Prototype HP80????


This forum states that the HP 80 started productio in 1973, yet there is one on ebay, with a serial number that indicates that it was manufactured in 1972. Could this be a prototype?
here is the ebay link:


There's "Hewlett Packard 80" on the small sticker on the front. I thought, that the early 80s didn't get such a label. Seems, they only got "Hewlett Packard" without "80".

Additionally the year boundaries in HPs numbering scheme seem not to match the calendar year boundaries, so it could be an early unit but I don't think it's a prototype.

In the serial numbers page here in the museum, 1247 is the first noted production week, but HP seems to have been a little inexact with the production weeks in the early times.

Happy new year.



HP routinely made a large batch of calculators before the original intro date so they would be waiting in stores when the ads appeared. I remember them being embarrassed that they had misjudged the demand for the HP-35 so badly that some people actually had to wait for it.


It could very easily be that the serial # was removed from a HP-35 and attached to the battery compartment of this calculator, or parts from a HP-35 (black plastic backbone that you see when battery removed)were used to repair this one, however the back sticker looks untouched.


My HP-80 looks exactly the same, it has the serial number 1247A37056. It seems that in this time HP assigned the week of the beginning of a production run as the date code, and changed it only when they changed some details. I know this from HP messurement equipment. The date code was something
like a version number, not a manufacturing date.

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