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First off, I don’t want anyone to misinterpret this post. I’m extremely grateful to the very limited HP staff for bringing back the hp 15c, and I understand that there are going to be some birthing pains. I’m just looking for some information to try and clarify what’s happening.

I purchased two HP 15c LE calculators from buy.com and unfortunately one of the calculators has a defective square root key that will very often click without registering. As soon as Tim Wessman found out that a percentage of these calculators had keyboard problems he posted a note that we should email him in order for HP to capture these machines for analysis. I sent Tim an email as instructed and received a reply from a Paul Littrell on behalf of HP Calculator Technical Support on September 20th. Oddly enough the content of this email in a bitmap image of text which is very pixilated, small and difficult to read. Because it is an image (and I can’t simply copy and paste) I’m going to retype the email here:


It has come to our attention that you are experiencing an issue with the keypad on you HP 15c Calculator. HP would be interested in investigating your issue further, Unfortunately we do not currently have a case open for your issue.

[What] We would like you [to] do is contact our Calculator Support at (800) 474-6836 to open a case on your issue. Once you have created a case with your name, addresses,[sic] and serial number of the calculator, please inform the agent that you have been requested to have your case escalated to Paul Littrell.

Once the case has been escalated to me, I will then be able to make arrangements to capture your unit for replacement. HP is interested in capturing this unit for further evaluation.

We appreciate your assistance in this matter.

Thank you,
Paul Littrell

On Behalf of HP
Calculator Technical Support

end of email

On September 21st I called the telephone number and gave the needed information to the very polite man on the telephone and informed him that the case needed to be escalated to Paul Littrell. He assured me that he had received the memo about this issue and I would hear back from HP shortly. He then gave me a service ticket number (which I assume is the same as a case number), and then I waited.

So far, so good.

The next thing to happen was Tim posted another message saying that HP had enough defective calculators to analyze, and requested that we not send anymore in. At this point I had still not heard from HP yet, so today I gave them a call. After speaking to a robot and a gentleman with a heavy accent I was redirected to Calculator Support. The person there had received a new memo that read that HP was out of 15c calculators and that my best bet was to try to receive an exchange from the original vendor (Buy.com). He did not have an estimate as to when HP would have additional calculators available for exchange.

So my questions are:

Did anyone else attempt to send an HP 15c LE calculator with a bad key(s) into Paul Littrell?

Did you then subsequently receive instructions on how to send it in?

If so did you receive a replacement calculator?

Thank you for any information.


I ordered mine from HP Direct EPP program.
Received it on Friday last week with defective [7] key CNA132093F LE#00253. Immediately sent out an e-mail to customer support, not yet received a response.
Then called the same number you have at customer support, CS said it will be replaced with another one, after being on hold for about 10 minutes, I was told that, 15c was out of stock and an exchange based on backorder was not possible. So HP CS told me that my only option was to get a refund and e-mailed me a FedEx label for the return. I shipped the defective unit back to HP today. So far I haven't been unable to find another 15c to purchase on HP shopping sites.

As crappy as these are turning out, I'm reading between the lines that they are selling well. Not being able to exchange the machine for future stock suggests that HP may have stopped making them.

See what sort of trouble I can get into when I don't rein in my imagination?

At the conference, there was a discussion about when more HP 15C LEs would be arriving and I remember it being said that there were two shipments, one by plane and one by boat. The boat shipment should be here in early October, like today! So I think we'll see more stock show up in the next week.

After reading this topic, I decided to 'just now' conduct the Self Test (ON X) on my recently acquired 15C LE and I get Error 9. That means my unit needs servicing... I own three original 15C's and they all work flawlessly.

What should I do? I get the impression that if i send it back (to whom? Samson Cables? HP?) that I will never see another one...

Not impressed! Didn't they spare exchange units? QC is a fail.

Jeff K.

I think this has been addressed many a times before, but the original S.T. can only work when the user very quickly key's in the old S.T. I had downloaded the HP 15c LE manual from a few days ago, and on page 261 it describes the self test and is different than from the original S.T.

On a related note, does that mean the online manual for the HP 15c LE has been updated?

As Eric said this morning in another thread:
"The self-tests for the original 15C were not supposed to be in the 15C LE or its manual. Getting an error from them doesn't signify that anything is wrong."

Here's the 15C Limited Edition self test that I know of:

Turn the calc. off
Press and hold 'g' and 'ENTER'
While still holding down 'g' and 'ENTER' press the 'ON' key
Release 'ON', followed by 'g' and 'ENTER'

The test screen will display ' 1.L 2.C 3.H '
Press 1 to perform the LCD test
Press 2 to display the Copyright/Checksum message
Press 3 to perform the keyboard test

Press ON to exit the self-test.

The keyboard test requires you to push all the keys, one at a time. With each push, something should be removed from the LCD display. When you have completed pushing all the buttons, there should be nothing remaining on the display.

I found this on-line.



Many thanks! So far, I like it... It certainly is fast for definite integrations with FIX 7.

I will look for the previous posts on the self test issue.



I have exactly the same story as you. Purchased from buy.com, email to Tim, reply from Littrell, called the 800 number and spoke with Paul Lapansee, emailed POP and invoice to Lapansee as requested on 9/20. After a week of hearing nothing, I emailed Lapansee on 9/27 and got the following response:

"There is no ETA when you will get a replacement. We are waiting to get some in stock.
So if possible try to replace it through the reseller first.
If you are not able to then we will replace it when it comes in stock."

According to the buy.com website, they have a 45 day return policy. I think I will wait a few more days to see if any stock shows up on their website. I would rather get a replacement than a refund.

And I think you didn't read the OP' posting too...

This topic is about bad keys and possible replacement of faulty units

Looks like we are on our own since now on. No official acknowledgement of the problem, no one knows what to do, no one tells us what and how can be done...

I can sell it on TAS but that's not what my guts tell me, I'd rather keep it as a collectible or better, get it fixed.

I have no real use for that calc but bought one just to put my money where my mouth was a few years back signing the "bring back 15c" petition. Also I got fooled by many statements here that the modern 12C had flawless keyboard.

I think so too. Who take care about us? HP definitivly not.
Leo and Meg (also the board) will focus the business on Software *service(!!!)*. IMHO HP is not able to provide SERVICE and haven't provide good service in the past. I'm looking for the future ...

So now we have an n=2 of people who where not able to send their 15c in for analysis.

Is there anyone reading this who was successful in sending a calculator in, and if not, how did they get enough machines to evaluate per Tim's post?

Tim collected some on HHC.

Hi Marcus. I bought two 15c LEs from Samson Cable and two from HP which arrived just before the HHC conference. Of these, one had a bad CHS key and the other a bad GTO key. At the conference I showed them to Tim and left them with him for evaluation. I'm sure I'll get my replacements when more stock arrives.



since you've already tried 'Kontakt 60' and noticed some effect, would you consider Randys 'ultrasonic bath procedure'? I'm quite sure, after yours was the second report on this, that dirt/oil residues causes contact problems.

Too bad CFC had to be banned (for a good reason) :-(.


... I'm quite sure, ..., that dirt/oil residues causes contact problems.


I don't think so - so far we only know about calculators with one bad key each, or I've missed such with more than one?

IIRC, there was one report about two bad keys in one unit. Well, I have no different explanation about this 'Kontakt 60' substance being apparently helpful, but that would be an argumentum ad ignorantiam, of course :-/.

Wishful thinking.

There a different problems: The CHS key on Gerry's unit was almost blocked as if there was some plastic in its path. My [times] key felt normal but didn't register each time. This is most likely a contact problem which I tackled with contact cleaner (a tip from the forum.)