HP 12c Platinum


For the first time I have seen the new HP 12c Platinum. The model that has the 2 batteries. I saw it at Office Max in the Atlanta area. Just like the new HP12c you have to look at the battery compartment through the package to tell it is the new model.



Are you saying that HP as a redesigned 12C Platinum that uses 2 CR2032 cells to power an ARM-based CPU? Furthermore that they're doing a soft roll-out of it like they did with the 12C+. If so, that's news to me, did I miss some discussion on this?


Edited: 12 June 2010, 11:58 a.m.


Would be news to me too. . .




That is certainly what it looks like. I am a financial calculator junkie so I bought it. It does have the two batteries. Concerning the ARM-based CPU that is beyond my knowledge. I am just a financial planner and I love RPN calculators and financial calculators in general.
I do a little programing on the calculator but nothing like the kind of stuff ya"ll do.



Joe, I think Katie is questioning whether what you bought is a "platinum." 12c platinums have a silver faceplate; regular 12c's, including the new ARM-based 12c+ with the two CR2032's, have a gold faceplate. If the faceplate on the unit you just bought is gold, it is not a "platinum", it is the ARM-based 12c+ and you will find that it is extremely fast.



No question it is the platinum. I also have the 25th anniversary edition of the platinum and a regular platinum model with the one battery. Is this new model faster, I don't know. The platinum models have always been fast unlike the older 12c gold models.



No question it is the platinum.

Wow, this is interesting. Try reconciling this post with #3 above...


I don't know what to tell you. I collect HP 12c models. I have calculators going back to the 1980's, at least one from each county they were made in. It is easy to tell the platinum from the gold 12c model. The platinum model actual has Platinum written out on the silver trim. Maybe someone from HP will jump in with info.


Joe, how about a picture, including the inside of the battery compartment? If this is a new ARM-based unit, we need to do some benchmarks!



Don, note the comment by Tim. I figure he will know and he's not aware of a new ARM unit in Platinum.

Not worth getting worked up over.


Well, the fellow says it is definitely a platinum with two batteries. Was the platinum ever sold in the past with two batteries?



Not according to this battery chart from HP




Thanks for at least giving me the benefit of the doubt and asking for pictures. I thought everyone would be interested in my find. Man oh man the negative waves and from some of my favorite people. I don't know why Tim does not know about it or why it is not on the HP battery chart.

I have taken pictures of the package, the front, and the back but I don't know how to get them into this message box. I have tried dragging them over but that does not work or at least I can not open them after I do that. I am use to e-mail where you attach the file. If someone will let me know how to get the photos into this message box I will be glad to post them. I use an Apple, which is new to me, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

O yes the calculator also comes with a CD.



Joe, the reason I am skeptical is entirely because of Tim. :-)

He and Cyrille will know about any and all new HP models and if Tim doesn't know about it, then I'm 99.99% sure it don't float. At the same time, I'm not trying to be ugly toward you. Not at all. :-)

Feel free to email the pictures to me and I will post them.



Thanks. I just e-mailed the photos.



Sorry Joe... my apologies. Now a loop test of + GTO 01 to test the speed is in order.

Consider this a public Oops! :-)



Thanks again for helping me with this. If you let me know how to do the loop test I will give it a try.



Here's what to do for the loop test.


shift P/R
shift CLPRGM
shift GTO 001
shift P/R


shift GTO 000

R/S and let it run for 60 seconds. The number in the display is the important one.



When I let it run for 60 seconds and stop it by pressing the R/S key the number in the display is 1,402.



That's about what I get (1415) on my one-battery bog-standard 12cp.


I'd have bought one of these, based only on everything being mirror-image of the standard HP-12. :-)


It was mainly the implication that it is now an ARM processor that would be news to me. The platinum was done long before I showed up, but I definitely know it isn't running the same chip as the 20/30.

I know there was the original silvery one that had a few issues, such as having forgotten parenthesis and so on. When it was changed to black did it sprout another battery? There was also a 25th anniversary one if I remember correctly. Was that when it gained another battery?

As a side note, should we ever get to go back to the 12cp, are there any known issues with the current one, or additions/changes anybody thinks should happen?



My 25th Anniversary edition of the 12c platinum has a single 2032. From the picture of the battery compartment furnished by Joe, I don't see the little 6 pin connector that is associated with the ARM. This two-battery version is interesting. Thanks Joe.


The 25th anniversary edition became the default 12c platinum once the 25th anniversary units ran out, I think.

So, sadly, it isn't an ARM unit, but a slight mod. :-)



This is what I remember of my purchases of the platinum. The very first one was completely silver and had a very cheap feel to it. I did not like it, rarely used it, and am not sure if I still have it. Then later when the 25th anniversary model came out and I purchased it. It just has one battery. Later a platinum model came out that looked like the 25 anniversary model but without 25th Anniversary Edition on the face plate. Again this model has just one battery. Then last week the new platinum with the two batteries.

I like collecting calculators, financial calculators. There are 10 office supply stores within about 35 miles of my home. I regularly check out what is in the stores just to see if there is something new. I know it is a little odd but as my wife says at least it is not blondes or red sports cars that interests me.



My pure *guess* then would be that the same mold used for the ARM 12c body is now being used for the 12cp. That one has two batteries, so rather than have two sets of different parts, it was standardized on the one mold.




This is an interesting statement. Does that mean that once calculators are in production they are no longer in your hands as far as management goes? Adding a 2nd battery and likely a correspondingly changed circuit board I think would at least need some testing and certainly a manual change about the battery configuration.


Edited: 13 June 2010, 1:02 p.m.


I don't think it is SOP anywhere that R&D is also in charge of manufacturing operations. The only time I'd expect R&D to be involved in any organization is if there is a problem with something that isn't a manufacturing type problem (plastic warpage, bad components, etc), or if changes are made.



Of course, but doens't a circuit board of this type constitute development/change. There's at least a decent chance that adding a 2nd battery could affect the low battery indication function, for example.

I'm not at all trying to be critical, just trying to understand how HP manages its calculator group. How much of the responsibility lies in the US verses with manufacturing in China?


Edited: 13 June 2010, 3:01 p.m.


Just out of curiosity, do both batteries power it Joe? Or is there one that isn't really connected? :-)



I took out each battery one at a time and they both have metal connectors. Also, the inside of the battery cover has the following "Warning Turn off before changing batteries. Please replace batteries one at at time."




I put in the CD that came with it and looked at the users guide. In the section on the batteries, page 264, it indicates the platinum shipped with 2 batteries. It actually does say platinum. Further down it has a drawing of the double compartment and indicates the batteries should be replaced one at a time.




I need to apologize too as much of this was my fault. I assumed that a 2nd battery would imply an ARM-processor or at least a different processor that needed more power. That would be a major change and would no doubt have resulted in a discussion here.

In any event I very much appreciate your posting this "find" and your question here. Sorry if you got some negative waves about it we're really a friendly group almost all of the time.




Thank you very much. I have a great deal of respect for you and Gene. I have picked up some great tips from both of you on this site.



Oh, Katie is the wizard around here.

I just wanted to dampen Don's enthusiasm :-) since Tim quickly through cold water on the ARM aspect of the find.



Thank you for the complement but the hands down title of HP-12C wizard goes to Tony Hutchins. Of course, you're the overall HP financial calculator wizard. I don't even want to speculate about who should get the title of HP scientific calculator wizard, there are many gurus here who could claim it.



I have to admit that the prospect of an ARM-based 12c with 400 lines of programming space did have me salivating a bit!

: )


Okay, while I am a huge HP fan, I'm certainly no afficienado of the genre. I bought an HP-12C at a garage sale maybe 8-9 years ago. The lady didn't know what she had and asked $5 for it so I had to snap it up.

Here's my question: It has 3 A76 button batteries in it. Does that help identify what generation it is, or approximately a range of years? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


This would be the first genre of the HP-12C. However, there were some modifications to this too. Some forumers may be able to give you better details if you provide the first four digits and fifth letter of the serial number. (See decoding serial numbers).

You may be interested in the following link: HP Voyager Calculator Variants.


Bart, many thanks for your quick and kind response. The link to the Voyager page was most helpful. While I cannot find a S/N on the bottom of my calculator, I am satisfied that it is an earlier version, albeit year unknown. For my $5 and the value I have received from it since purchase I am very happy. Thank you again.



I also saw, in the beginning of this year, a 'regular' (at least from the outside) HP12C with two CR2032 (3.3Vcc) cells. What I am not sure is if it was a regular, golden HP12C or an HP12C Platinum. What called my attention was the fact that it did not perform the [ON][X] selftest, so I was asked about a possible failure. When I look at the back of the calculator, I saw the large cover of the battery compartment. Surprise, surprise: two cells!

Although it was here, in Brazil, I cannot tell if it was bought here.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 12 June 2010, 12:02 p.m.



That would be the 12C+ (ARM-based 12C replacement that HP still calls the regular 12C) that you held in your hands. The first release of it did not implement the standard 12C self tests but that's been corrected.



So, there`s a new breed...

Well, matter of fact, after all of this repurposing discussion, I believe that reprogramming an HP12C+ to act as an HP12C Platinum would just be a matter of available user RAM. Is it correct?

Cheers. And thanks, Katie!

Luiz (Brazil)


I'm speculating since Tim said that there is no ARM-based 12C Platinum calculator. The ARM chip used in the 12C+ (20b and 30b too) has 2K of non-volatile RAM and 128K of ROM, both of which should be more than adequate for a 12C Platinum design. However, I think it would be quite a bit of work to make the 12C+ into a 12C+ Platinum.

The 12C+ is running an emulator of the chip used in the Voyager calculators the emulator runs the ROM image from the original 12C. The 12C Platinum uses an 8502 processor chip with en entirely different code base. So the ARM chip would either have to emulate an 8502 and run the ROM image from a 12C Platinum, or would need to be re-written to run on the ARM natively. It's also possible that the 12C Platinum code was written in C and complied for the 8502 so the conversion to an ARM-based calculator might not require a complete re-write, but I suspect it would still be a lot of work.


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