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I want to place my HP-48SX in a time capsule. I will need to remove the batteries and put it in a 'Pelican' case.
My question is, will the calculator still power up and run normally after 20 or so years without batteries?
Will the "firmware" be corrupted or erased after that long?
Please, someone who knows respond, maybe a HP Engineer or the Museum owner, I need to know for sure.
Serial #3030A00535, Corvalis USA-made.
Thank you, happy holidays!

I have two questions.

1. Are you going to bury any cards with it?

2. Where EXACTLY are you going to bury the thing??? ;-)



Edited: 8 Dec 2004, 2:37 a.m.

I would go for a dry and semi-cold environment; probably 10oC should be the best. If you are able to seal the capsule, put some silica gel pads into it.

It is probably impossible to say, if it will survive or not. The LCD might fail, the FLASH-memory is even more likely to fail, plastics might degrade, contacts may corrode.

Judging from my collection, 20 years should be easy - think of all the 41Cs on ebay, those are around 20 years old and most of them work.

I think everything will be fine except the compressive foam used to apply pressure to the LCD and keypad. If that doesn't exert enough force (and it softens with time, NO MATTER WHAT!) the contacts can form an oxide and/or the on contact for the on key and many other keys will fail to register. This is the number one failure aside from mechanical abuse ie broken LCD's for the 48 series. That is why a 48 works one day and fails to turn on the next.

Correct that ageing flaw and you will basically be able to extend the period to 40+ years (Capacitor lifetimes anyway).

Fortunately the HP-48 doesn't have FLASH;-)

Just think - in 20 years HP may have the 49G+ keyboard working properly ;-)


This calculator was on a shelf in a storehouse for 20 years..

And it works !

A collegue has taken the thing home now

Thank you thank you all!
Great info, Just what I needed to know! But no, Im not telling where it is buried-(LOL)
Probably wont be buried long enough to degrade the foam, and it isnt going in the ground, this is a above-ground capsule.
Thanks again- great info.