Original box contents

Original box contents

Postby hoit-hp41 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:16 am

I have seen some "new old stock" HP41's being advertised recently but I'm not sure if they contain all the original contents.

I have tried searching for a list of the original box contents (ie manuals, overlays, ...) but could find anything.

Can anybody point me to a list ?

Did this list change over time C vs CV vs CX and FullNut vs HalfNut.

Many Thanks in advance.
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Re: Original box contents

Postby Garth » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:50 am

My 1986 41cx Halfnut contained:
  • calc
  • soft case
  • manuals, in two volumes
  • quick-reference guide (which fits in the case)
  • stopwatch keyboard black overlay
  • light-beige overlay for the user to write his own key assignments on
  • an accessories pamphlet, called, "A Wealth of Accessories"
  • a service information pamphlet
  • a blue form to fill out for buying an extended service agreement
I don't remember if batteries were included; but at this point you wouldn't want them anyway.

When I got mine, HP was throwing in the Advantage module, free. At the same time, I bought the HP-IL and Extended I/O combined module. Later I bought a double extended memory module, ZENROM, plus several HPIL accessories, and 25 years later, the Clonix-41 module. And yes, I still have all the boxes, manuals, etc.. The only exceptions are the card reader which I bought on eBay to build something else into its shell (like the MLDL2000), and the wand which was given to me.
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Re: Original box contents

Postby rprosperi » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:19 pm

Garth wrote:My 1986 41cx Halfnut contained:
  • calc
  • soft case
  • manuals, in two volumes
  • quick-reference guide (which fits in the case)
  • stopwatch keyboard black overlay
  • light-beige overlay for the user to write his own key assignments on
  • an accessories pamphlet, called, "A Wealth of Accessories"
  • a service information pamphlet
  • a blue form to fill out for buying an extended service agreement
I don't remember if batteries were included; but at this point you wouldn't want them anyway.

[snip]


Here are a few items to add to the detailed list Garth provided, which were standard in all 41 boxes:
  • A black module 'wallet' to hold 3 modules (or port covers) and overlays
  • A label packet with many hundreds of tiny rectangular stickers for every 41 function, intended to be placed onto one of the 2 overlays, to document custom key assignments you've made
  • A light-beige overlay with all default shifted function labels printed (the blank one noted above was for extensive customization, while this one was for minimal customization, so the user did not have to duplicate most of the original labels)
  • Card with info about joining PPC (roughly from 81-84)
  • 4 X N Batteries were included in a small box, which brand & labeling changed over time

Note that the included pamphlets and accessory brochures changed considerably over time
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Re: Original box contents

Postby Garth » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:09 pm

Bob, my cx from 1986 (S/N 2622S21649) did not come with the module wallet you mention, or a label packet for the beige overlay (I did get, and mention, the overlay though) although I did get a label packet more recently as part of an eBay purchase. 31 of my 34 key assignments are to my own programs or to functions that were not available before the cx.

Regarding the module wallet though, I'm sure glad for combined modules and Diego's Clonix-D which let me keep everything there at the same time, with maxed-out RAM plus ROM space that is full except for a single 4K page, and I still have one port empty. I wonder if in the early days, users wore out the flex-circuit connector contacts plugging in and unplugging modules frequently for different applications. It also would have been a pain to always have to be trying to the best compromise of limited RAM and the ROM modules needed for a project. There are two reasons I've gone for the Clonix-D instead of the 41CL though: the fact that the 41CL needs a Coconut 41 (whereas mine is a Halfnut), and the super short battery life. I was going to get the NoV-64 instead of the Clonix, but at this point and especially with all of Angel's contributions, I didn't think I would ever get into MCode, so Diego said I could save some money and still get everything I want with the Clonix-D. The ZENROM is one of the things I have loaded into it, and I use that for synthetics made natural.
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Re: Original box contents

Postby rprosperi » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:21 pm

Thanks for the comments Garth, they're enlightening. I never heard of a 41C/CV/CX not including the label packet or the black wallet; I had bought a 41C, 41CV and 41CX before 1986, and all had included these items. Perhaps when they made the change to HalfNut, they dropped these items from accessories supplied in the box? About the overlays, all of mine came with 2 beige overlays - 1 blank, 1 with all default shifted functions; again, I assumed HP continued supplying both. But it was during the 41 production run (79-90) that HP's slip towards cutting costs and quality began and never really looked back, though the 71B came in that same period and was a wonderful machine of top quality.

I too have a couple of Diego's modules, in my case Nov64d - I wanted to dabble with HEPAX and module loading, etc. but one of my major contributions to the community is I too will never dabble with MCODE. As for the CL, it's battery appetite is directly related to the speed you run it at, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 times normal speed. If you keep it at 1x, battery life is basically the same as a normal 41CX, but you can change it to high speed if/when needed. And though it literally holds over 500 modules, the process of updating Flash with newer versions is arcane, requires precise procedures and takes a lot of time, compared to simply re-burning a CLONIX/NoV.

I don't think too many users wore out machines from excessive swapping, as buying that many modules was not cheap, and most users tended to be focused on whatever industry or career field they were in, so only owned a few select modules as appropriate. At the very beginning, when the 41C had such limited RAM, it was more of an issue, but professionals fairly quickly tended to use Mag Cards to load programs when needed.

Over time, I've settled into a 'normal' configuration of: LIB4, OSX, HEPAX and WARP_CORE, and then add PPC, CCD or ZENROM as needed depending on the task at hand.

The forthcoming DM41X will make doing any/all of this stuff MUCH easier and quicker, however as good as the SwissMicros hardware is, the 41's keyboard is still better feeling and laid out as my fingers can recall without thinking.
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Re: Original box contents

Postby Garth » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:57 pm

rprosperi wrote:Thanks for the comments Garth, they're enlightening. I never heard of a 41C/CV/CX not including the label packet or the black wallet; I had bought a 41C, 41CV and 41CX before 1986, and all had included these items. Perhaps when they made the change to HalfNut, they dropped these items from accessories supplied in the box? About the overlays, all of mine came with 2 beige overlays - 1 blank, 1 with all default shifted functions; again, I assumed HP continued supplying both.

This is my only beige overlay:
my41overlay.jpg


The rest of this is getting pretty off-topic; but this forum has very little traffic and I think it would be of interest anyway to the few readers.

though the 71B came in that same period and was a wonderful machine of top quality.

Absolutely. I have two of them, although the second one is bare (ie, no modules) which I got for $25 as surplus before eBay existed. That second one came with nothing but the case, but it was so new the built-in lexan keyboard overlay had a strong smell of being brand new, and there were absolutely no blemishes anywhere on the unit or its case. I still reach for the 41 though unless I have a job for it that the 41 doesn't have enough memory or speed for. I did one thing that the 71 worked for weeks on, generating megabytes of huge files. I just used what I knew, and I wasn't in any hurry; but the 41 would have taken years!

As for the CL, it's battery appetite is directly related to the speed you run it at, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 times normal speed. If you keep it at 1x, battery life is basically the same as a normal 41CX, but you can change it to high speed if/when needed.

That's news to me. If you have it do the same things, just faster, and it takes 50x the current for 1/50th of the time, that would equate to the same battery drain; but 50x20mA is a whole amp, and I don't know how the N cells and the contacts would perform. My guess from experimentation with AA's for work is that it might only be possible when the batteries are brand new.

And though it literally holds over 500 modules

Wow, the number keeps increasing. The last I heard was something like 350.

I don't think too many users wore out machines from excessive swapping, as buying that many modules was not cheap, and most users tended to be focused on whatever industry or career field they were in, so only owned a few select modules as appropriate.

What I meant was that if you had for example four 82106A memory modules and only two ROM modules and the card reader, it can't hold them all seven once, so you'd be swapping them out depending on what you need to do.

At the very beginning, when the 41C had such limited RAM, it was more of an issue, but professionals fairly quickly tended to use Mag Cards to load programs when needed.

I never got the card reader until a few years ago when I got a good price on one on eBay which I wanted so I could put something else in the shell like the MLDL (which never happened, and I later got the Clonix-D). I got the tape drive which was better in every way except size, and still works flawlessly, not having any rubber parts to rot. Later I got a second tape drive really cheap as surplus, again before eBay came along.

Over time, I've settled into a 'normal' configuration of: LIB4, OSX, HEPAX and WARP_CORE, and then add PPC, CCD or ZENROM as needed depending on the task at hand.

This is my CATalog 2, shown on the HP92198A 80-column interface and a Zenith monitor:
CAT2_12-12-17.jpg


The forthcoming DM41X will make doing any/all of this stuff MUCH easier and quicker, however as good as the SwissMicros hardware is, the 41's keyboard is still better feeling and laid out as my fingers can recall without thinking.

My problem with the DM41X is that it does not have HPIL or a suitable replacement. HPIL is the whole reason I got into the 41. I've used it to interface to a lot of IEEE-488 workbench test equipment through the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter, and have also used the FSI164A HPIL-to-RS232 interface converter a lot, which is like the HP82164A but has two RS-232 channels standard and up to eight if you paid extra, and had a battery option. I have the HP82165A HPIL-to-parallel interface converter as well. I don't use the HPIL much anymore, but it's still important to me for the occasional times I want it. Without it, the calc would be a "justacalculator."
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Re: Original box contents

Postby pcscote » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:24 am

Garth wrote:Bob, my cx from 1986 (S/N 2622S21649) did not come with the module wallet you mention, or a label packet for the beige overlay (I did get, and mention, the overlay though) although I did get a label packet more recently as part of an eBay purchase.

rprosperi wrote:I never heard of a 41C/CV/CX not including the label packet or the black wallet; I had bought a 41C, 41CV and 41CX before 1986, and all had included these items. Perhaps when they made the change to HalfNut, they dropped these items from accessories supplied in the box?

If I remember correctly, the modules holder, the blank overlay and the stickers sheet was removed when HP introduced the wide box format.

You could still buy them separately:

  • HP-82151A Modules Holder (x2)
  • HP-82152A Overlay Kit (1 standard beige overlay, 5 blank beige overlays, 2 overlay stickers sheets and a small advertising pamphlet)
  • HP-82172A Blank Overlays Kit (x50)

rprosperi wrote:As for the CL, it's battery appetite is directly related to the speed you run it at, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 50 times normal speed. If you keep it at 1x, battery life is basically the same as a normal 41CX, but you can change it to high speed if/when needed.

Garth wrote:That's news to me. If you have it do the same things, just faster, and it takes 50x the current for 1/50th of the time, that would equate to the same battery drain; but 50x20mA is a whole amp, and I don't know how the N cells and the contacts would perform. My guess from experimentation with AA's for work is that it might only be possible when the batteries are brand new.

Not so, 41CL typical current drain is: (ref: 41CL User Manual, P.6)
Code: Select all
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                         | No Time Clone installed | Time Clone installed    |
|                         | ----------------------- | ----------------------- |
| Calculator State        | Serial off | Serial on  | Serial off | Serial on  |
|-------------------------+------------+------------+------------+------------|
| Off                     |   110   μA |     3.6 mA |   340   μA |     3.8 mA |
| Light Sleep   (#1)      |     3.6 mA |     7.1 mA |     3.8 mA |     7.3 mA |
| Running  (1x) (#2)      |     7.1 mA |    10.6 mA |     7.3 mA |    10.8 mA |
| Running (50x) (#3)      |    12.1 mA |    15.6 mA |    12.3 mA |    15.8 mA |
| Flash Erase   (#4)      |    46.0 mA |    49.5 mA |    46.2 mA |    49.7 mA |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Code: Select all
| #1 : Between key presses                                                    |
| #2 : Measured during a CAT 2 operation.                                     |
| #3 : Measured during a normal (not CPONLY mode) FLCHK? operation.           |
| #4 : This peak current lasts for less than 500 mS.                          |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+


Garth wrote:I wonder if in the early days, users wore out the flex-circuit connector contacts plugging in and unplugging modules frequently for different applications. It also would have been a pain to always have to be trying to the best compromise of limited RAM and the ROM modules needed for a project.

rprosperi wrote:I don't think too many users wore out machines from excessive swapping, as buying that many modules was not cheap, and most users tended to be focused on whatever industry or career field they were in, so only owned a few select modules as appropriate. At the very beginning, when the 41C had such limited RAM, it was more of an issue, but professionals fairly quickly tended to use Mag Cards to load programs when needed.

I agree with Robert for the vast majority of users but for somes like me it was an issue and also why in the 1980's I bought several HP-41's, each configured for a special purpose.
I have never had a defect module port even after doing hundreds of modules swap on a unit.

rprosperi wrote:The forthcoming DM41X will make doing any/all of this stuff MUCH easier and quicker, however as good as the SwissMicros hardware is, the 41's keyboard is still better feeling and laid out as my fingers can recall without thinking.

Garth wrote:My problem with the DM41X is that it does not have HPIL or a suitable replacement. HPIL is the whole reason I got into the 41. I've used it to interface to a lot of IEEE-488 workbench test equipment through the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter, and have also used the FSI164A HPIL-to-RS232 interface converter a lot, which is like the HP82164A but has two RS-232 channels standard and up to eight if you paid extra, and had a battery option. I have the HP82165A HPIL-to-parallel interface converter as well. I don't use the HPIL much anymore, but it's still important to me for the occasional times I want it. Without it, the calc would be a "justacalculator."

Fully agree with Garth and also hoping SM will fix the keyboard issue which we will know soon when the production model is made available.

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Re: Original box contents

Postby Garth » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:54 am

Ok, so the CL's idle-state battery current is nearly double what the normal 41's is, but the program-run current is less; and the CL's off-state current is more than five times the normal 41's IIRC, and since it will spend most of its on time turned off, that may explain the battery drain.
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