HP desk calculators in a microcontroller


I just had a wacky thought... reimplement an HP desk calculator in a microcontroller. It should be easy enough to do on a breadboard. Thoughts?



I've been wondering about this, and I have actually scratched some ideas that did not make it. Check the NEWT project and you'll see one actual implementation. Some guys here, though, have already used up-to-date technology to recreate vintage modules and extensions for the HP41 series. These guys are great thinkers, we all know that. But I also wonder about the not-so-well-known guys from HP (and other brands) who actually created these masterpieces with available resources at their time.

I would not actually say it is easy to do that, instead that technology available today makes it easier, at least we have some shake'n bake solutions that are sold for a few bux. I just miss spare time... and some extra knowledge. These are not (yet?) available for sale.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 13 Mar 2012, 7:41 a.m.



While I have no detailed knowledge about the wonderful NEWT project, I think that a very big (and costly) effort has been done to achieve hardware compatibility with HP41 hardware in the calculator itself, accessories and peripherals. Since desktops are not as open, and their keyboard and LED displays are easier to work with, I think a microcontroller-based internals replacement project will be easier than NEWT was. It may run ROM images of old models or may just simulate them (Free42 style). I realize that interfacing with the internal printer may be difficult (but the printer may be replaced with a current device) and card readers should leave their place to modern options such as SD cards.

Just my $ 0.02



Hola, Andrés; ¿que tal?

Agreed! By all means!

Keeping the original form-factor (LCD layout included) and extending operational resources is a good way to 'keep it going'.

I like that!


Luiz (Brazil)

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