HP33E how to input numbers


Hi all,

I got a working HP33E in my hands :-)
I am used to HP48sx and newly a WP34S, but with
the HP33E something must be different, I am
not able to calculate simple things such
4 Enter 5 * ...

The calculator starts with:
0, 000
I press "4" the calc says:
I press Enter the calc says:
4, 000
I press 5 the calc says
I press * and the calc returns with:
2 0000

Is there something wrong with the display, or
is it the user .... :-)

*EDIT* I think I solved it. There must be a broken
digit. *ARGH* And I was so happy ...

Best regards

Edited: 29 Apr 2013, 3:31 p.m.


The 33E - as well as the other models of the Spice series - come in two flavours: as opposed to the later versions, these calculators originally were built in a solderless manufacturing process. Many of these, including my own 34C, suffer from missing display digits due to bad contact inside the device. In this case you might try this:

First, turn on your 33E and press [STO] and then [ENTER]. After a few seconds the complete display should light up (i.e. all digits display "8" and all decimal markers between them as well as the minus sign on the left will light up). This way you can easily tell if and where a digit does not work. The mentioned key sequence initiates the internal Spice series self-test. If an error message appears, something went wrong.

If a digit is missing, you can try to apply some gentle pressure below the display and see if something changes. You may also try twisting the whole case with both hands (gently and carefully!).

Since you said the 33E starts with a 0, 000 display, obviously the second digit does not work - standard mode is FIX 4, so the initial display should read 0,0000.



Hi Dieter,

thank you for the hint with the self test.
The second digit (counted from the left) seems to be
"dead". I try to open the machine and clean the
contacts/ solder it (?)



Try squeezing the case together at the top and see if the missing display digit lights up. If it does, open the case and place some thin electrical tape in the case grooves for the display contacts so that they press harder against the circuit board traces.


... it doesn't ... Hope to have some time next Weekend to
recover the machine.

Thanks Ralf


Finally managed to open the calc without damaging the case.
Unfortunately no response from the second digit with little
presure to the LED assembly. I think I have to disassemble
the whole machine. I really like to have this machine back
to work, as for me this is the most useable case design I had
in my hands now :-)

Best regards


You might consider using fixthatcalc.com to have your calculator repaired. I have an Hp33C and it is a nice calculator to use for most of my work (no factorial key and that is a must for some types of number crunching).

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