Question about HP-IL Printer


Hello All,

I have an HP-IL printer for the HP-41C/CV/CX calculators. The battery pack does not seem to hold much charge. After I try to charge the battery for a few hours and I turn on the printer I get the lights for the power and the low battery indicator. I still cannot advance the paper when I press the advance button. Does that mean the printer does not work or it's the battery that is the problem?

Thanks for any feedback.



The 41 printers are *very* similar to a Topcat - and so they will not work without a good, charged battery installed.

Edited: 17 Sept 2009, 8:21 a.m.


As Randy said, you need a good battery pack for the printer to operate.

You can easily do a test to determine if it's the battery or the printer. Take a good 6-volt lattern battery, carefully clip it on the printer battery terminals and if the printer works, then it's definetly the rechargable battery. Or you can use any other 6-volt battery pack - 4 D Cells in a battery holder from Radio Shack works great. That's what I used in lieu of useing a rechargable pack. 4-D Cells will run the printer for what seems like forever.

Just make sure you clip the battery on the correct terminals - I marked the inside of my printer battery compartment with a large plus and minus next to the terminals.

Note - do not use wall wart power supplies - they usually don't have a consistent voltage control.



Is that the HP 2225B? I have one of those which I have not used yet. When I get round to doing so I quite expect the battery will be defunct so the information about alternatives is going to be very useful.
Bill, can offer any guidance to an ignoramus on how to decide which are the correct + and - terminals for a set of D batteries?


I'm sure they're talking about the little 82162 thermal printer, basically in the same case as the tape drive. I seem to remember the 2225B Thinkjet printer taking two more cells. I think they're sub-C size IIRC, but when mine went out and I found out how much a new battery pack would be, I refused to pay it. I ran it on a 9V alkaline battery briefly while I made myself a 7.8V power supply for it. I had everything I needed except one diode which was fifty cents.

Edited: 17 Sept 2009, 6:19 p.m.


how to decide which are the correct + and - terminals for a set of D batteries?

If you look carefully, one end or the other should have aplus or minus sign.

In general, though, for AA, AAA, C, and D cells, the raised button end is the positive end, and the flat end is the negative end.

(What happened to A and B? Maybe B was too confusing with what was known once upon a time as a B battery - the high voltage (often 60-90 volts if I recall correctly) plate supply battery for radios in the 20s-30s-40s)


'A' size cells and shortened versions of them are still made in rechargeable chemistry at least.



In battery powered tube radios there were 'A', 'B' and sometimes 'C' batteries (not cells) that have nothing to do with modern size cells. The 'A' battery was the filament power supply, the 'B' battery supplied power to the plate and the 'C' for the grid (if there was a separate grid supply).

I don't know why there are no 'B' size cells around (at least I've never seen any in the US). It might be that they did exist at one time and just never got into general use. The 'A' cells are sort of rare at that, but I have come across them in various rechargeable calculators.



The "A" size lives on in the "CR123A". Don't claim to know that much about dry cell terminology, but I am pretty sure the "23A" in this one means "2/3 A". That is, the same diameter as "A" (17mm), but 2/3 the height (34.5 vs. 50mm).

Another "lost" size is "F", which is basically an elongated "D". If you open up a zinc-carbon 6v "lantern" battery (I have), you will find 4 "F" cells, whereas inside an alkaline lantern you will find 4 "D"s and some empty space. Makes me feel cheated a little!


On an aside, ya gotta love a woman who is a storehouse of so much obscure technical information!


I have an HP-IL printer ... The battery pack does not seem to hold much charge. After I try to charge the battery for a few hours and I turn on the printer I get the lights for the power and the low battery indicator.

Hi, Namir --

I bought several HP-IL printers several years ago. One unit included a NiCd battery pack that would not hold a charge, and got rather warm during charing. I assumed that it had one or more short-circuited cells. Several sellers will provide a rebuilt pack for about $30; you can rebuild your own with new cells.

-- KS


Thanks Karl. The battery I have is heating up like you mentioned.


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