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WP34S Flashing Success - Printable Version

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WP34S Flashing Success - Les Wright - 11-21-2011

Just wanted to report that flashing my erased 30b took 23 seconds with MySamBA under under an XP virtual machine on my Mac. I used the FTDI USB-Serial adapter sold by Eric Rechlin, which worked like a charm after the headaches with my older Prolific-based adapter. The calculator didn't turn on at first, but I recall reading someplace that removing and reinserting the batteries solved that problem, as it did here.

I wanted to thank Gene, of course, for the cable, as well as the specific direction I got from Eric, Egan, Marcus, and anyone else I am forgetting.

Now I wanted to ask what people are doing about overlays and key labels. Are folks simply printing off and cutting out their own on adhesive backed labels? What sort of label stock and printing methods would you recommend?

Thanks again,


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Marcus von Cube, Germany - 11-21-2011

Les, you can't beat the precut vinyl overlays from Eric Rechlin.

Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Les Wright - 11-21-2011

Thanks, Marcus. I will wait until the bugs get hammered out of the most recent version before I commit to the version 3 overlays. I should mention that I flashed with the most recent of version 2 since that is the firmware I just happened to have on the computer.

Thanks for the tip about Eric. I didn't know if anyone was providing these.


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Walter B - 11-21-2011

... but AFAIK you can't get them right now - and we are not definitively settled about the new layout yet. So, for the time being, use the method as described on page 97 of the most recent manual.

Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Andreas Grund - 11-21-2011

I just received my (flashed by Jose of the TheCalculatorStore) WP 34s with the overlays. My question is how to attach best the overlays? First the keys, or the entire overlay without the keys? Is it wise to remove the protective sheet completely or only little by little? Any need to clean the keys first.....

I simply do not want to spoil the precious overlay.


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Jeff O. - 11-21-2011

I applied mine, with good results, as follows:

1. First do the keyboard plane overlay. Peel it entirely off of the backing sheet, making sure to leave the key labels and the thin border which surrounds each key behind. Stick the overlay down, starting above and below the row with the ENTER key. Then work your way up and down from there. You can gently pull and stretch the overlay to get it aligned properly as you go.

2. Then do the keys. I lifted each key label off of the backing sheet with a small flat blade screwdriver, by the upper left corner. Then I held it over the key and poked down the lower right corner when the reveal looked right. If necessary, I found I could remove and re-stick the stuck corner, or rotate the sticker slightly using the screwdriver before fully adhering the sticker and removing the screwdriver. I started at the top left and worked left to right and then down to the next row, but you can probably go in any order.

As far as cleaning, follow Neil's advice in the post below.

It seems a little scary at first, but just jump in and it will probably look fine.

Good luck!

Edited: 22 Nov 2011, 7:35 a.m. after one or more responses were posted

Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Neil Hamilton (Ottawa) - 11-22-2011

Having installed 4+ of these things I'll make a couple of comments: one regarding the key stickers, and another about cleaning.

Eric tries very hard to cut partially through the stackup so as to not cut all the way through the glossy backing sheet. Unfortunately, this can result in the cut through the top vinyl sheet being incomplete occasionally.

I have found that it is easier than you would image to delaminate the vinyl top layer from its sticky backing than you would image. If this happens, the key sticker is essentially destroyed.

Therefore, the trick I have adopted is to remove the concentric ring around each key sticker prior to the sticker itself. That way, if there is not a complete cut, it is the disposable ring that gets the damage, not the key sticker. I also have a razor blade or other suitably sharp knife handy to complete any cuts that are partial.

(I was lucky enough that Eric had graciously given me a dud sticker sheet at HHC2011 and I used one of these to replace the one I inadvertently destroyed by pealing the sticker away from its incompletely cut sticky substrate. THANKS Eric!!! :-)

As far as cleaning, I have found that if you use the calculator to any extent prior to installing the overlay, then any residue finger oils will cause the keys to lift eventually. I have this problem with my first batch of overlays (the very first runs Eric made), and to a much lesser extent with the HHC2011 vintage. I would definitely use some kind of solvent to make sure the keyboard is pristine before installing the overlay. As to what the solvent is, someone else might have to pitch in there.

That being said, I had seen a lot of whiny complaints about overlays in the beginning but other than the aforementioned preventative steps, these are absolutely great! Eric has done a marvelous job in producing these things.

Les, I hope you like the calculator. The Triumphant Trio has done a marvelous job on this thing. The more I use it, the more I like it.

Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Les Wright - 11-22-2011

I think I will start off with getting several copies of the "no keys" version of the overlay colour laser printed at Kinko's to get me started. It is a little crowded, I know, and the existed key labels will be a tad distracting, but it will get me used to the calculator without having to look over at the emulator all the time. It's just a matter of getting the measurements correct to be sure that I get the ppi set correctly for finally printing.


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Walter B - 11-23-2011

The "flap method" may be an alternative then. Uses the normal overlay file and saves you 37 exacto knife cuts :-)

Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Andreas Grund - 11-23-2011

Jeff & Neil,

Thanks for sharing your experience, it helped a lot, especially the removal of the concentric rings is useful. First I cleaned the keys with a few drops of dishwasher soap in water with a soft cloth and after careful drying I attaches the overlay, beginning at the "Enter" row and the the keys, step by step.

The concentric rings I lifted with a needle in a corner and pulled them off by hand. No need to recut the labels. Now my WP-34s is fully functioning, indeed, a great calculator! Thanks to all who made it happen!


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Les Wright - 11-23-2011

The "flap method" may be an alternative then. Uses the normal overlay file and saves you 37 exacto knife cuts :-)

Yeah, Walter, that will work too. I will be sure to use either heavy paper or light card stock so that the little flaps over the keys will resist too much creasing or tearing. I think a thin laminate may help too. This is just a cheap transitional solution until Version 3 is dewormed and Eric starts selling the standard overlays again.


Re: WP34S Flashing Success - Eric Rechlin - 11-23-2011

I'm still selling the standard overlays -- I have been for almost 2 months.