Hr & Hms missing on certain models


I'm just curious what anyone else thinks...
From a surveyor's point of view, Hr & Hms are very important. The 41c, 71b, & 48gx have all been common surveyor machines. Yet, with the 41c & 48gx, these functions are not on the keyboard, and not present at all on the 71b. I realize these functions can be assigned to certain keys, and lex files are available for the 71b that provide these functions. I have just always thought it odd that Hewlett Packard did not make these functions more easily accessible. Are these functions fairly common and extensively used with other disciplines?

Appreciate any comments...

Terry Ingram



Actually, on the 48G series, the HMS - DecHr is in the keyboard, using the softkeys, you get there by <leftshift time>

Further, the 48GX has HMS addition and subtraction, not just decimal conversion. You can type 7.3 7.3 HMS+ and get 15.




The HP-42S also have operations on HMS, just browse the catalog, or assign it (HMS+, HMS-) to a custom menu.

Best regards,



The 41 series has the "sexagesimal" conversions as well as HMS+/HMS-.

Many cheapie calcs, esp basic Casio sci. calcs, have similar
"D.MS<->DD" (deg/min/sec<=>decimal degrees) functions.

However on some Casios I have noted *occasional* unresolved D.MS results - for example "1.3560" instead of "1.36".

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA


Hi Bill,

I have noticed that at least one if not both of my HP's (11c or 32sii) give unresolved answers, too, with the 60 seconds thing.

What would be really useful would be to also have a conversion from Degrees.Mins.Decimal Minutes---this is often seen in navigation!


I am currently studying for the California Civil PE exam, which includes a supplemental 2.5-hour exam on engineering surveying. I have previously taken the EIT exam and several earth science licensing exams.

The ->HMS, HMS->, HMS+, and HMS- functions on the HP48 are vital for the surveying exam. It's true that they are not right on the keyboard, but you can bring them up in the soft menus with [left-shift] TIME NXT. I usually have this particular soft menu up when working on surveying problems. Alternatively, you could assign these functions to a Custom Menu and bring them up with a single push of the CST key.

I don't use these functions commonly on engineering or geology problems. Engineers prefer decimal degrees, and geologists only measure to the nearest degree anyway.

The 48GX has so many functions that they couldn't all fit on the keyboard; many had to be relegated to soft menus, not just ->HMS and HMS->. For example, the 48GX is also missing keys for %, x!, sinh/cosh/tanh, mean/standard deviation, combinations/permutations, or FIX/SCI/ENG display modes. Such keys are commonly found on other scientific calculators.


Feb 18 , 2004

Hi Terry ,

- In Astronomy , it has been a well established tradition to define angles as degrees , minutes and seconds ( e.g. : 53°17'25.4" , 175°18'06.7" ) or Hours , Minutes and Seconds for Right Ascensions , a system quite similar to the one in use in your Surveying Disciplines . Still , decimal degrees ( 2.256789 ° ) or Radians start being commonly used too .

- Formerly , in Sea Navigation , probably until early 20 th Century - sorry I cannot remember exactly when ... - position angles were also commonly expressed as degrees , minutes and seconds . They have since been expressed as degrees , minutes and decimal minutes (e.g. N 28°18'7 , W 042°25'4 ),

- Likewise , in Air Navigation , after initially using degrees , minutes and seconds , further to the extensive use of inertial navigations systems since the early 70's , it has become the ( general ) habit ( and rule ) to define position angles as degrees , minutes and decimal minutes ( e.g. N 46°30'2 , W 000°54'8 being my Home coordinates ) .

*** In other words , in Astronomy to-day HR & HMS remain essential while conversions between Decimal Degrees and Degrees , Minutes and tenths of minutes remain essential in Sea and Air Navigation .

Best Regards ,

Antoine M. " Kermit " Couëtte


The main (pretty much only) people who use the functions are surveyors, navigators, and astronomers. This population of people is fairly small as is the direct space on a keyboard. Tyranny of the masses means they get pushed onto a sub-menu somewhere.


Indeed. Perhaps this tyranny is why the 32sii has a shifted function for root x of y----what was wrong with 1/x followed by y/x--an even better keystroke sequence---and now, on the 33s, a cube and cube root function?! Oh well, it is a minor quibble I guess.

But is sure would be nice to see a truly unified keyboard layout again. Seems that ever since the 48gx layout (which really is generally random I think) we have to adjust to the machine too much.

Of course the other side of the argument is that we have here a programmable calculator---and since it is FUN to write programs, then that is what you do to get to Deg.Min.decimalMins!



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