Different keyboards on ARM 12c


It seems that there are variations on the HP12c keyboard (ARM version). Does anybody have some information on it?

HP12c keyboard variations

One of my customers claims there are clear differences when it comes to key feel and key registration - so far I have not been able to find any. If anything, numbers are bigger and sharper.

The new Anniversary comes with the previous type of keyboard.


Wow, the text is different!


I can tell you this: Your customer's info is probably right. I just bought a new 12c+, and a 15C LE. They are supposed to have the same hardware, and, hence the same keyboard feel. Not so, by a long shot. The 15c LE keyboard is much harder and more precise. The 12c+ keyboard is much softer (even though not mushy). Additionally, is has receding keys and a defective Enter key (I'm now having the calculator replaced). The key print is exactly the same you have on the picture (the "new", "sub-par", one).

Different factory? Different assembly line? Different dome materials? I don't know. But I know this: different ball game.


Edited: 16 Oct 2011, 6:19 p.m.


I believe that the first 3 characters of the serial number denote the factory of manufacture (country also, but that is China in all cases.) So the calculators pictured were made in different factories, 4CY vs. CNA. My 15c LE was made in the CNA factory. Where was your 12c+ made?


Yes, 4CY is a different factory. I do not work for HP or either of these companies, so I am not 100% sure, but I believe that 4CY == Inventec Appliance, and CNA == Kinpo Electronics.

We know HP uses both of these manufacturers (They've admitted to using Kinpo, and some of the PDFs in the 20b SDK had engineering drawings by Inventec).

My reasoning for believing this mapping of serial number to manufacturer is as follows:

We know that Kinpo made the HP-35s, and the 35S has a "Regulatory Model Number" molded into the back that reads HSTNJ-KN01, and a serial number beginning with CNA.

My 30b has a serial number beginning with 4CY and a "Regulatory Model Number" of HSTNJ-IN07. My 12c+ looks like the 'unexpected' one and has a 4CY serial number, regulatory model number HSTNJ-IN04. Also, the 30b and 12c+ serial number stickers are the same color and same font.

My 15C LE has a CNA serial number and model number HSTNJ-KN13. Its' serial number sticker doesn't match the 30b or 12c+ ones.

And sure enough, if you look at the picture of the backs of the two 12c+es, you'll notice "HSTNJ-IN04" underneath the multilingual "Product of China" on the 4CY one, and "HSTNJ-KN05" underneath "Product of China" on the CNA one.

Edited: 16 Oct 2011, 9:22 p.m.


Really interesting,

So, there are two different manufacturers for the 12c+. Is it the same for the 15C LE? Is there any non Kimpo 15C LE?

Mine is CNA13208LC and a "Regulatory Model Number" of HSTNJ-KN13, therefore a Kimpo with the two bad keys [10^x] and [GSB] that, by the way, seem to be really improving little by little with usage.




My "sub-par" 12c+ (I love the use of "sub-par", when referring to a less than good financial calculator ;-) ) is also a 4CY. Hence, and trying to apply a little bit of abductive reasoning (even though three or four cases are not a sufficient basis for statistical inference), it would seem that:

1. CNA is producing keyboards which are hard and precise.

2. 4CY produces keyboards with lower overall quality.

3. Both 4CY and CNA produce keyboards with ocasional bad keys (eventually at a more than acceptable rate - see the 15c LEs).

Care to build statistics to verify the hypothesis? ;-)


Edited: 17 Oct 2011, 1:56 p.m.

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Homemade ARM-based Calculator Programming Cable Katie Wasserman 18 6,136 08-27-2012, 11:25 PM
Last Post: Katie Wasserman
  HP keyboards, past and present Cristian Arezzini 4 1,626 10-14-2011, 01:34 PM
Last Post: Lincoln R.
  12C ARM Firmware? Lincoln R. 0 766 10-01-2011, 06:04 PM
Last Post: Lincoln R.
  HP 12C, 12C Platinum & 15C iOS App Walter Lam 2 1,426 06-02-2011, 01:25 PM
Last Post: Andrés C. Rodríguez (Argentina)
  To the Atmel ARM gurus: Problems with OpenOCD Marcus von Cube, Germany 5 1,781 04-07-2011, 01:07 PM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  ARM-based 12c compared to the old one Jose Gonzalez Divasson 14 3,762 03-15-2011, 11:38 AM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  HP-12C ARM Repurposing Project - Status? Malcolm 0 777 02-09-2011, 10:10 AM
Last Post: Malcolm
  ARM Assembler Help Requested... Bill Zimmerly 10 2,585 05-14-2010, 05:18 PM
Last Post: Bill Zimmerly
  Significant variation in Woodstock keyboards? Michael Meyer 2 1,183 03-23-2010, 11:37 AM
Last Post: Michael Meyer
  Heat staked keyboards with sticky, bouncy or corrosion present keyboard PCAs Geoff Quickfall 12 3,399 08-15-2009, 07:55 PM
Last Post: Geoff Quickfall

Forum Jump: