirt under the display protector. Apparently the only way to clean it is desoldering the LCD and, despite being quite a qualified solderer (I've melted several tin rolls in my life) I fell a little anxious about it.
- Key [3] is a little mushi. It doesn't have a clear "click" as the rest do, and key [2] makes if softer than the rest. I'd try the deox-it, but this unit has the control board held in place by a couple of nuts, and I've read that removing them will likely strip the outer thread of the posts, and is, obviously, something I'd like to avoid.

Well, same feeling here.
No matter how experienced one is, mistakes happen all the time.

I have destroyed a couple of HP machines as well in this process, but that's how we lean to do these things: next time you know what should NOT be done!

Jose Mesquita
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11-26-2015, 10:27 AM (This post was last modified: 11-26-2015 10:29 AM by ElectroDuende.)
Post: #8
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 09:51 AM)jebem Wrote:  Congratulations for the successful rebuild!

As a modest collector, I still do not have a single HP-41 in my possession.
I tried and failed a number of times to buy one specimen on eBay.
Asking prices are to high considering the usual condition sate - most of them have issues on the battery compartment and internal circuitry due to battery leaking.
I'm saving it for next year acquisitions.

I've been trying to get another one, maybe even a CX, for long time, and it has been impossible. Even for ruined units, people are asking 100+ €! And you never know if they can be restored...

I think that I got a bargain, as the total cost for calculator and spares has been around 90€.
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11-26-2015, 06:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 09:02 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  
(04-13-2015 10:32 PM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  Some days ago I bid for a 41C. It was (I think) a bargain (about 35 euro) because it was not working and provided "as is". This means that the battery flex circuit is completely corroded and all covers are missing. Anyway, I took the risk... and nobody else chose to, so I won it.

[...]

For the moment I'll just order the replacement ribbon circuit and will try to print the covers in a 3D printer using the files available around the forum.

I'll post my advances!

Well after my fist post about this restoration prject (and well over my intended finishing date) I have finally ended the work on this calculator!

As I said the calculator was in very good shape (excepting the flex circuit) but missing all "complements", so I ordered:

- flex circuit from D.Diaz
- Battery tray, port covers and side cover from Shapeways
- battery springs from an ebay source mentioned by Sylvain

And when I finally found the time, I put everything together, making this little thing alive again! There are still a couple of things that mke it not to be "perfect":

- There is some dirt under the display protector. Apparently the only way to clean it is desoldering the LCD and, despite being quite a qualified solderer (I've melted several tin rolls in my life) I fell a little anxious about it.
- Key [3] is a little mushi. It doesn't have a clear "click" as the rest do, and key [2] makes if softer than the rest. I'd try the deox-it, but this unit has the control board held in place by a couple of nuts, and I've read that removing them will likely strip the outer thread of the posts, and is, obviously, something I'd like to avoid.

And, of course, I still need to check that the ports are working... I think I'll order some cheap mem module or aplication pac from ebay...

Pictures from the unit:

Congratulations for your restoring work, what a satisfaction to see it still alive!!
It's a tall key if i'm not wrong, congratulations twice Smile
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11-26-2015, 07:42 PM
Post: #10
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 09:02 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  Pictures from the unit:

Nice work! I spy a 32sii in those pictures, my favorite HP calculator. How do you like the 41C compared to that?

-katie

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11-26-2015, 09:57 PM
Post: #11
RE: My first HP41!
Although I have desoldered, dismantled, reassembled and soldered again a pair of 41 LCD displays, I advice you to not tinker with them except as a last resort. Sometimes these old electronic devices suffer from unexpected effects. Way better idea, IMHO, to be on the safe side and tolerate some dirt on the display.

Regards.

César - Information must flow.
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11-27-2015, 09:31 AM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2015 09:40 AM by ElectroDuende.)
Post: #12
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 06:46 PM)aurelio Wrote:  Congratulations for your restoring work, what a satisfaction to see it still alive!!
It's a tall key if i'm not wrong, congratulations twice Smile

Indeed it is!

Thanks! As I think it will be, mainly, a collectors item, it's great that it is a tall keys one.

(11-26-2015 07:42 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  Nice work! I spy a 32sii in those pictures, my favorite HP calculator. How do you like the 41C compared to that?

You are rigth!

I also love the 32SII. It is my usual work calculator (althoug I try to change it from time to time: 27S, 30B, 15CLE... it always comes back, as the others always have some flaw). Only when I work with power lines I go for the 48G, as the "small ones" can not beat it when using complex numbers in polar form (maybe a 42S could, but I have not found a "cheap enough" one yet).

Regarding to your question... I have little experience with the 41 up to know (still reading the manuals), but I find it quite complex to use, having most options "hidden"... I feel that it requires a long time to see what are the most used functions, so you can assign to the rigth places, remember them... not to say that I feel it has less functions than the 32 (have to finish the manuals, anyway).

It is also quite slow compared with the pioneers... probably not enough slow to affect to my work, but it feels a bit strange to press SIN and wait for half a secondto get the answer. I don't think it will take the place of th 32SII in my office!

(*) I hope nobody shots me in the back when leaving home for saying such things about the 41 ;-)
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11-27-2015, 10:52 AM
Post: #13
RE: My first HP41!
(11-27-2015 09:31 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  (*) I hope nobody shots me in the back when leaving home for saying such things about the 41 ;-)

Rockets launched!

:D

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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11-30-2015, 11:34 AM
Post: #14
RE: My first HP41!
(11-26-2015 10:27 AM)ElectroDuende Wrote:  I think that I got a bargain, as the total cost for calculator and spares has been around 90€.

Yes, it was a good price considering the rocket prices on these Coconut machines.

I'm amazed by the astonishing amount of information available for these HP-41 series machines!

The more I look, the more I'm convinced that I should get one for Christmas...
It would be my first acquisition on these mainframe machines.

Although I have to decide where I should go half-nut or full-nut on this Smile
No matter what route I take, I must obfuscate my credit card payments so my other half will not find the extra expense - I would say Christmas shopping is a natural obfuscation mechanism, don't you think?

Jose Mesquita
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11-30-2015, 11:56 AM
Post: #15
RE: My first HP41!
(11-30-2015 11:34 AM)jebem Wrote:  Yes, it was a good price considering the rocket prices on these Coconut machines.

I'm amazed by the astonishing amount of information available for these HP-41 series machines!

The more I look, the more I'm convinced that I should get one for Christmas...
It would be my first acquisition on these mainframe machines.

Although I have to decide where I should go half-nut or full-nut on this Smile
No matter what route I take, I must obfuscate my credit card payments so my other half will not find the extra expense - I would say Christmas shopping is a natural obfuscation mechanism, don't you think?

I can only say you...

"Good Luck!"

(both with wife and with bidding)

;-)
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11-30-2015, 02:48 PM
Post: #16
RE: My first HP41!
(11-30-2015 11:34 AM)jebem Wrote:  No matter what route I take, I must obfuscate my credit card payments so my other half will not find the extra expense - I would say Christmas shopping is a natural obfuscation mechanism, don't you think?

what a common trial managing this kind of interests! Smile
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11-30-2015, 03:16 PM
Post: #17
RE: My first HP41!
(11-30-2015 11:34 AM)jebem Wrote:  Although I have to decide where I should go half-nut or full-nut on this Smile

My advice is to get a full-nut machine. This preserves the option to upgrade to a 41CL (highly recommended) some day, as half-nut machines cannot be upgraded. I believe the only advantage of a half-nut machine is they support lower-case letters for the full alphabet (vs. a-e only for full) however there are almost no programs that requires this, since so many full-nut machines had been sold by that time. Lastly, there are far more full-nut machines out there, so it's likely a full-nut would be cheaper. Of course, a CX is strongly recommended over a C or CV, if you intend to actually use it, as it includes the Time and Extended Mem/Functions modules. Note that if you do plan to upgrade to a 41CL, any machine (C, CV, or CX) can be upgraded and that upgrade will have all the CX features included, except you will need a real Time module if you want a clock (true even for a CX since original board w/crystal is replaced)

We will of course expect to see teardown photos when you get your coconut machine.

--Bob Prosperi
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11-30-2015, 04:47 PM
Post: #18
RE: My first HP41!
And REALLY, just one HP41 isn't really going to do it.

You definitely need a CX, of course, but a C model for conversion to CL is pretty much the norm these days.

Also, just one CX won't really do, naturally, you'll keep one stock, but you'll need a second one with 2 Extended Memories built in and if you can find a Zen, put internally too, port 4 upper, and then you have a real nice machine with direct key synthetics.

Since port 4 lower is open, a card reader is a natural acquisition at this point.

And, before I forget, while the machine is opened up, good opportunity to install a magnetic switch and a capacitor for 2 speed operation.

Additionally, you're not really 'worthy' to hang around in the HP41 forum here unless you also have the HPIL module.

And really, don't get a plain one, look for (or make) one with a built in Extended I/O or Development ROM or Plotter ROM. And seriously, one of each, and a regular HPIL too is just what you need.

And then, you can't have an HPIL with out something in your loop, so get the 82162 printer. I realize they are useless these days, but a cassette drive, just for show (it doesn't have to actually work) is necessary. Better get some tapes for it though, it looks silly to not have any tapes. You can afford them with the money saved from buying a non-working cassette drive.

Oh, get a wand too.

And it wouldn't hurt to get a ThinkJet printer and the HPIL 3.5" disc drive too.

If you have a couple CXs, and a C, it would be odd not to have a CV also, so get one of them.

The HP3468 multimeter is a nice piece of eye candy to have around, even if you don't actually need one.

Also, get some extra battery packs and chargers for all that, and some extra HPIL cables too. I realize MoHPC has all the manuals on mass storage, but I've found having the actual hard copy manuals on hand to be very satisfying.

Get a PPC ROM too, it will prevent your being shunned by those who have one.

I need to run an errand now, if I think of some more absolutely must haves, I'll post again.

2speed HP41CX,int2XMEM+ZEN, HPIL+DEVEL, HPIL+X/IO, I/R, 82143, 82163, 82162 -25,35,45,55,65,67,70,80
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11-30-2015, 05:19 PM
Post: #19
RE: My first HP41!
(11-30-2015 04:47 PM)TASP Wrote:  And REALLY, just one HP41 isn't really going to do it.

You definitely need a CX, of course, but a C model for conversion to CL is pretty much the norm these days.

Also, just one CX won't really do, naturally, you'll keep one stock, but you'll need a second one with 2 Extended Memories built in and if you can find a Zen, put internally too, port 4 upper, and then you have a real nice machine with direct key synthetics.

Since port 4 lower is open, a card reader is a natural acquisition at this point.

And, before I forget, while the machine is opened up, good opportunity to install a magnetic switch and a capacitor for 2 speed operation.

Additionally, you're not really 'worthy' to hang around in the HP41 forum here unless you also have the HPIL module.

And really, don't get a plain one, look for (or make) one with a built in Extended I/O or Development ROM or Plotter ROM. And seriously, one of each, and a regular HPIL too is just what you need.

And then, you can't have an HPIL with out something in your loop, so get the 82162 printer. I realize they are useless these days, but a cassette drive, just for show (it doesn't have to actually work) is necessary. Better get some tapes for it though, it looks silly to not have any tapes. You can afford them with the money saved from buying a non-working cassette drive.

Oh, get a wand too.

And it wouldn't hurt to get a ThinkJet printer and the HPIL 3.5" disc drive too.

If you have a couple CXs, and a C, it would be odd not to have a CV also, so get one of them.

The HP3468 multimeter is a nice piece of eye candy to have around, even if you don't actually need one.

Also, get some extra battery packs and chargers for all that, and some extra HPIL cables too. I realize MoHPC has all the manuals on mass storage, but I've found having the actual hard copy manuals on hand to be very satisfying.

Get a PPC ROM too, it will prevent your being shunned by those who have one.

I need to run an errand now, if I think of some more absolutely must haves, I'll post again.

Yes. The 41 is a slippery slope that I would gladly fall down again. It's imperfections only serve to highlight how nearly flawless it still is.
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11-30-2015, 06:16 PM
Post: #20
RE: My first HP41!
OH !!

The HPIL video interface!!

The HP one is 40 column, there is a third party unit that does 80. Just to be sure, get one of each. I wouldn't actually ever use it, but the original HP video monitor is a must have.

The parallel interface for the HPIL is something to consider, so too the 82166 interface.

I'd also point out, with this kind of commitment, one each (at least) of the 'classic' calculators is going to be expected of you. Don't worry about the limited availability and high prices for the HP70, the day it comes in the mail you will remember for the rest of your life.

2speed HP41CX,int2XMEM+ZEN, HPIL+DEVEL, HPIL+X/IO, I/R, 82143, 82163, 82162 -25,35,45,55,65,67,70,80
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