Evolution of the 30B


Hello all, with all this talk of the WP34S, I thought i'd post a pic of the evolution of the 30B, which many use to drive the 34.


This appears in my prototype and rarities set:


and HP collection set:


I've posted these links before, but there are a few new pics in there now.

Enjoy! Keith


The one labeled as a "later prototype" was actually the initial production version. It was mixed in with the later production version for quite a while, so there's no serial number cutoff for it (I came across quite a few examples of sequential serial numbers where one had the old labels and one had the new labels).


Hi Eric,

The clear case has the following label on the back:

Ver 8 18 2009

The other version has:

Ver 10 13 2009

So i'd say the silver version is slightly newer. This is also what I was told when I received them.

Cheers, Keith


Yes, and that doesn't contradict anything I said. The clear one is a prototype; the other appear to be production models.



This might clear it up:


These units were used in the beta testing of the firmware. Cheers, Keith

Edited: 20 June 2011, 12:00 a.m.


Also - the 'PGRM' button differs between the final production version and the middle prototype (PGRM vs Pgrm). It is labelled "keypad" in the clear cased version.

Edited: 20 June 2011, 12:18 a.m.


I think production ones showed both PRGM and Prgm also. I believe it was changed the same time the % Calc, BEG, END, 1/x, xP/YR, nPr, and nCr keys changed. I can't verify because I don't have both in front of me now, but I do know that I have both examples.



If you open a 30b (I did it to add the crystal oscillator) you can "clearly" see that the front shell is always made of clear plastic. The silver is just a coating. The window for the LCD is simply an uncoated area of the shell. That's a nice production trick :-).


I'm not sure how much clearer I can make this - both versions were not production models. These were used in testing of the firmware between August and November 2009 well before they were available to consumers. I don't know how much technical difference there is between the second prototype and the final production version, but the prototype was not a production version that could be purchased anywhere - it was used in the fine tuning of the firmware for the final model.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the comments, but the only production model is the third calculator, which I purchased only a few weeks ago for comparison purposes (to complement the prototypes in the collection).


That opens another possible way for 34S "keypanel" labeling... At least, it would be protected from scratches, wear, finger oils...

Do you think it's possible to remove the silver coating in a reasonable way? Or to ask HP to sell uncoated topcases as spare parts? I know they won't take small orders, but...

Keys would still be a challenge.

(edited just to remove a couple of typos)

Edited: 20 June 2011, 2:56 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


No, the silver coating is sandwiched between plastic. It isn't on the surface.



Tim, if I understand you correctly, the silver layer is a thin foil which is put into the mold before the clear plastic is shot in. It should be possible to replace this foil by a different design during the production process without too much effort.

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