Which one should I go for: HP 32sII or HP 42s

Could anyone please give me some advice about which one I should buy?
I can choose between these two: HP 32sII and HP 42s.
The price is the same, app. $ 78.
Why should I choose one instead of the other?
What are the pros and cons for each model?

I have run the "Calculator comparison". But I could not compare HP 42s with HP 32sII, only HP 32s. So how fair is the comparison?

Bent Rosnes (Norway)



undoubtedly the HP42S has many more resources when compared to the HP32S. Some HP42S advantages are:

- it is full alphanumeric
- has more memory
- has IR output (no input), allowing you to send data to an IR-receiving device (an 82240 printer or an HP48)
- has complex and matrix arithmetic
- emulates everything an HP41CV (plane) can do
- two lines display - X and Y at the same time OR X and menu labes
- graphical display that allows you to plot graphics (half the resolution available in an HP28S)
- custom menu, allowing you to select (even by program) a particular set of prefered functions and have them ready to use at a key press

Many things they have in common: RPN system, numerical SOLVE and Integrate, keyboard-ready and menu-driven resources, amongst others.

I'd go for the HP42S, but the extra price you pay is the biggest quantity of resources to learn about (unless you'll learn only what you want) the few extra keysteps you'll need to press to achieve some tasks (like programming and using ALPHA resources).

As you asked for, many other different thoughts will be posted. As a matter of fact, they are both very good Pionners, and the other aspect is quality: newer HP32SII did not keep HP's qualitly standards.

Success! (My US$ 0.05)

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil


You can get a 42S for "app. $ 78"??? Most of us MoHPCers would love to learn more about this (and the stock will be cleaned out of whereever it is you can make this purchase within minutes), that's a very good price for either model, but especially the 42S.


You can get a 42S for "app. $ 78"??? Most of us MoHPCers would love to learn more about this (and the stock will be cleaned out of whereever it is you can make this purchase within minutes), that's a very good price for either model, but especially the 42S.

Hi Glen!

I think everybody here would borrow your words... since I have enough of them for more than a lifetime I'll gladly pass my chance to somebody else who still misses it.

I only hope they won't go straight in a reseller's hands!

Best Regards,


Thanks a lot for making my decision much easier. You have convinced me that I should choose the HP-42S. (Hopefully the bookstore has not sold it when I show up on monday morning :))

Bent Rosnes (Norway)


Hi, Bent;

I own a TCD-300 Tandberg Tape Deck and it is fully working (dated 1974). I'm a fan of this particular Norwegian brand. Are they still in good shape? The other European brand I dare dreaming of finding a 70's piece for buying is B&O (Bang & Olufsen).

Amazing time... and HP was also there with the Woodstocks, Topcats and Stings.




What were the chances??? That two HP calculator enthusiasts who are active on this list would BOTH have Tandberg TCD-300 cassette decks that work? How strange! Mine still works but could use an alignment.


even with global priority shipping it would be half the price of a 42S in the states.....



Hi, Dave;

what to say? We're both lucky guys!

Mine was bought with several problems, I listed 9 of them and the worst one was that one of the PLAY/REC coil had a broken wire. I had to open it, repair and close it again. Others were mainly transistors and two capacitors.

A discrete DOLBY board for each chanel... with the Dolby Labs incription on them! Amazing piece of pure Electronic Engineering, ahn? And it's not exactly a cosmetically view...

Oh, Gosh! We're at the MoHPC... Sorry, guys!

Thanks for sharing the news, Dave.

Best regards.


Bent, when you go into the bookstore on Monday, check to see how many they have; for $78 US plus shipping, I'd buy one for sure! :)

I figured I'd have to wait for the hooplah to die down on eBay before the prices came back down to earth...



I'd suggest that you buy them both, and put the one you don't want on eBay. I bet what it sells for will cover the cost of both calculators, and so you effectively have a free new HP calculator, and maybe even enough over to buy a drink to celebrate. :-)


I remember looking longingly at the Tandberg tape recorder adverts, but I coun't afford to buy one.....sob!


I´m sure you´ll find a buyer.


It's about 30 years and still running, well I'm really impressed! I found a picture of TCD-300 Tandberg Tape Deck at this site: http://www.nrhf.no/nrhf-eng.html. They have lots of pictures of old Tandberg equipment and accessories. The tape deck looks really cool, and I would very much like to have one myself, but they must be terrible expensive these days. By the way, Tandberg Audio Production went bankrupped in 1999 as far as I know.

Bent Rosnes


Well, I'm sorry to tell you that this morning I bought the last HP-42S the bookstore had (I paid 500 NOK or 71 US$). When the seller said it had been collecting dust for some years, I got a little worried. But when the self-test showed "OK-42S-E", I bought it right away.

Bent Rosnes (Norway)



I'm glad "you made it"! Mostly because you did it with US$71.00.

Have you found the time to delve into the User's Manual (it worst the time spent on it, believe me) and still wanna go any further, there are many good and in-deep information at the Archieves, most of them from J.F. Garnier, who browse through the HP42S' memory somewhat far.

Enjoy your new tool!

Best regards.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil


Enjoy this GREAT calc...and its price!



Amazing coincidence!

I have a TCD-310 which I bought new when they first came out.

I had it serviced a few years ago and it worked fine last time I used it about a couple of years ago.

What a small world. Edwin Russell. UK



the TCD-310 is a "new-look" version of the TCD-300 and it has some enhancements in audio curves (better, expanded range). It has more white areas in the external view.

The TCD-330 is a must-see... Oh, Gosh! I did it again...

Sorry, guys; it's off-topic, I know, I pulled the branch, but a Tandberg TDR is something to be seen.

As fascinating as vintage HP's...

BTW, I have the Service Manual for the TCD-300. Anyone interested on? I'll scan it for this weekend and allow it for download, if there are people interested on it.
I'll post my e-mail, so I invite you, Tandberg maniacs, to e-mail me so I'll find a way to scan it. Complete schematics with measured values included.

Best regards.


Congratulations! Best calculator ever made...

At least until HP re-engineeres it; basing it on a strong-arm cpu, adding some memory, using the four level lcd from the hp28c/s, adding local variable scope to the rpn programming, adding a rs232 port... Well, I guess we won't see that happen... :-(



Deciphering the serial # should tell you where it was made, and how long ago.

Whatever it says, I'd assume it was too long for the factory-installed batteries, even if they seem to work fine. You may want to consider replacing them soon, with brand new Silver Oxide cells.


-- Paul B.


Have you guys seen this photo of a TCD300 ?

A catalog is here:

This guy has a service manual:

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