Spices--Were they a hot spicy repair number?


Hello all.

From speaking with Don O'Rourke at International Calculators & Computers, the Spice series are a service and maintenance nightmare. What makes/made them so problematic to work on?



I have about a dozen, half o'them working.


Which begs the question--why were they so troublesome then and now?


non-soldered contacts, loose/loose-able battery door, battery juice able to not only eat the ribbon cable but creep onto the pcb, suicide-prone charging system.



The non-working units simply stopped working. Chances are this is related to 'db's pointed-out many reasons (Hi, d.b.!). If it is a solderless unit, I have once suggested slightly bending the IC's terminals down, as shown in this drawing.

After bending it slightly and reassembling the calculator, chances are it will get back to normal operation. I have done this many times, and in most cases they worked better. In others, though...

But then again, who knows...


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 4 Apr 2012, 8:29 p.m.


One of the many Spice problems:


What am I supposed to see here?


Broken, corroded batteries contacts...?!

Edited: 4 Apr 2012, 10:45 p.m.


Ah! I see it now. Thanks for letting me know what to look for The pic should've zoomed in on the contacts.


Here's an example of what Spice contacts in good condition look like:


I tried to repair myself half a dozen of spices, sometimes succedding in it, in one case I requested the help of a friend of mine who did one of the best repearing work ever I've seen.
I think they are repearable but they require a lot of patience (I mean both, soldered and not soldered). The first time I opened one of them I thought that maybe the ribbon is the craziest invention of that time. I cant understand how it was possible to find inside a very very expensive (at that time) machine, such a "Achille's heel"........to replace it with a nowadays ribbon cable require a good soldering work and quite a good experience in that job. If I'm not wrong "modern" flat cables were used already in the industries at that time so I don't understand the choice of the ribbon.. for our spice calculators

Edited: 5 Apr 2012, 11:53 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


Automatic assembly line with a ready-to-insert component. No human intervention, less costs.


I see.......profict, means


... or, simply low cost.



I have used flat cables sometimes to repair Spices. The picture below shows one of the very first repairs. It was an HP31E, IIRC. It is one of the few still working.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 5 Apr 2012, 12:31 p.m.


Yes, Luiz, I remember this picture: I used it and other your samples, like the H.Bible in repairing my 33c, and even with a 34c; with the second one actually the problem was not only related to the power connection. A saint named Ignazio gave back the life to "her" starting from my rough uncompleted work and now "she" lives again!

Edited: 5 Apr 2012, 1:32 p.m.


Is there a material that will closely resemble a battery tab that can be "re-riveted" onto the pcb? I have an HP32e that has one broken tab and I'd like to repair it so that it mimics the original. Any sources for material and repair clues?


Half hard copper sheet for battery tabs

IMO, rivets are too much trouble and they become too thick, interfering with battery fit.

I have had good success fabricating a tab then drill an appropriate hole large enough to fit over the existing rivet and remaining tab of the original contact. Solder the tab onto the remaining tab. Takes far more time to fab a good contact than any other part of the job.


Perfect! Thanks Randy!!!


I've gotta ask since I've seen it here most frequently: What does IIRC mean?


IIRC If I Recall/Remember Correctly

Remember Google is your friend ;-)



Being a foreigner, not native English speaker, I feel a bit awkward writing about this, so if I am going places I should not, please let me know.

Also a wilder search would lead you here. For that matter, these are other commonly used acronyms fairly found here:

AFAIK - As Far As I Know

IMHO - In My Humble Opinion

RTFM - Read The F***'n Manual (sorry, could not help) OR

RTFM - Read The Fabulous Manual (one of the many polite forms...)

Have I missed any other as well used?


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 6 Apr 2012, 6:31 p.m.


Another one having read the posts about IR printing from the WP-34s above:

YMMV - Your mileage may vary (ie your experience may be different)



Edited: 7 Apr 2012, 1:27 a.m.


LTFU - Listen to the F***ing user!!!!
FWIW (For what it's worth...)


Luiz, a good way, for me, this forum, to improve my poor knowledge of the English "technical" language :=)

Edited: 7 Apr 2012, 9:54 a.m.


You bet you're right!

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