The least rare vintage HP


OK. So we're always talking about the rarest vintage HP's. You know, those that sell for astronomical prices or don't even ever appear on TAS. But what about the ones that are so common that you might even expect to find them on the shelves at Walmart. The ones that keep appearing by the dozens on TAS and keep selling for lower prices. The ones that you collect, not by one or two or three, but by the dozen. Anyways, what prompted me to write this is that I just bought my tenth HP-45 for the lowest price ever, and ironically I wasn't even interested in the calculator itself. Nope, I mainly wanted the hard case, because it had a good latch and I can use it with an HP-55 or HP-65. Hard cases in good condition are, pardon the pun, "hard" to find. They are usually grouped with a much more costly HP-55 or HP-65, and often have broken latches. Anyway, I really didn't care about the condition of the calculator, but as it turned out, it was in perfect working condition with no corrosion in the battery compartment and just some slight missing silver trim above the keyboard. It also came with a clean ownner's manual and leather soft case. I paid $51 for all this, whereas in the past I'd paid more for the calculator alone. So, is the HP-45 the most ubiquitous of vintage HP calculators, or do any of you have another model HP that is more so? Which model is the most common in your collection? The most I have of any other model is three.



The most common model in my collection is the HP 32SII. I have 8 of them. This calculator was the first HP calculator I owned. I liked it so much, I collected some spare ones. Still my favorite.


Edited: 1 May 2010, 11:21 a.m.



Same here: The HP-45. Like you, I bought the last one for the hard case alone, but it is in decent shape and fully working and came complete with manual and charger. All together for 15 Euros, if I remember correctly.

But I made a mistake when cleaning the hard case, which was covered in thick, greasy dust: I completely immersed it in hot soap water for some time. Now, several months later, there is still water sloshing around inside, because the breathing holes are in a position that will not allow for the water inside to drain completely...

Regrards, Max


From my experience, 45s are really quite common, but I had also many HP-25 (not the C model) and HP-21. On the Swiss auction sites (small market, not very representative) I most often see 48(G/GX), 32S(II), HP-41CV, 11C, and 20S (yuk, non-RPN). I do not mention the 12C because it is still in production. Are there any statistics (by model) how many calculators are ever produced?

Edited: 1 May 2010, 3:57 p.m.


Now when you say HP-25 and HP-21, what percentage of those are in working condition? With the HP-45s, for me it's been 100%. At most, I've had to open mine up to clean the keyboard and slider switch contacts. I've never had one with fried electronics. OTOH, my experience with Woodstocks is that less than 50% are operational, and many are way beyond my ability to repair them. You mentioned Voyagers, but except for the HP-12c, all of the ones I've seen here in the USA sell for way over $200. I think the HP-45 was a real workhorse calculator that many companies and government agencies bought in bulk for their employees, and many were repeatedly refurbished, since the basic calculator was so durable.


Regarding the HP-21/25: my estimation is that around 1/3 was none working or had severe damage (broken keys, etc.); many of them had slightly corroded battery contacts. Regarding the HP-45: most of them worked fine but some had none working keys. Regarding the (scientific) Voyagers: you are right, although there are many around they get high prices; is it the form factor, or the long battery life, or because they look so nice?

Anyway, the HP-45 is indeed a reliable calculator, it has no obvious weakness as some other Series have. The only problem is that the Classic AC adaptors get a bit rare ...


For me I have 7 x HP28S, along with 2 x 28C (as well as the financial 18C, 19B, & 19Bii equivalents). As with some of the others, the main reason is that this was my first HP.
I also have 5 x 12C's, all different variants ...
I also seem to keep ending up with more of the original 35. I have 4 of these (people seem to like donating these to me!).
I think the most common HP available has to be the 12C simply because it's been around for so long - also has to be one of the cheapest.
Cheers, Keith

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