Another WP-34S overlay option with costs

There are a few overlay options presented so far for the WP-34S.  I contacted a company specializing in custom overlays for a quotation.  They provided the following:

- 0.005" 8B35 lexan, Laminate 3M 467 Adhesive, Digitally cut to size
- 100 @ $12.96 each
- 1 NRE @ $350.00 (non-recurring expenses)
- NRE Includes: Create & Output Generate art and film positives from customer supplied electronic file, create custom tool. Includes color matching

For 100 overlays, the cost would come out to approximately $16.50 USD plus shipping from the supplier, plus shipping to individual customers.

The overlay will include the cuts for the keys. They were reluctant to attempt the labels for the keys for two reasons:
- in their experience, such small labels on keys do not last long - they tend to pop off
- they were worried about the size of the print on the keys being legible.

If key labels are not important, we could use the overlay that includes the primary function and green shift labels, and blank out the existing key labels.

This was a company I found online, so other suppliers may have better experience with such projects, and different costs.

I would really like the key labels, but according to this supplier, it seems to be difficult to accomplish.

If any others are interested in getting quotations, let's share them on this forum and go with the one that provides the best cost, durability and features (e.g. key labels in addition to overlay).


I could live with this price. The time saved cutting the holes makes it worthwhile I suspect.

- Pauli


:-) If I understand Svisvanatha correctly there will be no holes, just 3 cuts per key. If true I can live with that offer, too. Thanks, Svisvanatha! Nevertheless, a second offer (or more) will be interesting.




They were reluctant to attempt the labels for the keys for two reasons: 
- ...
- they were worried about the size of the print on the keys being legible.

Please specify: did their worries concern the height of the print or the width of the lines within the letters?

TIA, Walter


If I understand Svisvanatha correctly there will be no holes, just 3 cuts per key. If true I can live with that offer, too. Thanks, Svisvanatha!

My reading of this was that the keys would have holes not flaps (i.e. four cuts per key, although likely die punched). I can live with too, blanking the keys is easy.

- Pauli


Sorry if it was not clear in the original post. The overlay would look like a 41C overlay, with 4 cuts per key. It is adhesive-backed Lexan with graphics as supplied by us. No attempt at providing labels for the keys. They did not specify if it was die punched, but I believe that to be the case due to the specification of 'tool' in the NRE.


Here is where having exact dimensions of the keys would be beneficial.

They need to provide a 'rebate', if you will, from the edge of the physical keys so that the labels do not lift off easily. Since they do not have an actual unit, and are judging from pictures. They thought the overall size (read: Font size) of the lettering on the keys was too large for the size of label they could produce. If the font size was smaller, then they were worried about the readability. I believe this concern is more for the angled faces than the flat tops. Also, they were concerned about the durability of the labels on the keys - in their experience such small labels do not last long. They recommended that the keys be labeled during the manufacturing of the unit!

It would be nice to get further feedback from other suppliers, and users of this forum if they have experience in this area.



did you look at skin-it? they can do stuff like that relatively cheap...



Nope - I will look into that and contact them. Thank you!


Bonjour Cyrille !

What do you think of our work? When you prepared the SDK, did you ever imagine, it would be exploited the way Walter, Paul and I did?

The same question goes to Tim, of course.


I personally am excited there is finally a full project taking advantage of what cyrille fought hard to get included.

While I personally feel the keyboard is a bit complicated and this would never be something that would sell well the the average consumer, it looks great for the enthusiast!


Edited: 21 Apr 2011, 10:53 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


I think Walter has to comment on this. The keyboard is a compromise between directly accessible commands and menu driven access. It's as always: So many functions, so little keys! At least there are no hidden keyboard functions as in the 50G.

One additional remark: wp34s is based purely on open source software, no expensive development tools are necessary. To be on the safe side, when implementing the hardware parts, I certainly did have a look at what Cyrille had done in the SDK in order to understand how things should work, but I haven't copied a single line of HP code.

Edited: 21 Apr 2011, 11:08 a.m.



I am happy and glad to see that stuff beeing used. It took a lot of work to enable all of that and I am happy to see people taking advantage of it! great job.



Bonjour Cyrille,

merci pour providing that tool kit and the interface - it was the basis of all our work :-)



Hi Tim,

While I personally feel the keyboard is a bit complicated and this would never be something that would sell well the the average consumer, it looks great for the enthusiast!

:-) Two points:
  1. The "average consumer" will hardly ever get beyond +, -, x, / after (s)he finished school. % is just a shortcut. Seeing what the average banker does with these five, I'm grateful we didn't give them more powerful functions.
  2. The user interface reflects a) the features of the LCD, b) the opinions of the active forum members. The layout would have looked significantly different if we had a full dot matrix like featured by the 17bii+ Silver allowing six softkeys - but we have not. And we learned many of our fellow forumers don't like menus - at least on their desk ;-) - which results in them preferring the 32sii over the 32s. Both a) and b) led to a layout well filled with 5 functions per average key. We still have to have a few menus to provide habitats for all the extra functions people are used to have (HP did spoil us ;-) or wanted to see implemented, though in the latter case "people" seldom exceeded 5 persons per function ;-)
    And as people say here "Der Appetit kommt beim Essen" (~ 'appetite grows while eating') ...
Anyway, thanks to HP calculator division and its technical staff (one, two, ...?) for providing such a repurposable platform, though we aren't finished yet. And personally, just in case you'll do it once more, I think the greatest space for improvement is the display. But you know this from many previous posts already ;-)



And thanks to you, Tim and HP for your kind words. I'm proud being part of the project.


If you guys would enable the "Donate Money" button at Sourceforge, I am sure that a few of us would be willing to help offset any costs you might have incurred up to this point....even if it simply represents time spent. As Chris Farley (late of "Saturday Night Live" fame) might have said, "This project is AWWWWSOME!!!"



Jake, I love these comments!

It's by far not only time spent. I've invested a considerable amount of €s in Visual Studio and my Olimex adapter. But I did it without any direct financial interest. I'm hoping that my work will support my career. (I'm a freelance programmer with experience ranging from micro-controllers to HP NonStop hosts.) So it's sort of a PR investment concerning myself.


Thank you, Jake! For me it's almost exclusively "time spent", though it has been quite a lot since Pauli and me started in December 2008. Personally, the driving force was to prove it can be done - something as close to a hypothetic 43S as possible can be made with next to no resources compared to the budgets of the companies being in that business. And it has materialized - no more "only vaporware" d:-) though it's not finished yet.

Thanks again - after all it's a nice reward



I think too that the project is Spectacular !
When I saw the manual I was amazed. Just to imagen that someone carried on with the project and it didnt stay in words and it was made in such a professional way was shocking. It's the best thing since the hp42s emuler!

I plan to get my wp34s in some time when it's completly finished and the issue of the ovelay is solved. Hopefully I'll get my hands on the uCalc when Dave Jones complete his project and starts selling them. I also agree with the view that you shoud get donations, that will show how much people appreciate your idea.

Thank you guys for this great calculator !!

jose poyan

Edited: 22 Apr 2011, 6:55 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

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