HP-41 'Tall Keys'--which ones?


Hi all.

I'm wondering. How can I tell if I have a 'Tall Keys' version of an HP-41? Was the Tall Keys version only found on 41Cs or are there 41CV models with the Tall Keys design? If so, how can I tell if my HP-41CVs are Tall Keys versions? Was there a serial number run or is there some other way to tell?



They look quite different around the keyboard area. The tall keys models have, well taller keys. Steeper fronts to the keys too.

- Pauli


The "tall keys" aren't actually any taller, they just have a steeper slope on the front edge. Fairly early on, HP decided to make the slope shallower to make the blue alpha legends on that front slope more easily visible.

No "tall keys" 41CV or 41CX models were officially sold. If someone has one, it is cobbled together from parts.


The "tall keys" aren't actually any taller, they just have a steeper slope on the front edge.
A small correction. The "tall keys" _are_ taller indeed.

If you look from the side, you'll see the top of the tall keys can be seen.

Actually they're up to ~0.4mm higher than the case edge.

The newer keys never "look over the edge", unless they're faulty.




The newer keys never "look over the edge", unless they're faulty.


You mean when the case in not prperly closeable (cracked posts)?




Thanks for the correction. Can someone take a side-view photo of a tall-keys model showing how much the keys are anti-recessed? Thanks in advance!


Here is an exmple:




Being in a museum look at its exhibits:

These here are NOT tall keys - tall keys show a significantly steeper front. HTH


...and... when it comes to compare, nothing better than having "something" to compare with: (Google is your friend... ;-)

These *are* tall keys.



PS: Did HP-41C tall keys blanknut ever exist?

Photo from Keith Midson (c) 2012.

Edited: 21 June 2012, 11:48 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


PERFECT!!! Those profile views are exactly what help me figure this out! Thanks, folks!


Nice photo! Should give photo credits for this as its copyrighted ;)


Hi Keith,

Deserved credit has been added to my previous post, and my apologies, didn't realize the (c) note on your Flickr collection.

Please let me know if your prefer the image to be removed from the post, and I'll try to find another public-domain one.

Best regards.

Diego Diaz.


Hi Diego, it's ok - I set up my online museum to share information - the people in this forum are probably the ones that visit it the most. I didn't mean to sound harsh, and I'm glad my images can assist this forum. Kind regards, Keith


Tall keys close up front view

Normal keys close up front view

Tall keys close up side view

Normal keys close up side view

The Tall keys is a hobbiest term which differentiates between the old style framed and steep front slopes from the post 1980 unframed vertically challenged keys.

The Tall keys were similar to the 67 versions with steep fronts and the framing.

CV's with tall keys are controversial in as much as the records are vague. HP definitely upgraded tall keys defunct 41C PCA's with CV PCA's giving rise to Tall key CV's.

The question is; were there production CV's with Tall Keys and that unfortunately is for speculation. In fact you could add a CX board to the Tall keys keyboard very easily. My CL is in a tall keys because of the contrast: a 1979 early 41C sporting a 2011 CL board.

Cheers, Geoff

Edited: 19 June 2012, 7:38 a.m.


Hi Geoff, how are you, you like macro pictures too, as I can see, don't you?




And those pics REALLY make the point very clear! Exactly what I needed to see! Again, thank you!


Hi Geoff,

In fact you could add a CX board to the Tall keys keyboard very easily.

Yes indeed, the (somehow) difficult part is replacing the "C" keyboard overlay, silver framed, with the golden framed used in "CV" and "CX"... and don't forget the model label in the bottom edge.

Last, but not least, you'll need to make sure that the bottom half has a "coherent" serial number, and that the rear label "matches" both the serial nr. date and the model in the edge label; and, AFAIK there were no tall keys KB manufactured outside USA nor CX manufactured in USA. Please correct me on that point if you know otherwise.

Mmm... it certainly looks like a nice refurbishing project for the cool (somewhere else) winter afternoons... ;-)

I'm in fact convinced that some early HP-41C owners, used to the HP-67 type KB, decided to keep the tall keys when "upgraded" to the "CV"; and this may be the origin of the few tall key "CV" that come around everynow and then.

Cheers from (too hot now) Dominican Republic.


Edited: 19 June 2012, 6:58 p.m.


Hi there,

this is an old-new debate...you can find in my dropbox folder:


some photos of my 41CV with tall keys...I only can say that I have never manipulated it and that I am the only "collector" owner...because I bought it for peanuts without realising it was tall keys version...up to you now!

more wood to the fire....;-D



Edited: 19 June 2012, 9:32 a.m.

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