Programming the 39GII


I like this calculator especially because its good screen, good keys an easy programming.
My experience so far:

EDITLIST(list) does not work. This instruction is described in the manual, but it is not in
the programming templates menu (push SHIFT Cmds, then I/O). When you use it in a program it
gives an error. EDITMAT works however.

WAIT(seconds)is not described in the manual, but it works. WAIT(0) does not wait for a
keypress but waits 0 seconds. I regret that.

With graphic instructions when you use the _P option, then integers are expected. Using
reals as coordinates gives an error.

RECT_P with color codes remembers the last used colors. So 0,0 is not default. When you
used 3,3 last time then 3,3 becomes default.

The strange behaviour of the 10^x key is a serious bug (posted by Bunuel66 on 10 Aug). When
calculating with decibels you need this function all the time. So when your work (or study)
involves electronics or acoustics you cannot use the 39GII as a plain calculator.



Hi Herman,

I think HP team is aware about this and works for new ROMs to upload on your calc.

About 10^x perhaps I misunderstood something but i don't think it s a bug. You just have to put an explicit multiplication in your formula (or use EEX key). Have you an example ?

Edited: 22 Aug 2012, 5:53 a.m.


An example is adding two sound levels the way you do that on other HP calculatours. Say you have two sound sources of 50dB and 51dB. Together that is 10LOG(10^(50/10)+10^(51/10)) decibel. On other calculators (15C, 35s, 20S, 41) you type: 5, 10^x, 5.1, 10^x, +, LOG, 10, *. That's it. On the 39GII you can not do that. Of course there is a work-around, but when you do this type of calculations regulary, you'd rather take another calculator.

Regards, Herman


10LOG(10^(50/10)+10^(51/10)) decibel. On other calculators (15C, 35s, 20S, 41) you type: 5, 10^x, 5.1, 10^x, +, LOG, 10, *

If I translate the 15... 41 behavior :

give 53.53.... on mine 39gII wich seems correct

Same with "10LOG(10^(50/10)+10^(51/10))"

I remember for Bunuel, the problem is :
310^2 (key 3 10^ 2) is interpreted as (310²) and not 3*10^2
so we have to wrote 3*10^2 ( key 3 * 10^ 2)

PS :just to add that I agree with Bunnuel for this aspect. As the 39gII uses implicit multiplication for everything, it must be the same for 10^ ....

Edited: 22 Aug 2012, 7:46 a.m.


When I push SHIFT 10^x then I expect the function and not the string of characters. But I get the characters. Other keys do the same thing so this is by design. So I shouldn'd have called it a bug.
This behaviour makes it less useable as a plain calculator. I like it as a programmable calculator however.


I agree !

10^ may be a function as on the 50G and all calcutors you listed and not just a shortcut of type 1 0 ^

Edited: 22 Aug 2012, 8:14 a.m.



Sorry, I see no impossibility to make the spcific dB addition on an HP39gII. Of course, despite HP15C, 35S, 41..., you have to be sure to use an algebraic entry method.

You have many variations possible, but the main and simplest way is to type in exactly as the formulae you give :

10LOG(10^5.1+10^5.0) [ENT] 

The second capture shows a way to make it in two steps.



Did you make the captures using an emulator? I got no Emulator and no USB Connectivity Kit with my 39gII. Are they available somewhere? It would be a great help for productivity in programming the machine.


Yes, now i see what i did wrong. I am not used to the algebraic entry method. I first press 5 and then 10^x assuming that 5 goes into some x register. That's the RPN way of thinking. But also the non-RPN HP20S worked that way. I have to get used to the algebratic method when I want to use this calculator for quick calculations.

But I bought it mainly for its programming capabilities and the way you can make graphic representations of the results. This discussion only focussed on the last point of my list. To me my first point EDITLIST is more frustrating. The concept of lists is new to me (haven't used the HP39 .. 50) and it is a great way to deal with sets of data like sound spectra in my case. It would be nice to use the list editor from within a program but I can not get it to work. Now I have to prepare the lists first and then start the program, step out the program when I want to change something and start again. Of course I could program some editor, but that's not the point.

Regards, Herman


Like this?

Keypresses were 1 0 [LOG] [SHIFT] [10^] [(] 5 0 [/] 1 0 [)] [+] [SHIFT] [10^] [(] 5 1 [/] 1 0 [)] [ENTER]

Or if prefered...

1 0 [LOG] [SHIFT] [10^] 5 [+] [SHIFT] [10^] 5.1 [ENTER]


Edited: 22 Aug 2012, 2:05 p.m.


Tim, You lucky guy :)

But the 10^ new behavior is not even on last release in beta test forum.

Can't wait to see it.

Hope it will sneeke quickly on public release.



Any idea about the EDITLIST problem? This command simply doesn't seem to exist. E.g. typing EDITMAT at the Home screen without arguments gives a syntax error. Typing EDITLIST turns into E*D*I*T*L*I*S*T, clearly indicating that this command obviously doesn't exist.


VER:09/May/2012 $Revision 16633


The only thing not resolved there is that WAIT(0) thing. It is actually very tricky to implement in the new architecture and we haven't really figured out a good way to do it yet.


Edited: 22 Aug 2012, 6:15 p.m.


Change the documentation? :-)

- Pauli


Only thing in the manual at the moment is the name in table as a command. No details.

So no. :-)



Hi Tim,

please forgive my ignorance. But I really don't understand your answer to my question about EDITLIST. Did I miss something obvious?

Günter, help please


>The only thing not resolved [already] there [in the original list]

You are correct that it does not exist in your current firmware. EDITLIST was apparently documented but not implemented. That has been resolved.

Oops. :-(


Edited: 24 Aug 2012, 5:51 p.m.


Hi Tim,

thanks for the (almost) clarification. If I understood you correctly EDITLIST will be available with the next firmware?

Thanks, Günter

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