HP-46 find


Today I did a good deed: I rescued an HP-46 from the dumpster. No kidding, the lab was actually gonna toss it out!

I fired it up and it's perfect -- even the ribbon still prints. This thing is weird; apart from its hefty weight and size, it has the peculiarity of running a loud motor when you turn on the printer, almost giving the impression there's a hard disk lurking within! And man, is that printer clunky; reminds me of a telex machine!

Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you guys. Wonder what's gonna turn up next in the dumpster... ;^)



I think I speak for many of us who spend time here when I say congratulations!


Does it have the optional LED display? I remember lusting over one of these in the display case of a store in 1974.


Does it have the optional LED display?

I just read about this machine on
this museum page. How was it operated without the LED option? Was every single keystroke directly printed?


Yep, it does have the LED option. The dinky display looks pretty out of place on such a large machine. The printer doesn't echo every keystroke, only when you enter operands or operators, so I suspect the absent display is no fun. Amusingly, hitting CLEAR literally prints the same. Anyone know why it uses a black and *red* ribbon?




Anyone know why it uses a black and *red* ribbon?

Negative numbers print in red.


I think that red ribbon will see a lot of use these days.



Negative numbers print in red.

Thanks Katie, you're right. Wasn't in a "negative" mood to try it out until now. ;^)

The red's kinda faded tho. That grinding printer noise really freaks me out.

And yep, these calcs with their red negs might just come into fashion again these days...

Have a great weekend,



New black/red ribbons are very easy to come by as this seems to be a standard size still in use in modern accountant's calculators. (I think I bought some of these: Porelon 483-B/R).

I might start selling red-only ribbons, there must be some money in that these days. They say that many law firms have switched from doing real estate deals to doing bankruptcies.


They say that many law firms have switched from doing real estate deals to doing bankruptcies.
If you meant what you wrote then that was a real good joke. But I guess you did mean something different ;-)

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