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OT: There are still deals to be had... - Printable Version

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OT: There are still deals to be had... - Jeff Kearns - 05-17-2008

While walking the neighbor's dog this morning with my daughter, we came upon a garage sale. Among the few items for sale, I picked up a used Palm Pilot m105, with all accessories for $10 for my daughter.

Just for a lark, I asked the gentleman manning the table if he had any old Hewlett-Packard calculators for sale. He said he had one somewhere in the house that he hadn't used in years because he never liked RPN... A minute later he returned with a 'slightly' scratched and logo-worn HP-15C SN# USA 2638A79757, that was otherwise in excellent condition with manual and impeccable rear plate. All keys operate like-new. He said the price was $5. I now have a nice spare!

This stroke of luck reminded me of a lady in Australia who was looking for a manual for the 15C on this forum about 6 years ago after purchasing one for $1AUS at a local flea market. Do any of you have similar stories to share about great calculator deals you have come across?


Jeff Kearns

Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - DaveJ - 05-17-2008

I picked up a near new condition HP42S with case for $5 many years ago at my local Cash Converters store (a chain of pawn shops in Australia).
Re-sold it a few years later for over $100. That was before the ebay craze of course, could have got a lot more for it now.


Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - Charles Oxford - 05-17-2008

2 days ago I stopped in a Savers and got a 12C manual fo 80 cents and a couple hours and a few miles later I got a 12C w/case for $1.60 also at a Savers, the calc near perfect except for a ding at the top edge of the bezel. Earlier finds include a 15C, 11C, 10C, 32S, 20S, 32Sii and more for an average of $2.00. There have been many more but not so often. I got a Pickett N600 ES w/ case for $2.00 at a Goodwill last week. Haven't seen a decent slide rule for years before this one.

Keep huntin' and good luck!

Charlie in Phoenix

Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - Geoff Quickfall - 05-17-2008

These are fun stories!!!

Last year I was called by the manager of the local battery store. He knew I was into old HP calcs so he called me about a client that wanted his HP fixed.

Turns out the fix was to much and he bought a casio scientific calc to replace the HP and would I like it.

I dropped by, $50.00 for the HP 67 which included still shrink wrapped, the manuals, programming pads, quick reference cards, stat pack, standard pack, two chargers, the small portable external charger, two packs blank cards and best of all. The HP 67 itself had never been used and the card reader still worked once the correct battery pack was inserted. Of course in the original box with the price tag in mint condition.

Offered him 100.00 ;-) and he said no, 50.00 will do it!

Cheers, Geoff

photos 6 and 7 at this MoHPC link:


Edited: 17 May 2008, 8:15 p.m.

Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. - 05-17-2008

Last weekend I purchased a mint condition 82240B infrared printer for a dollar at a garage sale. The seller didn't know what it was. He had three TI-82's for sale at ten dollars each. He didn't know anything about those either except that he believed that graphing calculators must be good. I asked if he had any other HP equipment. He asked "What's HP?"

But my best story of a deal is still when I purchased an HP-41C and a TI-59 for fifty cents each because they were in the same box with TV remote controls and were priced the same.

a PS - Charles Oxford - 05-18-2008

At the same time I found the 12C, I also got a U S Robotics Pilot 1000 with leather wallet case and cradle. It was working with batteries but no software etc. My attempts at trying to connect a later Palm didn't work as I couldn't get any of my serial to usb to work. That palm was also purchased at a Savers $5 and 2 weeks later my house was burglarized and that one was taken. They left the cradle and adapters.

Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - megarat - 05-19-2008

On two separate occasions, I've found HP 12c calculators at a Seattle-area thrift store for $5 apiece. Nothing to brag about, but fun regardless.

Probably my best story of this sort was back when I was collecting old arcade games.

A local seller had advertised an Asteroids machine for US$300 (which at the time was a screaming deal, as the market value was US$500 or more). When I went to pick it up, it was in terrible condition -- much worse than advertised, even deceptively so. The control panel overlay was mostly peeled off, and in spite of the seller's claims that the game was playable, it wasn't: a fuse would blow about thirty seconds after the machine was turned on.

(The seller had even tried to turn the game off before the fuse blew, because I think he knew about the problem and was trying to conceal it, but I insisted on playing out a game, which revealed the problem.)

It was a disappointment, but I was already there with a truck, so I talked him down to $200 and bought it anyway, because it's always fun to restore those things and find them a proper home.

While moving the machine, I remember thinking of how *heavy* it was. This wasn't peculiar, as the earlier vintage games (say, 1979) are significantly heavier than the later ones (say, 1982). Asteroids in particular is obscenely bottom-heavy, with a base that must be made of concrete, to keep those teenagers from walking off with it.

But during the restoration process, imagine my delight when I discovered that part of the game's mass was caused by a coin-box that was packed full with roughly US$280 worth of quarters.

(This was 2002ish, and not a single quarter was dated later than 1986.)


Re: OT: There are still deals to be had... - Frank Rottgardt - 05-20-2008

sometimes I feel it is a pitty to know that there actually are such fine calculators as your 67 collecting dust for 30+ years in a dark drawer. Tools are meant to be used. Imagine if these calculators had a soul, what might they think? Can you imagine a bride full of expectation waiting for 30 years in front of the church and the groom never shows up? How cruel live must be!

But no movie without happy end. Finally you came along. So be gentle and use this calculator a lot. One never know when these old ladies suddenly pass away. And then it can say in peace: "I was needed!"

Notice: in real live I am a stony-faced engineer and donĀ“t use to write (bad) poetry :)

I feel the same way - Geoff Quickfall - 05-21-2008

at the moment I am cycling another fully restored HP 67, HP 41cx and my new to me and restored HP71B through the cockpit.

The 67 in the photos is on display and at the moment I do not want to use the card reader even though it works as it is probably decomposed, ie the inner section is soft but there is still hard shell around the outside. I have found they tend to rot from the inside out.

I do not want to have to crack the case open by removing the label etc, although I do have a fool proof method of smoothing the label and reapplying it.

I think I will keep this as is and pristine! But at least it has a home with appreciation!!

Cheers, Geoff