HP 30b finally arrived



More than five months after ordering here in Germany, I received my HP 30b today. Packaged in a blister pack, he arrived with three manuals, a French, Italian and German, with about 40 pages. The programmers keyboard overlay was well hidden in the French manual.

The package also contained a nice pouch, looks like black brushed aluminium, but is made of some sort of flexible leather like material.

Serial No. is 4CY02100084.

SW Version date is "4 5 2010", with a 1 in the exponent display.



The "1" indicates the day of the week.


Thank you!

Having changed the date display format (to dd.mmyyyy) I get now the same string ("4 5 2010"), but 2 as the day of the week.



That would be as expected.

The hard coded date version code assumes mdy format since that is the default like would be seen in the factory. When you change it, the calc reads it as d.my and displays as such, but since this isn't a value you input it is really displaying May 4, not April 5.



Güten Morgen, Hubert.


How is it possible?! It's incredible and really disappointing. Nowadays, one gets quite everything in days, sometimes weeks, but months?!
This delay sounds more likely for cars, not for a simple electronic device.
Do you have any idea of what made it that long?
Or does HP sell that few units that they wait to launch a production batch until they have enough units ordered?

Herzliche Grüsse,


Edited: 15 Aug 2010, 5:59 a.m.


I just got S/N 4CY02400091 (an auction buy). How do I check the software revision version and/or date? Thanks!


Press ON and PMT at same time, then down arrow 4 times.


You are lucky, I still didn't got mine (I live in Switzerland). Perhaps they first have to drill some holes into to adapt it to the Swiss market ;-)


Hello Juergen,

I ordered a 30B on Tuesday late evening at http://www.dynatech.de/ and it arrived on Thursday.

It may not be too difficult for you to order the calculator in Germany. They accept credit cards.



I bought one for $50 yesterday at Office Depot in Huntsville, Alabama. They had several on the rack where the calculators are displayed, but I don't think they've been there very long.

Mine is software version "4 5 2010" and physical serial number 4CY02404593. (I guess this must be some sort of new HP serial numbering system.)

Interesting machine. So far, to me the most significant problems are:
(1) very little program memory,
(2) the lack of a real-time clock/calendar, and
(3) the very minimal and barely usable manual.

The HP 20b/HP 30b User Guide that TW referenced does not explain how to initiate the self tests or the significance of each.

Edited: 22 Aug 2010, 6:52 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


They aren't discussed in the users guide because they aren't there for the user. They are there for factory and support use.


Edited: 22 Aug 2010, 6:42 p.m.


Yes, but what about us techno-geeks?

I really like what I've seen of the HP 30b, except for the very small program memory. It's much better than my 25-year-old HP-12C. It has a compact, classy, modern but high quality feel.

I'd love to see a similar machine with HP 42S capabilities (including IR printer and audio tone capability). I'd buy several of those in a heartbeat.

IMHO, the HP 30b is, overall, a very fine product.


The processor used in the 20b/30b is the AT91SAM7L128 and is limited to just 2K of battery backed RAM. There's another 4K available for run time use but anything in that RAM would be lost at power down. I agree it's quite small, the same limitation that the HP-28C had, but without the overhead of RPL. Adding an external 4K flash memory chip would allow for use of all 6K of RAM at minimal expense I think.

The AT91SAM7L128 does have a RTC subsystem and an independent low power 32KHz clock. All that would be needed to add this functionality to a 20b/30b is a cheap 32K crystal, no more than $0.20 in quantity and there's a provision for this on the PCB. You can do this yourself and "re-purpose" the calculator with time/date functions and whatever else.

I agree that it would have been nice to have this built into the 20b/30b firmware. This processor has 128K of ROM which seems like a huge amount to me, more than enough to include some time/date functions, but if you program it all in C/C++ (see the SDK) it's hard to make the most efficient use of that.


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