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Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Printable Version

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Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Todd Garabedian - 11-13-1999

I recently acquired a mint HP-65. This calculator is in perfect shape cosmetically and appears to be just like new. The trim is perfect, the feet are perfect, all the digits light up, and it calculates just fine. No scratches or wear anywhere. The unit could definitely be on display at a museum, it's that good.

There is one problem: The built-in card reader runs, but does not pull cards through. Instead, a gummy substance is left on the edge of the card. It's the O-ring deterioration problem again, and the question is this:

Should this otherwise pristine HP-65 calculator be opened to fix the card reader? Doing so would require damaging the (perfect) foil reference label on the back to gain access to the screws. So, is fixing the card reader worth damaging the label? I should say I have an assortment of accessories for this calculator, including the hard plastic case, the leather case, charger, and four application pacs, all in fabulous condition.

I would like to get advice from other collectors on whether I should have the card reader fixed or not.

I look forward to hearing from everyone.



Re: Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Viktor Toth - 11-13-1999


Personally, I prefer a fully functional machine over a cosmetically "perfect" one. Others may be of a different opinion. Some may argue that you can keep a machine in good cosmetic condition far longer than in good working condition.

It should be noted that the label can be lifted with almost no visible damage. I usually just place the calculator, upside down, close under a desk lamp (others use a hair dryer to the same effect) and when the label gets hot to the touch, I slowly lift it using fine tools. The damage is visible, but minimal; and there's something tremendously satisfying about a 25 year old machine pulling cards through perfectly. (My two HP-65s have not had a read/write fault since I fixed them and cleaned the magnetic heads. Sadly, neither of them have an intact label; the label on one is completely missing, and on the other, the two corners were cut by a previous owner. But I've done successful label surgery on an HP-55 and several HP-67s.)


Re: Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Ron Ross - 11-14-1999

I would not fix the card reader unless you feel like you will use this calc and the programming cards. If you wish to sell it most collectors would want to perform the repair themselves rather than have an amatuer botch the job.

Re: Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Todd - 11-14-1999


Since I'm not convinced I have the skills to perform this repair, I would have a fellow collector or someone with some experience do it.


Re: Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Jan H. Bos - 11-15-1999

Until now,I do'nt have this dilemma. But I think, that once you have an old HP, the one you wanted to have, but could not afford, you want to enjoy the possibilities it has, including the functional card reader. As most of the HP 65 that have survived have problems with the card reader, I would go for it and have the satisfaction of a working card reader, repaired by yourself! If you are not sucessful, nobody will know looking at the outside of the calculator. There is a good advice for repair on internet from Steve Loboyko, that sounds good, although I did not try it out myself, but I will in near future. The address of steve is: slob@mindsprig.com. Good luck, and use the magnifier glass as I have to do also ( bought my HP 35 in 1974 and with out it I would never have made my Ms. C.!) That what it all about in our generation! Its explanes a lot why grown up engineers are collecting HP's!

Re: Collector's Dilemma - Advice Needed - Anon - 12-01-1999

Do not send a calc to Steve Loboyko....

You do not get them back (though his article is OK)