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Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
11-08-2018, 03:33 PM
Post: #1
Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
Hi All,

I think I have found the worst HP calculator ever made: The HP35s. I bought it on a whim, to see what a new HP was like, and fairly early out of the box I sustpected that it was missing key strokes. Then I read about that in these forums and found it was more common. Now I can regularly hit the '6' button and it misses 1 in 20 times. It's not a key hit issue per se, because I see the six pop up on the display, and whey I repeatedly hit the 6 key (i.e. 10x in a row) I see 6,666,666,666... But if I enter "2 ENTER 6 x" repeatedly, I'll get the answer "4" about 1 in 20 times. It's a processing error.

That absolutely sucks. I've never had a defective calculator like this deceptively bad, and I owned an HP32e with the clamshell design in the 1970's that was eventually sent in to be replaced. Still, I could fix that one by twisting it and I knew when it failed. The 35s is far worse because you won't necessarily see the error.

So, have any of you had issues returning the 35s under warranty? I look on line and there is a warranty check button on the HP web site, but a message pops up that says I need to enter the model number.... "HP 35s" doesn't work. There is no formal model number printed on the back of the calculator. Any suggestions on how to proceed with a warranty return?

And is there any point in getting a replacement? I no longer trust this model and will purchase another used 32sii on e-bay.

Dan
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11-08-2018, 04:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
Hello!

Regarding the warranty issue I can't help much because this is handled differently in different parts of the world. Here in Europe one would take it back to one's dealer and he would have to take care of it, regardless of the manufacturer's warranty policy. With such lowish price items that can not be repaired anyway, one will usually walk out of the shop with a replacement unit.

(11-08-2018 03:33 PM)danube7 Wrote:  And is there any point in getting a replacement? I no longer trust this model and will purchase another used 32sii on e-bay.

Why mistrust the model because of one defective unit? I have two or three of these and this is one the few calculators that I actually use sometimes for real calculations. One of them, an early model, has an issue with battery life - it will drain a set of coin cells within two or three months even when not used. Someone on the forum found a workaround for that (replacing a capacitor IIRC) but I never bothered to install it.
The others work just fine, keyboards included. I also like the display contrast. For me, the 35S is one of the better calculators of the last 15 years. There are some (functionally) good ones from Casio and Sharp but their keyboards are worlds apart form the HP-35s.

Regards
Max
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11-08-2018, 04:43 PM
Post: #3
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
Howdy Max,

Thanks for the reply.

Perhaps I was a bit reactionary when I discovered this failure mode, but no, I'm going to stick with my assessment. I did manage to call HP in the US after googling for a customer support number (I couldn't find a way through the HP web site), and the guy I spoke with was very helpful and suggested resetting the calculator (a soft reset with C, R/S and i). Interestingly, it *seems* to be a bit faster now in responding the keystrokes, but the problem is still occasionally there. I am definitely hitting the key, as I am getting that nice HP "click", but it's missing the 6 and I get "4". 2 ENTER x gives 4. I need to look very carefully if the 6 is registering each time I get the wrong answer, or if it's clicking without recording the 6. I am trying to hit the keys at about the same rate or little faster than I would normally enter numbers as I am working with the calculator.

You mention it "...is one of the better calculators of the last 15 years" - and there's the rub. I've been using an HP 32Sii for .... 23 years now, and it's a far superior calculator. I've never had an issue with missed keys on an HP keyboard - that's the whole point of the "HP click". I decided just to try the 35s for comparison. If the 35s is the best HP can make, that's a big step down. And I say this having regularly used an HP41CV, which crashed all the time, and sucked down batteries faster than I could replace them, and also an HP32e of the original clamshell design, in which the chips started getting loose, and it would just go blank. During a physics final, that was not fun, but with a gentle twist along the diagonal of the calculator, I was able to re-establish contact to get it to work, and I eventually sent it in for replacement. And I still have a working HP21 in my shop, and it's reliable.

As for the display, compared to the HP 32sii, it has too much glare, and I can barely see the decimal point. The 32sii has a much more matte screen, with less ambient reflection.

But the kicker is the missing keys. I'm using this calculator at work, every day, and if I can't trust that it's recording my input, it just ain't no good. A calculator that doesn't correctly display 2 ENTER 6 x = 12 100% of the time is nothing but a toy.

I'll try to get a replacement, and re-evaluate the model then. So far, this experiment in new HP models seems to be a failure.

Dan
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11-08-2018, 05:19 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2018 05:21 PM by Zaphod.)
Post: #4
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
My very first 35s (when it was first introduced a few years back) had a dodgy keyboard ... sometimes ok, sometimes not....maybe it’s the same problem as yours.
Can’t remember the exact procedure now, but HP sent me a replacement (and gave me a returns envelope (pretty sure it was prepaid))
They don’t repair them at this price point.

I just didn’t get on with the replacement (not quite sure why) and it ended up languishing unused ... I still have it though.
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11-08-2018, 06:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
I got some HP 30b calculators about three years ago (I found someone selling them cheap) and one of them had a dodgy keyboard. I rang the HP care number (for the United Kingdom) and got put through to a nice American chap who arranged a replacement to be sent to me. (I didn't tell him I was planning to convert it to a WP-34S!)

— Ian Abbott
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11-09-2018, 10:08 AM
Post: #6
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
I gave up with the 35s for this very reason.
Moved onthe 50g which is perfect (once you haved adjusted the polling frequency)
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11-09-2018, 05:30 PM
Post: #7
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
(11-09-2018 10:08 AM)Tugdual Wrote:  Moved onthe 50g which is perfect (once you haved adjusted the polling frequency)

How do you do that?
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11-09-2018, 05:51 PM
Post: #8
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
(11-09-2018 05:30 PM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  
(11-09-2018 10:08 AM)Tugdual Wrote:  Moved onthe 50g which is perfect (once you haved adjusted the polling frequency)

How do you do that?
KEYTIME ?

-- Ray
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11-09-2018, 06:02 PM
Post: #9
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
(11-09-2018 05:51 PM)Raymond Del Tondo Wrote:  
(11-09-2018 05:30 PM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  How do you do that?

KEYTIME ?

Thanks!
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11-10-2018, 07:43 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2018 07:44 AM by Sukiari.)
Post: #10
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
This particular calculator was introduced with bugs years ago and the firmware has never been updated to address those bugs. It’s a joke much like modern HP. There is quite literally no excuse to leave bugs unfixed. Same with the HP 15LE, bugs on release and a big middle finger to the victims. Best stick to classic era HPs or SwissMicros. You’d think with the printer ink profits they could fix a bug but they’re too busy creating and immediately abandoning crapware like the HP Sprout.
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11-10-2018, 12:08 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2018 12:09 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #11
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
Hello!

(11-10-2018 07:43 AM)Sukiari Wrote:  Same with the HP 15LE, bugs on release and a big middle finger to the victims.

Victims? The 15LE was my best investment ever. Unfortunately I didn't by 10 or 100 of them when they were sold. I paid 150 Euro or so for mine and could sell it for 400 any time now. And in another ten years it will be worth 1000. Bugs notwithstanding. No one who designs bridges and aircraft wings uses a pocket calculator for that anyway, and in every other field bugs don't matter much :-)

And HP's first "buggy" calculator, actually the first one they ever made, is the one that fetches the highest bids at auctions. We should thank them for those bugs!

(11-10-2018 07:43 AM)Sukiari Wrote:  You’d think with the printer ink profits they could fix a bug but they’re too busy creating and immediately abandoning crapware like the HP Sprout.

This made me curious because I have never heard of that "Sprout" before (I am a Macintosh-only person when it comes to computers). So I did some research. Very cool product! If it could run Mac OS, I would buy one immediately. Why was this invented by HP and not by Apple? (There is some Apple juice inside because one of the developers came from them.) And this thing does not seem to be abandoned, it can be ordered worldwide from the HP store.

Regards
Max
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11-10-2018, 01:21 PM
Post: #12
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
Not productive to argue with posters not happy with HP staying in the calculator business. The rest of us can be thankful they are willing to stick with it with a limited market.
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11-12-2018, 06:22 PM
Post: #13
RE: Bad HP 35s keyboard. Any luck with warranty?
(11-10-2018 12:08 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Victims? The 15LE was my best investment ever. Unfortunately I didn't by 10 or 100 of them when they were sold. I paid 150 Euro or so for mine and could sell it for 400 any time now. And in another ten years it will be worth 1000. Bugs notwithstanding. No one who designs bridges and aircraft wings uses a pocket calculator for that anyway, and in every other field bugs don't matter much :-)

So maybe it won’t be worth your 1000 if you hang on to it
I’ve got one too (unused and un-battery’d)
I got it to ....... I’m not sure ..... `I might sell it one day .... or keep it unused until after I die Big Grin

(11-10-2018 12:08 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  And HP's first "buggy" calculator, actually the first one they ever made, is the one that fetches the highest bids at auctions. We should thank them for those bugs!

But back then they were at the cutting edge of calculators, now (or even when the 15LE was made) they are just a remake of a classic calc.... I don’t think they hold the same ‘classic’ status.
I.e. they might be of great interest to us enthusiasts that might have had one back in the day.... but in ten years time ? ..... will there be people who will be as interested in them ?
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