I've got an HP82240A printer and have been looking at the B series.

Asusming I use 19bII,42S, 48 series, and a 28c for printing- is there any real advantage to getting a B? Will all of these calcs work with the A? (I've read about old printer mode in the 48)



The 82240B has a red "power on" indicator LED that lights up when you turn it on. If you aren't using the AC adapter, it switches into a "low-power" mode. In the low-power mode, the indicator is off and it won't receive, but all printing modes and any characters accumulated in the buffer are retained. Pressing the paper advance button while in the low-power mode brings it back to normal without losing anything. This might save you some battery life, but it's still best to turn it off when you're through using the printer.

The 82240A doesn't have the character set (for characters 128 through 255) that the 48 uses. The OLDPRT command correctly remaps some, but not all, of these characters to match the 82240A set. To see which characters will print correctly, execute OLDPRINT PRTPAR 2 GET. This will give you a 128-character string. The 1st character is what character 128 will be remapped to for printing, the 2nd is what character 129 will be remapped to, and so on through the 128th is what character 255 will be remapped to. Characters in the 48 set that aren't available on the 82240A are remapped to character 127, which looks like a grey rectangle. I believe that all of the characters actually used as delimiters or in command names on the 48 are remapped correctly by the OLDPRT command.

The 28C and 28S have the same character set as the 82240A.

The 82240B has 2 character sets. When it's first turned on (or after a reset escape sequence) the character set used on the 28 is selected. Anytime you print something from a 48, the printer switches to the correct character set for the 48. Note that if if you then need to print from a 28, you need to switch back to the 28 character set by using an escape sequence or turning the printer off and then back on.

I don't know about the 19BII or 42S.



Okay- I'm going to guess that the 19 series will operate as the 28c/s would. I don't seem to have anything beyond those capabilities in the 19bii, anyway.

The 42s I'll just have to try out.

since so much of my printing is likely to end up being statistics, I won't worry overly much about character sets :)



Sounds reasonable to me; the only 48 character that I think you might miss for statistics is character 129, the x-bar character, but you can just use a string like "xbar" if you feel a need for it.

As for the low-power mode, I use an AC adapter whenever possible.



I wrote: "...the only 48 character that I think you might miss for statistics is character 129, the x-bar character...."

I should add character 152, lower-case sigma. But I think that you can get along without either of them.



[I]s there any real advantage to getting a B?

Well, it's got a nifty little LED to tell you it's on, and (IIRC) some of the characters are different, but other than that, no, not really.

Will all of these calcs work with the A?

With the possible exception of the 48 (which I haven't tried), all of the machines you've mentioned will work with the A. I did try the 48 with a B some time ago, but I wasn't really impressed by its printing abilities. YMMV, of course. :^)


The 'B' version goes into low power mode after 10 minutes when it's running on batteries. This can save a lot of money on AA batteries if you forget to turn the printer off after using it -- a constant problem for me with the 'A' version.


Well, the power off thng could be an issue-but I have rechargable alkalines and a charger that runs off 12v in the van....

I'd happily run an A model in the van and cart around a B model- but i can't find an affordable B.

On another note- these will run with standard officestore thermal paper? I haven't had to test that yet.



I've used the NCR-brand paper successfully in both the A and B. It's black and seems to be slightly more sensitive than the HP paper, so you can turn down the contrast slider and still get good results. Unfortunately, it also fades quicker and it really doesn't like to come in contact with vinyl (or most other types of plastic for that matter), fading completely within days.


Fading that quickly could be a problem. I'll have to see which papers do well- though I imagine if I collect 3 dozen rolls of HP paper for the printer it will last me for a couple years.

I might just keep looking for a B series that is affordable, too.

Thanks for the hints-


Yes, the NCR paper works great in all the HP machines (including the HP97, etc and the 82143A).

HP has always recommended that if you want to keep a long term copy of a thermal printout to photocopy it.


As a longtime user of thermal paper (from Timex 1000 and so on), I offer a few hints:

As said, vinyl and plastics will fade it, as well as sunlight and UV sources of all types, and also if you store it face-to-face with other thermal paper, or folding it so it comes into contact with itself.

BUT! pasted into a blank-book or spiral, one side only, kept in a cool dry environment, such as a filing cabinet, the print can actually last years. I found some art blank books with "acid-free" paper, and they store the thermal print just fine, laid between the pages. When I must paste them on the sheet, I use white glue, sparingly, only a dot or two in corners on one side. (Doesn't wrinkle it up so much).

The paper consists of a clay coating on one side which has been impregnated with a chemical which is thermally reactive. Unfortunately it leaches out over time, taking the dark printed areas with it. The chemical is apparently volatile to some degree; so the answer remains in keeping it cool, dark, airless and away from actively-bonding semi-volatiles such as aerosol sprays, achohols and oils, and such. This done, I still have readable printouts from 1983...


Aha- see, i was using pen plotters and dot matrix mini printers- and the esteemed dmp5 (wish I could find one cheap now), but then, I used sharp and tandy for a long time.

How do you think photo album pages would work? i have several 8.5x11 photo holding pages that would allow me to add them directly to research notes- I'd want a couple years max out of those (once in page format, I could photocopy if needed)

thanks for the tips!


I started out with photo pages, but I really think the clear polycarbonate sheet either contains something which outgasses, or perhaps the thermal chemical just loves to migrate to it-- anyway, my earliest printouts tended to assume an even pink with light brown print and not be very readable. I noticed then though that print hidden UNDER other paper stayed fairly stable. If a couple of years is all that is required of it, I see no reason why you can't do pretty much anything you see fit though, and perhaps you can experiment and find the best transparent cover pages to buy-- different brands may work better than others.

Always liked those little mini pen plotters. At a writing speed of about a character a second, though, I can laugh at the thought of awaiting it three days or so to finish the ROM disassembly listing I once printed on the 2040 printer (took the 2040 about eight hours).... ;-) But, it would have been very nice looking, and no fades!

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