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HP11C emulators?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Folks,

    Happened again. Bent over to solder something at a client, the trusty
    HP11C slipped out the shirt pocket and hit the tile floor really hard.
    This time the asterisk blinked and gave me a scare since you can't buy
    these calculators anymore.

    So, is there a good emulator for the HP11C? I found one here but it's
    missing important stuff such as SCI and ENG display of entries and results:

    I can find lots of HP48 emulators, usually free/shareware, but I got so
    used to ye olde 11C.

    BTW if someone else sees that asterisk in the lower left corner: It is
    the low battery indicator and after a fall you may have to clean the
    batteries, clean the contacts or adjust the contacts. Sometimes giving
    the batteries a twirl fixes it.
  2. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    But Joerg, think how much more expensive it'll be when a whole laptop
    falls out of your shirt pocket, not to mention the wear and tear on your

    I'm teaching myself Java by writing a generic RPN calculator, that _will_
    include ENG and SCI mode (those are the next features scheduled, in
    fact), as well as hex and octal. I'll post it on my site when it's done

    Tim Wescott
    Control systems and communications consulting

    Need to learn how to apply control theory in your embedded system?
    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" by Tim Wescott
  3. BobW

    BobW Guest


    If you repost on comp.sys.hp48 you will get a definitive answer.

    By the way, the new HP35S is very nice, and it has the BIG enter key.

  4. See if you can build it in the J2ME environment. Then you'll be able to
    run it on something like a Palm or other handheld (even a cell phone).
  5. Ouch. I hope the tile didn't crack.
    So, tear it apart and fix it:
    I've repaired about a dozen HP10c through HP16c series calculators.
    Dirt under the domed keyboard contacts is the usual problem. Also
    filthy display contacts. Careful cleaning and careful re-assembly
    usually fixes it.

    Drivel: I repair and collect HP calculators in my ever shrinking
    spare time, but don't tell anyone.
    Emulator? Get the real thing. There's one on eBay for $150, which is
    more than a bit overpriced. The HPmuseum has prices varying from $45
    to $212. Ouch.
    Well, there's:
    but there's nothing to download.

    This one's not free:

    Yet another for money:

    Here's an HP11c emulator that runs on the HP48 or HP49 series.
    Yep. That usually means some dirt or water has crawled into the
    battery compartment. I usually scotch tape the easy to fall off cover
    to the case, which make it loss proof, and somewhat waterproof.
  6. Almost forgot. Look into getting an HP15c as a replacement for the
    11c. The 15c has matrix arithmetic and complex numbers, while the 11c
    does not. Otherwise, they're the same.

    If not, I have an HP35s, which is my current favorite:
    About $50 to $60 anywhere.

    One quibble is that the keys are silk screened with white paint which
    will rub off. Previous HP calculators had the labels molded into the
    plastic keys. It comes with a case, which helps. Mine arrived with
    some of the labels smeared.

    One of the handiest features is that it will use fractions directly.

    I never have figured out how to use the "HP Solver" correctly. Maybe
    if I read the manual.
  7. I ended up using the program XCALC.EXE
    after I lost my HP15c when my baggage didn't pass through LAX one
    time. (I checked it in at one end; it didn't come out the other.)

    Xcale doesn't offer matrices, or programming, or have a solver, but
    for most things it actually has a better user inteface than the 15c or
    (Xcalc is a windows program, and is not to be confused with the (poor)
    calculator that comes with X.)

  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    The shirt is a problem but the laptop is a mil-style deal. Metal, rubber
    bumpers on all corners, the works. Plus I need it anyhow to view
    Gerbers, schematics, documents, etc.

  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hmm, maybe I should consider getting one of these, if they aren't bigger
    than the HP11C. Must absolutely fit into a shirt pocket. A belt holster
    would be ok, too.
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Doesn't have to be free. Price is reasonable, main thing is that _all_
    the keys work, not just some. For example I really need to switch
    between Fixed (for budget calcs) and ENG notation (for da real stuff...).

    Good idea!
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Thanks, I'll try that. As long as it's RPN I should be able to get used
    to it. But first my wife wants me to repair the dreaded sink. Drips a
    bit, those darn compression joints. I already see it coming. Contortion,
    then back pain, then some more back pain ...
  12. BobW

    BobW Guest

    The 35S is about an inch longer than my 12C&15C, but almost exactly the same
    width and (average) thickness. It weighs about the same, too.

    Get your shirts tailored, buy the 35S, and then tell your wife to fix that
    damn sink herself!

  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Well, the pressure cooker also needed some TLC. Sink will be done this
    afternoon. Saturday is Honey-Do day around here. But my wife is quite
    handy with tools. When I met her for the first time I was impressed that
    the purse of a marketeer contained, among the usual women things, a
    screwdriver, a pair of pliers etc.
  14. krw

    krw Guest,
    Not an 11C emulator (they exist but I didn't much care for them),
    but XCALC is an excellent (free) RPN calculator.
    Did you do a web search? There are emulators that use the original
    HP microcode for the 11/12/16 and a bunch of others.

    The HP35 has been resurrected as the 35s and has, I think, all the
    functions you want. I just bought new batteries for my HP45 (and a
    carrier for AAAs), but at $60 I might spring for a 35 and keep the
    45 in the place of honor next to my VersaLog. ;-)

    I really need (better) binary functions though. Anyone know of a
    good calculator with binary fixed point arithmetic? That's one
    shortcoming of XCALC (no binary point). I'd even spring for a PDA
    if there were a *good* calculator for it. I paid $400 (1973 $$)
    for a '45, so a couple hundred in '07 should be easy to come up
    with. ;-)
    That would have been good to know, if someone hadn't "liberated" my
  15. krw

    krw Guest

    Ever repaired an HP45's power switch? Mine is quite touchy after
    thirty years sitting in a drawer.
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yes, I'll chekc out xcalc.

    Did a web search and found some but all were lacking ENG notation.
    That's really important, especially when tired. Too easy to miss a
    decimal point.

    AFAIK PDAs don't have stellar battery life. That's the most important
    parameter to me with all things portable. The HP11C is the secret hero
    in that domain. It ran 15 (!) years on the first set. Only my wife's
    alarm clock that she got from our ultrasound company beats that. Over 20
    years on the first battery and still humming.

    Sad. I don't really understand people who do that.
  17. This might help:
    The calculators from left to right are HP35, HP35S, HP16c, and HP41CX.
    The 35s and the 16c are almost exactly the same width. The *average*
    thickness is about the same. However, the HP35s is about an inch
    longer. If you shove the 35s in your shirt pocket, without a
    protective case, methinks the legends are going to wear off from the
    Tear the sink apart. Make a huge mess in the kitchen. Then, ask her
    if you can buy yourself a new calculator (implying that you're not
    going to put her sink back together unless you get your new
    calculator). That will either result in instant permission, or a
    divorce. No warranty on my advice expressed or implied.
  18. Sure. What's probably happened is that the grease that lubes the
    slide switch has turned to tar and is not making contact. You can
    sometimes get away with just applying some mild solvent (alcohol) to
    the switch, slide it back and forth, and sorta smear the grease

    However, if you've been moving the switch back and forth zillions of
    times, then you've probably worn a grove in the gold contacts on the
    circuit board. That will require disassembly.
    Try not to wreck the stick on label when you peel back the corners. I
    use a hot air gun to soften the glue (and hopefully not melt the
    plastic case).

    I've been fixing switch contact pads with gold leaf and very tiny wire
    (available at art supply and hobby shops) which are a real nightmare
    to use. The stuff sticks to everything and won't release. For
    practice, try cutting and applying a single layer of toilet paper
    without ripping it apart. Good luck.

    If it's really been sitting for 30 years in a drawer, the NiCad
    batteries are dead, leaking, rotted, corroded, and disgusting. Don't
    try to charge it if the batteries are swollen or covered with white
    crud. They're ordinary 850ma-hr NiCad batteries and the battery pack
    can easily be rebuilt.

    If there's corrosion damage and white crud on the inside, just clean
    it off with water and some mild solvent such as alcohol. Don't get
    anything near the keyboard or capillary action will suck in the
    liquids. Blow away the excess water, let air dry for a day, and you
    have a chance.

    Also, check the shorting bar inside the charger connector, which has
    the bad habit of becoming intermittent. It may not be a bad on-off
    switch but a flaky shorting bar. Just clean the round pins around the
    shorting bar.

    HP45 Crystal modification:

    Drivel: Ancient photos of an HP65 rebuild.
  19. krw

    krw Guest

    Doesn't HP still use the keys with the color molded in (like
    That's the way I generally justify new tools, but SFMBO would never
    buy the calculator-sink connection. Now I just tell her that stuff
    is a business expense. ;-)
  20. krw

    krw Guest

    Cool, thanks. I've sent this to my email.
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