The HP15C corner

The HP15C corner

The HP-15C is a high-end scientific pocket calculator with a root-solver and numerical integration. A member of Hewlett-Packard Voyager series of programmable calculators, it was produced between 1982 and 1989. The processor used the then new technology of Silicon on Sapphire that allowed ultra-low consumption. The 3 button batteries provided often lasted decades!


For many users, it is the pinnacle of HP calculator engineering together with the HP42s. Due to its popularity, and based on the then-new HP12c ARM-based platform, it was reintroduced in 2011 as HP15c Limited Edition. It was 150 times faster than the original, but it had higher consumption and the batteries would last around 4 months or normal use.


The main capabilities were outstanding, considering the limited keyboard:


    • All kind of trigonometric functions, including inverses, hyperbolics and hyperbolic inverses, in degrees, radians and gradiants
    • Logarithms (log(x) and ln(x)) and exponentials (10x and ex)
    • % and % increase
    • Conversions and number manipulations
        ◦ Rectangular to polar and vice-versa
        ◦ H.MS to decimal hours and vice-versa
        ◦ Degrees to radians and vice-versa
        ◦ Integer part and fractional part
    • Complex numbers, working seamlessly on most available functions
        ◦ Full 4-level complex stack (instead of the two level of HP41 Advantage pac or Math pac)
        ◦ Real to imaginary exchange in a single step
        ◦ Rectangular to Polar and Polar to rectangular also work seamlessly with complex operands.
    • Matrices, with full featured operations up to 8x8 size:
        ◦ Copy and paste matrices
        ◦ Multiplication, addition, subtraction – scalar and matrix
        ◦ Transposing a matrix – taking also care of the dimension change if needed
        ◦ Matrix inversion
        ◦ System solving – a short cut:  instead of A-1B you call to stack B, then A and divide!
        ◦ LU decomposition
        ◦ Determinant
        ◦ Row norm
        ◦ Frobenius norm
        ◦ Working with complex matrices in two different ways
    • Basic statistics
        ◦ Permutations and combinations
        ◦ 2-variable statistics: sum of x, sum of y, sum of x2, sum of y2, sum of xy
        ◦ Average and standard deviation
        ◦ Linear regression
        ◦ Factorial, but not just the integer factorial (n!) but the extended non-integer version (gamma function)
    • Integral for arbitrary functions (defined as programs)
    • Solve: find the zeros of arbitrary functions, defined as programs
    • Storage: up to 65 registers + I (index) register
        ◦ Register arithmetic to shorten programs and keystrokes: RCL+, STO+ and with the rest of arithmetic operators.
    • Programming: up to 448 programming steps
        ◦ up to 25 labels: A to E, 0 to 9, .0 to .9
        ◦ GTO and GSB; use of index register

Some HP15c related links

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