Darn! 15C preorder relisted at Samson. $129



#59

I've just checked the Samson Cables page. They list the HP-15C special edition, this time at $129.

The photo they show is a photoshopped image of a 15C, but with "special edition" written below the HP logo.


#60

It's still cheaper than what's on TAS. Decided to place another order anyway. Need a backup. :)

#61

I pre-ordered in July, as these details:


(1) HP 15C Scientific Calculator PreOrder $94.99

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sub Total: $94.99
Shipping & Handling (USPS Priority Mail): $18.00
UT State Sales Tax: $0.00
Total: $112.99 (Pay Via: CreditCard)


I wonder if they will honor that price.

hpnut in Malaysia


#62

Quote:
I wonder if they will honor that price.
They probably won't. I was told I get the chance to cancel my preorder if the price changes. However, the status page still lists my order at the initial price.
#63

Does that mean that HP has officially launched the HP-15 LE?

Namir


#64

Or is it still just an imaginary calculator that will handle imaginary numbers?


#65

Quote:
Or is it still just an imaginary calculator that will handle imaginary numbers?

That's a complex question that might get partial answers at best!
#66

Not at that price I wouldn't. . .

TW


#67

I guess SC is pushing things to whatever limit they feel works.

Namir


#68

I think they're just trying to sell it for the expected MSRP, instead of a discount, because they figure their competition will do the same, since the supply will be too limited to meet demand. If and when this happens, I do expect massive price gouging on the secondary market, such as TAS. I realize those of you not residing in the USA have limited options, but please don't let someone like SC insert a phallus up your derrieres.

#69

That was the suggested retail price, iirc. Due to the limited stock, it wouldn't make sense to give any discount. The 15C LE will soon be sold out and reappear on TAS at 200% afterwards.


#70

that sounds like a great idea to me! ;-)


#71

Sorry Gene - already ordered 10,000 units ;-).


#72

Timeline for releasing the HP-15C LE:

October 1, 2011 - HP makes official launch announcement

October 2, 2011 - All distributors announce that it is sold out

October 3, 2011 - Multiple listings appear on TAS for $500+

Edited: 31 Aug 2011, 2:10 p.m.


#73

And any business would then do this and the hoarders would be SOL.

Oct 4: Order for next batch to be produced placed.

TW


#74

Yes, but they wouldn't have that cool "Limited Edition" badge. :)

For a 15C fan, the only thing better than HP bringing back the 15C would be if it were a hit and found a permanent place in the HP printer line. :) Collectors might not agree, however.


#75

Sure they would, Howard!

That 2nd batch might read

"Official Limited Edition not sold by a stinking hoarder!"


#76

Oooh - inside info! :)


#77

No no, Howard!

This would be printed on the OUTSIDE!

ha!

#78

I've never quite understood why the possible resurrection of this calculator should create such a feeding frenzy. It was a great model when it originally appeared, but the single line display is restrictive.


#79

Sir, you clearly don't understand fanaticism.


#80

Maybe it's about using something that just works? Something you don't feel about as being a beta tester? And maybe the limited display is no issue, but TAS prices for old hardware are? I hardly find any fanboys here.


#81

You don't have to convince me, Thomas. I am one of those consumate fanatics. You are preaching to the choir. ;)

BTW, Today I just received an immaculate HP 32S in the mail. It's in like new condition with all the original packaging, even the protective cardboard insert for the slip case. And it's got the old style spiral bound manual. Oh, joyous day !

#82

It just seems that buying this device sight-unseen is much like going on a blind date: both actions could possibly end in a miscalculation.


#83

What's the miscalculation ? It's a known quantity. The only possible downside is that the physical quality is somewhat lower, but even that should be no worse than the current production of the 12C.


#84

I was speculating that the keyboard might not of the same quality as the original, leading to missed keystrokes.


#85

I won't be the same as the original, for sure, which had gold plated contacts. However, they are still making the original 12C in China, and AFAIK the keyboards are OK. The 15C LE no doubt uses the same keyboard as the 12C.

#86

Quote:
but the single line display is restrictive.

Agreed 100%. The form factor is great, but imagine if they kept the physical case and keys but inserted a two-line full dot-matrix display. With the Atmel CPU/platform of the "12C+", it could handle 12-digit mantissa/3-digit exponent numerics, it would have the capability to support soft-key menus and Walter, Pauli and Marcus would have a field day :-)

Jake


#87

d:-) ... and I will dig in my files and find some very old drafts. Oh yeah, such a 15CX would be really great :-) Else it's just the ancestor of the 42S :-/

Walter

#88

Imagine a cell phone with a calculator keyboard overlay covering some percentage of the screen. The keys could have good tactile feed back, and the phone could provide an enhanced display.

But what if it rings in the middle of a complicated problem? :)

#89

Quote:
Agreed 100%. The form factor is great, but imagine if they kept the physical case and keys but inserted a two-line full dot-matrix display. With the Atmel CPU/platform of the "12C+"..

The sam7 can't natively drive an LCD matrix of such density
so an external controller would be required. This may
detract from utility of the sam7 but even dismissing that
I haven't found much to compete with it in this application space.

Quote:
it could handle 12-digit mantissa/3-digit exponent numerics, it would have the capability to support soft-key menus..

I believe the attraction of the 15c in part follows from the
unmodified firmware proven over 30 years in the field.

However I hazard what you're really after is one of these
HP-42C.

Yes I'm looking for one too.

#90

Quote:
Agreed 100%. The form factor is great, but imagine if they kept the physical case and keys but inserted a two-line full dot-matrix display. With the Atmel CPU/platform of the "12C+", it could handle 12-digit mantissa/3-digit exponent numerics, it would have the capability to support soft-key menus ...

New software, new bugs.
#91

Quote:
I've never quite understood why the possible resurrection of this calculator should create such a feeding frenzy.

I can't understand the bizarre enthusiasm either. It is without any logical basis. Assuming a new HP-15C becomes available, speed would be the only advantage over the original. What good is that?

The original HP-15C is slow, but who ever did work on an HP-15C that would be enhanced by doing it faster? It has no output device (not even a BEEP) except the very limited display. It has no input device except the keyboard. Faster speed is not likely to have substantive value at all to any HP-15C application.

I'd rather have an original HP-15C. At least the battery life and the quality of construction will be vastly superior to any Chinese re-incarnation. The good old HP traditional quality is still there in 30-year-old originals.

The appearance of the HP 42S in 1988 showed that HP once could produce a small RPN calculator that is an order of magnitude better than the HP-15C. The HP 15C LE is a sign of failure in innovation at even 1988 levels!


#92

And yet the 12C still sells well after 30 years. Perhaps that machine is just good enough to do the jobs demanded of it. Maybe it fits into pockets and workflows that include far more powerful and sophisticated computing devices.

The 15C is a lot more powerful than the 12C for mathematics. It's also more complicated. So I wonder if it will find a similar niche out there. I consider that an open question, though.

#93

Quote:
Faster speed is not likely to have substantive value at all to any HP-15C application.

Speed counts for something to some folks, and the original NUTs
are quite slow for anything beyond on-the-fly interactive
calculations and limited programming. So a sam7 ARM version
does offer value relative to the original.

I would however expect an encore 15c to add bidirectional i/o of
some sort. The sam7 can certainly support it and running the
firmware in emulation makes it quite straightforward. But AFAIK
no one has seen the new 15c yet so it may best to hold off on
that evaluation.

Quote:
I'd rather have an original HP-15C. At least the battery life and the quality of construction will be vastly superior to any Chinese re-incarnation. The good old HP traditional quality is still there in 30-year-old originals.

From the perspective of mechanical construction, LCD contrast,
and quiescent current draw I'd have to agree with you there.

Quote:
The appearance of the HP 42S in 1988 showed that HP once could produce a small RPN calculator that is an order of magnitude better than the HP-15C. The HP 15C LE is a sign of failure in innovation at even 1988 levels!

Wow, tough audience. But the 42s has detractions as well
considering the carbon pill key switch construction and the
"service hostile" enclosure design. The LCD contrast is
far inferior to the low multiplex rate segment display of the
15C (but admittedly may have been average for graphic LCDs
of that era). Paradoxically we get a piezo beeper but no
IR receiver in the 42s such that a user could have a means to
get code into the box which doesn't involve human digits.

But quite honestly either machine offers an interesting platform
to build upon.

#94

Quote:
I can't understand the bizarre enthusiasm either. It is without any logical basis. Assuming a new HP-15C becomes available, speed would be the only advantage over the original. What good is that?

The 15C is a gorgeous and capable work of art! Granted the 42S is far more capable, but it's also butt-ugly. :-)

I hope HP makes a zillion 15Cs since it is the only gift I am going to give anymore--wedding presents, baby showers, get-well-soon, sorry-for-your-loss, etc...

Retro is in!

(Whatever Walter says), the 16C! Please?


#95

Quote:
I hope HP makes a zillion 15Cs since it is the only gift I am going to give anymore--wedding presents, baby showers, get-well-soon, sorry-for-your-loss, etc...

Did I mention that I'm engaged, pregnant, sick, and have just lost an uncle?


#96

Quote:

Did I mention that I'm engaged, pregnant, sick, and have just lost an uncle?


Katie,

Generous philanthrophist Mr Egan Ford owes you at least four units HP 15LE s given your condition ;-)

hpnut in Malaysia

#97

Me too!

TW

#98

Quote:
The 15C is a gorgeous and capable work of art! Granted the 42S is far more capable, but it's also butt-ugly. :-)

I can't disagree with any part of that. The HP-15C is visually far more attractive than any later HP. I also think it's much better looking than the HP-41 series.

I don't know what happened to HP in 1986, after which all those left-coast "artsy" low contrast goober-head ugly color schemes were adopted. The HP 28, 48S and G, 38G, and all Pioneers have absolutely terrible color schemes. Even my dear HP 42S...ugly orange on even uglier brown...what drugs were those HP folks on?

At least today's 50g and 30b, and...even the unfortunate 35S, show a lot of practical "visual" sense has returned to HP since the demise of the Pioneers and the 48G series.


#99

Quote:

..what drugs were those HP folks on?


Not LSD, you can bet. :)

Quote:
[...] all Pioneers have absolutely terrible color schemes.
What's wrong with the 20S' cyan/gold legends?

Quote:
I can't understand the bizarre enthusiasm either. It is without any logical basis.

For those who do not have a 15c, the Limited Edition release is an opportunity to purchase a new unit for considerably less than the price of a used 15c.

For those that have a 15c (and use it), the Limited Edition release is an opportunity to be able to purchase a new backup with printed manual and emulator for considerably less than the price of a used 15c.

For those who collect, the Limited Edition release is another shiny object to hoard.


I don't consider myself a "collector" per se. Collector makes me think of some guy with his display case stuffed full of red dot HP35s and a pallet of NIB 16cs that never actually get used. I own several HPs, but use almost all of them (including my non red dot, version 3 HP-35 that I actually used on my last exam as an undergrad at college... in May, 2011). It started when I bought a 48g after my TI-89 Titanium got stolen... I picked up a few other models, decided I wanted a 32S because the 48G was bulky and I really didn't use the graphing feature that often, so I managed to buy one that had the keyboard contact problem on TAS for $15 and fixed it. I'll probably buy one of the new 15Cs, but I intend to use it, not flip it on TAS or hide it in the bottom drawer of my desk for the next 50 years.


It's nice to see a young person show interest in these old designs and appreciate them. I too have an HP-35, V3, except that I bought mine new in 1973 when I got my first engineering job. It replaced my trusty K&E slide rule, and speeded up my work to the degree that I would annoy my boss by asking for more work because I would finish long before quitting time. I still have the HP-35, and it still works great. I'm sure you will enjoy the HP-15C.

So the 15C LE is going to be supplied with a printed manual?


Yes


Now, wouldn't it be something if it were also spiral bound like the original. One can only dream.

Maybe. The listing for both the 15C LE and 12C 30th Anniversary mention manual on CD.

Cheers,

-Marwan


Gene is in a position to know. :)


So it appears. I am happy to learn that it will have a paper manual.

Quote:
I've never quite understood why the possible resurrection of this calculator should create such a feeding frenzy. It was a great model when it originally appeared, but the single line display is restrictive.

Voyagers in general and the 15c in particular certainly have a
strong legacy, and honestly that was one motivation for my
time sink developing the KINOMI project. But Voyagers are a point
product which limits the design to their current feature set, in
terms of having practically unmodifiable firmware along with
limitations of the existing user interface.

That said I suppose I personally draw a similar analogy between open
source and proprietary software. I don't really get excited by
software for which source isn't available, in part due to the
practical, potential need to adapt such software to my needs and
part psychological in that I can modify said software.
So in the case of Voyagers and others, having usable firmware
(legal restrictions aside) and a documented programming model
allow a platform beyond the original product -- a night to day
transformation IMHO.

Edited: 1 Sept 2011, 5:04 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Quote:
... and honestly that was one motivation for my
time sink developing the KINOMI project.

Speaking of which, is there any more news on this front? I for one would love to see more of this. I have a few old chassis that I would love repurpose.


Quote:
Speaking of which, is there any more news on this front? I for one would love to see more of this. I have a few old chassis that I would love repurpose.

Fair question and I haven't forgotten about the folks asking
for this.

Yes I'd like to release it as an open project, but am still
undecided how best to do so. The procedure to actually get
a KINOMI module functional in a Voyager is fairly involved
such that in its current form I suspect it would have limited
appeal. Issues such as nondestructively removing the NUT cpu,
building a KINOMI module itself with 0201 footprint and 0.5mm
surface mount components, adding the bottom floating conductor
standoffs to the module, and manually soldering it to the
prepared PCB takes some skill and tooling ideally including a
low power microscope.

It would be considerably easier if the Voyager PCB were to be
un-staked for the above assembly operation but doing so has
its own complications. Still it may be inevitable and this
option removes the need for a prospective modification to live
within the 14x14.6mm KINOMI footprint. Eg, a complete board
replacement is possible which opens up considerably more
real estate allowing use of a more powerful SoC, and perhaps
within reason additional RWM/svRAM/FLASH, and I/O. I think it
is also far more feasible for an end experimenter to
replace/restake an upgrade board than spending hours hunched
over the family stereo microscope and hot-air rework station
constructing a module less than the size of a US dime.

That said the existing KINOMI modules versions are certainly
viable and I have several running here. For those interested
in reviewing the design I'll try to get at least the schematics
and PCB gerbers available for download within the next week +/-.
Apologies this is taking so long but despite it being some
of the most enjoyable leisurely hacking I can recall, no one
seems interested to fund my preoccupation with 30 year old
calculators. ;)

-john


why not just design it as a refit into a modern 12C+ casing? the user could then, at the same time, repaint/silkscreen the keyboard buttons and escutcheon too.


Quote:
escutcheon

What a wonderful word! I had to look that one up.

The things one learns at this site...


us kiwis (new zealanders) are quite renowned for our exuberant use of a veritable plethora of interesting and thought-provoking words :-)

Quote:
why not just design it as a refit into a modern 12C+ casing? the user could then, at the same time, repaint/silkscreen the keyboard buttons and escutcheon too.

That has been on the mental drawing board ever since I was
greeted to a at91sam7l128 COB entombed in a blob of epoxy upon
popping open the first 12c+. But assorted pros/cons exist
for the sam7l relative to legacy voyager models to consider:

The pcb is sized to the keypad area alone. So for use of this
real estate in a new PCB layout, vias must dodge the tactile dome
contact lands on the other side of the board. Blind vias are
one option ($$) or a dual laminated board can be used as a
economical approach to achieve the same (potentially better)
result. (Perhaps clearance exists to extend the PCB into the
LCD area, I'm looking at disassembly jpegs ATM and can't tell
for certain).

The LCD mates to the PCB via carbon ink conductive ribbon,
itself joined to the PCB via an anisotropic conductive tape
adhesive. Freeing that connection requires care to avoid
damaging the carbon ink and new anisotropic adhesive to
reestablish the connection to a new board. Moreover controlled
heat and pressure via a specialized hot bar tool are typically
used to form a reliable seal.

The LCD is a segment configuration using a higher multiplex
rate (lower contrast) characteristic. So perhaps we just want
to displace it altogether with a matrix display. That
decision is the easy part -- finding an off the shelf glass
which suitably fits the existing window area will be somewhat
of a challenge but arguably worth the effort. Plus a graphic
matrix glass will realistically require a separate controller.
If we were incredibly lucky we might find a COG or TAB mount
glass + controller to suit but I wouldn't expect so.

The heat stake posts (at least for the version I'd disassembled)
appear to be hollow and are a total of 9. The hollow core
probably will accept a M1.6 or M1.4 screw which dispenses with
recementing post heads for reassembly. Doing so may have
been planned as a manufacturing option or perhaps the posts
were molded hollow reducing mass to ease the staking operation.

The power supply (finally) is supplied by two CR2032 lithium
coin cells which roughly provide double the energy of three LR44
button cells. This was likely to accommodate the substantially
higher "off" current draw of the 91sam7l, but it is only a plus
if we use a SoC with a lower quiescent current. The lower rail
voltage (3V0) is directly digestible by contemporary SoCs where
the legacy 4V5 supply will require a buck regulator to drop
the voltage in operation and a very low quiescent current linear
regulator to provide "off" voltage regulation for SRAM retention.
I haven't found a suitable linear regulator which could live
in a < 1uA budget. Although use of external nvSRAM and external
logic may allow the entire core to be powered off while providing
true non-volatile storage.

I personally like the tactile feel of the full domes present in
the legacy Voyagers which have a more muted inflection. But
that's just my preference and there is no reason otherwise
why the 12c+ cut/legged domes couldn't be reused.

The 12c+ AFAIK thus far uses surface printed keycap legends which
while a concession to manufacturing economy, are a better starting
point if we'd like to engrave/fill new legends.


Edited: 2 Sept 2011, 5:25 p.m.


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