Recent find on eBay

2 Comments

It’s been awhile since I last posted in this blog. I decided to sell a few calculators today on eBay (a non-functional HP-67, a HP-41CV, a HP-38G, a HP-41 Surveryor I pac and a Sharp EL-5100) and I found by chance an auction about a vintage 1981 HP digest catalog with information about the HP-41C, HP-67 and HP-97 related to the space program. I do not have the money to buy the catalog (my other guitar hobby takes precedence these days) but the seller posted really big pics of the interesting information. I downloaded the pics and here they are…

For those interested in bidding on the catalog, here’s the link while it lasts:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-1981-HP-Digest-Catalog-HP-41c-HP-67-HP-97-Rare-/220775559859?pt=Calculators&hash=item33673fb2b3#ht_1130wt_907

 

Circumstancial evidence II

Leave a comment

The detective work continues. Another blog comment:

I seem to recall that grooving the pavement on highways, for better traction, was an outgrowth of some of NASA’s research – on runways, which is possibly outside of Charlie’s parameters.

My father did the stress analysis of the cargo-bay arm on the shuttle launch pad with a hand-held calculator (HP-45) and pencil and paper (the younger engineers didn’t know where to start with it). That was in the 1970s (he retired in 1979). The company my sister works for did the aspherical glassware for the Hubble fix on computer-controlled equipment, in 1992 or 1993. That’s a big change right there.

HP-45

HP-45

Canadarm

Canadarm

Onboard shuttle computer equivalent in computer power to HP-48SX

3 Comments

So says this article:

Intel Coppermines won’t go in rockets… phew
But x86 technology does soar to the skies

By Mike Magee

Posted in Business, 16th December 1999 13:13 GMT

A source at a US defence firm has written us to re-assure the people of the world that they need not fear that missiles will use the elusive Coppermine microprocessor. That follows reports that we carried about an erratumnotbug found in some batches of the CuMine chip. The reader, who wishes to remain anonymous for entirely understandable reasons, said there is “absolutely zero chance” that Coppermines would get used in the control circuitry of missiles. According to him, any chip used in the critical control path of a missile, space probe or aircraft has to be proved to be worthy and produced in ceramic packaging. The processors may not also use fans. But according to the source, Intel does produce 8086 to 386 chips for the military and has to guarantee 25 years support for these parts. Embedded applications use clocked down surface mounted mobile parts. And here’s a really fun and interesting part of this tale. The Space Shuttle has an onboard computer with the power of a 48SX HP calculator, and the astronauts take on board an HP 48SX pre-programmed with the Shuttle’s flight plan, in case of navigation failures with the onboard computer. This HP model has a serial port and 64K of memory…

HP-48SX

HP-48SX

Not related to calculators, but articles about HP and space exploration

Leave a comment

How NASA helped invent Silicon Valley

HP and the Space Conquest

HP-25C

Leave a comment

Here’s another blog comment of a former NASA engineer I found while roaming for tidbits:

While I was working at NASA-JPL during the summer of 1974, I purchased a HP-25C calculator. It was such a big deal that I was able to get one of my buddies there to engrave my name in the plastic housing to show that it was my personal property, not NASA’s. I purchased a number of scientific calculators since 1974. I keep a spare scientific calculator in my luggage now. It cost me $3.00 on sale.

HP-25C

HP-25C

HP-35S: not a ringing endorsment…

1 Comment

A blog comment from Hami, a NASA engineer:

I use HP calculators every day at work at NASA and the HP 35s is a disappointment. The basic functions are all there but anyone can do that. The programmable features are a kludge. Why can’t they bring back the HP 42S? The program labels and Solver were simple and easy to use on the HP 42S.

Yep … HP missed the boat again. If you don’t believe me check out the going price for a second hand 42S on EBay. I will give my newly purchased HP 35S away as a graduation present and fight to get a good old HP 42S off EBay.

HP-35S

HP-35S

Circumstancial evidence I

Leave a comment

In my search high and low for evidence of the use of HP calculators in the space program, I found a comment at the bottom of this page about the HP-55. Not much to go by:

I still have my HP-55 from my days with NASA. It is no longer operable due to inability to locate the 82001A battery pack. I also no longer have the external power adapter; but I’m still looking.

HP-55

HP-55

Older Entries