Best HP calculator for crunching numbers



#53

I'm a teacher going through HS Physics certification so I will be developing a deep relationship with my calculator. I've read a bunch of threads on here and read recommendations along the lines of what the best scientific calculator is. Being that the readership here are scientific/engineering/programming types, the calculator's programming abilities are often factored in poster's opinions of what is best.

But let's say I'm just solving problems through my Physics course and just want to do it with maximal efficiency sans programming - which HP calculator?

Btw I have a HP-35s and while it works just fine, I am interested in the best pure manual number cruncher.

A couple of links below for some idea of what I am thinking

http://www.uiltexas.org/files/academics/calculator-app-video-transcript.txt

http://www.uiltexas.org/files/constitution/uil-ccr-section-924-928.pdf

Survey of calcs, note the kids busting out the HP32II:
http://www.uiltexas.org/files/academics/CalculatorSurvey2013.pdf

Why the 32II - the two function keys cutting down on menu-usage, price availability?


#54

My guess on the prevalence of the 32SII is that for a while, the 32SII was the only RPN option available. I foolishly sold my 41CX and when I realized I couldn't live without RPN, I quickly found the 32SII was the most available. I quickly found that it was an awesome scientific/engineering calculator.


#55

WP 34S of course!


#56

I read up on the WP 34s and it looks great. Although it seems its keypad is optimized for programming, I may buy one just to have it.

It would be great if there was a more mundane version with the math keys grouped together so I could underuse it as manual computing aide. I would prefer this "dumb" version to the older, classic HPs because of the work put into the calculator because of the processor and the work you guys put into it.


#57

Quote:
I read up on the WP 34s and it looks great. Although it seems its keypad is optimized for programming, I may buy one just to have it.

Recommended d:-) How, however, did you get the opinion its keyboard being 'optimized for programming'??


Quote:
It would be great if there was a more mundane version with the math keys grouped together so I could underuse it as manual computing aide. I would prefer this "dumb" version to the older, classic HPs because of the work put into the calculator because of the processor and the work you guys put into it.

"Underuse"? Please tell me where we could have done further math key grouping. And please decode your last sentence for me. TIA for enlightenment.

d:-)


#58

Quote:

"Underuse"? Please tell me where we could have done further math key grouping. And please decode your last sentence for me. TIA for enlightenment.

d:-)


Please don't take this as criticism of your effort. It is only for the usage as a simple non-programing rpn.

Just that the some of the math (1/x, y^x, x^1/2) are separated from other common math keys like e^x, ln, 10^x, Logx etc (there's also a yellow 1/x?). Other than the top line (1/x, y^x, x^1/2), those other keys are shifted. So while all the operations are there it is a little more difficult to get to.

The last sentence: It has the guts of a modern calculator. I love that you guys are poring over every aspect of this calculator so that it doesn't have permanent bugs like those listed on the 35s bug list. One of the things I gather that builds that HP halo for their old calculator is they cared. It seems the WP 34s carries that tradition on. I am complimenting the 34s by saying I would buy even though it is not perfect for me.


#59

Quote:
Just that the some of the math (1/x, y^x, x^1/2) are separated from other common math keys like e^x, ln, 10^x, Logx etc (there's also a yellow 1/x?). Other than the top line (1/x, y^x, x^1/2), those other keys are shifted. So while all the operations are there it is a little more difficult to get to.

There's a simple reason: the four top left keys od thw WP 34S may be redefined by you. Compare the two hotkeys of the HP-34C. Every other label is just fixed. In case you redefine said four keys you need a fallback access to Sigma+, 1/x, y^x, and x^1/2 - therefore those f-shifted labels exist for the latter three and an h-shifted for Sigma+.

Anyway you find all your standard transcendental math in rows 1 and 4. And generally they need prefixes for lack of keytop space - the four top left keys are just shortcuts for your comfort as long as you don't program (what you mentioned you won't do). Compare the HP-34C where you don't find a single unshifted transcendental math operation.

Nothing is perfect. If you know a better layout for 37 keys feel free to tell me.

d:-)


#60

Thanks for taking the time to explain why it is setup like it is. Is there a hard limit on the hardware/software for the 4 assignable buttons?

I will try flashing a 30b so I can see how it is in practice.


Quote:


There's a simple reason: the four top left keys od thw WP 34S may be redefined by you. Compare the two hotkeys of the HP-34C. Every other label is just fixed. In case you redefine said four keys you need a fallback access to Sigma+, 1/x, y^x, and x^1/2 - therefore those f-shifted labels exist for the latter three and an h-shifted for Sigma+.

Anyway you find all your standard transcendental math in rows 1 and 4. And generally they need prefixes for lack of keytop space - the four top left keys are just shortcuts for your comfort as long as you don't program (what you mentioned you won't do). Compare the HP-34C where you don't find a single unshifted transcendental math operation.

Nothing is perfect. If you know a better layout for 37 keys feel free to tell me.

d:-)



#61

Quote:
Thanks for taking the time to explain why it is setup like it is.

You're welcome.
Quote:
Is there a hard limit on the hardware/software for the 4 assignable buttons?

Nothing's hard in software except memory limits ;-) The keys [->] and [CPX], however, are kind of additional prefix keys - so they may be used quite frequently. You'll get an idea when you take a look into the manual ...
Quote:
I will try flashing a 30b so I can see how it is in practice.

Recommended!

d:-)

#62

Quote:
My guess on the prevalence of the 32SII is that for a while, the 32SII was the only RPN option available. I foolishly sold my 41CX and when I realized I couldn't live without RPN, I quickly found the 32SII was the most available. I quickly found that it was an awesome scientific/engineering calculator.

At least for the links to this 2013 HS competition (look at the usage graph), either they all have been passed down, the school bought them in earlier years or they sought them out on ebay because that's what the successful kids were using.

A long time ago I owned an 11C, 19B, and a couple of 12Cs. I found that when I spent time on calculators, rpn was just easier to live with. I think I passed those calculators on to people I knew to try to spread the word when I didn't need them so much anymore.

#63

Well, as you don't want to program the calc, use the one that has the best keyboard and display for your purposes.

I prefer the Voyagers (HP-15LE) as its landscape mode allows me to operate it with both hands, similar to a game console's keypad.


#64

I do have a borrowed USA-made 15c in front of me and my HP 35s. I am a little surprised that the HP 35s key-feel is at least as good as the 15c I have. It may be that it is a sub-par example of a vintage 15c. I am surprised at the size difference between the two. The 15c is almost exactly the size of the 35s keypad area. I may get a 11c/15c to travel with. Am I correct in thinking the 11c is just about the same as a 15c outside of programming and complex math?

As for my purposes, the scope is HS advanced placement physics or the typical intro Physics course in college. I am sure the typical scientific calc would suffice, but I note that the key layouts change slightly on the HP calcs and am looking for preferences from people who have used them a lot.


#65

Quote:
Am I correct in thinking the 11c is just about the same as a 15c outside of programming and complex math?
For difference details, you can check the HP 11C & 15C Feature Comparison.

Using the MoHPC Calculator Feature Comparison you can compare up to 8 HP calculators, however this doesn't include recent ones such as the 35s.

#66

In my work desk drawer I have a 15CLE, 35s and 50g, as well as sundry TIs and Casios. The one I am most likely to use for evaluating numeric expressions is the 35s, because (of course) RPN is quicker and more reliable than typing parentheses, and because the two line display gives me confirmation that numbers coming from the stack are what I meant them to be. Of course the 50g is even better for keeping track of the stack, but it's more cumbersome on the desk and I think, heavier on batteries.
The 15CLE I often take to meetings, partly because of its small size, but also to see the expressions of senior engineers who used HP Voyagers 30 years ago and didn't know of the re-issue.
In terms of key feel, I don't think there's much to choose between these three recent HPs - but I don't have much experience of older versions to compare with.


#67

Quote:
In my work desk drawer I have a 15CLE, 35s and 50g, as well as sundry TIs and Casios. The one I am most likely to use for evaluating numeric expressions is the 35s, because (of course) RPN is quicker and more reliable than typing parentheses, and because the two line display gives me confirmation that numbers coming from the stack are what I meant them to be. Of course the 50g is even better for keeping track of the stack, but it's more cumbersome on the desk and I think, heavier on batteries.
The 15CLE I often take to meetings, partly because of its small size, but also to see the expressions of senior engineers who used HP Voyagers 30 years ago and didn't know of the re-issue.
In terms of key feel, I don't think there's much to choose between these three recent HPs - but I don't have much experience of older versions to compare with.

Good point about seeing the stack. I really like the clarity of the display on the 15c's LCD but I do miss the two-line display on my 35s. Even though I carry the Y: stack value in my head, I would like to see it to cut down on possible errors on my part.

#68

At work on my desk I have a WP-34s, 34C, 15C, 39gII and 300s+ at the moment. Oh, and there's a 40gs on the floor for some reason.

I almost always use the 15C for quick calculations unless units are involved. I find the WP-34s keys not nearly as reliable as the 15C - I might should swap it with my home unit.

For unit calculations, I use my emulated 48GX on my iPhone or iPad mini (or sometimes my real 50g from my portfolio bag).

At home at my desk I normally use a 35s, a WP-34s or my iPhone 48GX again. Away from my desk its normally the iPad emulated 48GX.

I also have access to a bunch more (41CV, 48SX, 32S II, 16C, 11C, 12C, 42S, etc.).

Overall I think I would recommend the 15C or 11C.

#69

For me, the landscape layout really helps in typing equations really fast. Try to calculate some equations which you have to use in the courses and choose what suits you most.

For me, using the 15C really outperforms any other calc HP Portrait, Sharp and my old Commodore. Plus, it is IMHO the coolest looking calc ever.

#70

You might find an HP-48G/GX or an HP-50g advantageous for reasons you have not mentioned. They crunch numbers in RPN, so you'd lose nothing there, but the big screens allow you to see more stack levels, which is helpful.

They might make unit conversions (an annoying feature of US physics teaching) easier.

You could write and save little programs (e.g., to calculate projectile motion for arbitrary initial velocity and height of muzzle above ground, or to add sine waves to produce beats). These calculators use RPL for programming, but it should not be too hard to learn to write such programs.

These calculators would allow you to establish a file structure in which to keep your programs, which would make review of an entire physics book easier. (The big memory of the HP-50g would be a point in its favor over the 48s.)

But your AP physics students are not likely to be RPN fans (even in Texas, despite all the HP-32SIIs in that survey), and to teach them you might be better off learning how to do all that physics on calculators they actually use. That probably means preparing for this certification using a suitable TI calculator.

#71

I have both the HP-15C Limited Edition,and the WP-34S, and I must admit that when I first got the WP-34S (when I hadn't familiarized myself with it's wonderful features) the keyboard did seem slightly cluttered and it was initially hard to find the functions I was looking for.

But as I began to use it more, I began to realize the genius of how well the keyboard is laid out. The number of shift keys to be pressed is almost identical to other scientific calculators, and total keystroke count is way under any NON-RPN calculator.

Now I almost never use my HP-15C, because the answers are so much more accurate and easy to compute with the WP-34S.

If you consider the 8-DEEP stack you can solve some very complex problems with the WP-34s, and the matrix math is a dream. I love using the SHOW browser to look over my matrix results.

I honestly think that the more you use the calculator the better you appreciate how superior it is!


#72

I'm going to try it out if I can find one of the unobtanium cables.

Quote:
I have both the HP-15C Limited Edition,and the WP-34S, and I must admit that when I first got the WP-34S (when I hadn't familiarized myself with it's wonderful features) the keyboard did seem slightly cluttered and it was initially hard to find the functions I was looking for.

But as I began to use it more, I began to realize the genius of how well the keyboard is laid out. The number of shift keys to be pressed is almost identical to other scientific calculators, and total keystroke count is way under any NON-RPN calculator.

Now I almost never use my HP-15C, because the answers are so much more accurate and easy to compute with the WP-34S.

If you consider the 8-DEEP stack you can solve some very complex problems with the WP-34s, and the matrix math is a dream. I love using the SHOW browser to look over my matrix results.

I honestly think that the more you use the calculator the better you appreciate how superior it is!



#73

Even if you can't find one of the unobtainium cables, you can add the "Harald Pott" mod and then all you need is a standard USB to micro USB cable. I installed this mod on my calculator, and I love it.

I didn't bother to add the IR LED, in my case, because I don't own an infrared printer.


#74

I saw some picture of the process. I was intending to skip the whole crystal clock timing step to avoid soldering. My soldering skills are not so great so there's a high probability I mess that up.

Quote:
Even if you can't find one of the unobtainium cables, you can add the "Harald Pott" mod and then all you need is a standard USB to micro USB cable. I installed this mod on my calculator, and I love it.

I didn't bother to add the IR LED, in my case, because I don't own an infrared printer.



#75

It is pretty small work. I used a sterographic surface mount microscope and a special tiny-tipped soldering iron to make it
more manageable. I was surprised, when it was done, it came out much better than I thought it would. I used a small square file to make the hole for the usb port and the end result looks just like
it was a factory installed micro USB port.

If you have the right tools it is pretty easy. If not maybe a nearby friend or colleague can help you out.


#76

I've already ordered some overlays so eventually I'll find a way of getting it done.

In my opinion, something like this should form the basis of completed versions offered for sale. Although there is great effort in bug-fixing and patching by the creators, the end-user is out of luck without a cable or an installed harald-usb port to apply it. A bit of a dilemma for me. Obviously the calculator is hugely capable and the future patches wouldn't likely affect me (afterall I currently use a 35s), it would bother somewhat knowing I could reflash for the latest but can't.

Quote:
It is pretty small work. I used a sterographic surface mount microscope and a special tiny-tipped soldering iron to make it
more manageable. I was surprised, when it was done, it came out much better than I thought it would. I used a small square file to make the hole for the usb port and the end result looks just like
it was a factory installed micro USB port.

If you have the right tools it is pretty easy. If not maybe a nearby friend or colleague can help you out.


Edited: 5 Aug 2013, 8:20 a.m.


#77

Quote:
In my opinion, something like this should form the basis of completed versions offered for sale.

It does already. You can buy completed versions. But keep in mind that we're talking about some 100 to 300 specimens of the WP 34S living on this planet today as far as I can guess. Any salesperson trying to make a living from that (or any related service) will starve very soon. [bitter grin]

Why don't they 'sell' better though being the most powerful RPN calculators you can get? That's pretty simple:

  • No professional keys - just keytop overlays. Although working very well (thanks, Eric!) this assembly simply is no professional solution - it is in fact far less reliable than any print directly on the keys would be.
  • No marketing beyond this forum and a few more sites for nerds.
  • Just two small sales channels so far. No chance to get far more with that solution.

Why don't we make them more professional? That's the direct consequence:

  • High startup costs (tooling!) without any chance for us to get that (hypothetical) invest returned by sales.
  • You can get a WP 34S for just a little more than an HP-30b today and it 'sells' poor - if we'd allocate all our (mainly time) expenses to that project that would result in a price you don't want to know - which will cut down sales to zero.
Such is life.

d:-/


#78

Quote:
Why don't we make them more professional? That's the direct consequence:
  • High startup costs (tooling!) without any chance for us to get that (hypothetical) invest returned by sales.
  • You can get a WP 34S for just a little more than an HP-30b today and it 'sells' poor - if we'd allocate all our (mainly time) expenses to that project that would result in a price you don't want to know - which will cut down sales to zero.
Such is life.

d:-/


Kickstarter may be the way to fund a "professional" version of the WP 34S ... or to demonstrate there is absolutely no market for such a wonderful tool beyond the current installed base.

#79

There is a problem: We cannot rebuild HP's hardware because the design isn't open source. So the only way would be to buy 30bs and modify them (new key legends, printed key plate, USB, crystal, LED). If the supply of 30bs eventually runs out we are stuck.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel: Ask Eric Smith for details!


#80

If HP were convinced to make a batch with custom faceplate and firmware, I doubt they'd ever run out. The required order quantity is in the thousands and I expect the worldwide demand for the 34S to maybe stretch to hundreds over a long time period.


- Pauli


#81

Well, the HP 15C LE was exactly that: a batch of the 12C with a custom faceplate and firmware. Don't you think that the volume of a WP 34S edition of the 30b would be similar to the volume of the 15C LE? (several thousands)


#82

The 15C had nostalgic value, the 34S wouldn't.

The bottom line is I wouldn't want to fund such a venture. If someone else decides to put the money forward to fund a production run, I'd be overjoyed.


- Pauli

#83

Would it have be HP doing this? If there was thought to be sufficient demand (I know that's a big if), it might be possible to approach Kinpo (or whichever Chinese factory actually builds the 30b for HP), to see whether they would build an unbranded version with similar electronics but revised case and keys.

The legality of this would presumably depend on how the intellectual property of the 30b is shared between HP and the manufacturer, but judging by the number of Casio clones I see under various names it's not an unknown method, and in this case there would be no need to use HP's ROM.

Of course there's still the problem of who would organise this and fund the first production run, but the example of Swiss Micros shows it is possible.

#84

Quote:
Why don't they 'sell' better though being the most powerful RPN calculators you can get?

- The display did it for me, admitedly a subjective drawback but simply couldn't come to terms with the compromises made.

FWIW


PS. having said that I'd probably purchase the hypothetical HP-made unit regardless of the display.


Edited: 6 Aug 2013, 5:11 a.m.


#85

Yeah, you can say I know that display. Nevertheless that wouldn't be a show stopper if the other 'small' problems were solved.

But I look (for many months now) to the flickering light at the end of the tunnel Markus mentioned above and hope it will grow.

d:-)

#86

Quote:
- The display did it for me, admitedly a subjective drawback but simply couldn't come to terms with the compromises made.

I'd be interested to hear which compromises you had difficulties with.
I do agree about the display, there are simply not enough pixels.

- Pauli

#87

I would go with the 32SII if you can get one. I rarely program a calculator anymore, and after acquiring one about 2 years ago, it has become my favorite. The "cluttered keyboard" gets just the right balance of things up front with not too many items buried in menus.

One caveat is that the complex mode is clunky compared to the 42S (but I find the 42S too progamming-oriented for daily use). So if you need automatic recognition of complex numbers you won't be happy with it.


#88

I vote for the 32sii also. I have pretty much all of HP calculators ever made to choose from (the wp-34s too of course) but the HP-32sii is by far my favorite one for doing simple math/science on. I suspect many people feel this way which is why it still sells for so much used on ebay.

I also like it a lot for programming. It's simple, really easy to read the display and makes very efficient use memory. While the memory is limited I think it's just right for a pocket calculator. Also there are very few hidden flags that you might need to know about and everything else is spelled out on the display so I've never needed a pocket reference.

#89

Instead of a 32SII, you could consider an HP 33S. The strange chevron keyboard layout and the lack of a double-width ENTER key have received some criticism, as has the clarity of the first version's display. Apart from this it's like a 32SII with vastly more memory (so you can store more equations), an extra row of keys (so more unshifted functions) and a nice built-in set of physical constants. I used mine heavily for about four years and it's still absolutely fine.

The WP-34s is still by far the better machine, of course!

Nigel (UK)


#90

I know its shallow of me but I can not get over the chevron keyboard. It looks like a transformer.

Quote:
Instead of a 32SII, you could consider an HP 33S. The strange chevron keyboard layout and the lack of a double-width ENTER key have received some criticism, as has the clarity of the first version's display. Apart from this it's like a 32SII with vastly more memory (so you can store more equations), an extra row of keys (so more unshifted functions) and a nice built-in set of physical constants. I used mine heavily for about four years and it's still absolutely fine.

The WP-34s is still by far the better machine, of course!

Nigel (UK)



#91

No, it is not shallow of you. The 33S is objectively the ugliest calculator ever conceived of. This is an indisputable fact. That being said, I received one as a gift years ago and I actually quite like it as an RPN programmable calculator. I hardly shudder much at all when I look at it:)

#92

You guys have made a strong endorsement for a 32SII. I just picked one up on ebay for a semi-reasonable price.

Quote:
I would go with the 32SII if you can get one. I rarely program a calculator anymore, and after acquiring one about 2 years ago, it has become my favorite. The "cluttered keyboard" gets just the right balance of things up front with not too many items buried in menus.

One caveat is that the complex mode is clunky compared to the 42S (but I find the 42S too progamming-oriented for daily use). So if you need automatic recognition of complex numbers you won't be happy with it.


#93

I found the HP 32SII that I purchased in 1997 to be very limited in memory and programming capability (but you said that's not important), and an absolute horror when dealing with complex numbers (just like the HP 33S and HP 35S). The HP 42S remains, 25 years after introduction, the finest RPN calculator that Hewlett-Packard has ever made. The HP 30S financial calculator has a modest array of scientific functions, although some are awkward to access. It can be set for RPN mode. (I look forward to trying the WP 34S someday, but almost three months after ordering one from hpcalc it still has not arrived.)

HP no longer sells an adequately capable machine designed primarily for manual scientific number-crunching in RPN mode. If non-RPN capability is OK, the HP 10bii+ financial calculator has a fair assortment of scientific functions available. But if HP and RPN could be eliminated from your requirements, the Casio fx-115ES Plus (a.k.a. in some places as the fx-991ES Plus) is a non-programmable totally scientific calculator with excellent display and a stunning array of built-in features such as the excellent Gauss-Kronrod numerical integration routine that runs circles around the integration routine found in any HP-made machine. It can be found at US Walmart stores for less than $13, and at other places like Target as well (at higher price). It performs its intended role so well that it was worth adjusting to a non-RPN entry system.


#94

(Beware, that fine calculator has implied multiplication with greater precedence than explicit multiplication... So 6/2(1+2)=1... The PEMDAS Inquisition might seize it and burn it turned on! XD)

Edited: 2 Aug 2013, 4:03 p.m.


#95

Oh no! The PEMDAS thread, the gift that keeps on giving, is showing virus like behavior....


#96

(I'm ashamed of myself... but I couldn't resist, sorry)


#97

The horror! The horror!

#98

If I read it correctly, I could assign up to 10 of those (shift-hold) to the 30B keyboard to make a very basic scientific calc. Although that would be a little clunky compared to having some function on the top level, it is akin to a 34s having to shift to get to those same functions.

Quote:
I found the HP 32SII that I purchased in 1997 to be very limited in memory and programming capability (but you said that's not important), and an absolute horror when dealing with complex numbers (just like the HP 33S and HP 35S). The HP 42S remains, 25 years after introduction, the finest RPN calculator that Hewlett-Packard has ever made. The HP 30S financial calculator has a modest array of scientific functions, although some are awkward to access. It can be set for RPN mode. (I look forward to trying the WP 34S someday, but almost three months after ordering one from hpcalc it still has not arrived.)

HP no longer sells an adequately capable machine designed primarily for manual scientific number-crunching in RPN mode. If non-RPN capability is OK, the HP 10bii+ financial calculator has a fair assortment of scientific functions available. But if HP and RPN could be eliminated from your requirements, the Casio fx-115ES Plus (a.k.a. in some places as the fx-991ES Plus) is a non-programmable totally scientific calculator with excellent display and a stunning array of built-in features such as the excellent Gauss-Kronrod numerical integration routine that runs circles around the integration routine found in any HP-made machine. It can be found at US Walmart stores for less than $13, and at other places like Target as well (at higher price). It performs its intended role so well that it was worth adjusting to a non-RPN entry system.


Edited: 3 Aug 2013, 1:19 p.m.


#99

Quote:
If I read it correctly, I could assign up to 10 of those (shift-hold) to the 30B keyboard to make a very basic scientific calc. Although that would be a little clunky compared to having some function on the top level, it is akin to a 34s having to shift to get to those same functions.

Hmmmh - there remain quite some differences IMHO. Anyway, if you don't try you'll forever miss the chance to get convinced by the WP 34S. Hoping for a wise decision ...

d:-)

If I had to select one Hp calculator for my physics studies, I would choose an Hp48G series. Has units conversions, great keyboard and enough versatility to tackle Physics as it was actually designed by a PHd in Physics.

Its flaws are that it is not a pocket calculator and it is slow especially as a graphing calculator. But the solver is very easy to use and it has a fairly extensive built in equation library.

A newer Hp50G has a CAS and is faster, but lacks the Hp quality feel of the older Hp48G line. But either is easy to find and either would serve you well.

If your looking for a pocket calculator, the Hp32sii is a nice unit with lots of features aside from modest amounts of memory. An Hp33s would be better and once you become accustomed to the chevron keyboard an okay unit. However an Hp32sii will easily outlast an Hp33s. I would suggest an Hp32sii over the older Hp15c or Hp11c for High School physics. Better set of features for the class. The Hp15c is certainly more capable for advanced math, but that shouldn't be an issue for HS physics. If you do any programming at all, the Hp32sii has a much easier to use programming methology compared to the older Hp10c series keycodes.

If you don't mind a clamshell, my wife really liked an Hp19Bii for physics as it had a solver and a seperate keypad for equation entry.
If you can give up RPN, the Hp27s is what I consider the 2nd best pocket calculator HP ever made.


That's great info about the 48g I had not run across that yet. Who was that designer? Do you mean unit conversions as in dealing with non-SI units or doing typical unit analysis? At least for what I've done thus far, I have only had to deal with SI.

I had a 19B back in my business days but I can't find it now. I never did get used to the menu driven way. I just looked up the HP27s. If I setup a 30b to paste some of the functions to use the shift-hold I would end up with an approximation of that.

Quote:
If I had to select one Hp calculator for my physics studies, I would choose an Hp48G series. Has units conversions, great keyboard and enough versatility to tackle Physics as it was actually designed by a PHd in Physics.

Its flaws are that it is not a pocket calculator and it is slow especially as a graphing calculator. But the solver is very easy to use and it has a fairly extensive built in equation library.

A newer Hp50G has a CAS and is faster, but lacks the Hp quality feel of the older Hp48G line. But either is easy to find and either would serve you well.

If your looking for a pocket calculator, the Hp32sii is a nice unit with lots of features aside from modest amounts of memory. An Hp33s would be better and once you become accustomed to the chevron keyboard an okay unit. However an Hp32sii will easily outlast an Hp33s. I would suggest an Hp32sii over the older Hp15c or Hp11c for High School physics. Better set of features for the class. The Hp15c is certainly more capable for advanced math, but that shouldn't be an issue for HS physics. If you do any programming at all, the Hp32sii has a much easier to use programming methology compared to the older Hp10c series keycodes.

If you don't mind a clamshell, my wife really liked an Hp19Bii for physics as it had a solver and a seperate keypad for equation entry.
If you can give up RPN, the Hp27s is what I consider the 2nd best pocket calculator HP ever made.



Quote:
That's great info about the 48g I had not run across that yet. Who was that designer? Do you mean unit conversions as in dealing with non-SI units or doing typical unit analysis? At least for what I've done thus far, I have only had to deal with SI

48G (and 50) are marvelous tools ... It's very very easy (and quick) to deal with SI and non-SI units, to mix them, to convert etc. The 50G keyboard feeling is very good, but not as good as the 48 which is marvelous ;) However the 50G screen is better

Bot both 48 or 50 are lot bigger than a WP34

Students of AP physics in the USA are most likely to arrive using TI calculators, not HP. And in any case they are likely to use graphing calculators with considerable memory, both desirable features in such a course.

I love RPN, and I love my legacy HP calculators, but if I were undertaking to teach AP physics I would learn how to use a suitable TI graphing calculator to do all the number crunching and all the graphing that the subject deserves. And then I'd be able to teach my students how to use their calculators to help them learn AP physics.


I know very well how dominant the TI calculators are. In fact, I don't ever recall seeing a HP calculator in the school environment.

This thread/calculators is really for my own use when wading through the material. For myself, I want to use it as merely a calculation aide without resort to the deeper abilities in the calculator. I'll prepare what I need to make sure students can make the most of their TI's in class. I won't be teaching an AP class until the 2014-15 year so I'll have plenty of time to do that.


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