I seem to be generating a FAIL 8 message in the self test if I don't do the key press sequence in the correct order. Is this the standard message for "only" that situation or does it show up for other conditions? Are there other messages that can show up when a failure mode exists? Where are these failure mode messages documented?


Jim, I think that you have to press the keys in the correct order to avoid the fail message. If you did press them in the right order and still got the fail message, then I think you have a problem, otherwise you don't.


True. When I press the keys in the correct order I have no problem. This wasn't a situation of me trying analyze what real failure was going on with my HP 32sii but more trying to find out if there are failure messages and what their meanings might be.

The manual says, "The calculator displays 32SII-FAIL followed by a one-digit number, if it failed the self-test", which to me suggests that there may be a series of numbers that might be displayed other than "8" to represent different failures modes.


You're probably right, but since the codes are not listed in the manual I guess they don't want you to know them. The question would become, I suppose, if you had a real problem and called HP customer support would THEY know what the code numbers mean?


The question would become, I suppose, if you had a real problem and called HP customer support would THEY know what the code numbers mean?

Of course. Since the 32SII isn't serviceable, any code means the same: Exchange the calculator ;-).


Yeah, I thought about that after I responded. Good point.


The statement that a 32SII is nor serviceable surprised me. May I have an explanation? Sam



These two articles by Paul Brogger describe the procedure required to open any of the Pioneer series. Although Paul states that he "found the Pioneers relatively easy to open, repair, and put back together", my impression upon reading his articles is that one must conclude that they were not meant to be disassembled and repaired. Especially take note of what it takes to get at the keyboard "contacts", which are really just patches of carbon on the underside of plastic domes. Even if doable, it was certainly not worth the time and effort to hire, train and maintain a staff of technicians to repair a <$100 calculator.



Sam, no Pioneer has any provisions to be easily opened for service. Compare with the Classics etc. up to the Voyagers all being closed by screws. This does not mean a Pioneer can't be opened - you can open almost everything ;) but it's a brute force attack and will require some repair thereafter. Hope this explains what was meant by "not serviceable" - ummh, what I guess what the author meant ;-)


You hit the nail on the head, Walter ;-).


It is a funny thing, that. HP kept up the appearance, during the voyagers as well as pioneers, of being serviceable. Test codes etc were followed up by sending in the machine for "service." I did this twice with my 11c. Once, it came back having had "logic and LCD replaced." But it felt brand-new to me...


What I think HP did with calculators, based on evidence I've collected:

  • Classic: repair
  • Woodstock: repair
  • Spice: repair and later replace internals once the keyboard was redesigned
  • 41 fullnut: repair, until the early to mid-nineties when they replaced the top half with halfnuts
  • 41 halfnut: replace
  • Voyager 2 piece: repair or replace, depending upon problem
  • Voyager 1 piece: replace
  • Pioneer: replace
  • 48 series: replace

Edited: 15 Feb 2011, 5:35 p.m.


What stands out is the transition from repair to replace more or less parallels the downward selling price of the calculators.


... which doesn't come unexpected, does it? Think!



Well, if I had your brains, Walter, I would have thought that I needed to specify that it was not unexpected.

However, straining my brain a bit, I can surmise that the trend to lower prices was driven by several factors, including lower cost of IC's, expansion of market, greater production numbers, etc., Seen this way, the switch to less repairable design may have been a conscious decision made to complement the other trends, not necessarily the reason for them.


Doesn't quite match my experience with my unsoldered 34c.
Several years of returning it for service due to display elements not lighting up properly didn't result in a soldered replacement :-(

I gave up trying in the end which is surprising given the effort and hardship I put into buying it in the first place....

- Pauli

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