Voyagers with painted keys


Seeing that some of the Voyager calcs have painted keys, is there any way to determine whether a calc has painted keys by its serial number?



I'm assuming you mean keys with molded in legends that have been painted over then reprinted. Like this:

This applies to non 12C's:

By serial number? Not a chance :(

IMO, based on the population of Voyagers out there, it is a *very* small number that had painted keys. As Dave points out in the variations section, this was done near the end of life for the product as they cleaned up inventory.

For 12C's it can be easily seen as the keys have a dull finish and also based on the country of manufacture.


My 11c, 2650A00982 has painted over keys. This is a rahter late production 11c. I have an old 15c at home--I think it is all molded but I will check.....


How can you tell on 12c's Randy?


I'm sure there are exceptions but based on units I've seen, 12C's made in USA, Brazil and Singapore had molded keys. All later units made in Malaysia and China have painted keys.

The move of production from Singapore to Malaysia somewhere late in 1995 marked the first appearance of painted keys on both the 12C's and most of the Pioneers. Pioneer production then moved to Indonesia, the Voyagers went to China.

Sometime later in 1997, 48 production moved from Singapore to Indonesia and that was the end of molded keys on all HP's. The one notable exception was the 42S service spares - assembled in Indonesia up to '00 - those still had molded keys since they were probably using up old Singapore parts inventory.

Sorry if that's more than you wanted to know :)


My Brazilian 12c, 2637B17518 haqs "overpainted" keys.

Has anyone disected an "overpainted key"?



Edited: 27 May 2005, 9:53 a.m.


Bill, FWIW, I have recorded 11C's as late as 2902 and 15C's at 2904. I wouldn't have thought it occured two years before the end of production... I wonder if they were 16C keys being used up?


I've found the early 1987 HP 15c and 11c use HP 12c keys painted over. Funny thing though an early 1988 HP 12c also has painted over Hp 11c or 15c keys. All are USA made calculators.

The other 1982 and 1989 HP 15c I own have the true molded keys.

I wouldn't rush to buy any 1987 to 1988 voyager without asking whether it has painted over molded keys.

If your just refering to painted keys rather than painted over molder keys ones, then I think as said earlier, the HP 12c made from late 1995 onwards are painted keys. Basically the overall quality went down hill around that time, ie. poorer case, non spiral bound manual, rattly keys etc.

Edited: 27 May 2005, 8:27 a.m.


Dear Sir,

I just checked my 12Cs and found 2 units made in Brazil, which have keys of scientific calc origin that had been painted over.

Serial numbers are:

2342B73870 (barely visibly, for sure the two leftmost columns are relabeled)

2831B39686 (all keys except shift keys f and g)



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