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HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
02-22-2021, 11:08 PM
Post: #1
HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
I have a 32E that requires pressure applied to the front of the calculator for the screen to be able to light all segments.

There is some damage along the bottom edge between the to 2 halves where someone has previously forced open and probably caused enough damage that when the case is screwed closed it doesn't hold firmly. There is still a lip on the front half but it just doesn't appear to lock together securely.

I've opened the calculator up and cannot see anything obvious I can do to better secure the 2 case halves.

Any suggestions?

TIA, dmh

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02-23-2021, 07:26 AM
Post: #2
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
I guess it is the solderless one. You can slightly move the display up and down some millimeters at the rear side without removing the innards from the case. Helped for me.
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02-24-2021, 01:32 AM
Post: #3
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
(02-23-2021 07:26 AM)AndiGer Wrote:  I guess it is the solderless one. You can slightly move the display up and down some millimeters at the rear side without removing the innards from the case. Helped for me.

Amazing - this worked!!!

I couldn't identify solder vs solderless at a glance and didn't know which bits were and weren't soldered as I hadn't taken anything else apart.

I was able to push the display down towards the board and felt it getting tighter then put it all back together and the display is working reliably now.

Do you find this needs doing regularly and if so, how often (hopefully not weekly/monthy)?

I've also identified a hairline crack in the front case hook so intend to superglue it and put it back together although I don't know if this will work with the amount of force required to open the case if I need to open it again to adjust the display.

Thank you so much for your advice :-)

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02-24-2021, 09:19 AM
Post: #4
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
I think moving the display around removes slight oxidation on the contact traces. As I had success with this method lately (2 months) I'm unable to tell you have to do the adjustment more often. Personally I don't think so.

Using superglue on spice cases isn't the right choice. Once I tried without good and long lasting results.
I had a broken plastic case on an old Russian calculator. Superglue didn't work at all (except on my fingers :-)). I tried hard plastic glue I had at home for several years and that one worked very well with that machine.
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02-24-2021, 04:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
Argh!

A 33C I have suffers from the same problem so I thought, "Why not give this fix a try?" Carefully removing the battery pack there's a *ping* as a broken contact goes flying across my field of view. Great. A repair job that probably won't go well.

Those who complain about the quality of present HP calculators have a blind spot for the defects of the old models. The Spice/Spike series are a lovely handful, but boy are they a POS construction.

Sorry to blaspheme Wink

Remember kids, "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve."
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02-25-2021, 02:59 AM
Post: #6
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
(02-24-2021 04:13 PM)mfleming Wrote:  Argh!

A 33C I have suffers from the same problem so I thought, "Why not give this fix a try?" Carefully removing the battery pack there's a *ping* as a broken contact goes flying across my field of view. Great. A repair job that probably won't go well.

Those who complain about the quality of present HP calculators have a blind spot for the defects of the old models. The Spice/Spike series are a lovely handful, but boy are they a POS construction.

Sorry to blaspheme Wink

Indeed, this isn't mentioned nearly enough! The industrial design of the Spice series is abysmally poor. It's not unusual for a company to lose their way, but the drop in industrial design and maintainability standards from the Woodstock series to the Spice was precipitous, in many ways: plastic thickness/toughness, ability to take the damn thing apart, boards that connect with the tall golden fingers to 'press-fit' (who does that?!?!) and worst, they didn't fix the by then well-known susceptibility of damage to the electronics plugging it in w/o batteries.

Some of these shortages were addressed by the 41 design, though clearly still far from perfect, but most solved in the Voyager models, likely the most robust industrial design in calculator history.

--Bob Prosperi
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02-25-2021, 09:43 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP 32E requires case pressure to fully light up
(02-25-2021 02:59 AM)rprosperi Wrote:  Indeed, this isn't mentioned nearly enough! The industrial design of the Spice series is abysmally poor. It's not unusual for a company to lose their way, but the drop in industrial design and maintainability standards from the Woodstock series to the Spice was precipitous, in many ways: plastic thickness/toughness, ability to take the damn thing apart, boards that connect with the tall golden fingers to 'press-fit' (who does that?!?!) and worst, they didn't fix the by then well-known susceptibility of damage to the electronics plugging it in w/o batteries.

Some of these shortages were addressed by the 41 design, though clearly still far from perfect, but most solved in the Voyager models, likely the most robust industrial design in calculator history.

And let's not forget the bag 'o chips approach to assembly in the early Spice models. Who didn't see the long term connectivity problems coming?

Still, all in all, the idea of the calculator being built like a quality instrument was no doubt fading by the end of the Classic series. Competitive pressure from TI and others.

BTW, I did manage to pry the top of the case open far enough to press down on the display board, and even managed to reassemble without breaking anything. Worked! I'm reluctant to use it again though. Way too fragile...

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