49G+ buttons


Has the reliability of the buttons on the 49G+ improved to the point they can be trusted? I pound on the keys pretty hard so it might not be much of an issue for me.
I would like to return to the days of buying new machines at an affordable price.
I am an old consruction survey layout gradesetter guy. I have owned several of most HP models since 1975. Destroyed them all. I no longer need to hook up to an instrument. At work these days I use GPS (a Trimble Rover Controller)which as a layout tool is really incredible. Rugged too! But as a calculator it really stinks. My company's trainer says Trimbles Survey Pro Rover Controller has too many problems and I won't be getting one of those (mainly because you have to be a rocket scientist to understand the GPS calibration residuals it spits out, I hear)( nothing against the actual rocket scientists who visit this site)
So when our model builders are not keeping up I need to make up my own stuff and press on. Plus I truly enjoy shooting holes in the numbers they do give me with my own calculations.
I need the alignment calculating ability of the old TDS48 Survey Pro. As I prepare to send my latest handful of 48's and 42's to fixthatcalc.com to get fixed I am considering getting a 49G+ and Ted Kerbers D'Zign Transportation PAC for it.
Will it work for an old button masher like me?
I would appreciate anyone who knows the current state of these machines giving me a clue.


I'd suggest building a custom calculator. Just pick the keyboard mechanics of a Panasonic JE-850U or even better Sharp QT-8 and the electronics of the HP. Might be a nice tooling job for the weekends to come ;)
(I can promise you: it is impossible to destroy these keys. They are Reed relais based and one key has more metal in it than your whole 48/49. I'd expect them to last for a million keypresses...)


comp.sys.hp48 might be a better place to ask for opinions abount the current state of the 49G+. As far as I can tell, there are complex interactions between hardware and software releases that fix some of the problems for everybody, and all of the problems for somebody. But not all of the problems for everybody. (Odd sense of deja vu there. 8) So I don't think anyone can offer a guarantee that if you go in and plunk down your money for a new 49G+, and load the latest OS, that you're not going to have any problems. Personally, I've had no trouble with my younger the six months 49G+, running the 2.00 release and them the latest one. I have a heavy hand on the keyboard too, so that could partly explain it. However if you go to comp.sys.hp48, you'll hear many, many complaints, and read anecdotal accounts tending the other way.

Good luck!

Edited: 11 Dec 2005, 5:39 p.m.


Another option is to buy a 49g+ from a store where you can return it if you don't find it acceptable.

HP should warranty the unit if you don't like the buttons, but that would involve a return/replacement.

So, best recommendation (if possible) is to determine a store's return policy and if they allow a return because you are dissatisfied, then you have no real risk.

And, I think Ted Kerber's software is very good.


P.S. I have five 49g+ calculators and only the first (beta) unit ever gave me much of any trouble with the keyboard. It may depend on how you push the buttons, it may be luck of the draw, it may depend on the position of the stars. :-) I'm not sure and if I could figure it out, I'd make lots of money giving exact problem fixes!


Thanks Gene, that will be a good way to go about it.



I have five 49g+ calculators and only the first (beta) unit ever gave me much of any trouble with the keyboard.

Hi Gene. What s/n's do your five 49G+'s have? I've a 49G+ with s/n 428 which has been trouble free operating under ROM's 1.23 and the latest 2.0.1 build 80.





A surveyor i know just got a 49g+ and as far as hardware goes; it works flawlessly. That's not saying that you will buy one from the same good lot that his came from so following Gene's advice is a good idea. It is not pleasant as a calculator.

I do the same jobs that you do, so i guess we're both in local 3. I have used D'zign software in the 41, 42, and 48. It was great and i will assume that the 49 version is at least as good. You will have to learn to think like Ted, but you'll be glad you did.

I've used the Trimble SCS 9000 but not the Rover Controller that you use. The only reason i didn't toss it under a D-10 is that they kept saying that we were getting a D-11. If you like your Trimble, you'll want to take a Topcon home for the weekend.



We have a D-11, THAT is a peice of iron, it is heavy enough to crush the less dense basalt boulders into dust and rubble when it goes over them. and I like my Trimble 5800 Rover Controller enough to keep out of the way of the 11. I used Ted's software on my 48, and still use it on my 42's. Thanks for the feedback fellow Local 3 member.


Tim Wessman and John Evers will eventually be selling this 49G+-based instrument: http://www.pssllc.com/



We are actually going to start selling the software in about a months time. I am working on getting the manual finished, and then it will be good to go.

The case and full data collection will be about Feb. Tooling for injection molding takes a lot of time and $$$.



Out of curiosity, what type of repairs did your calculator need?



Most of the calculators I have destroyed fall off the hood or tailgate of my pick-up truck or fall off my four wheeler where I forget them because folks keep rudely pestering me to figure out their silly problem and go pound wood sticks in the ground for them so they can keep going. They then get run over usually by some form of heavy equipment, sometimes even by me in my pick-up or four wheeler. Sometimes they last long enough to get all kinds of sand and grit in them, I got tree pitch in one once, that will make your keys stick. Once I leaned over to reach a roll of plans and crushed the screen of a 48GX in an environmental case with my elbow. Some get repaired, some get laughed at and thrown in the backfill. This is not a complete list but sadly, it is true. Fortunately it rarely happens anymore now that I have grown older and no longer care what anyone thinks. I'll get to them as soon as I am ready.

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