Happy Birthday HP9810A


The day is near to celebrate the 40th birthday of the HP9810A.
The first machines where produced in late 1971. One of my 9810s (I have 3 working and one waiting fo repair) may be one of the oldest produced in Boeblingen, Germany. It has the serial 1147G00560 which qualifies it as one of the first series. The ICs inside have datecodes between 7045 and 7144. The seal on the memory cage has a hand written date 7.2.72 (7th of feb. 1972), obviously written by a HP service man (the famous KG., whoever that may have been) when the machine was delivered to the customer, my school. So the machine must have been assembled somewhen between November 1971 and January 1972. I'm curious if someone has an older 9810. I was able to buy that machine some years ago from my old school.

On that very machine I wrote my first program ever in 1973, which solves a highly complex mathematical problem: calculating the binomial products of two numbers entered by the user. The program was coded with a pencil on marked cards and could be entered into the calc by the 9860A card reader.

My contribution to the birthday is the latest release 1.50 of my HP9800 emulator, which may be found on www.sourceforge.net/projects/hp9800e. It will propably be the final release since after nearly five years I finished the family of series 9800 calculators with the HP9821A. After a long quest I came by the original 9821 system ROMs and read them out for use in the emulator.


thanks for sharing this beautiful machine. I didn't know HP desktop calculators were made in Germany.

hpnut in Malaysia


HP once did some test equipment manufacturing in Germany. I suspect a lot of it had to do with not shipping heavy things like metal casework and transformers (Although Carnegie Mellon has a lot of 80s HP function generators that were "Made in the Federal Republic of Germany").


Very nice.

The 9810A that I have was also made in Germany, with a serial number of: 1410G02081. So HP was producing the 9810 in Germany for at least a couple of years. I bought it from someone in the Netherlands about 10 years ago and paid to ship it to the US. It needed work to rebuild the card reader and printer and a new power switch but it's still working.



The emulators are very impressive.
But it is very difficult to read the key-labels. The images are just too small. For example I've start the 'HP9820A.cmd' and I cannot read the keys's and labels on and above the keys on the part with 1, 2 and 3 (left side of the emulator).
Is it possible to use bigger images for the calculators so that it's easier to sea what's on and above the labels?


Yes, I know of this issue. The image resolution is a compromise to all possible display sizes down to 1024x768. If I would rise the resolution the window would'n fit on such a display. On the other hand the resolution is optimized to match with the size of the LED display and printer output. Printer dots are 1x1 pixel and the 9810 LED segments are 1 px wide. Here the next possible step would be to double the dot size (from 1x1 to 2x2). Consequently the keyboard would have to be 2000px wide, which fits on neary no display.


My 9810 with highest serial has 1410G02889. The IC date codes range from 7335 to 7648, so it was propably manufactured in late 1976.

The HP factory in Boeblingen exists since 1959 and they produced besides the desktop calculators HP workstions (series 9000) and unix servers.

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