Trouble dumping Pioneer ROM via IR


I have been trying to dump an HP17Bii ROM image using the technique and tools available at CPROMUPL with little success.

I have tried both an HP48SX with merged 128KB RAM card (~150KB free memory) and a HP48G boosted to 128KB with a RAM upgrade (effectively a 48G+??).

I have been using an external battery pack of 3 AA cells for the HP17Bii to ensure that I have good power there. The batteries in both the 48s are good enough.

I have repeated the IR upload at least 6 times and have never had a repeatable image. A couple of times I have seen 0 in stack level 1 but at least 4 times I have had a 1 (admittedly, I got bored and started watching a soccer game on TV during the first upload -- using an IR remote!! Oops!).

Most of the time the CAPC2BIN program has been telling me it could not find the SOH but a few times it has started spitting out sequential block numbers only to pack it in with a CRC error (??) somewhere before the end of the process.

I have the 17Bii and the 48 only about 2-3mm apart for these attempts. The LEDs are quite well aligned.

I switched to the 48G in the vane hope that it might be because the SX was not fast enough -- still no dice.

Can anyone suggest something that I could try differently? (I am getting so I can type the Pioneer program in by heart! Sigh!!)


I remember having performed the same procedure several years ago to dump an HP 28S ROM image using an HP 48G (yes, 32K). It went flawlessly and I never had a corrupted segment. Good alignment and short distance is indeed very important. I kept the two calcs in the dark in my computer closet (because the 48G needed to be connected to my computer through the serial connector to unload the received segments).


Only 2..3mm apart? Uh! Just give it a try with some more distance, pls. About 25cm up to 1m (or one yard), just to prevent EM interference.



That seems to contradict the comment in Christoph's instructions:

Put the IR transmitter LED of the Pioneer calculator and the IR receiver LED of
the HP48 together. Therefore the calculator transmitter LED should point to the
arrow marker on top of the HP48. The LED's of both calculators should have a
similar height. I got best results with calculator distance of about 5 mm (0.2
inch). Avoid external IR light please.

I can't quite see this being an EMI issue.

I think I will try Jeroen's "dark closet" technique and see if I can get better luck.



It doesen't matter if you use a distance of 5 or 6mm or maybe 7mm, the critical part nowadays and also in past are especially the external IR light over the energy saving lamps driven with 50 or 60Hz supply frequency.

The larger distances of 30-50cm to a HP82240B printer or 3m and more to a receiver using a Temic TSOP1833 or TSOP4133 receiver chip are possible because the greater sensivity and filter capabilities of these specialized chips rather than the IR receiving unit of the HP48.

I got better result when I put a piece of (folded) paper over the calculators especially over the IR light area.


the critical part nowadays and also in past are especially the external IR light over the energy saving lamps driven with 50 or 60Hz supply frequency.

That is probably it. I dumped the ROM of my 42S many years ago. Worked first time without a problem. I didn't use any energy saving light bulbs at the time.

Thanks Christoph! There is nothing like getting details from the actual source!

I had not thought about household lights but my house is full of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). I will dig out an incandescent to light my little work space.

I have tried it yet some more: 2 separate 17Bii calcs, both the 48SX with 128 KB RAM card and the 48G with boosted RAM chip, varied spacing between the devices (5 - 15 mm?). I think I am up to 12 attempts now! :-) The closest I have gotten is slightly over half the image acquired accurately. This number comes from CAPC2BIN reporting correct blocks (~0x8100(??) is the highest I have achieved). When I compare the dumped partial result from CAPC2BIN to an actual dump (same ROM version), it certainly looks like I am loosing sync along the way. (I seemed to have acquired a copy of the ROM from a kind soul in the last little while that was not sourced from one of my 5 17Biis -- the 2 I am trying to dump, one which I busted, one which is out on permanent loan to my sister, and the last one is the international which is my ultimate target -- but it has a fair bit in the SOLVER area that I will have to copy down and reload.)

It was suggested that I make sure that "NO AC ADAPTER" is on in order to space out the stream (I think that was idea). I will try that as well.

Thankfully, my little triple AA hot-wire adaptor (a little balsa wood, 2 thumb tacks, some wire, and an external battery holder) has lots of juice! I do not intend to give up until I get that darn thing dumped. After all, it has been claimed to be "easy" by many folks. :-)

Best regards...

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