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4-banger?
01-23-2014, 03:57 PM
Post: #1
4-banger?
Hey

As a former embedded designer and programmer, I love the concept and execution of the WP 34s -- great work!

While I've got two 30b's on the way, on one I'm thinking of noodling around to make a simplified version of the 34s just for the sake of fun and learning.

The way I use a calculator is as a quick way to do arithmetic. I like being able to grab an RPN calc and run through some numbers for immediate use for whatever I'm doing. To that end, I love having a very simple and uncluttered keypad. A great calc for me would be a 34s dumbed down to remove the statistics and programming functions, items that I never use. This would greatly clean up the keypad.

I've used programming a few times for academic items way back when (dare I say it... back when I was using TIs in college), but in the work world, I have never had a real need for it. Anything that I ever had a need to do repetitively (in an R&D lab or on the plant floor) has always been easier to on a laptop in excel or whatever. Plus, documentation of your work is way easier from a laptop.

I've seen the term '4-banger' used here and there, but it doesn't come up much on a search here, and I don't really know what that is! Is that what I want? Maybe I'll have to look in the archive.

Scott
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01-23-2014, 05:58 PM (This post was last modified: 01-23-2014 06:35 PM by Jeff O..)
Post: #2
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 03:57 PM)Scottie Wrote:  I've seen the term '4-banger' used here and there, but it doesn't come up much on a search here, and I don't really know what that is! Is that what I want? Scott

It sounds like what you want, for example, see this thread from the archives.

The above thread mentioned using the 10bii+ as the basis for such a calculator. The 10bii+ has the same 6-pin port behind the battery cover as the 30b, and can be reflashed in exactly the same way. I gave the concept further thought later, focusing on an engineering scientific with basic programming. I obtained the LCD table for the 10bii+, and was told that the keyboard configuration is easy to figure out. With that info, I thought that maybe it would not be too tough to take the wp34s software and change the LCD and keyboard handling routines and load it onto the 10bii+. Much of the functionality of wp34s would be inaccessible, but I figure it would be easier just to leave it in. I attempted to look at the wp34s source code to see if there was a chance in hell that I could do it, but having no experience with C I could not make heads or tails of it. But I did make a pretty picture, so if anyone thinks they could do it, I'll be happy to send you the LCD table. (Of course we would also need Eric to make us a set of key labels. No overlay is required for the keyboard plane as I put all labels on the keys. Just need to use a black sharpie to blank out the factory blue labels on the keyboard plane.)

[Image: attachment.php?aid=186]

I'm sure most functions are obvious, but a few may not be:
- the shifted CL P/R function on the EEX key would clear all storage registers in normal user mode, and clear program memory in programming mode
- the P-with-down-arrow function next to the ON function would single-step and execute a program in normal mode. In programming mode, it would just single-step through the program. In other words, the ON function only works when the calculator is off, otherwise it is single-step.
- the P-with-up-arrow function next to the OFF function would back-step through a program in programming mode. In normal mode, the shifted OFF function would work. In other words, you must be in normal mode to turn the calculator off.

   

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
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01-23-2014, 06:28 PM
Post: #3
RE: 4-banger?
Jeff,

Ahh... 4-banger, referring to the four x ,y t, and z registers? So that's it. Thanks for the pointer to that, and it seems to me I've seen that thread before, too. I'm a bit slow...

Your 10bii reflash sounds kinda cool, too, but I think I'd miss that wide ENTER key. Picky, eh?

Further down the list, Paul Dale suggests that the 30b would be a good platform for this, and Eddie and Walter later adds responses based on the 30b, also.

Thanks!

Scott
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01-23-2014, 06:44 PM
Post: #4
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 06:28 PM)Scottie Wrote:  Ahh... 4-banger, referring to the four x ,y t, and z registers? So that's it.

No, Sir, that's not it. 4-banger comes from the fact the most primitive calcs only support the four arithmetic operations.

FYI

d:-)
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01-23-2014, 06:47 PM
Post: #5
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 06:28 PM)Scottie Wrote:  Jeff,

Ahh... 4-banger, referring to the four x ,y t, and z registers? So that's it. Thanks for the pointer to that, and it seems to me I've seen that thread before, too. I'm a bit slow...

Your 10bii reflash sounds kinda cool, too, but I think I'd miss that wide ENTER key. Picky, eh?

Further down the list, Paul Dale suggests that the 30b would be a good platform for this, and Eddie and Walter later adds responses based on the 30b, also.

Thanks!

Scott

I think 4-banger mostly refers to the original calculators from many, many years ago that could add, subtract, multiply and divide only. That seems unnecessarily simple, so the community adopted the term for a fairly simple scientific with a few good functions (transcendentals, mostly) without all the bells and whistles of even the 34s.

Not picky at all about the ENTER key, I'd like that too. The 30b would certainly be a good candidate, but it seems to be not long for this world, and a high percentage of those that are around do have keyboard issues. The 10bii+ is still in production (as far as I know), and has a very nice feeling keyboard. And the display is very legible, with nice big comma and points.

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01-23-2014, 06:57 PM
Post: #6
RE: 4-banger?
If all you want is an RPN "4-banger", why not just configure the 30b to run in RPN mode, and use it as is ? I bought 5 of them for only $9.95 each mostly for that purpose. I may play around with one just for fun, but the rest will get spread around the house, garage, car as simple and cheap RPN calculators. A bonus with these is that you can have some simple utility programs on them, such as a sales tax markup for when you go shopping.
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01-23-2014, 07:08 PM
Post: #7
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 05:58 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  The above thread mentioned using the 10bii+ as the basis for such a calculator. The 10bii+ has the same 6-pin port behind the battery cover as the 30b, and can be reflashed in exactly the same way. ... But I did make a pretty picture, so if anyone thinks they could do it, I'll be happy to send you the LCD table. (... No overlay is required for the keyboard plane as I put all labels on the keys. Just need to use a black sharpie to blank out the factory blue labels on the keyboard plane.)

Nice clean design Smile Nicer than the HP-10C in a way. Just my usual few remarks in random order:
  • The tests were more complete in vintage calcs by including ≤ instead of <. But I doubt we need the full test box here. Look at the HP-10C for comparison.
  • The ON/OFF key may be relabeled ↓/↑ instead since ON and OFF will be used less frequently in a session than single-stepping through programs.
  • A primary LASTx is a strong statement for sure. Wink
  • I miss basic statistics, i.e. Sigma+, Sigma-, mean and standard deviation. It has been even on the most basic 'scientific' calcs since the HP-45.
  • I admit I really miss the wide ENTER. It's THE RPN ICON. So I end up recommending the HP-30b again (hey, we are able to push its sales figures, aren't we? Wink ) as some years ago.
Just my 20m€.

d:-)
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01-23-2014, 07:29 PM
Post: #8
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 05:58 PM)Jeff O. Wrote:  
(01-23-2014 03:57 PM)Scottie Wrote:  I've seen the term '4-banger' used here and there, but it doesn't come up much on a search here, and I don't really know what that is! Is that what I want? Scott

It sounds like what you want, for example, see this thread from the archives.

The above thread mentioned using the 10bii+ as the basis for such a calculator. The 10bii+ has the same 6-pin port behind the battery cover as the 30b, and can be reflashed in exactly the same way. I gave the concept further thought later, focusing on an engineering scientific with basic programming. I obtained the LCD table for the 10bii+, and was told that the keyboard configuration is easy to figure out. With that info, I thought that maybe it would not be too tough to take the wp34s software and change the LCD and keyboard handling routines and load it onto the 10bii+. Much of the functionality of wp34s would be inaccessible, but I figure it would be easier just to leave it in. I attempted to look at the wp34s source code to see if there was a chance in hell that I could do it, but having no experience with C I could not make heads or tails of it. But I did make a pretty picture, so if anyone thinks they could do it, I'll be happy to send you the LCD table. (Of course we would also need Eric to make us a set of key labels. No overlay is required for the keyboard plane as I put all labels on the keys. Just need to use a black sharpie to blank out the factory blue labels on the keyboard plane.)

[Image: attachment.php?aid=186]

I'm sure most functions are obvious, but a few may not be:
- the shifted CL P/R function on the EEX key would clear all storage registers in normal user mode, and clear program memory in programming mode
- the P-with-down-arrow function next to the ON function would single-step and execute a program in normal mode. In programming mode, it would just single-step through the program. In other words, the ON function only works when the calculator is off, otherwise it is single-step.
- the P-with-up-arrow function next to the OFF function would back-step through a program in programming mode. In normal mode, the shifted OFF function would work. In other words, you must be in normal mode to turn the calculator off.
No x<=y? This appears to be very useful and important, otherwise it wouldn't be the second test available on the HP-12C, along with x=0.

Gerson.
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01-23-2014, 08:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-23-2014 08:59 PM by Dieter.)
Post: #9
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 07:29 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  No x<=y? This appears to be very useful and important, otherwise it wouldn't be the second test available on the HP-12C, along with x=0.

Any test that includes an OR operator (like X≤Y? or X≥0?) can be replaced by a combination of two other tests. In this case, X≤Y? is the same as X≠Y? followed by X<Y?.

So if the number of tests really is limited, the device should provide <, >, = and ≠. Everything else can be assembled easily.

On the other hand, we should expect a full set of all 12 tests on a current calculator. Memory is not an issue these days. I also like the tests against 1 as provided by the 34s. Which would make a total of 18 tests.

Addendum: I just recalled the days when I did some programming on a TI-58/59. These had merely two (!) test commands: x≤t? and x=t?. Tests against zero were accomplished by clearing t beforehand (using the CP command), and the missing x>t? and x≠t? tests were handled by a preceding INV that inverted the command that followed. Well, at least this INV thing is something I could find useful on the one or other HP as well. Imagine how much key space this would save.

Dieter
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01-23-2014, 08:59 PM
Post: #10
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 08:41 PM)Dieter Wrote:  
(01-23-2014 07:29 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  No x<=y? This appears to be very useful and important, otherwise it wouldn't be the second test available on the HP-12C, along with x=0.

Any test that includes an OR operator (like X≤Y? or X≥0?) can be replaced by a combination of two other tests. In this case, X≤Y? is the same as X≠Y? followed by X<Y?.

So if the number of tests really is limited, the device should provide <, >, = and ≠. Everything else can be easily assembled.

Once again, another complete set is ≤, >, =, and ≠. This set has the advantage it was used already on the HP-25C and almost all of its successors, so it fits well in the line.

I doubt, however, the need for four or eight tests on a basic scientific. I even doubt the need for programmability at all there. Is the 300S programmable? Or the 10bii? If you want to catch the students (instead of the students, you know), don't load your calc with stuff they don't need. Put fractions on it instead, maybe LCM and GCD, etc.

d:-)
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01-23-2014, 09:40 PM (This post was last modified: 01-23-2014 09:43 PM by Dieter.)
Post: #11
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 08:59 PM)walter b Wrote:  Once again, another complete set is ≤, >, =, and ≠. This set has the advantage it was used already on the HP-25C and almost all of its successors, so it fits well in the line.

You must have had a special edition of the 25C, otherwise you should take a closer look at the left column on the keyboard. ;-)

The 25 and 25C provided =, ≠, ≥ and <, both for tests against Y and 0. Later successful models like the 67/97, 19C/29C or 34C offered X>Y and X>0, but X≤Y and X<0. The 41-series added X<Y and X≤0 for a total of 10 tests, and the 15C finally had all 12. So I do not see much of a line where the mentioned subset of tests might fit well.

Dieter
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01-24-2014, 08:13 AM
Post: #12
RE: 4-banger?
(01-23-2014 09:40 PM)Dieter Wrote:  
(01-23-2014 08:59 PM)walter b Wrote:  Once again, another complete set is ≤, >, =, and ≠. This set has the advantage it was used already on the HP-25C and almost all of its successors, so it fits well in the line.

You must have had a special edition of the 25C, otherwise you should take a closer look at the left column on the keyboard. ;-)

Smile I admit having looked at a 29C when claiming that. Assumed they took over the scheme of the 25C which isn't true obviously. Thanks for pointing me to that. Seems I tend to attribute better consistency to vintage HPs than they really showed. Wink

But my real point was (and is) the nonexisting need for programmability in a basic RPN calculator.

d:-)
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01-24-2014, 06:30 PM
Post: #13
RE: 4-banger?
(01-24-2014 08:13 AM)walter b Wrote:  But my real point was (and is) the nonexisting need for programmability in a basic RPN calculator.

d:-)

And, without programming, the function set proposed for the 40-key 10b would more or less fit on a 37-key 30b while providing a nice big enter key.

(For such a basic calculator, I also think sigma+ and sigma- and the basic statistics would be a good trade against the complex functions and hyperbolic.)
-Bill
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01-24-2014, 11:23 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2014 12:30 PM by walter b.)
Post: #14
RE: 4-banger?
(01-24-2014 06:30 PM)BillCarter Wrote:  And, without programming, the function set proposed for the 40-key 10b would more or less fit on a 37-key 30b while providing a nice big enter key.

(For such a basic calculator, I also think sigma+ and sigma- and the basic statistics would be a good trade against the complex functions and hyperbolic.)

Just a quick sketch - there's space for improvement for sure:

   

d:-)

P.S.: That's not a strict subset of WP 34S for keyboard space reasons: see shifted 0, the forecasting key, as well as the new catalogs DISPL and CLEAR.
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01-24-2014, 11:43 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2014 12:11 AM by Sanjeev Visvanatha.)
Post: #15
RE: 4-banger?
So going to a strict subset of WP-34s functions for a "WP-34s-mini" would entail remapping the keyboard to existing functions and creating the bin file? I am curious what this would entail, as I do not know, myself.

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01-26-2014, 12:44 PM
Post: #16
RE: 4-banger?
Continued thinking lead to minor changes in labeling:
  • Shifted [0] to [.d],
  • shifted [.] to [a b/c] representing FRACT, and
  • [ON] to [EXIT] like on the WP 34S.
DISPL would then contain sixteen operations: FIX, SCI, ENG, DISP, E3ON and E3OFF, DEG, RAD, IMPFRC, PROFRC, RDX. and RDX, , DENANY, DENFAC, DENFIX, and DENMAX. CLEAR would carry CLALL, CLREGS, CLΣ, and RESET. Arrows up and down and EXIT are just for DISPL, CLEAR, and CONST. Then ENTER would execute the cataloged function or recall the constant displayed as it does on the WP 34S.

At the bottom line, the forecasting key, DISPL, and CLEAR are the only "new" labels compared to the WP 34S.

d:-)

(Eventually decided to write a new post instead of editing the previous one.)
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01-26-2014, 09:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2014 09:57 PM by Sanjeev Visvanatha.)
Post: #17
RE: 4-banger?
I spent some time coming up with a layout for a simple non-programmable RPN calculator, based upon HP-30B hardware, and WP-34S code. I envision two new catalogs (CLEAR and PARTS), and also some thinning/adding to existing WP-34S catalogs. No new functions not already in WP-34S, and only one shift key!

I started this just for fun, and I immediately recognize how difficult it is to come up with a logical layout that pleases yourself, let alone others. Hat-tip to the WP-34S team for their hard work in that regard.

My *wish* is to familiarize with the WP-34S code and see if I can do something basic like change a key assignment to be my own definition and create the file to upload to the 30B. At this point, I would like to just tinker, but if I find I can navigate the code and make modifications without breaking things, I may have something.


Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)
   

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01-26-2014, 10:07 PM
Post: #18
RE: 4-banger?
(01-26-2014 09:41 PM)Sanjeev Visvanatha Wrote:  At this point, I would like to just tinker, but if I find I can navigate the code and make modifications without breaking things, I may have something.

Nice tinkering work. Thanks for sharing! What do you want to put in PARTS ?

d:-)
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01-26-2014, 10:11 PM
Post: #19
RE: 4-banger?
(01-26-2014 09:41 PM)Sanjeev Visvanatha Wrote:  I spent some time coming up with a layout for a simple non-programmable RPN calculator, based upon HP-30B hardware, and WP-34S code. I envision two new catalogs (CLEAR and PARTS), and also some thinning/adding to existing WP-34S catalogs. No new functions not already in WP-34S, and only one shift key!

Hi,

Nice start.
Just a quick question, if the calc is not programmable, do you need an EXIT button?

Cheers, Terje
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01-26-2014, 10:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2014 10:25 PM by Sanjeev Visvanatha.)
Post: #20
RE: 4-banger?
(01-26-2014 10:07 PM)walter b Wrote:  Nice tinkering work. Thanks for sharing! What do you want to put in PARTS ?

d:-)

PARTS would contain some nick knacks like:
PERM, COMB, INT, FRAC, RAN#, and anything needing a home not covered elsewhere.

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