HP48s/x connectivity


I recently acquired a 48s and 48sx. They both pass all their self tests and are in good shape. I'm trying to get them connected to my computer and am having problems. One of the calculators came with the HP serial cable and I am using the HPComm 3.0r4 software downloaded from educalc.net. I follow all the directions and prompts and the computer cannot connect to either calculator. What might I be missing?

I would also like to find out about testing the cable with my multimeter to make sure it's not the problem.



Edited: 25 June 2009, 11:11 a.m.


Make sure you've got the calcs to transmit over wire and not i/r. Go to leftshift+I/O then Setup.

I use the HP Serial Connectivity kit and Kermit for comms between PC and calc - if you want to consider downloading that from hpcalc.org, I could help get things setup. I haven't used HPComm so I don't know how that works.



Try just doing a standard Kermit file transfer with, say, HyperTerminal (or your favorite serial comms package). Make sure hardware handshaking is off, as the 48 doesn't do this. Use the RECV command on the 48 (in the I/O menu), and the calculator will await a Kermit transfer.

You should also be able to use the XMIT and SRECV commands to send and receive strings directly over the serial port for more testing. Use CLOSEIO afterward.


Thanks for the tips.

I tried doing a Kermit file transfer with Hyperteminal and that didn't work either. I'm pretty sure I've got the serial port configured properly. I could access the port, I just couldn't connect to the calculator.

I had no problem doing an IR transfer form calculator to calculator.

I tested the cable, and I've only got continuity in three of the four
wires in the cable from the calculator. I'm guessing this is the problem. I'll try ordering a new cable. I just wanted to try everything, since the cable cost more than I paid for the calculators!

Any other advice would be appreciated.

Thanks again,


Edited: 26 June 2009, 11:34 a.m.


Only 3 wires are required for RS-232 communications. Rx, Tx, Signal Ground. IIRC, pins 2, 3, and 5 on a DB9.


Hmm, sounds like something isn't jiving right, config-wise. Here's how I set things up to get my 48GX and 48SX talking to HyperTerminal:

In HyperTerminal, select the serial port in the "Connect using" box, and hit Configure.

Bits per second: 9600 (or whatever you set on the calc)

Data bits: 8

Parity: None

Stop bits: 1

Flow control: None

On the 48, use these settings:

IR/wire: wire

ASCII/binary: Depends on what you're transferring, but I usually choose ASCII for UserRPL programs.

baud: 9600

parity: none 0

checksum type: 3

translate code: 1 (Again, depends on what format you want the files sent in. I think this is ignored for binary transfers.)

If all the settings match, you should be able to execute "HELLO" XMIT on the 48, and see "HELLO" appear in the HyperTerminal window. If you still don't get anything, try another computer. I've seen serial ports go bad, uncommon as it may be.


Well, thanks to all the help I got, my calculators and computer are talking. I followed your instructions, Dave, and everything worked fine. I'm not sure what I did differently yesterday, but I obviously did something wrong.

The kicker is that now, after I was able to communicate using HyperTerminal, I can connect using the HPcomm software also, without making any changes to the calculator or the software. I must have had some setting incorrect.

Thanks for the info on the serial cable Egan, that saved $30 on an unneeded item. That's why my first thought is always operator error when something doesn't work for me.


Edited: 26 June 2009, 5:08 p.m.


Along these same lines, does anyone have any experience using a serial to USB adapter for HP calculators?




Yes. Works just fine.



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