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HP41CX Flagship - Printable Version

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HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-15-2015 07:24 PM

Have received back from The Dominican Republic 2 HP41 calculators I sent to Diego for modification.

I had an HP41CX with an already installed 2X speedup (more like 75%, but who's counting) and another wallflower HP41CX and I wanted both to have 2 XMems installed internally. Also, the 2X machine I wanted my ZenROM hard wired to port 4 upper. I almost always have a card reader installed, and they share a port nicely. If the card reader stays home, any other 4K ROM can park there. No restrictions on the other 3 ports.

I also sent 2 HPIL modules, and had my XI/O installed in one, and my Devel in the other. In the meantime, had another HPIL module turn up with an existing XI/O already installed by EduCALC back in the day. LOL, now I have 2 like that !!

(note, I can't remember for sure, but my 2X machine might have been originally bought as new that way from EduCALC. I see in their old catalogs they offered new stock premodded that way, and I'm thinking right out of the gate mine worked that way. I recall sending my XFun and 2 XMems to SOS/David White for combining, but I just cannot recall how my CX wound up as a 2X machine. Maybe we'll figure it out somehow. I might have the paperwork somewhere . . . )

I installed the card reader, the HPIL/Devel combo, a PPCRom, and an Advantage in the ports and ran Cat 2

At 2X it took almost exactly 1:45, at normal speed, just a fraction of a second short of 3 minutes. I'm thinking there are not too many HP41 calculators that can take 3 minutes to do a Cat 2 !!

Diego has done an EXCELLENT thing here, I've got a very stock looking HP41CX that almost has super powers!!

Doing the inventory, the CX has built in the Time Module (1), the XFun (2) and Diego has added 2 XMems (3 and 4) and a Zen (5). I've plugged in his combo HPIL (6 and 7) a PPC (8), an Advantage (9), and a card reader (10). Compare to the AME port extender, which adds 7 ports but ties up one of the 4 originals, for a net of 10 (on a C or CV) and I'm there.

I couldn't be any happier, the longest part of the entire process was returning US customs, way slower than the Caribbean equivalent. And that was no surprise for me. My last experience with them took months. Grr !

Even my second HP41CX is no slouch, it falling short of 'flagship' status by only a Zen and a speedup.

LOL, having a great day today.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - Ángel Martin - 05-16-2015 06:35 AM

Congrats on your Flagship, it's great to see how these items get the well-deserved care and attention they need. Certainly Diego is a great resource for that.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-16-2015 02:04 PM


He even put the little satchels of desiccant in the baggies with the hardware for the return trip.

And it's funny, while my XI/O was out of the country being combined with an HPIL, I had another combo turn up. Fun having all this cool stuff around.

The collection is building nicely, I'm going to have to start labeling items, I've got 6 41C calculators now, and they are all different.

The plan was after the mods came back from Dominican Republic, I was going to start on the HP41CL project. I have 2 'donor' bodies on hand, both C models. One is a Tall Keys, works fine, and looks pristine. The other is nonworking and has some battery corrosion issues. Either looking at making 2 CLs, or a CL and a working C. I need to split both and see if they are suitable. I have a spare clam shell bushing piece and want to paint it silver for the CL.

I have mixed feelings about the DM41. The wow factor is certainly there, but with no ports, if I get one it will most likely be a display case item.

I'm up for a new cell phone, and an emulator looks doable, although my current phone has had some serious app issues, and I'll admit being a little gun shy about that sort of thing.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - bshoring - 05-17-2015 12:55 AM

Enjoy your flagship!

I've thought about getting my 41CV repaired but the reason I'm not in a hurry is that I need my sleep. I remember all the sleepless nights in the 1980's when I just couldn't put the thing down. Had lots of fun but almost no sleep!

I'm sure others can relate !


RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-17-2015 01:40 PM

It's spring, I live on a farm, it's tough getting enough time to just sit down and explore. Adding to the collection doesn't take much time ($$$ being another thing entirely) and is fun too.

Of course I wish I had bought more close out items back in the day (and not sold/gave some hardware to a coworker!) but really, I did jump on some deals, and it was a good start for my renewed interest in 2015. Glad I kept and was able to find as much paperwork as I did from back then, those old EduCALC catalogs are sure fun to look through. I sure didn't keep any original boxes though. Moving out of state a couple of times will do that.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-19-2015 02:18 AM

LOL, never saw this mentioned anywhere else (but I will go look later) and I was surprised to discover a problem.

I've been practicing loading programs in the machine (easy synthetics with the Zen! Woot !!) and decided to enter the '2 minute' calendar program and after a bit, realized I hadn't engaged 2X as some of the commands were pokey to enter, so I wiggled the magnet and got to it. When done, the program would not run, hanging on the first PRBUF instruction. (I'm using the I/R printer) I looked over the calculator memory, and didn't see any problem, so I attempted to PRP the program. The lines are printed, but with extraneous '0' characters all over.


Decided to go back to regular speed, and then all is fine. Program runs fine, and lists OK too. Clearly, this isn't an issue with the I/R printer, it's the I/R module in the calculator having the issue. I'm not sure if this is just a 2X problem (my machine runs at 175%) or if it is a 2X problem with a Zen on board.

This is my only 2X machine, and the Zen is hardwired, so I'm not going to be able to troubleshoot where the issue is. And I'm not really bothered by this. It is more interesting than anything else. I know there were design concerns at HP with the I/R printer slowing down as the batteries age, and the I/R module might be 'fussy' about a 2X machine as a result.

Not that big a deal, that's why the 2X mod came with a switch, and the 2X worked fine while entering the program, just bothered when running it. I get time, I'll compare the 82162 and the 82143 performance and report back, could be even more interesting if there are more hijinks!

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-19-2015 08:53 PM

I might revisit the I/R printer issue. I think when I was trying to read some old (1984!) magnetic cards last night I might have flustered my machine a bit. I plugged in the 82143 today and ran the calendar program at regular speed (2:30 m/l) and at 2X (1:30, m/l).

In fact, at 2X, the 82143 appeared to never stop once it started, and that obviates the need to load in that huge program that runs faster, as the printer just isn't going to go any faster than continuous. I saw similar results with the HPIL printer, but maybe just a tiddle of pause on most lines, not enough to bother with.

For some reason, the magnetic latching switch seems to have a strong preference for being in the 2X position. I have to run a looping program with the BEEP command to insure a speed change with my little neo magnet. Also, transporting the calculator seems to be enough to trigger a speed change too.

And before anything else happens, I'm going to put that program on some fresh cards.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-19-2015 09:07 PM


that I/R printer module really hates running at 2X. I think possibly the calendar that did print incorrectly at 2X only did so because the program hadn't compiled and it slowed it down enough to 'almost' print correctly. Today, nothing, I just see printer error, no printing at all.

At regular speed the I/R printer took 3:12.

I suppose to be thorough I should fire up the 82163 and see how fast that goes.

*clarification: it didn't print a calendar at either attempt at 2X speed, but at 2X it did manage a PRP, but with extraneous '0' characters.

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-19-2015 09:42 PM

And in the interest of completeness, the 82163 took 3:02 at regular speed to video a calendar, and 2:02 at 2X.

And, typically, the first week of each month wasn't centered correctly (it was all there however) and the year header was left justified instead of centered. I'd assume a fixed program would be very similar time wise, and of similar import.


RE: HP41CX Flagship - Diego Diaz - 05-19-2015 10:57 PM


And thanks again for your kind words. I'm glad it all worked as expected. ;-)

As suggested, here are some pics I took during the process, hopefully someone may find them an interesting report.

Mostly in regards of the (very) different approach when it comes to modify a Halfnut vs. Coconut model.

All the best from Caribbean and enjoy you 41's (on steroids... :-P )


RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-19-2015 11:34 PM

I'm having fun alright.

The performance of the I/R printer module at 2X has been a very interesting surprise. It's of no consequence, if I want a calendar quick, I wouldn't use the I/R printer even if it worked at 2X because HP deliberately slows the throughput to allow for possibly weak batteries.

I loaded some synthetics in the flagship too. I just hadn't used the ZenROM much, and now it makes synthetics just so natural to enter. The "GTO . ._ _ _ ." thing is throwing me off a bit, but really, after I get used to it, I'm going to think my other machines are weird feeling for "GTO ._ _ _ .".

Diego sent me the pics during the mod procedure, they were certainly fascinating. I'd urge everyone here with an interest in the HP41 to have a look.

I was surprised there weren't any Asian beetles in either machine (they are an all to common pest here!).

It has been a fun and educational project; with Diego doing all the precision work and me doing all the worrying about how slow US customs is, it was an interesting backdrop to everything else going on around here.

BTW, anyone looking over the pics, the 'blob' of RTV visible in the back clam shell is holding the magnetic latching switch for the 2X speed up. If anybody recognizes their work from the mid 80s, please step forward and take a bow !! I can't prove it, but I think my 2X CX was bought new that way from EduCALC. If anyone knows for sure that they either did, or did not do their 2X speed ups that way, please post!

RE: HP41CX Flagship - Joe Horn - 05-20-2015 02:44 AM

(05-19-2015 11:34 PM)TASP Wrote:  ... I wouldn't use the I/R printer even if it worked at 2X because HP deliberately slows the throughput to allow for possibly weak batteries.

Can't that slowdown be eliminated by executing 0 DELAY (a function in the I/R Module)?

RE: HP41CX Flagship - TASP - 05-20-2015 05:25 AM

If I had read the manual first instead of just plugging it in and using it.


Seriously, I appreciate all the help here. My 20+ year vacation and then jumping headlong back in has been quite a rush.

At times it seems I've forgotten much more than I am ever going to get back in my head in this endeavor.

And there are so many surprises, sending Diego a halfnut and a full or coconut to mod happened by accident, and it's nice to see the two main different innards side by side in his pictures. I'm fortunate I had so many items in storage, and have used that as a good starting point to advance the collection. And then to find the resources here, the site, the disc, the memory stick, it's been amazing how far the 41 world has advanced.