What is HP41 Tall Key?



I have seen references to the whole Coconut/Halfnut/etc breakdown of the HP41 series, but nothing about exactly what a "Tallkey" is. However, I have seen this referred to as if it were a distinct model.

What exactly is a "Tallkey" HP 41, and how do I tell?





they are 'first-series' HP41C (not sure if there were CV's, too) with 'taller keys', based on the ones found in Spices (HP3X series). Imagine an HP41 with keys as tall as the ones found in, say, an HP34C... I had one of these first-series in hands when I was at the University, in the 80's. Did not belong to me, instead to a classmate.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 2 Nov 2006, 12:11 a.m.


Adding to what Luiz said, keys of the "tallkey" models protrude higher from the keyboard face, and have steep slopes on the lower side, which make reading the legends difficult (blue alpha legends on the HP-41). The revised design with shorter keys and less-steep lower sides were an improvement, as the blue legends could be read while viewing directly from above.

All "tallkey" HP-41's were probably US-made HP-41C's from 1979 and possibly early 1980. Some versions had minor bugs, being the first ones off the line. The HP-41CV did not debut until 1980, and I suspect that all 41's were US-made the first two or three years. I have a US-made 1980 HP-41C (2046Annnnn) that is not a "tallkey".

-- KS


On one of my 41, an early CV SN 2102A00xxx, the gold key is still the "tallkey", whereas all the other keys are the usual ones:


Edited: 2 Nov 2006, 5:21 a.m.


My 41C, S/N 2101A05256, has the non-tall gold key. Surprising.


All "tallkey" HP-41's were probably US-made HP-41C's from 1979 and possibly early 1980. Some versions had minor bugs, being the first ones off the line.

My first HP-41C had the serial number 2008A00151, and was a tall-key version. It had to be returned to HP for repair about nine months later, and came back as a non-tall-key version. HP accidentally substituted a 41CV overlay (gold line around the outside instead of white) while preserving the 41C nameplate; it didn't come back with any extra memory, though.

I found out about the bugs in the early units after I joined PPC in 1981, but my now-repaired 41C didn't have them. I remember thinking at the time that some of the bugs seemed familiar, but I don't know which ones I actually had.


My first HP-41C bought in 79 had the tall key and was made in the USA. When it was stolen I bought the replacement 41CV, it has the lower key and was made in Sigapore.


On most tall key machines the "1" key feels rather mushy. Also sometimes the "2" key.

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