What's your worst condition HP?


My collection mostly consists of 'pristine' condition HP's and other calculators/ pocket computers. Occasionally I come across an HP that has survived a war and still functions perfectly. I find it fascinating that the signs of wear almost tell a story of a hard working life.
HERE is an example.

It is a testament to the fact that the original HP's were built to last - something that almost all of today's electronics consumables will not be able to do.



I have a colleague, whose mobile phones look very much like the Hp-12 in your photograph after a few months of usage... you absolutely need no war to do that!

My worst condition HP is an Hp-21 that from the outside could be an ideal piece for a showcase. No signs of usage at all. Looks factory new... But no keys move (the keyboard is totally stiff as if it was filled with concrete) and the electronics inside are one big lump of corroded matter of undefined composition. I suppose that if must have fallen into salt water and was left uncleaned like this for decades.



Worst condition HP? My two 15c LE with buggy firmware! Once this will be solved they will be "best condition HPs"!!'


I.e., never.


I.e., never.

Sadly, I agree. This translates for me to: I will never buy a new HP again - ever!

But it still is better than any other non-HP calculator I have.


A quality but power hungry 15C LE without low batt indicator is like a barrel of wine mixed with a glass of slurry: Brackwasser. Or, as HP stated, a 'great gift'. Some of you might know what 'gift' means in german.


Keith- I still have my first Hp 32sii- it looks similar to the 12c above. Bent, loved, used and revered.


I'll second that as my 32sii looks similar and I've always had the same sentiments towards it.


Hi Keith,

When my calculator crisis began last year, I desperately bought several 28s, 42s and a couple of 15cLE. As my crisis faded away, I realized that buying that way was ultimately a waste of money: it is better to pay now 650usd for a brand new 42s than buying 4-42s that go from almost garbage to a barely acceptable condition.

From that era:

One HP 28s 100 years American Mathematics edition: it looks like it was never used, but none of the keys in the last horizontal row work.

An HP 42s that looks like it was refurbished 50 times: it registers every key and passes self tests, but somehow when you press any key you don´t feel anything. It is like pressing a feathers pillow: the closest to feel just the air passing around your finger...

From my "original" units:

One dead 32sii (my third hp ever); it looks pretty nasty now, but in 5-6 years of life I guess it never saw any cleaning. It doesn´t power up (since 2004?), so I don´t find any reason to clean it now.

And phisically, I guess the worst is my first hp, an 11c. It looks just a bit less worn than your 12c, but I guess I dropped it at least once from a second floor, while in college. It powers up, but it doesn´t show both the dot and comma.

On the other hand, I proudly can tell you about my better units:

One boxed, brand new HP42s

One boxed, brand new HP 32s (50th Aniversary)

One boxed, brand new HP 32sii (USA made, 1989)

One sealed, brand new HP 32sii (Indonesia made)

One boxed, brand new HP 28s

One boxed, brand new HP 48gx

One boxed, brand new HP 27s

So I can say I´m happy now!!! And I hope I won´t need to buy any new calculator for the rest of my life :)

Edited: 25 Aug 2012, 5:41 p.m.


Hi Keith,

From that era:

One HP 28s 100 years American Mathematics edition: it looks like it was never used, but none of the keys in the last horizontal row work.

I have one of those. The only defect is a cracked battery compartment door.

My worst condition HP's are an HP-32E and an HP-38C which have extensive damage due to battery leakage.

I think my best HP from collector standpoint is an HP-41C with the gold plated ball bearings in the battery compartment and bug 2 in the software.


I removed the battery from all my calc as soon as i finish playing with them.... Got a big bag full of various batteries...Sure sign of a collector ;)...

The only pristine ones i got were the ones i bought at stores myself back in the old days, HP 48SX, 32Sii. That was back in 10th grade.. Wish I knew better and bought a bunch of the 42s back then....


My worst by far are a 67 and a 97 salvaged from an engineering co. that a friend worked for. They both look like they were worked like rented mules. Each one has a few mushy and non-functioning keys which according to Randy means they're probably toast.

Most of my older HP's have died either by misadventure or by keyboard or display malfunction. I still have the first one I bought new, a 16C, but it's far from showroom condition.


Edited: 26 Aug 2012, 8:52 p.m.


Hi Fabricio,

One HP 28s 100 years American Mathematics edition: it looks like it was never used, but none of the keys in the last horizontal row work.

Interesting I bought one of these and it had the same problem. Bought another being a little dissatisfied, and it also had the same problem! Must have been a common problem with this edition of the 28S.

That 12C would buff up nicely!


HP 27S I got from TAS. The screen has been scratched a bit.

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