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How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
10-03-2022, 10:30 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2022 10:32 PM by johnb.)
Post: #1
How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
Greetings once again, colleagues.

Well, I've decided I need to add an HP-49g+ to my collection.

Is there any difference between the earliest manufacturing runs and the latest for this model?

If so, what are the differences?

And, how would I tell what I'm getting, if buying off of TAS or another online source?


Thanks in advance!
-- john baldwin

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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10-04-2022, 03:38 AM
Post: #2
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
I recently acquired one of these - I quite like the look of the light coloured face.

My serial number is CNA436xxxxx which I believe is 2004, week 36. Wikipedia says they were available from 2003 to 2008.

Would there be different hardware versions over its limited 5 year lifetime (compared to many other models)?

Differences to the 50g appear to be colour and 3 vs 4 batteries. Anything else?

Happy to provide details or photos if you have something older/newer to compare to.

(10-03-2022 10:30 PM)johnb Wrote:  Greetings once again, colleagues.

Well, I've decided I need to add an HP-49g+ to my collection.

Is there any difference between the earliest manufacturing runs and the latest for this model?

If so, what are the differences?

And, how would I tell what I'm getting, if buying off of TAS or another online source?


Thanks in advance!
-- john baldwin
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10-04-2022, 04:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
Hello,
i may be wrong but if i remember correctly the first HP49G+ units had a lot of troubles with the keyboard. Keys were too hard to press and often you entered more digits than required.

HP replaced the faulty units and then i got a new version.
I still like it a lot. If i don't have my Prime around, my second choice is the HP49g+

Thanks

Giancarlo
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10-04-2022, 04:34 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2022 04:37 PM by Eric Rechlin.)
Post: #4
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
I did a post about the various 49g+ keyboards here:

https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.hp4...Ss6oJkyIYJ

I am pretty sure production of the 49g+ stopped in 2006; I don't know why Wikipedia says 2008. My guess is production of the 49g+ stopped once production of the 50g started; my earliest 50g has a serial number starting with CNA611.

One other major issue with the 49g+ is the gold paint on the faceplate tends to deteriorate over time, so look at the photo closely before buying one.
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10-04-2022, 05:47 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2022 05:50 PM by Wes Loewer.)
Post: #5
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(10-04-2022 03:38 AM)dmh Wrote:  Would there be different hardware versions over its limited 5 year lifetime (compared to many other models)?

Be sure to read Eric Rechlin's excellent post from back in 2006 about the various generations of 49g+ keyboards.

https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.hp4...Ss6oJkyIYJ

My 49g+ was a 1st generation model. My students referred to it as "the cash register" because of it's loud clanking keyboard.


Edit: Oops, I wrote this message a few hours ago but forgot to hit the "post reply" button till just now. I see that Erich beat me to the punch in the mean time.
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10-05-2022, 02:58 AM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2022 03:31 AM by johnb.)
Post: #6
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
This is exactly the kind of useful information I'm looking for.

Will definitely look carefully at the photos! Lots of sellers try to show just one photo; I'm not shy about asking for more, and not buying unless I'm satisfied I really know what I'm getting. I've been burned once. Once.

Eric's bit about the 49g+ serial numbers is especially helpful. I was able to quite quickly reject a number of units for sale by just looking at the serial numbers in the photos. (The TL;DR for that is: get a 49G+ with a serial number of CNA534 or higher, and load the latest ROM image.)




regards,
--john baldwin

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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10-11-2022, 09:48 AM
Post: #7
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
My subjective observations of my new (to me) 49G+ with serial number CNA436 which makes it 2nd generation according to the previous responses.

After initial casual use, before reading the responses here, I thought the keyboard felt just like my 50G.

Side by side use, since reading the detailed responses here:
  • the keys sound different to the 50G but are not that loud
  • the face of the keys does feel more plastic like than the 50G
  • the key motion feels the same as the 50G
  • keyboard test passed without any issues
  • no keyboard issues with further use
The 49G+ is in very good condition so maybe the keyboard will get worse but it won't be my daily driver.
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11-05-2022, 01:40 PM
Post: #8
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(10-11-2022 09:48 AM)dmh Wrote:  My subjective observations of my new (to me) 49G+ with serial number CNA436 which makes it 2nd generation according to the previous responses.

After initial casual use, before reading the responses here, I thought the keyboard felt just like my 50G.

So, @dmh, you have both a 49g+ and a 50g?

I have some questions:
  • Can the 50g run libraries that were written for the 49g+ ?
  • Which of the two machines do you prefer, and why?

Regards,
--john.b

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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11-05-2022, 02:10 PM
Post: #9
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-05-2022 01:40 PM)johnb Wrote:  Can the 50g run libraries that were written for the 49g+ ?

The software is identical between the 49g+ and 50g. Most ROMs even work on both calculators. They are essentially the same calculator. Anything written for the 49g+ should work on the 50g.
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11-05-2022, 02:31 PM
Post: #10
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-05-2022 02:10 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  
(11-05-2022 01:40 PM)johnb Wrote:  Can the 50g run libraries that were written for the 49g+ ?

The software is identical between the 49g+ and 50g. Most ROMs even work on both calculators. They are essentially the same calculator. Anything written for the 49g+ should work on the 50g.

Outstanding, thanks!

One of the reasons I'm wanting to add [now, either a 49g+ or 50g] to my collection is that I have a recurrent/passing interest in Interval Arithmetic. I've written a library for the 48g in RPL, but I reasoned the math rules from scratch. It was fun while I had the time, but there are rough edges where I've realized I got it wrong... and other areas (such as trancendentals) that I hadn't addressed yet.

I've learned a fellow member here has an Interval Arithmetic library for the 49g+, so I've been thinking that a fun project would be to get both the hardware and software, and do a port to the 48g, maybe merging it with some of the features of my existing library. (My library, unlike many, tracks 3 values, not two: low end of the range, high end of the range, and "most likely value." There's also a "display" function that parses those 3 values into several different representations: "X┬▒Eavg", "[low,hi]: distance", "X -e1/+e2", etc.)

regards!
--john baldwin

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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11-06-2022, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 11-06-2022 04:04 PM by John Keith.)
Post: #11
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(10-04-2022 03:38 AM)dmh Wrote:  Differences to the 50g appear to be colour and 3 vs 4 batteries. Anything else?

An important difference regarding batteries is that the 50g can be powered through the USB port whereas the 49g+ cannot. This can mean a significant savings in batteries during long calculations, file transfers, etc.

Also to johnb: the LongFloat Library covers interval arithmetic, you may want to look at the source code.
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11-23-2022, 06:04 PM
Post: #12
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
Me again.

Apparently, the 49g+ is a difficult beast to find, if I want to stick to only the latest serial numbers.

Is there anything I should know about the various production runs of the 50g?

Or are they mostly consistent with each other (and the latest of the 49g+ 's)??


Thanks!
-- john.b

Daily drivers: 11c, 32sII, 35s, 41cx, 48g. Favorite: 16c. Current projects: WP 34s/31s.
Gateway drug: 28s found in yard sale ~2009.
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11-23-2022, 09:29 PM
Post: #13
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
The 50g units are all in theory the same. The later ones come with a canvas case that may be more durable than the synthetic leather cases from the earlier ones, but I haven't seen enough out there to know how they hold up. The latest 50g calculators in my experience tend to have slightly less reliable keyboards than the earlier ones, probably because the manufacturing line was getting old and things were getting out of tolerance (that's just a guess). There is no serial number threshold or anything, just out of dozens and dozens that I tried over the years, virtually every single one in the early years (first 5-7 years of production or so) was perfect, but towards the very end I occasionally ran into ones where one of the keys didn't always respond unless pressed just right.
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11-24-2022, 11:34 AM
Post: #14
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-23-2022 09:29 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  The 50g units are all in theory the same. The later ones come with a canvas case that may be more durable than the synthetic leather cases from the earlier ones, but I haven't seen enough out there to know how they hold up. The latest 50g calculators in my experience tend to have slightly less reliable keyboards than the earlier ones, probably because the manufacturing line was getting old and things were getting out of tolerance (that's just a guess). There is no serial number threshold or anything, just out of dozens and dozens that I tried over the years, virtually every single one in the early years (first 5-7 years of production or so) was perfect, but towards the very end I occasionally ran into ones where one of the keys didn't always respond unless pressed just right.

I'm not at home right now but the last 50g I acquired (Black CNA 4471HKN) has a small inscription molded on the back that my other 2 (Black CNA 74208650) don't have. Something like "hp49gplus(B)".
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11-24-2022, 03:25 PM
Post: #15
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-23-2022 09:29 PM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  The later ones come with a canvas case that may be more durable than the synthetic leather cases from the earlier ones, but I haven't seen enough out there to know how they hold up.

My experience with 50g cases is that the canvas holds up MUCH better than the synthetic leather cases which start to flake off after a few years. I eventually had to throw away the synthetic leather case from my 49g+ as it made a big mess with all the flakes.
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11-24-2022, 03:42 PM (This post was last modified: 11-24-2022 03:43 PM by Wes Loewer.)
Post: #16
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-24-2022 03:25 PM)Wes Loewer Wrote:  My experience with 50g cases is ...

Speaking of cases, Samson Cables (samsoncables.com) carries a number of cases for the 50g. They carry the original HP case for the 50g as well as their own brand "Super Fiber Leather Case" which looks very similar to the HP branded one. Does anybody know if the SC version eventually flakes off like the HP one? Are they the same type of synthetic leather?

They also sell the original HP canvas case as well has their own SC branded canvas case. Does anyone know if the SC canvas case holds up as well as the HP canvas case?

They also sell an SC branded genuine leather case which looks really nice. Anybody have any experience with this leather one? It's supposed to fit both a 50g and a Prime, but it seems like it would either be tight for a 50g or loose for a Prime.
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11-24-2022, 06:20 PM
Post: #17
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-24-2022 11:34 AM)gwh Wrote:  I'm not at home right now but the last 50g I acquired (Black CNA 4471HKN) has a small inscription molded on the back that my other 2 (Black CNA 74208650) don't have. Something like "hp49gplus(B)".

Being home I managed to get a picture: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QqFem68gAGXEJ8vj9

The inscription reads HPK-49GPLUS(B) and it has an additional |C logo.
It's the only one I bought (from Spain, on Vinted) with a much better, I guess newer canvas pouch.
I had a white & blue 50g that didn't have the marking either.

I can't feel or see any notable difference, yet again I'm no expert at all.
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11-25-2022, 12:51 AM
Post: #18
RE: How to identify HP-49g+ production runs
(11-24-2022 06:20 PM)gwh Wrote:  The inscription reads HPK-49GPLUS(B) and it has an additional |C logo.
It's the only one I bought (from Spain, on Vinted) with a much better, I guess newer canvas pouch.
I had a white & blue 50g that didn't have the marking either.

I can't feel or see any notable difference, yet again I'm no expert at all.

The 50g plastic case back and this odd inscription have been discussed ad-nauseum here in the past, here is one of several threads about this:
https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-11...08274.html

--Bob Prosperi
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