Original HP15C article from HP Journal, May 1983


With all of the "renewed" interest in the 15C with the release of the limited edition, thought you might get a kick out of this issue of HP Journal from May, 1985. It has a very interesting feature (page 25) on the 15C and 16C calculators, which had just been released.


It is refreshing to see how enduring a truly great design can be, even after nearly 30 years, and the article reinforces what a great engineering company HP was in those days.


Thanks James. That's some great stuff.

I doubt that Meg or any of the other board members could understand any of the articles.



Here's another one I found, featuring the 9100A...lots of cool stuff out there if you dig a little...



Great engineers in those days.

Now we can't even match up the right batteries with the new circuit. Isn't there anyone left in the calculator division that knows the difference between 20mA and .18mA?



For sure there is. I know myself how hard it is to get everything right if administration doesn't really care for things you're working on. You simply get too little funding. That's all.

Edited: 24 Sept 2011, 3:26 a.m.


All sorts of crazy things happen in just about any company these days.

For an example I am now working as a temp engineer at a company, and my job is to get a new bench/workstation product launched. I will try to avoid the company name, etc. The company has been in business for decades and does great work. However they were bought out by a larger company about 2 years ago, and this parent company wanted them to have a new more modern looking bench/workstation with more features. The parent company paid a design firm over a quarter million dollars for development. There are more design problems and issues than you could imagine. The design firm never worked with the small company on details.

The workstation surface was supposed to be be available in two heights. There are some parts missing in the CAD files for one height, plus there is an interference problem if you drop the working surface and associated parts to the lower height. Oh, and some electrical wiring has no openings to run through for the lower height option.

On top of that the entire workstation was designed to use metric steel and fasteners and the company I am working with makes everything in house now and they don't have a metric wrench or tool in the place. There are other design issues and potential problems too. The workstation has a board and wire harness, but of course it doesn't look like the company's standard UL approved harness will be able to be re-used in this design, so we need to deal with that too.
It really is a mess.

Anyway, back to reality here and HP calculators. I am encouraged about some recent things in HP like the new 15C LE, the 30B and overall the use of ARM processors. Also it's great to see support, input and help from HP people here.


All sorts of crazy things happen in just about any company these days.

Tell me about it! I used to work for Bell Northern Research, then Nortel. I'm one of the lucky ones that got a job with the engineering minded company that bought out our line of business. In BNR days us engineers could spent 10% of our time doing whatever we wanted. Sometimes those little skunkwork projects turned into a product/feature. Nortel did away with that. The new company has brought that back - it's awesome!

Hopefully HP's calculator team will be as lucky.


If you think companies are bad, try governments.

I was once involved (somewhat peripherally) with the design of a radio tuner for the Air Force. This was a box to fit into an existing rack-mount unit, but with a new frequency range. The prototype worked fine, survived the vibration, heat, cold, and other tests. Then they initially rejected the unit because it weighed two pounds (that's about one kilogram, for those outside the US) LESS than the old unit it was replacing. Since our new digital design was so much more compact than the older analog circuit, we solved the problem by bolting two pounds of lead inside the case and raising the price accordingly.

This was for a radio intended for use aboard a Boeing 707. The two pounds were supposedly necessary to maintain aircraft balance during a twelve-hour flight.


Others of interest?

1968-09 hp9100A
1972-06 hp35
1972-12 hp9800
1973-05 hp80
1974-06 hp65
1975-11 hp 21/22/25
1976-06 hp1925A
1976-11 hp67/97
1977-05 calc sort
1977-06 calc trig functions
1977-10 hp92
1977-11 calc inv trig functions
1977-12 hp-01
1978-04 hp9845A log functions
1980-03 hp41
1983-02 hp-41 hpil
1983-06 hp-75
1984-07 hp71B

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