CNG serial numbers?


Hi everyone!

I popped into a local office supply store and took a look at their HP collection. They're selling the 17BII+, the 10BII and the 12C (NOT the platinum). The 10BII and 17BII+ show serial numbers in the CNA520XXXX range, however the 12Cs have serial numbers I've never seen before: CNG516XXXXX. CNG?

Has anyone else seen this before? I assumed the "A" represented the year (since the "5" could be 2005, or (hopefully) I thought A5 would represent 2005, B5 2015, etc...)

Perhaps it represents WHERE in China it was manufactured? I'm sure Kinpo operates multiple facilities in China...

Anyhow, I just thought I'd ask.



I assumed the "A" represented the year ... Perhaps it represents WHERE in China it was manufactured?

From what I remember, when the "A" suffix started showing up (following the original CN country code), it was generally thought to be a second manufacturing plant. If that is the case, then the "G" would be "Plant G".

On the other hand, since they have revised the 12C(P) with some additional keys and some bug fixes, maybe the G means "Good ones".


My HP-12c (purchased in September) has s/n CNG507xxxxx. If they're up to CNG516xxxxx in just two months... does that really mean that they sell 450,000 HP-12c calculators each month?

If so, it's no wonder they're still producing it! :-)


More seriously, I think that it's more likely that "A", "G", etc. is a factory code. They have probably allocated non-overlapping serial number block ranges, so a particular serial number actually identifies a single calculator within all HP calculators as opposed to one within a particular model.


I think you may be looking at the wrong part of the serial number to conclude that 450,000 units were built in two months. I believe you calculated:

450000 <-- answer

If you take a look at Decoding Serial Numbers you'll see that the "5" is the year of manufacture(i.e. 2005) and the next two digits are the week of manufacture within the year (i.e. week 07 and week 16 of year 2005).
The last five digits indicate the sequentially-numbered unit produced during that particular week.

You would have to add the final number of units produced for each week from week 07 to week 16 (i.e. a 9 week period), to determine the total number of units produced. Since we don't know the final weekly production numbers, we can't accurately calculate the number of calculators made between your calculator's birthday, and Scuba Diver's calculator's birthday.


Matt :-)


During my call to HP Support for my 33s replacement, as I read a few serial numbers from my early units, the support person was instantly responding with (for example) "Oh, that was made in January of 2004. There's no way we're gointg to replace that without a receipt."

I took the comments as confirmation of the Serial # pattern, as in each case the interpretation was consistent with the first three digits being a single-digit year code followed by a two-digit week-of-the-year number.

Of course, that doesn't help you with the "G" in "CNGyww..." As an additional quirk, my 33s calculators all start with CNAyww..., except the very earliest one, which has just CN404....

(Also, the two earliest have the serial # melted into the back case, while the others each have affixed a silver rectangular label with black printing.)


Hi Paul,

I have it from an HP support person (over a year ago) that the "A" refers to a second factory. It is not a date code.

The "A" is noticable when going from what I call the "-" revision to the "A" revision (early Walmart to 1st issue from Amazon)

I had called them with a laundry list--all of the bugs that we had found here.

She was very nice, and she pushed the list into a category that would be looked at seriously (there's some term they use). At the time, she knew about the permutations bug, but not about the or the rect-polar, or the difference between "-" and "A" with respect to ALG.

It was in this conversation that I learned that the "A" was in fact a second batch and was produced at a different facility. BTW my amazon "A" rev has an "A" in CNA and my early walmart does not (it is CN).

Edited: 15 Nov 2005, 4:52 p.m.


:&$%+%# Jim!! I'm a doctor, not a 7 year-old that knows how to subtract!

-      <-- (I forgot to subtract! Insert subtract operator here)

450000 <-- (answer)


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