HP42s Programming


I am a surveyor and bought a HP42s at a yard sale. It had no programs installed, but came with some survey programs on paper (hard copies of "Wild Bill's Survey Programs")that needed to be punched in. I managed to get one small program in the 42s (my first stint at programming) but don't know how to punch in .END. so I can get another program installed.

.END. was already in the HP42s for the first program. I can't do another one, because it just adds to the first one. I just don't know how to end a program so I can install a second program, etc.

Anyone out there who can enlighten me?

Thanks, Mark


use RTN. It is accessible using the Shift PGM.FCN key then press the second menu button then start your next program with LBL.
Easy as Pi. :-)


Thanks Allen -- Appreciate the help. Went ahead and bought CD01 but it don't ship till tomorrow. Thanks again, Mark


Between programs, you don't use ".END.", just a normal END.

When you're editing one program and want to start entering another one, do a "GTO ..". That will move to the end of program memory, insert an END if there isn't already one present, and leave you at the right place to insert the first instruction of your new program, which should generally be a LBL.


Thanks Eric -- That was my dilemma, I didn't know how to insert an END. According to Allen, I just do a RTN and that will insert an END. Haven't tried it yet as I just got off work and haven't even taken a shower yet. Wanted to see if anyone responded on the forum. I'm tickled plumb to death with all the responses. Went ahead and bought the CD01 so I should be good to go for a while. Thanks, Mark


No, RTN doesn't generate an END. If you want separate programs (in order to have separate namespaces for local labels), you have to insert one yourself. On the 41C this is done with either GTO .. (two decimals), or XEQ "END". I would expect either to work on the 42S also, but I haven't got one at hand to try.


On the 42S, you get it via


(pick the letters from the menu line), or

CATALOG FCN then go down many times to pick END from the menu.

The 2nd method sounds longer, but may actually take less time.

HTH, Walter


Yea! Walter -- Found it with the Catalog FCN go-round. Thanks a bunch. Mark


I am a surveyor and bought a HP42s at a yard sale.
[omitted] Anyone out there who can enlighten me?

Hi Mark,

If you decide you'd like to pursue HP42s programming further (and it's refreshing to hear from folks using their vintage calcs), our host Dave has the HP 42s Owners and Programming Guides on the Museum CD 01. And HP 42s Surveying solutions on CD 12.



Hi Mark, in real life you get perfectly around with your programs starting with LBL and ending with RTN. The ".END." is just to mark the very end of the program memory and is therefore supplied by the operating system.

HTH, Walter


.END. doesn't just mark the end of memory; it separates programs. If you don't separate them, then you run into problems if the same numeric labels are being used in multiple programs. Also, each new program separated by a .END. will have fresh line numbers starting from 01, which makes it easier to find your way around inside a program for editing purposes.

The easiest way to insert a .END. is "GTO . ."

Stefan Vorkoetter


Unless the 42S behaves differently in this regard than a 41C, there can only be one ".END.", which does indicate the end of program memory. The others are just "END" (no dots), and separate programs. It is not possible to insert a ".END."


Just in case you didn't know, a used HP-42S typically sells for $200-$350 on eBay.


Steve -- Had no idea. Cool! Made my day. Like Leo "The Lip" Durocher said, "I'd rather be lucky than good." Leo was the manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers before they moved to LA. Mark


Hi Mark,

I think all of us dream of finding something like a 42s at a yard sale. If I may ask (just out of curiousity) what did you pay for it? If you would rather not divulge, however, I understand.

If you don't allready know, there is a great website devoted to this machine... www.hp42s.com. I put two of the programs from this website onto my 42s (Qpi and primfactor) and they work great.

And now, I'm going to go peruse some yard sales...

Best regards, Hal


Howdy Hal -- I'm a neighbor in Wyoming. Paid ten bucks. The best yard sale find for me is when my wife found a first edition of Charlie Russell's "Trails Plowed Under" for five bucks. She also got a first edition of Charlie's "Good Medicine" for ten bucks at the same yard sale. a'Dios and God's Speed, Mark


Mark - I'm interested in the survey programs that came with the calculator. What do "Wild Bill's" programs do? Any chance you'd be willing to share them? Ron

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