HP 42S'es on EBay?


Is it just me or does it seem like 42S'es have really gone up in value on EBay?


It's not just you, I have seen the prices jump about $150 in the last 2 to 3 weeks. One of the replacement 42S that HP sold as surplus a couple of years ago, a number of people bought to scalp, sold for about $500 last week.


I don't think it is limited to 42S's, either. Here is an HP-11C which sold for $265. Another one, described as used only a couple of times, sold for $405. This model usually sells in the mid to high $100's, with nice models breaking the $200 plateau.

Not sure what is happening.


Any recent increase in 42S prices could be related to the new NCEES policy for calculators on professional engineering and surveying exams, which was announced without warning in late August. NCEES has banned all models in the HP48 and 49 series. There are *no* RPN scientific calculators in current production that are acceptable under the new NCEES criteria.

This situation has created a scramble for older, NCEES-compliant RPN calculators, like the HP11C, 15C, 32SII, and 42S. The 42S is particularly desirable, as it has a relatively large memory and handles complex numbers nicely.

When I learned about the new policy, I put down my 48GX and ran (not walked) to the local community college bookstore, where I found one last 32SII in their inventory.

Perhaps 42S prices may ease when the 33S becomes available.


"The 42S is particularly desirable, as it
has a relatively large memory and handles complex numbers nicely."

I don't think so. The 42S has both a relatively large memory AND text-input/storing capabilities. So it's probably not allowed as well.

The one-and-only most desirable model under the current restrictions is the HP-15C hands down. I've got four, Patrick's got six (IIRC), ..., it would be wise getting at least one before prices go skyrocketing even more.

Best regards from V.



Were you the guys who first drove the prices up?


LOL, you've got a point there Ed. I must confess I'm guilty too, perhaps we are all responsable for sky rocketing prices on 42S'es and 32SII's. People start snooping up backup calcs, when demand is high and availability is low prices go up.


The NCEES rules do not explicitly address the HP42S: it has neither been banned nor approved. As I understand it, the 42S has some text handling capabilities, but they are primitive compared to those of banned graphing calculators. Thus, there should not be same level of concern regarding exam security. Furthermore, the 42S has no alpha characters on the keyboard, and is unlikely to be perceived as a potential problem by exam proctors. In the absence of an explicit ban, you can assume that some people will be using the 42S on NCEES exams.

The 15C is a fine calculator, and it may be the best choice for electrical engineers. But only about 10% of professional engineering candidates take the electrical exam. The vast majority (around 75-80%) take the civil exam (in California anyway). For civil candidates, the greater programmability of the 42S is more valuable than the higher math functions offered by the 15C.

Land surveyors are also affected by the NCEES rules, and they are another solid market for the 42S. The 42S was widely used by surveyors before the introduction of the 48GX, and a lot of surveying programs were written for it. Since the 48 has been banned on the surveying exams, the old 42S may be the best available alternative.

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