Advice on old-timer collection

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HP 41Cx for sale.
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Advice on old-timer collection

Postby Xymph » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:45 pm


This post does not immediately offer anything for sale, rather I'm looking for advice on how to go about such a task, should I decide to part with my collection.

I'm a Dutch HP-41 old-timer who was active in the 1980's and early 90's. Was a member of PPC (10993), CHHU, HPCC (583) and HPX (73) and wrote articles for their journals, as well as for Dutch ones. For hobby activities, after that period my focus shifted to other areas, and for work I didn't really need my CX anymore. My daily calculator is a HP-16C, which I purchased from Wlodek Mier-J. at a HPCC conference, by the way. :)

During all those years I collected a fairly large amount of equipment, accessories, manuals, brochures, ROM listings, books and magazines, and now I'm contemplating passing on most or all of them. It's still not an easy decision, as this stuff meant the world to me -- but that was so long ago that I've forgotten so much of it...

I'm not looking to make a fortune from selling it all, although I see some rather high prices requested in eBay offerings ($400+ for a PPC ROM? Wow). Rather I am wondering how to find a good home for as much of my collection as feasible.

I suppose making one eBay entry for the whole collection is not very effective, as prospective collectors will not want to accumulate a pile of duplicate stuff in order to acquire the few items they may really be interested in. On the other hand, I'd rather not have to create dozens of eBay entries to offer every (set of) item(s) separately. Also, it appears many of the English-language magazines are already available as online PDFs or on a DVD.

The Dutch second-hand and collectors market for this kind of stuff is very small, so I'm looking for European and even worldwide options. How have other old-timers handled this kind of situation?

To get an idea of my possible offerings, I've compiled a detailed inventory of my collection (attached). Would anyone have some advice how to deal with this?

(Cross-posted to
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Re: Advice on old-timer collection

Postby Garth » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:39 pm

That's quite a wealth of a collection!

Regarding your card reader: It undoubtedly needs new rubber O rings. These are available on eBay, and many, many card readers are in use today that have had this re-conditioning.

Regarding magnetic quality of the tapes: I had a configuration problem with the 96KB CMT card-reader-port RAM module on my HP-71 a couple of years ago and had to re-load a lot of material from tapes; and file after file, tape after tape, it all worked perfectly, even though the tapes were 30 years old. I also have an open-reel tape of Frank Sinatra from the 1950's that still sounds fabulous. I have heard that a few people have had trouble with the magnetic coating peeling of the mylar (or whatever the material is) backing in the microcassettes, but I have not had that problem. Maybe they stored them in temperature extremes. Regardless, there are instructions online for putting new tape in the old cassettes to make them usable again.

The keyboard overlays are useful also as backings for the new adhesive overlays which are professionally produced for new modules like Angel's 41z which gives the 41 a true, 4-level, complex stack and over a hundred complex number functions written in MCode for maximum performance (unlike what's in the Advantage ROM) and his SandMath module.

Most of the literature will be on the DVDs offered by this site and MoHPC as well; but since you have so much, I wouldn't be surprised if you have something that is sorely lacking on these DVDs.

I and others still use our 41's every day, and it's great that great new modules are being produced for them even today. New ones have come out even in 2017. We definitely want to see your treasure get into the hands of people who will appreciate and use it. (60 HP-41 links on the links page)
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Re: Advice on old-timer collection

Postby Xymph » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:25 pm

Thanks for your kind response.

Having watched a one-hour video of it, I just might be able to perform maintenance on the card reader myself, but prefer to leave that to someone with actual experience and the correct tools and materials for this procedure.

Just because I've been silent does not imply I've been idle. :) Based on feedback here and on MoHPC I've decided to take these steps:

  • Create a photo gallery of my collection, providing me with the good memories of a great hobby era as well as aiding in finding new homes for this stuff. This took a few weeks early this month.
  • Offer community collections/collectors (MoHPC, HPCC, PAHHC, HPCalc) first choice and donate documentation they consider interesting additions to their libraries. This happened in the past fortnight, and the HP/TI/Casio brochures and some catalogs are already off to interested parties.
  • Offer forumites the opportunity to bid on (groups of) items. I will create a separate topic for this soon. Two collectors have already submitted their wish lists via PM after my first post above.
  • Put up (most of) the rest for sale to anyone wanting it all or in lots on eBay.

Thanks for the other information, it's great to hear there is still a fair amount of activity and interest going on w.r.t. to some of HP's greatest products.
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