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I just received another calculator through eBay, HP-29C this time, and it doesn't work. The seller claimed it needs a new battery pack. I instead plugged new alkaline batteries in and I got all sorts of fancy shows from the LED segments. Is it that AA alkalines don't work on the machine or that there are way too many crooks out there?

Can you not return it?

I haven't asked the seller yet but he mentioned on his ad that he won't accept returns. He mentioned that the calculator needs a new battery pack, but it should work with regular alkaline AA's, right? Maybe I should use that as my defense since the problem is not the battery pack or the power source.

Beware the ebay hucksters. When possible, buy from people who actually owned the product and know something about it. There are many businesses / pseudo-businesses on ebay now that are clueless about what they sell. They are usually easy to spot..."when powered, the unit lights up but I don't have the (disk,terminal,speaker,expertise,time,whatever) to test it further". With calcs it's more along the lines of "don't have a battery pack" Yeah, right. Batt packs are cheap to buy (on ebay), and cheaper to build yourself. If the calc owner never bothered with this it should tell you something.

John,
That's very insightful. I'm learning the hard way unfortunately. I guess one avenue I have right now is to at least send the non-working items to FixThatCalc, WaterHosko or any of the other repair places mentioned on the Repair page.
Thanks,
Andreas

Quote:
Is it that AA alkalines don't work on the machine or

I myself have been using AA batteries in both my HP-21 and HP-29C, but I stopped this habit since I read somewhere that it *might* harm the calc, although in my case it fortunately didn't.
Ever since I only apply seperatedly recharged rechargables.

Still I think your device shouldn't react to batteries the way it does.