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Which scientific calculator does it all for the beginner?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by NewzHound777, Nov 20, 2004.

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  1. NewzHound777

    NewzHound777 Guest

    Which scientific calculator does it all for the beginner? Thanks in advance.
  2. Al Borowski

    Al Borowski Guest

    I don't think it really matters... just use a Casio cheapie.


  3. The Phantom

    The Phantom Guest

    If you like HP calculators, get the HP49G+.

    If TI is your favorite, get the TI89.

    They both "do it all", and you'll pay for that capability.
  4. I use a casio fx-115MS, which cost about $20 US. I'm pretty impressed
    with it. It solves simple equations numerically, and does complex
    arithmetic, hex, octal, binary, etc, in addition to all of the stuff you
    generally get. It'll compute derivatives and integrals numerically. It
    does fractions (and keeps them in fractional form). It's solar powered,
    for the most part (it has a solar panel, but it also has a battery; I
    guess they keep the battery charged up, but also recommend you change
    the battery after a few years).

    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  5. The best possible scientific calculator you can ever own is the
    one sitting on top of your shoulders.

    You should really learn enough math to at least deal with the
    basics of electronics. Not doing so can (and probably will) cause
    numerous problems down the road, no matter if you're just a hobbyist or
    make a career out of it (take it from one who found that out the hard

    I'm sure your local community college can help. Happy hunting.

    Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute.
    (Known to some as Bruce Lane, ARS KC7GR,
    kyrrin (a/t) bluefeathertech[d=o=t]calm --
    "If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped
    with surreal ports?"
  6. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    Any will do. They all have Engineering notation, Sin, Cos, Tan, Log, Lin,
    Sqrt, Reciprocal. Buy the cheapest.
    I've used a Casio Fx-80 and Fx451m for what seems like forever. Keep buying
    new ones to try, then throwing them away when I find the bloody things use

    What I really, really want is a scientific calculator that's ...

    Size and weight of a big book so it stays where its put.
    Able to enter a number in and *then* press Sin.
    A Printing mechanism to see where I've been.
    *Big* buttons that click, that I can see and press easily.
    A seperate button for every function.
    Big, *bright* LED or plasma display.
    Direct entry of p,n,u,m,k,M,G,T.

    And while I'm at it, please, please Santa, a simple, non-menued mobile
    phone, fitted with man sized buttons.

  7. Steve Evans

    Steve Evans Guest

    Sounds very much like mine. I've had Casio's fx-3400P for 12 years
    (second battery now) and there's nothing around all these years later
    that can touch it. Plus it's programmable, too. And it's taken a *lot*
    of use over those years. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Only
    cost about 20 dollars when new, too.
  8. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Guest

    You are 100% with the Direct entry of p,n,u,m,k,M,G,T. I have been looking
    for a calculator that does just that without have perform multiple key
  9. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    Isn't NewzHound777 missing?
    I would get an HP49G+ [1].

    Totally programmable -- and there's programs for almost anything at

    [1] Actually, even a 48GX or 49G would do. But since the new models are
    updated, they're worth it.

  10. It took a bit for me to get used to VPAM, or "Visually Perfect Algebraic
    Method", but now I like it. I guess that ruins me for other
    calculators.... it just tries to make the buttons follow the order one
    would read the entry on paper, so instead of typing [1] [0] [ln] to
    compute the natual log of 10, you type [ln] [1] [0] [=]. It is also nice
    to be able to reedit prior expressions.

    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  11. Which later features you mention below may mandate!
    Sounds like HP RPN, except that I guess you don't want to bring in RPN at the
    same time.
    On a scientific calculator? Wow! I could use it. What I do now is use a
    calculator program I wrote for myself that handles physics units as well as
    mensuration support. I can then print out the page on the printer.
    Yup. Make them hall effect or else reed relay keys, too?
    Ah! Now, that would be very handy. I see why it is a big desktop thing, now.
    Hehe. Looks like it's going to be an AC thing, all right!
    On this narrow point, the very cheap Casio fx-115MS does it. I have access to
    f, p, n, u, m, k, M, G, and T during entry of numbers. I believe I paid
    slightly more than US$10 for one.

  12. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    Nice thing about newsgroups is coming across people with similar interests
    who've already been there, seen it and done it.
    It's now worth my buying another calc with VPAM and persevering for a while
  13. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    Just looked up the Fx115ms on Google. F**k! F**k!. It's one of those I
    bought and threw away after 20 secs use, just cos of the VPAM thing :-(
    I'm buying another :)
  14. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    And while we're at it, which ones allow *big* Hex calculations,
    like multiplying two 32-bit numbers together. This would
    be really nice for programming use, but the calculators I've
    seen only handle what fits in the (limited) number of display
    digits. I wouldn't mind scrolling or something to see both
    ends of the value, if needed. This comes up so often in
    programming that I imagine *somebody* must make one.
    Or is there something like the Windows calculator app that
    handles big hex?


    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  15. Casio (and others such as Sharp, etc.) have such limited hex - bin -
    octal conversions that they're nearly useless. Try converting 2CC hex
    to binary, then try converting 1011001100 bin to hex. Don't be
    surprised of you get an error! And worse, you'll get some fonky number
    such as FFFFFEC, which is clearly an error. :-(

  16. Sadly, mine ( can't any more. Last summer they closed
    down the electronics tech program. This month we got word that one of
    the electronics instructors that retired last year died. :-(
  17. Sounds like maybe you should use Windoze Calculator or an enhanced copy
    of it that has more features.
  19. Greg Neill

    Greg Neill Guest

    Try to obtain a copy of Mathcad. There are student
    editions for almost reasonable prices.
  20. Clarence

    Clarence Guest

    See BSE for SCI-Calc
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