HP-41CY Turbo: How can the RAMBOX be reactivated ?



#7

Hi,

I have a question on the following device:
There is the most seldom and best HP-41 on Ebay, the legendary HP-41cy Turbo. I never saw such a device on ebay yet.
ebay article number is 7616367600 .

Title is "HP 41 CX - Turbo von W+W Software". The seller does not seem to know that it is the HP-41 CY Turbo ;-)

The seller says in German language (translated by Babelfish at http://world.altavista.com/tr):

"In the further functions of the RAM box are not recognized - during execution this is announced to an existing RAM box function with "nonexistent". With MEMORY the Funkttion draws clr to RAM box with and sure is answered, "clearing" announced and this announcement stops, so as if the computer would hang itself up."

I believe that the errors are not fundamental, i.e. by hardware, they might come from partly cleared ram of the ram box (it is not rom). So if the battery is down the ram box can be cleared or partly cleared. I think one can reload this software/firmware. Then the ram box should be fully functional again.

Can anybody tell me how firmware of the HP-41 cy ram box can be reloaded ?

Thank you!
Best,
Marco

Edited: 9 May 2006, 4:49 p.m.


#8

Yes,

there are some ways to recover the RAMBOX,

completely with both RAMBOX OS banks.

You can do it the hard way,

as some hpmuseum forum threads discussed.

You'll have to have patient,

because you might not succeed on first trial.

For more info just drop me a mail.

Raymond


#9

Hello Raymond,

I have the same issue with a CY.

Can you send me also some details ?

my mail adress is "prins_spwan@planet.nl12345"

Please remove 12345 from my mail adress.

Thank you !

Ronald


#10

Hi Ronald, and Marco,

recovering a HP-41CY or its W&W RAMBOX II (which was sold by W&W as main part of the HP-41CY and as separate box in cardreader housing) is possible.

I do not know the specific problems of your HP-41CY but concerning the one which is offered at Ebay (Marco mentionned it here) from my personal perspective the symptoms indicate two possible cases (IMHO of course and without guarantee, but it is my own belief):

1.) Either due to low battery and dead RAMBOX buffer battery the soft operating system may be partly erased.
Principally it is no problem to recover / reload that operating system. Please see links given below.

2.) Much more likely is the following case: The operating system of the W&W RAMBOX is not erased at all (there are still functions like "Clear Rambox" being recognized), but parts of the code are masked by microcode inside the RAMBOX address space which makes the HP-41 partly reacting in a "chaotic way". This "garbage code" can e.g. be generated by low buffer plus low calc battery.
Microcode is very effective for making the HP-41 to do whatever you want it to do [nearly whatever ;-)... so only the top-10 world class programmers can do the microcode programming to make the HP-41 run the current Powerpoint version ;-) ].
On the other hand "garbage microcode" can also skrew up the HP-41 completely. It can run crazy.

But also case 2.) can be repaired by some steps. In this case you need not clear the RAMBOX operating system and you need not reload it.

Of course if the hardware of a RAMBOX is damaged there is no help by the decribed software reactivation. Nevertheless in most cases the hardware is not the problem, it seems to be very robust.
In most cases the reason is the old buffer battery which is down in 20 years old calcs thus leading to the described software confusions that can be corrected.

I must admit that due to a tough job period during the last two years and completely lacking of time for my beloved HP-41 (I also have a HP-41CY which unfortunately is in sleep mode these days) I forgot about the details to recover a HP-41CY, repectively its RAMBOX, but I searched in the archive of the HPMUSEUM, where I had put my experiences when I had had the problems with my HP-41CY in November/December 2003. There were also very valuable responses by the very good HP-41 hard- and software experts Raymond, Christoph, Mike and Angel.

Here you can find the three archive articles:

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv014.cgi?read=49179

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv014.cgi?read=48617

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv013.cgi?read=47069

I hope this helps.
Best regards,
Werner

P.S.: Also best greetings to Raymond!!


Edited: 12 May 2006, 8:12 a.m.


#11

Hi Werner,

Thank you,

I will study the write-ups and try it out, Does not seem as easy as making an omelette, but that makes it all the more fun.

Thanks again

Ronald


#12

Hi all,thank you for your helpful advice.
So it seems to me that repair is possible.
Easy or difficult?I will see...
Thanks,Marco


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