Musings and comments about our common interest
With the new voyagers you don't need to open the battery door for a long time. I am a heavy user of the HP15c Collector's Edition, and I have been using it from April when I received my test unit. It is still running on the original set of batteries (at least 7 months of testing and heavy use)
However, I am now using a lot its POGO connection in order to try new things firmware and other projects (of which you will know if they succeed), and I have to say that it is a real pain to use the screw all the time. It is also a little bit protruding and marking the nice leather cases we have.
We designed several years ago a battery door that never saw a lot of sales (as opposed to the battery door for the original HP12c - it seems that a sizeable number of them was lost and required replacement). Now I am travelling and unable to do any change since I have not a screwdriver with me - next time I will fit one of our doors instead of the screwed one!
Now we have the Black Friday campaign at full speed. We have created a specific page with all the offers. you can find it here: Black Friday Offers
Among them you can find what is probably the most interesting item in our website (basically because we are the only ones that can offer it: the HP15c CE "Black Friday Edition", which includes:
For the Black Friday period, it is sold at the same price of the HP15c "nude": 107,43 € + VAT (none if you are from outside the EU) + shipping
I think this is the best link you can add to your browser if you are a HP calculator lover: all the manuals in all the languages that the site owner has been able to get/scan !!
Now that I am frequently opening the calculator to put new firmware types I enjoy having the 3D-printed Voyager battery covers. We have it for the original calculators (the small door for three button batteries) but we also have it for the new models (compatible from the 2007 model onwards, including HP12c and HP15c CE). This is an advantage because it does not need the ugly screw, and you can just open it and reset it if needed. Much more comfortable !!
Why not? In my case it is easier than in others for obvious reasons. However, lately I had to do several conversions from Hexadecimal to Decimal - and while I can do them in the "Base" menu of the HP Prime, it is actually easier to use the HP16c to add, subtract and calculate.
However, every time I do it I need to reset the memory and programs of my HP15c. So far there are not that many - but I hate to rewrite them every time. So I took another HP15c, this time in HP16c mode, running with the DECbug patch and the HP16c overlay. I even have a different leather case for each. The HP16c is using the Bordeaux leather case - just to make sure that I reach for the right one in each case. Voilà!
At least one of our customers has done it too. You may read his comments in HPmuseum.org. Makes full sense if you load your HP15c with lots of programs as we do!!
[You can ask us to have it patched and tested for 25€ before shipping - please remember to order the Flashing Voyager article when ordering yours]
We offer a flashing service for calculators using the POGO connector. These include the HP12c, HP15c and HP10bII+. There are community patches available for the HP15c. This patch solves the DEC bug in the non-manufacturer-supported HP16c mode, from a solution devised by a well-known community member. The second picture shows a calculator without the bug. In a calculator with the bug, it would show 105 instead. You'd need to send the calculator back and we will patch it and send it back.
The DEC bug is just a display bug that affects the HP16c mode: the values are still correct in the registers. If you do not have the overlay, you may as well forget about it because you will never experiece it: it does not affect any of the two HP15c modes.
If you order the HP15c Computer Science edition, which includes the overlay, you can also order the patching together when you buy it. You will receive the calculator already patched, working perfectly. This serves as well to weed out the odd defective unit, since we have to test thoroughly the unit before shipping.
An image is worth 1000 words: as you know, in the NOMAS HP16c this screen was not possible. When you keyed 111, you got 105 !! This was called the "DEC" bug. You could not complain: it was a gift and it was Not manufacturer supported feature. Now "someone" (we don't know if he wants his name mentioned) has created a patch that we are testing. As it only patches a couple of bytes in the HP16c ROM, it should not impact on 15 or 15.2 performance. We've been using it during 15 days with no issues whatsoever.
We have found finally a producer that has access to pogo pins at the same picth as the one in the HP calculators. It is a different pitch from the industry standard 2.54mm - which makes it difficult to find a replacement.
Now we are discussing the prices - prior to this, we did not even know with whom to discuss! Let's hope to strik an agreement and be able to have a product for Christmas.
Here are some pictures now drawn by the factory:
It is no secret we are developing a cable for the now-standard HP calculator connector (which appears in the HP12c, HP15c and the HP10bII+ calculators)
It is difficult because it does not have a standard 2,54mm pitch - but we will find a solution. With it, we can foresee fixing any bugs that are in current firmwares (so far, nothing in the "main" firmware, but something in the NOMAS part)
Not too many people have a cable to reprogram HP calculators. The HP15 LE cable had the same connector, but it is NOT compatible. You need to make destructuve changes to the old cable to be able to use with the new HP calculators.
Well, we have one, so that we can reprogram these calculators. We are offering that service. Now the important thing is to have a new firmware!
We are testing a couple of possible firmwares that solve the main bug in the HP16c emulation. One of them is working well so far! We'd need to get the permissions, but this one is a strong candidate to replace the original firmware. Too early to decide, though.
We are also considering producing our own cable - industrially. But this will take longer...