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New user setting up HP 41CX
01-13-2014, 05:28 AM
Post: #1
New user setting up HP 41CX
Happy New Years!

About a week ago, I picked up an HP 41CX. It came with two memory modules and an advantage module. It's an impressive piece of hardware. Definitely ahead of its time and more of a computer than a calculator. Of course, the keyboard is a pleasure to use.

I've been happily reading the manuals and trying the examples. I had a couple of questions:
1) where can I find port cover caps? ebay? (in case I want to remove the modules to save power.) I have a friend who has a 3d printer - that could be an option.

2) the XEQ concept is very powerful however it will result in a lot of typing. I think I will have to setup the USER mode for most used functions.

I'm an electrical engineer and I use a few formulas (voltage regulators, resistor dividers, L/C formulas, pcb impedance calculations, etc.) and of course TVM for home use. I already assigned the shift+9 (T) to run "TVM".

I am thinking writing small programs to set the USER assignments for several different use cases (programming, electrical, financial, etc.). So I need to come up with a logical/natural assignment scheme because it will be difficult to remember what was assigned to what.

I'm curious how people set up their 41 USER modes.

3) Other than reading manuals, what else should I learn & setup to make it more useful for me?

The way things are going, my calculator trio is becoming 41cx, 17bii and prime Smile
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01-13-2014, 07:38 AM
Post: #2
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-13-2014 05:28 AM)atilla457 Wrote:  3) Other than reading manuals, what else should I learn & setup to make it more useful for me?

There were a lot of books about the 41 but, today, they are randomly showing up only on auction sites.

I would buy a copy of the Museum's DVD where you will find a wealth of info about each and every HP calc besides our lovely Fortyone.

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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01-13-2014, 08:07 AM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2014 08:09 AM by Garth Wilson.)
Post: #3
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
I penciled my key assignments on a key overlay. Sometimes you can find overlays on eBay, but since I'm the original owner of my 41cx, I got the beige-colored one with the 41cx brand new in 1986. Some assignments are easy to remember though, like CF (clear flag) being for °C to °F, and the shifted + and - keys being for HMS+ and HMS-. Unfortunately the 41 doesn't let you save USER key files like the 71 does, but you can have programs to re-assign keys. Maybe one of the modern modules has something to keep USER key files. I have not looked.

Since you're in EE though, you'll want the 41z module ROM image. Get that one and other favorites loaded into the NoV-64 module being made today. The 41z gives a true 4-level complex-number stack and tons of complex-arithmetic functions and enhancements, all written in assembly, vastly outperforming many of the functions in the Advantage module.

You might also want the Sandmath module ROM image loaded in, which gives gobs of math extensions. These are modules that have come out in just the last few years; IOW, new stuff is still coming out for the HP-41, although not from HP.

The port covers are frequently found on eBay too, but I don't think you'll save much power by unplugging things. The non-memory modules don't seem to take any power when the unit is off, and I used to get two years on a set of alkaline batteries (even with daily use) until I got a double extended memory module which seems to have taken it down to six months. I think the NoV-64 module will replace the extended memories anyway and give you even more memory. I have not looked at the power consumption.

In the 1980's I regularly used my 41cx to take data from a lot of lab instrumentation, using the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter which was more or less transparent, making HPIB (IEEE-488) equipment appear to be on HPIL. I also have the HPIL-to-RS232 and HPIL-to-parallel converters, and of course you can use all of these at once, in addition to the more-mundane disc or tape drives, printers, etc.. This kind of interfaceability was not carried through to any of the other calculators (not calling the HP-71 a calculator). I seldom take advantage of that interfaceability these days, but it's still important to me to have the capability.

The museum DVD has a ton of great material. You'll probably want to find what modules you want to load into the NoV-64, and get that. Before you know it you'll be into synthetic and assembly-language programming on it!

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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01-13-2014, 08:27 AM
Post: #4
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Hi,

"1) where can I find port cover caps? ebay? (in case I want to remove the modules to save power.) I have a friend who has a 3d printer - that could be an option."

=> You may try the Classified Ads section here in the forum, too.

"2) the XEQ concept is very powerful however it will result in a lot of typing. I think I will have to setup the USER mode for most used functions. ... I am thinking writing small programs to set the USER assignments for several different use cases ..."

=> If you do keyboard assignments in USER mode before you record the program on a magnetic card, the assignments will be recorded together with the program on the magnetic card and restored when you read the program back into memory later.

Hope this helps.

Best regards

Karl[/u][/i]
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01-14-2014, 05:00 AM
Post: #5
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Regarding port covers, there are currently 8 available on EBay, item #161197036925 for $4.99 ea.

Dave
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01-14-2014, 10:22 PM
Post: #6
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Thanks all.

I ordered the site DVD and the covers. Once the dvd set arrives I'll have enough reading material for the rest of the year Smile

The nov-64 looks good in concept, but if I read it right, it's 175 euro's, which is probably much cheaper than getting the modules individually, but it's a steep price to pay for now. I'll hold off on that until I get more familiar w/ 41cx.
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01-14-2014, 10:38 PM
Post: #7
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-14-2014 10:22 PM)atilla457 Wrote:  Thanks all.

I ordered the site DVD and the covers. Once the dvd set arrives I'll have enough reading material for the rest of the year Smile

Much more than that, I think... Wink

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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01-15-2014, 01:21 AM
Post: #8
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-14-2014 10:22 PM)atilla457 Wrote:  The nov-64 looks good in concept, but if I read it right, it's 175 euros, which is probably much cheaper than getting the modules individually, but it's a steep price to pay for now. I'll hold off on that until I get more familiar w/ 41cx.

It (or something along the same lines) is the only way to get the newer modules which were never made in their own hardware. For example, there is no 41z module you can buy by itself.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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01-15-2014, 02:37 AM
Post: #9
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
I too am an electrical engineer (you can't spell "geek" without a double-"E") and recently bought a 41CX, partly to replace the CX I sold back in the 80's to buy a 71B and partly to take advantage of all the programs on the MoHPC FTP site.
I also bought the Clonix Anniversary bundle which for a little more than the cost of a NoV-64, includes a Clonix-D plus some nice extras.

Dave
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01-15-2014, 06:20 AM
Post: #10
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-15-2014 01:21 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  It (or something along the same lines) is the only way to get the newer modules which were never made in their own hardware. For example, there is no 41z module you can buy by itself.

ok, ok, I'll start saving for it too Smile

Garth,

I clicked on the link in your signature; didn't know you were into 6502. I spent most of my youth doing assembly on c64. I now collect 8bit computers and build them when I get time-off from family/work. http://www.8bitforce.com.
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01-15-2014, 06:54 AM
Post: #11
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-15-2014 06:20 AM)atilla457 Wrote:  Garth,

I clicked on the link in your signature; didn't know you were into 6502. I spent most of my youth doing assembly on c64. I now collect 8bit computers and build them when I get time-off from family/work. http://www.8bitforce.com.

The 6502 has come a long way since the C64 days (although not as far as the x86 has come). In fact, it is selling in volumes of hundreds of millions of units per year today, mostly at the heart of custom ICs in automotive and consumer electronics and even life-support equipment. The fastest ones are running over 200MHz. The 65816 is of course much better suited for multitasking, multithreading, relocatable code, etc., and I actually find it easier to program.

I would like to triple the size of my website with a lot more great material I have in the plans. All it would require is getting a grant of some kind so I could quit my job and just work on my website! LOL I wish I had taken some decent pictures though of the days when I used the HP-41 for controlling a lot of lab test equipment. (I do have a few, but they're embarassing, with messy workbench and so on.) My story of how I got into all this is at the top of http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1935. There's a more-strictly-calculator-oriented one at http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...i?read=224 which I've wanted to edit now that I have more HP-41 peripherals, but I can't. Neither my current password nor my old one get me in.

http://WilsonMinesCo.com (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, http://wilsonminesco.com/links.html )
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01-15-2014, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-15-2014 02:17 PM by Sylvain Cote.)
Post: #12
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
I am a little late, but here is my suggestions ...

a) buy the CD-ROM/DVD medias from the following ...
- hpmuseum.org DVD
- search google for "HP-41 ArchiveDVD"
- search google for "PPC CD-ROM Set"
- from these you will have tons of manuals, rom images, journals, ads, etc.

b) buy a rebuilded card reader and magnetic cards
- write/read your programs
- write/read multiple user keyboards
- etc

c) if you got some money left, I would suggest you to buy ...
- either a Clonix-D (flash only) or a NoV-64 module (flash+ram)
- and a Flash programmer
- with this you will be able to load modules like ...
> AMC-OSX : great module from Angel based on the legendary CCD ROM, add features like keys-to/from-xmem, enhanced catalogs/keyboards, etc
> HEPAX ..: add a file system and lot more, only works with NoV-64/32/RAM modules
> PPC ROM : a great set of RPN routines, a massive undertaking from PPC members
> basically, you can load almost any module you can think of ... 8-)

d) finally, you could also go the HP-IL route with ...
- HP-82160A HP-IL Interface module for HP-41
- a PIL-Box from J.F.Garnier (HP-IL to/from USB)
- a HP-IL cable for the PIL-Box
- with these you will be able to use simulators from Christoph on your PC
> search google for "Virtual HP-IL"

Best regards,

Sylvain
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01-17-2014, 04:17 AM
Post: #13
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
If I have a, c, and d then why do I need the card reader, other than portability?

Dave
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01-17-2014, 04:37 AM
Post: #14
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
(01-17-2014 04:17 AM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  If I have a, c, and d then why do I need the card reader, other than portability?

Apart from "mass" storage, the only other thing the card reader provides is HP-67/97 compatibility. It can read HP-67 program and data cards, and adds some instructions from the 67 instruction set - useful if you have any 67 application pacs or want to run other 67 programs without some manual translation.

That's about it.

--- Les
[http://www.lesbell.com.au]
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01-17-2014, 05:20 AM
Post: #15
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
My suggestions was an answer to the original question and I should have
been more clear on the order and on the possible combinaison of the options.
Also, atilla457 seems to be cost conscious so the choices where ordered
from the least costly to the most costly.

The options should have been:
- option (a) partial or complete is a must.
then ..
- option (b) only
- option (c) only
- option (d) only
- options (c) & (d)
and for completeness
- options (b), (c) & (d)

I have all of the above and I still use the card reader weekly to load needed
programs or to backup programs being modified when I am on the go with the 41.
The only time I can go without is when I have one of my NoV-64 installed with
the HePax setup active, then I use the HePax file system as a replacement.

Best regards,

Sylvain
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01-17-2014, 06:15 PM
Post: #16
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Les and Sylvain,

Thank you for those perspectives.

What about the Wand? Considering all the barcoded programs on those DVD's do you think that's a worthwhile peripheral to acquire?

Personally, I think the PIL-Box is essential if you're interested in accessing the thousands of programs on the Museum's FTP site, especially if you also own a 71B.

Dave
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01-18-2014, 01:33 AM
Post: #17
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Dave,
In the beginning of the 1980's it was a nice peripheral for reading programs of the users library solution books and for reading code bar printed with the plotter (82160A+82184A+7470A).
Today, most of the users library programs has been stored in raw file that can be inserted into LIF file and then be read by the a virtual peripheral connected to the PIL-Box.
Also most of the solution books programs has been put into a ROM format that can be stored into Diego flash modules (Clonix-D/NoV-64).
If you really want to use the wand, there is a web site that can create a web page from the source code that you have entered. Very nice!
Best regards,
Sylvain
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01-18-2014, 02:17 AM
Post: #18
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Sylvain,

Thanks for the insight. I wasn't really that interested in the wand.

My Clonix-D is somewhere between the Canary Islands and California and when Diego gets parts the NoV-64D will follow. Smile

Dave
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01-18-2014, 02:39 AM
Post: #19
RE: New user setting up HP 41CX
Dave,
Have fun with your new toys!
I have received mine (#03) this week :-)
About the wand, maybe the only utility today would be to read bar code from non HP books where the code has not yet been converted to raw format.
Best regards,
Sylvain
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