Auction Scam of the Week?


Have a look at this offer in the German TAS:

The advertising text in original language:

"Taschenrechner HP 41CV, mit Kartenleser, Taschenrechnertasche, alles noch gut in Funktion und sehr gut erhalten.

Dieser Taschenrechner hat echte Goldkontakte! Wurde wurde für den Einsatz des 1 Mondfluges - Apollo entwickelt und ist heute eine Rarität!

Dieses Modell wurde beim 1 Mondflug von Apollo verwendet - und war zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht käuflich zu erwerben! Taschenrechner aus dem Jahr 1982! NP damals mit Kartenleser 1600 DM."

The translation reads like this:

"Calculator HP 41 CV, with card reader, calculator pocket, all in good function yet and very well preserved.

This calculator has real gold contacts! It has been developed for the operation of the 1 moon flight - Apollo, and is a rarity today!

This model has been used in the 1 moon flight of Apollo - and was not available for buying at that time point! Calculator of the year 1982! Original price back then with card reader 1600 Deutsche Mark."

And this for a starting offer of "only" 989.45 Euros. No further comments.


I think the description is extremely misleading and personally I would consider it to be a scam. The description suggests this items has been space flown, but offers no proof - so it's rather a standard item being extremely oevrpriced.


It's not even correct about ANY unit of the HP-41 family. No HP-41 was flown on any Apollo flight, including the ASTP and Skylab missions.

No HP calculator was developed specifically for any NASA missions. There have been claims that the HP 82180A Time Module was developed at the behest of NASA, but I am skeptical and have not seen such a statement from any authoritative source.

The HP-65 was used on the ASTP mission, and the HP-41C was used on early Space Shuttle missions. The calculators were purchased through normal retail channels, and were not custom-made for NASA.


In fact, the HP-41 appeared after the Apollo program was over... This would make this auctioned HP-41C not only a space-travelling calculator but a time-travelling one as well. So the price is a bargain :-)


No HP-41 was flown on any Apollo flight, including the ASTP and Skylab missions.

I think the fellow simply got confused about the Apollo trips to the moon versus the Space Shuttle trips to the moon. :-)

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