Am I a bad person ?


So, I know we're all supposed to be loyal to HP and all that. But why should I pay $80 for an HP 12CP, when I can get one of these new for $15 shipped ? So, it's made in China, but then so is the 12CP.


If it meets your needs and the quality and user experience is sufficient, then you are a smart person, not a bad person.


So, I know we're all supposed to be loyal to HP and all that. But why should I pay $80 for an HP 12CP, when I can get one of these new for $15 shipped ? So, it's made in China, but then so is the 12CP.

Have you popped it apart yet? Just curious if it has metal
vs. the econo elastomer domes. If the former it may be useful
for repair parts in a pinch.

I'd hazard this is a functional work-alike and not "leveraging"
legacy firmware? I'm curious in either case what the speed
comparison is relative to a legacy 12C. Also whether the
choice of 2x AA cells was a concession to convenience or a
design necessity.


I don't have it yet. I don't think it has clicky keys. It uses 2 x AAA, not 2 x AA.

Edited: 17 Oct 2011, 2:28 p.m.


I'd hazard this is a functional work-alike and not "leveraging"
legacy firmware?
If they did borrow HP firmware, it's probably from the old silver 12C Platinum. Same number of program steps and same keyboard layout:


Related discussion from the archieves with pictures


not a very detailed photo but:
click here

i don't think that anything from the victor will work on an hp.


not a very detailed photo but:
click here

i don't think that anything from the victor will work on an hp.

I'd agree.

Yet if it has flash resident firmware (doubtful) and a full
voyager set of annunciators (?) it might be worth a swat to
determine weather it could be repurposed. Although that may
be overly optimistic.


The 8 pads arranged in two row at the right of the board look like they may be either JTAG or serial link connectors, it appears that some of them are labeled, but the picture resolution is too low to make out what it says.


If you don't care about how the buttons feel I would buy it. After RPN, the tactile feel of HP calculators is the most important feature for me--that feel makes it easier for me to know when I have missed a keystroke in a large/fast sequence.

Do they offer an HP-16C clone for $15 :)


Do they offer an HP-16C clone for $15 :)

Next, is a 15c le clone for $15. ;-)



LOL. I actually bought three of these myself ($9 each on a DealNews Deal) to toss in the garage and the truck; places I wouldn't normally keep a valuable HP calculator. So, they do have their purposes! :-)




No you're not a bad person. I'm sure the other Mike here would urge us to give you "unconditional positive regard" in this, and he's even got RPN (not hp) license plates!

I've had one of these for a long time and noticed you didn't mention the best thing about it. The screen has BIG NUMBERS that are suited to yours and my aging eyes. The screen is angled toward the user too.


I don't think so - I have been curious about this clone myself. $15 though?


$14.98, actually. Victor V12


If you want a disposable 12C clone, get a Compucessory 28956. They're all over the internet usually for around $10.

While the Compucessary is smaller, the Victor V12 is much more usable. The programing codes on the Compucessary make no sense becasue they ripped off the firmware and permuted the rows and columns of the keys.


LOL! How the heck are you supposed to read a program? Writing one may be possible but editing it a month later would prove...




In fact, the only things good about the Compucessory are it's size (very small and flat) and the little slidey keyboard cover. ;-)

I tried one of these too, and just like Katie said, it's all wonky. The keys are moved around in different places, the colors suck, the labels are small, etc. BUT, it does do RPN and have a good pile of basic HP-like calculator functionality.

I keep that one in a folio binder because it's very small.

The Victor is much bigger (um, maybe twice as big), but has a really nice angled display. My wife actually like that quite a bit.



In fact, the only things good about the Compucessory are it's size (very small and flat) and the little slidey keyboard cover. ;-)

And it has the parenthesis for ALG mode (above the X->M and M->X keys which I presume are the equivalent of STO and RCL). So where the Victor rips-off the fist 12C Paltinum (all silver), this one actually rips off the current Platinum?


I think the Compucessory "rips off" the original 12C, not the Platinum 12CP.


Ah, the original 12C does not have Algebraic mode ;-)


I looked up its specs, and the Compucessory has 99 programming steps, same as the original 12C, whereas the 12CP has 400 steps. Maybe the () are there just for decoration.


Interesting, it has blue shifted "RPN" and "ALG" above the "+/-" and "EXP" keys respectively - and other shifted symbols that are only on the 12C Platinum.
The specs (even on the Compucessory site) are very meagre.

As Katie and Bruce have already used one, perhaps they can shed some light on it?


The Compucessory adds a margin calculation function (COST/SELL/MGN) so it's not just stolen firmware. Its manual leaves out a lot of the functionality that's actually in the calculator. It's a really weird 'thing' that seems to be based on stolen 12CP source code.

They all share a common date arithmetic bug that HP introduced with the 38C/E, which is a pretty interesting tracer for common code somewhere. I'm about to write that up in a new Forum post.


So, does it have 400 programming steps like the 12CP, or just 99 like the original 12C ?


It's got 400 steps but only 31 cash flow registers, so it's likely based on the early model 12CP source code.


Which raises the question: Do the parenthesis work? (I tried on a silver 12CP and it definitely is not in the code either - i.e. it's not just an omission on the keyboard).


The parenthesis definitely work on the 12CP 25th AE, up to 13 levels deep. You have an early edition 12CP the one with 31 cash flows, I think. I don't have a Compucessory with me so can't check if they are working on that machine, but I think that they do. Bruce do you know?


The 12CP I am talking about is the first release with the silver keyboard faceplate (here is the one I have). These do not have the parenthesis printed on the keyboard.

As far as I am aware, the 25th AE and all dark keyboard faceplate 12CP have parenthesis on the STO & RCL keys.

Thus if the V12 does not have the parenthesis, it is equivalent to that first release 12CP. The question is whether the Compucessory is equivalent to the early or later 12CP. If it has the parenthesis merely printed on but not working it would be an earlier 12CP (silver key faceplate 12CP), otherwise a later (dark key faceplate) 12CP.

Edited: 20 Oct 2011, 5:06 a.m.


Haven't found one for $10-12 shipped yet. Katie, have any good leads?



Buy 5 or more here. Include one with each cable you ship out and add $10 to the cost of the cable. You'll be an even bigger hit with us Forum goers than you are already!



Hmmm, cannot find the Victor nor the Compucessory in the UK. No overseas dealer that ships to the UK and the few that are on auction are "ship to US only" as well.


Bart; If you want, you can get one and have it shipped to me then i can send it to you. Shipping from our east coast might be a bit cheaper but not much. Figure out which you want and which seller is less "dear". My suggestion for occasional use is the Victor but if you actually do bonds the Compucessory might be fun.


Am I a bad person ?

Well, let's consider the fact that you purchased a calculator with an algebraic mode that does not have parenthesis!.

Of course, as an RPN user you wouldn't even notice this - or probably not even care. ;-)


Heck, it doesn't even have an = sign. :)


It has, barely visible on the Enter key. It is a red key, so really dangerous :-)


The first 12C Platinum, which added algebraic, did not have parenthesis either. These guys must have ripped off that design then never bothered to update it. Or maybe HP plugged the leak.

Edited: 18 Oct 2011, 12:14 p.m.


I just received the Victor V12 that I ordered last Sunday for $14.98 shipped, and it's brand new in its sealed package. There is no serial number that I can find so I have no idea when it was actually manufactured. It's pretty impressive for the price, decent contrast adjustable display and semi-clicky but very positive keys. I comes with a very nice magnetic clasp case and readable printed Owners Guide. The 2 x AAA batteries were not installed, so they were nice and fresh. Overall quality seems very good, the battery door fits tight and the calc sits evenly on its 4 rubber feet. It fired up in RPN mode and everything seems to work like it should. At this price I'm thinking of picking up another to keep as a spare.


OK, the curiousity got me - I got a Victor 12C today. It is my first non-HP RPN calculator. I'm curious to find out how good it is against the real thing.


I just bought my second Victor V12 for just $14.98 shipped. How can you beat this for the cheapest RPN programmable calculator with a good keyboard and display ? And it even comes with a really nice magnetic clasp carry case.

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