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HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
10-10-2021, 04:03 PM (This post was last modified: 10-30-2021 02:23 PM by Mick_Go.)
Post: #1
HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
I got a HP-27S from an auction few months ago and this calculator has a 50th 1939-1989 anniversary silver (not gold) logo on the top right of the screen exactly at the same place as the 14B & the 32S 50th anniversary edtions. The serial number of this 27S begins by 27 (1987) and not like the 29 (1989) as it's supposed to be for the usual 50th anniversary calculators. The silver logo on my 27S is exactly the same in size & design except for the silver color instead of gold and the plating is as good as the original gold. There is no "50th Anniversary Limited Edition" at the bottom of my 27S. Could someone give me light on this weird calculator? I did my researches online for it and I found nothing about it.
       
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10-12-2021, 08:14 PM
Post: #2
Maybe somebody just stuck that on?
Could it be that someone just applied the 50th anniversary logo after the fact?

How early is the serial number on your 27S? If the 3rd and 4th digits of your calculator are 43 or lower then it could be one of the very earliest produced.

Alan
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10-12-2021, 08:50 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
Interesting, looks original, not applied, even if not on a proper model and with an early s/n.
One of a kind!

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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10-12-2021, 11:24 PM
Post: #4
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
My guess is this was an internal prototype for what would eventually become the 14B/32S 50th AE. It appears they were considering using the 27S as one of those AE models? Silver certainly looks better on a 27S (with silver trim and Blue labels), while Gold looks better on the 14B and 32S (with brown trim and Yellow/Gold labels).

In any case, yes indeed, quite rare!! Congrats on a nice acquisition.

--Bob Prosperi
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10-13-2021, 04:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
The serial number begins with 2749. My guess is too a trial from HP but made in 1987 two years before the official 50th Edition 14S & 32S. The logo is exactly the same and located at the same place in a slightly recessed round hole in the calculator's case. The only difference is the color, it's shiny chrome (plated and not hand painted) instead of gold. Same insrciption and same manufacturing quality. I would be very surprise if someone can do this logo without industrial capability.
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10-13-2021, 04:22 PM
Post: #6
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
Here another picture of this logo compare to my 14B 50th.


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10-23-2021, 02:49 PM
Post: #7
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
Have you been able to check the ROM ID?

Adapted From the old forum:

  1. Enter in "test" mode pressing ON and LN together
  2. press [<-] (back arrow) to start the debugger
  3. press the decimal point to display (left side of screen) the ROM ID
  4. To exit press ON together with e^x ( resets calculator)


On my 27S (SN 2913S...) I have ROM ID B.
Some years ago, I found a pre-production HP 17B calculator that had ROM ID PP1.

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10-23-2021, 02:56 PM
Post: #8
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-23-2021 02:49 PM)Allen Wrote:  Have you been able to check the ROM ID?

Adapted From the old forum:

  1. Enter in "test" mode pressing ON and LN together
  2. press [<-] (back arrow) to start the debugger
  3. press the decimal point to display (left side of screen) the ROM ID
  4. To exit press ON together with e^x ( resets calculator)


On my 27S (SN 2913S...) I have ROM ID B.
Some years ago, I found a pre-production HP 17B calculator that had ROM ID PP1.


According to this procedure, my 27S calculator ROM ID is "A".
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10-23-2021, 03:11 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
This is an interesting find!

Maybe some things to consider when evaluating whether this is a prototype:

  1. The color of the badge is different, decreasing the likelihood of a face/plate swap
  2. Check the 4 posts in the battery compartment for any signs the calculator had been opened post-manufacture
  3. Check around the edges for any evidence the case front was pried apart (or bent faceplate)
  4. Check to see if the ROM ID is consistent with others made in the same time frame.
  5. Check the Serial Number (eg. 9999.. would suggest prototype)
  6. Check the provenance of the owner. The closer the seller lived to Corvallis, OR, the more likely an unusual item is legitimately rare/original.


Any evidence that the case was opened might suggest part swapping and not a prototype. I've seen several auctions over the years that claimed to be "rare prototypes" but upon evaluation (self test, ROM ID, repair evidence, keyboard label layout, etc..) nearly all were actually some home repair to save an expensive calculator rather than a rare prototype.


Evaluating based on information so far:

(True = Likely prototype, False= Likely not prototype)
  1. True
  2. UNKNOWN
  3. UNKNOWN
  4. Assumed True ( I don't know the production dates of ROM A)
  5. False
  6. UNKNOWN


Nice find!!

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10-23-2021, 03:39 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-23-2021 03:11 PM)Allen Wrote:  This is an interesting find!

Maybe some things to consider when evaluating whether this is a prototype:

  1. The color of the badge is different, decreasing the likelihood of a face/plate swap
  2. Check the 4 posts in the battery compartment for any signs the calculator had been opened post-manufacture
  3. Check around the edges for any evidence the case front was pried apart (or bent faceplate)
  4. Check to see if the ROM ID is consistent with others made in the same time frame.
  5. Check the Serial Number (eg. 9999.. would suggest prototype)
  6. Check the provenance of the owner. The closer the seller lived to Corvallis, OR, the more likely an unusual item is legitimately rare/original.


Any evidence that the case was opened might suggest part swapping and not a prototype. I've seen several auctions over the years that claimed to be "rare prototypes" but upon evaluation (self test, ROM ID, repair evidence, keyboard label layout, etc..) nearly all were actually some home repair to save an expensive calculator rather than a rare prototype.


Evaluating based on information so far:

(True = Likely prototype, False= Likely not prototype)
  1. True
  2. UNKNOWN
  3. UNKNOWN
  4. Assumed True ( I don't know the production dates of ROM A)
  5. False
  6. UNKNOWN


Nice find!!
The 4 posts in the batteries compartment are original intact
Nothing on the case is damaged or any sign of openning tentative.
I got it from eBay auction in Nevada
The serial # begin with 2749A0 and the four last numbers are all different.
For the ROM ID, I found this SPD1080272 in the test mode but I don't know if it's the right thing but compared to the SPD 1046864 from my 17B calculator the structure seems to be the same.
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10-23-2021, 03:53 PM
Post: #11
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-23-2021 03:39 PM)Mick_Go Wrote:  
(10-23-2021 03:11 PM)Allen Wrote:  This is an interesting find!

Maybe some things to consider when evaluating whether this is a prototype:

  1. The color of the badge is different, decreasing the likelihood of a face/plate swap
  2. Check the 4 posts in the battery compartment for any signs the calculator had been opened post-manufacture
  3. Check around the edges for any evidence the case front was pried apart (or bent faceplate)
  4. Check to see if the ROM ID is consistent with others made in the same time frame.
  5. Check the Serial Number (eg. 9999.. would suggest prototype)
  6. Check the provenance of the owner. The closer the seller lived to Corvallis, OR, the more likely an unusual item is legitimately rare/original.


Any evidence that the case was opened might suggest part swapping and not a prototype. I've seen several auctions over the years that claimed to be "rare prototypes" but upon evaluation (self test, ROM ID, repair evidence, keyboard label layout, etc..) nearly all were actually some home repair to save an expensive calculator rather than a rare prototype.


Evaluating based on information so far:

(True = Likely prototype, False= Likely not prototype)
  1. True
  2. UNKNOWN
  3. UNKNOWN
  4. Assumed True ( I don't know the production dates of ROM A)
  5. False
  6. UNKNOWN


Nice find!!
The 4 posts in the batteries compartment are original intact
Nothing on the case is damaged or any sign of openning tentative.
I got it from eBay auction in Nevada
The serial # begin with 2749A0 and the four last numbers are all different.
For the ROM ID, I found this SPD1080272 in the test mode but I don't know if it's the right thing but compared to the SPD 1046864 from my 17B calculator the structure seems to be the same.

Here the eBay auction title and description for this calculator:

Title:
"HP 27S Scientific Calculator 50th Anniversary Edition"

Description:
"Special Edition HP 27S. Works like new. Includes case and original owners manual. Near perfect condition with one small scratch."

And five clear pictures of the calculator and its manual.
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10-28-2021, 10:28 PM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2021 11:46 PM by Mick_Go.)
Post: #12
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
Here some devellopments about the origin my HP-27S 50th...

I contacted directly the eBay seller with questions about origin of this special calculator.

I received a reply from him telling that he was the original owner of this calculator and he received this 27S brand new as a gift in 1989 from a close family member who was an engineer for HP Palo Alto. He mentioned that this engineer worked on the design and function of the buttons on HP calculators and he is now retired since many years (around 1995). The seller is not aware if this calculator could be a trial or a prototype.

According his reply, it's seems that this 27S is really special calculator. I'll keep this message along with my calculator for it's history.

Thank you all for your help and your thoughs.

Michel
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10-28-2021, 11:35 PM
Post: #13
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-28-2021 10:28 PM)Mick_Go Wrote:  Here some devellopments about the origin my HP-27S 50th...

I contacted directly the eBay seller with questions about origin of this special calculator.

I reveived a reply from him telling that he was the original owner of this calculator and he received this 27S brand new as a gift in 1989 from a close family member who was an engineer for HP Palo Alto. He mentioned that this engineer worked on the design and function of the buttons on HP calculators and he is now retired since many years. The seller is not aware if this calculator could be a trial or a prototype.

According his reply, it's seems that this 27S is really special calculator. I'll keep this message along with my calculator for it's history.

Thank you all for your help and your thoughs.

Michel

Excellent story and background, thanks for sharing that! Indeed a very special calculator and it deservingly went to an HP Engineer responsible for one the key elements that sets (early and mid-life) HP machines apart from all others. Cool!

--Bob Prosperi
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10-29-2021, 03:09 PM
Post: #14
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
Fantastic!! That's some good research there..

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10-30-2021, 08:30 AM
Post: #15
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
So I was getting curious about this version and asked around with some people who should know, let’s call them insiders….

The answer I got was “there never was a 27S in the 50 anniversary program” & “so it must have been made as part of the selection process inside the division (Corvallis) whilst investigating the options, which ended up with 14B and 32S”

It would appear that you have a genuine “one-off” here, congratulations on that find.


(10-28-2021 10:28 PM)Mick_Go Wrote:  Here some devellopments about the origin my HP-27S 50th...

I contacted directly the eBay seller with questions about origin of this special calculator.

I received a reply from him telling that he was the original owner of this calculator and he received this 27S brand new as a gift in 1989 from a close family member who was an engineer for HP Palo Alto. He mentioned that this engineer worked on the design and function of the buttons on HP calculators and he is now retired since many years (around 1995). The seller is not aware if this calculator could be a trial or a prototype.

According his reply, it's seems that this 27S is really special calculator. I'll keep this message along with my calculator for it's history.

Thank you all for your help and your thoughs.

Michel
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10-30-2021, 02:29 PM
Post: #16
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-23-2021 03:39 PM)Mick_Go Wrote:  For the ROM ID, I found this SPD1080272 in the test mode but I don't know if it's the right thing but compared to the SPD 1046864 from my 17B calculator the structure seems to be the same.

This is just the clock speed in Hz. On the Pioneers you should except measurements slightly above 1 MHz. My 17B II returned 1049504, incidentally the same on my older 42S (but a second self test returned 1047776).
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10-30-2021, 04:18 PM (This post was last modified: 10-30-2021 04:24 PM by Mick_Go.)
Post: #17
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
I wonder how much this special calculator could be worth? Probably much more than I paid for it... When I bought this calculator, I didn't really question the origin of this 50th logo. All I wanted was an HP-27S and its manual in good condition for my HP Pioneer/voyager collection. I started my collection less than a year ago. For the moment, I limit myself to the Voyager and Pioneer series since these are the models that were contemporary when I was in university.

I understand that I was quite lucky on this one!
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10-30-2021, 07:39 PM
Post: #18
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-30-2021 08:30 AM)KimH Wrote:  So I was getting curious about this version and asked around with some people who should know, let’s call them insiders….

The answer I got was “there never was a 27S in the 50 anniversary program” & “so it must have been made as part of the selection process inside the division (Corvallis) whilst investigating the options, which ended up with 14B and 32S”

I wonder if the reason the 27S wasn't included amongst the anniversary models was one of those terribly mundane decisions: the silver detailing on the 27S works best with a silver decal but it's a 50th anniversary being celebrated - so the decal should be gold - and the gold decal looks best on the plain brown models?
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10-31-2021, 09:11 AM
Post: #19
RE: HP-27S 50th Anniversary Limited Edition really?
(10-30-2021 04:18 PM)Mick_Go Wrote:  I wonder how much this special calculator could be worth?

Believe me, not much. It didn't pass the proper quality assurance, it's old, used and so on and so forth. I can't imagine anyone willing to pay more than five bucks. But today is your lucky day, I'm in the mood and feel like offering as much as ten. Hurry up and send me a PM, chance of a lifetime! ;-)
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