question on the 34C


The picture of this calculator from the top end shows that something can be plugged in. Anybody know what plugs into it?


An AC adapter, so that you can charge the batteries.


OK, thanks Eric.


It is a funny looking connector, isn't it? Looks like a sort of serial connector for data transfer. But no such luck--its just a simple plug.



It's the most desperate power connector you can find in an HP calc. All the other models have higher quality, just Spices are cheap and dirty - connectorwise. However, besides this, the 34C was high tech for its time and still is a very remarkable little power brick :)

Edited: 8 Mar 2007, 5:48 p.m.


From Woodstock to Spice they went from the best industrial design they'd ever done to the worst, presumably all in the interest of cost reduction. The press-fit construction cost them so much for warranty repairs that they redesigned it to be soldered.

They apparently really learned from that, as the industrial designs of the 41C and original Voyager series are very good and that of the slightly later Voyagers (single PCB) is excellent.

Unfortunately things started going downhill again in the 1990s, as HP moved away from double-shot injection molded key legends and metal snap discs.

Since almost no one will spend more than $100 now for a calculator, and $100 now is the equivalent of only about $40 in early 1980s dollars, it's a reasonably safe bet that no calculators with industrial design approaching those of the Woodstock, 41C, or early-mid 1980s Voyagers will ever be mass-marketed again.

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