Slightly twisted 32SII case


I recently purchased an HP-32SII via eBay. It works well and is in excellent condition but there is one thing that bugs me about it though - it does not want to sit flat on my desk. Its case has a very slight twist in it, so it rocks back and forth and this is an annoying feeling when one is punching keys. If one twists it gently in the opposite direction, it will be okay for a minute or so but it always wants to return to its twisted "rest" position.

I have many other HPs and they are all nice and flat, so my questions are: is this at all a common problem with the Pioneer series (this is my only Pioneer) and is there anyone who has an idea how to perhaps fix this?

As I understand, the Pioneers are heat stake assembled, so loosening screws, twisting and tightening is obviously not an option. I did have a crazy idea though: create some sort of clamping brace that would allow me to slightly twist and hold the case in the desired direction and then place the whole assembly in an oven preheated to maybe 100-150 degrees F (no glowing coils!) for a short while. Maybe this will allow the plastic case to take on a (hopefully) untwisted rest state.

I could probably trim some rubber off one of the feet to try and level it out, but the feet are in pristine condition, so I'd rather not...

One more question: in comparison to my old 48SX for example, the 32SII keys are quite stiff and don't have as crisp a "snap" to them - is that normal for the Pioneer keys?

Thanks for any comments or other ideas anyone may have...

Mike Mander

P.S. What do think would go better on top - shredded cheddar or mozza ?! ;-)


Let me get this straight:
You would rather put your 32sii in an oven than take the feet off? (perhaps just the case would be in the oven)

On a more serious note, I have access to more than 12 32sii's (brown and silver bezel) and I have never ran into this problem. It sounds like it was exposed to heat and that caused it to warp
The oven idea does sound pretty good, although a heat gun might do better (more directing of the heat)



It's not the case, it's probably the metal plate inside that is warped. The best way to fix is to shim a bottom foot. Don't cut it down, shim up with black vinyl tape cut to the shape of the foot. It might take several layers.

I would never subject a Pioneer to more than about 120° f. You risk loosing whatever snap you have in your keys. I've seen keyboards with totally flattened keys from being left in a hot automobile. Hit it with an industrial heat gun and it's toast. I did it once to a dead 48 to get the aluminum bezel off in one piece. About 50% of the key domes were collapsed when I was done.

The polyester film used in the keyboard is the same as used in the 48 keyboards. Theoretically, they should feel the same but different manufacturing locations and evolving specifications (a.k.a. cost cuts) probably explain the difference in keyboard feel. IMO, the newer black bezel 32sii’s have a stiffer key action, I suspect it is the formulation of ABS used to mold the keyboard. The flexing part of each key is part of that larger molded part. I would bet the color got changed with little research into the impact on the part quality as I see a higher number of black 32Sii’s with broken key hinges. Given that brown is the predominate color, seeing three or four broken blacks to every one brown says there is really something going on with the color change. Too late to do anything now. Long live the 33S.

Edited: 18 Feb 2004, 1:17 a.m.


I have a HP42s, which had the same behaviour. In this case I found, that there was a very small piece of plastics between the halves of the case. It could be clearly seen that at one place the halves of the case didn't fit together perfectly.
This was leftover from the production, one of the halves has not been smoothed perfectly.

After opening the top stakes only, the plastic could be removed and now its perfectly flat.

Maybe its the same in your case.



I have a 32sii with exactly the same problem you mention (and mine was bought used). All three of the 32sii's that I have bought new over the years have been perfect.

Also, my 7,8, and 9 keys are "soft" rather than "crisp" in their action. None of my 20s machines have this problem.


My first 41CV had the same problem. I never fixed it.


All my Pioneers (20S, 32SII which I bought in '89 and '91 resp.) have this problem to be somewhat kipplig. The keyboards are however great. They were both made in Singapore. Interestingly, the 20S is twisted the opposite direction than the 32SII.



I've seen this problem in several models, my old 32s, an 11c that I purchased a year ago from ebay, and my old 15c years ago. I think it is a common problem. I doubt any of the thin metal pieces in the calculator is responsible, the plastic is plenty thick and I believe the plastic case itself is always slightly warped when this is experienced. Either shim it or forget about it. Learn to embrace the slight, individual warpage as part of your own calculator's unique personality:)


Thanks to everyone for the feedback and helpful suggestions!

I think I will try to remove and then shim up two of the rubber feet on the bottom left to try and even it out - thanks to the person who suggested that. I kept thinking of trimming feet rather than shimming - much easier and less messy to shim!

Also thanks to the person who pointed out that I may ruin the keyboard's tactile response if I heat it up too much. I don't think I would want to risk that happening! I keep incorrectly assuming that HP keyboards are all metal-dome ones and forget that they use plastic snap domes in most of the more recent ones - mid-eighties and newer I suppose.

BTW, my 32SII is a brown bezel unit made in the USA in 1991. My other, all nice and flat, HP calculators are an 11C, 15C, 41CX, 48SX, 49G and 49g+. Too bad the 32SII is warped...

Mike Mander


The exact same thing is happening to my 32 SII. For now, it's only the ON key that is affected, but that's pretty important every morning! I plan to do what others suggest and take it apart and check whatever connections there are that may be loose/dirty

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