Hp 41c Owners Manual


Around the time of the HP-67, an article in theHewlett-Packard Journal, stated that electronic technology was no longerthe only limitation of pocket calculator progress. The human interface wasbecoming an even greater barrier to adding more functionality. TheHP-67 was an excellent example of the problem. Ithad three shift keys and most of its other keys had four functions. HP wasrunning out of keyboard space for new functions, and many users found itdifficult write and use numeric-only programs.

HP 41C 41CX Vintage Hewlett Packard Calculator Lot Accessories Users Manuals +. Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Priority Mail. Great big lot! Includes all sorts of items for the calculator. The batteries need to be changed because there was only enough juice to keep calculator on for five minutes and then it turned off. Fresh out of an estate here in town. Tips for better search results. Ensure correct spelling and spacing - Examples: 'paper jam' Use product model name: - Examples: laserjet pro p1102, DeskJet 2130 For HP products a product number. Examples: LG534UA For Samsung Print products, enter the M/C.

The HP-41C overcame these limitations by adding alphanumeric capabilitiesto both the display and keyboard. The keyboard had an 'Alpha' key that toggledthe keyboard between alpha and the normal calculator mode. (The alpha characterswere printed on the slanted faces of the keys.) If the user needed a functionnot printed on a key, the name of the function could be typed in and executed.(About half of the HP-41Cs functions were preassigned to keys.)

Because typing out the name of a function could be cumbersome, the HP-41Cadded another toggle key called 'user'. The user could assign any built-infunction or user program to any key. Once the keyboard was placed in usermode, any assignments made by the user overrode the label on the key. (Withthe gold shift key, this allowed two user functions per key.) The user togglestate remained set even when the calculator was turned off allowing truekeyboard customization.

To make it easy to remember keyboard assignments, HP provided keyboard overlaysalong with preprinted labels for all built-in functions and blank labelsfor user functions. In addition, whenever a key was held down, its functionname was displayed. If it was the wrong key, the user could continue to holdit until the display showed 'NULL' when meant the function was canceled.

Of course, HP didn't just improve the human interface. The HP-41C had morememory (now non-volatile) than its predecessor, more functions, improvedprogramming, and could be expanded with both RAM and ROM modules.

From The Introduction:

'The HP-41C represents a totally new concept in the design of Hewlett-Packard calculators. In fact, because of the advanced capabilities of the HP-41C, it can even be called a personal computing system. The HP-41C is the first Hewlett-Packard handheld calculator offering an exciting array of alphanumeric capabilities.

With so many different kinds of calculator uses and applications in the world, we at Hewlett-Packard decided we could provide a significant contribution by designing and building you a quality calculator with expandable and flexible capability. The alphanumeric HP-41C is just the calculator.'

Alphanumeric Implementation

The HP-41C used a low power LCD display with 7 more segments than previouscalculators. This allowed a full range of alphabetic characters. The characterswere not as fully formed as a dot matrix display, but they had better contrast.

There was a special register on the HP-41C called the Alpha Register. Itallowed up to 24 characters. This register was separate from the stack andthe other storage registers. Alpha strings could be stored in normal registersor the stack but they were truncated to 6 characters when this was done.A function that shifted strings by 6 characters was included to make it easyto store long strings in multiple registers.


The HP-41C came with 63 'registers' of memory. Memory could be dynamicallyreassigned between storage registers and program memory. (63 registers wasequal to 200-400 fully merged lines of program memory.)

Four ports at the top end of the machine allowed the user to plug in 4 moreRAM modules which would increase the maximum register space to 319 or allow1000-2000 lines of program space. (Or any compromise between those.) Later,the entire register space could be provided via a single 'Quad Memory' moduleand Extended Memory was added to allow even more space.

The Optional Card Reader/Writer (82104A)

Because the HP-41C had continuous memory and because its application pacscame on ROM modules, a card reader was omitted. However, one could be pluggedinto the top end. (In less time then it takes to read this sentence.) TheHP-41C was obviously not code compatible HP-67,however, a sophisticated translator was built into the card reader whichtranslated programs to HP-41C code on the fly.

Other Options/Accessories

Optical wand 82153A
Rechargeable battery pack 82120A
Recharger 82059D
Extended-use rechargeable battery 92266B
Extended use charger 92266A
Time Module 82182A
Memory module 82106A
Extended functions module 82180A
Extended memory module 82181A
Infrared printer module
Infrared printer
Labels, barcode 82205A

Module holder 82151A
Overlay kit 82152A
50 blank overlays 82172A
Printer (non-HP-IL) 82143A
Plotter module 82184A
Extended I/O module 82183A
HP-IL module 82160A
Touchpad 82200A
40 Magnetic cards 00097-13141
120 Magnetic cards 00097-13143
1000 Magnetic cards 00097-13146
3 Card holders 00097-13142

Other ROM Modules

Advantage module
Auto Start/Duplication ROM
Circuit Analysis
Clinical Lab/Nuclear Med.
Financial Decisions
Home Management
HP-IL Development module
Machine Design
Petroleum Fluids
Real Estate
Standard Apps
Stress Analysis
Structural Analysis
Thermal & Transport Sci.

HP-IL Options

By plugging in an HP-IL module, the HP-41C could be connected to multipledevices simultaneously. This allowed it to control and communicate with labdevices, tape drives, printers, other computers etc. HP-IL options included:
Digital cassette drive 82161A
Disc drive 9114A
Thermal printer/plotter 82162A
Thinkjet printer 2225B
Impact printer 82905B
32 column video interface 82163A
80 column video interface 92198A
Modem (Acoustic coupler) 82168A
HP-IL/RS-232 interface 82164A
HP-IL/GPIO interface 82165A
HP-IL/GPIO interface kit
HP-IL/HP-IB interface 82169A
HP-IL/Series 80 interface 92938A
Cables in .5, 1, 3, & 5m lengths

Solutions Books

Easy Course in Programming
Electrical Circuits for Students
Statics for Students
Business Statistics/Marketing/Sales
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Control Systems
Electrical Engineering
Fluid Dynamics & Hydraulics
Games II
Heating, Ventilating & Air Cond.
High Level Math
Home Construction Estimating
Lending, Savings & Leasing
Mechanical Engineering
Optometry I (General)
Optometry II (Contact lens)
Real Estate
Small Business
Solar Engineering
Structural Design (cassette based)
Test Statistics
Time Module Solutions I


Alphanumerics brought new programming capabilities. Programs could havedescriptive names, could prompt the user for input, and could label output.Prompting and labeling were done by building the desired string in the alpharegister and displaying it. Strings, like numbers could be compared. Possiblythe greatest programming advantage to an alphanumeric calculator was thatthe programs displayed as readable commands rather than numeric keycodes.

The HP-41C contained many other programming advances. Indirect operationswere expanded and could now use any register as an indirect register.The stack and last X could all be directly addressed by STO and RCL. Incrementand decrement loops could now specify the start value, stop value andincrement/decrement size. Subroutines could now be nested 6 deep and therewere now many more flags and more flag operations. Many of the new flagscontrolled specific calculator features. For example flag 11 was the automaticexecution flag. If set, the calculator started executing the current programwhen turned on. (See the programming pagefor more information.)

Program Memory Management

On HP's previous programmable handhelds, program memory was essentially asingle space. The user could pack multiple programs in only with great careand planning. (Such as keeping track of which labels were already used byother programs.)

In the HP-41C, the programs were edited in their own spaces with local linenumbers and local labels for branches and subroutines. Programs could alsomake calls or branches to global labels (i.e. other programs.) An individualprogram could be deleted with a single command.


All built-in functions, ROM add-in functions, and user programs were listedin catalogs. (There was one catalog for each of the three categories mentioned.)The calculator could display each catalog in rapid succession, or the usercould stop at any point in the listing and move backwards and forwards oneentry at a time.

Synthetic Programming

No discussion of the HP-41C would be complete without a discussion of syntheticprogramming. The HP-41C had RPN instruction sequencesof one to three (or more) bytes. Some of the possible codes were not documentedand couldn't be entered from the keyboard but some clever users found waysaround these limitations. Writing programs using these codes was called SyntheticProgramming.

A variety of programs were written to support synthetic programming. To usethe simplest, the user exploited a bug in the HP-41C to enter a small programthat extracted the next byte in memory from the instruction that followed.(The extracted byte could then be deleted as a separate instruction.) TheHP-41C would then interpret the next byte of the instruction as the firstbyte of some other instruction. The instruction(s) that followed might beinterpreted as part of a multi-byte sequence. Obviously, programming in thisway, took some forethought and care.

Synthetic instructions made possible:

  • Faster and/or smaller programs. For example, looping could be sped up by directly manipulating the program counter.
  • Use of internal registers by user programs.
  • Recalling and storing the flags register.
  • Displaying additional characters.
  • Additional string capabilities.
  • Additional sound capabilities.
  • Renumbering registers. This allowed programs to manufacture local variables that weren't supported under 'normal' HP-41C programming techniques.

See below for links to synthetic and non-syntheticprogramming.

Updating the Architecture

Because the HP-41 series was on the market for a long time, HP added modulesto keep it up-to-date such as the following:

Advantage Module

Some calculators introduced after the HP-41 had additional features. Forexample, the HP-15C had matrix math and the HP-16C had computer scientistfeatures. To keep the HP-41 clearly at the top-of-the-line, HP released theAdvantage Module which added improved mathematical functions including matrixsupport, computer science functions (bases, conversions etc.), and financialfunctions.

Extended Functions & Memory

The HP-41C memory space which was generous at first, started to seem morelimiting in time. To work around the architectural limits of the HP-41C,HP introduced the Extended Functions / Extended Memory module. This moduleprovided extended memory and operations to access it. It was possible toadd one Extended Functions / Extended Memory module with 124 registers, plustwo Extended Memory modules with 238 registers each for a total of 600 extendedmemory registers. Memory in extended memory was organized as named filescontaining ASCII data, numeric data or programs. Files (or portions) neededto be read into main memory for processing or execution. Some of the featureswere:

  • Ability to list the directory of files in extended memory.
  • Creation and deletion files.
  • Saving and reading programs or subroutines to/from files.
  • Saving or reading blocks of registers to/from files.
  • Seeking within files.
  • Operations on ASCII files and the ALPHA register.
  • Operations to move files between extended memory and HP-IL mass storage devices such as the cassette tape drive.

In addition, this module provided some other new features such as:

  • A programmable size operation. This allowed programs to assure that they had enough registers without requiring the user to set the SIZE appropriately.
  • A programmable assign operation allowed programs to assign keys.
  • Register move and swap functions allowed moving or swapping large blocks of registers efficiently.
  • New flag functions made it easy for a program to save the state of the flags before running and restore them when exiting.
  • Several ALPHA functions including string length, searching, shifting and rotating.

Extended I/O Module

This module provided new operations that gave the HP-41C additional controlover HP-IL devices. Functions included:

  • Copying files and entire media.
  • Verifying media.
  • Getting directory listings.
  • Character manipulation.
  • HP-IL control functions including loop configuration, device control and data transfer.
Hp 41c owners manual online

Differences between the C, CV, CX and Option 001

The HP-41CV was the same as the HP-41C except that it had four memory modulesbuilt in for a total of 319 registers. (With the four ports still availableto add other modules.) The HP-41CX was the same as the HP-41CV but addedthe Time module (stopwatch plus clock with alarms), an Extended Functions/ Extended Memory module, a text editor, and some additional functions. TheOption 001 version of the HP-41C had no labels on the upper rows of keysor on the surrounding keypad. This version was meant to be heavily customizedby the buyer.

PPC Module

Richard Nelson orchestrated the production of the PPC ROM which includeda huge number of routines. Features included more math functions, integration,curve fitting, complex math, date functions, I/O routines, block data functionsand synthetic programming aids. The phonebook-sized manual dwarfed thecalculator, let alone the tiny ROM.

Other Third Party Modules

Other modules for the HP-41C included theCCDmodule, HEPAX module, ZENROM module, and many specialized modules suchas the C-9B P-S APAC Weight and Balance module (aircraft balance) and OBCALC SYS ROM created by GE for use with ultrasound devices in obstetrics.

From The End Of The Manual

'You have just completed the HP-41C Owners Handbook and Programming Guide. You have certainly noticed that programming the HP-41C is simple, and even fun. Yet the capability of the system is astounding. Your programming expertise will increase as you continue to use your HP-41C. And you will find it an easy matter to completely customize your HP-41C.'

Front view of an HP-41CV (~68K)
Three quarter view of an HP-41CV (~94K)
Front view of an HP-41C Opt 001 (Blanknut) (~70K)
Three quarter view of an HP-41C Opt 001 (Blanknut)(~74K)
Picture including card reader, ROM module & overlay(~39K)
Picture of top end with two port covers removed (~9K)
Picture of the back label (~53K)
Picture of HP-41CV interior showing keypad/display board,CPU board and port bus. (~130K)
Picture of HP-41CV and HP-41CX with two HP-IL disk drivesand the HP-41C to HP-IL adapter. The HP-IL adapter is to the right. Leaningup against the disks on the left is one of the removable rechargeable batteriesfor the disk drives. (~24K)
Picture of an 82161A digital cassette drive (~74K)
Picture of an 82162A printer (~74K)
Picture of an 82143A printer and an 82161A digital cassettedrive (~110K)
Picture of an 82153A wand (~28K)

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Programming Information
Synthetic Programming Information

HP-41C Price at introduction: $295 HP-41CV Price at introduction: $325 HP-41CXPrice at introduction: $325

HP-41C Introduction-Discontinuation: 1979-85 HP-41CVIntroduction-Discontinuation: 1980-1990 HP-41CX Introduction-Discontinuation:1983-1990

If you're desperate for an HP-41C and a don't need pocketability, considerthis simulation for MicrosoftWindows.

Goback to the main exhibit hall
NextCalculator Made
PreviousCalculator Made

The HPC/41CV Alphanumeric Full Performance. Programmable Calculator. Owner’s Handbook and. Programming Guide. September printed on or above a key (on the Normal mode keyboard or on the Alpha keyboard) are always shown throughout this manual as they would appear in the . (up to four) or step up to an HPCV or HPCX the total number of registers can increase to (64 registers for each memory module). When allocated.

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Hewlett Packard HP-41C/CV/CX/CL

Original HPC cardboard box in good condition. Front and back close to mint, a few scratches on the sides. Magnetic program card holder with 38 unmarked magnetic cards hp-41cxx one red card used to clean the magnetic head of the card reader. This code-exchangability created a huge base of programs. Specifies the amount of number registers nnn to allocate.

It is also one of the first calculators with support for alphanumeric strings – but in my opinion this makes the display hard to read. Cardboard mqnual with 6 rolls of paper for the A or A printer. Excellent condition, fully functional.

Replaced the hhp-41cx wheel – now it doesn’t work any more at all! Allowed for “synthetic programming” where machine code was accessible thru illegal commands.

Hp 41c calculator parts

The HPA “X-memory” module increased the extended memory space by registers bytes. One blank overlay, one standard functions overlay both plastic.

Solved: HPCX manuals – HP Support Community –

For plain string input do not use XEQ. Note that two extension port covers have been marked with a black pen hardly noticable. The graphics display of some of the Pioneer models is much better in this respect. A picture of the serial manuak connector. One sheet of sticky labels for overlays, completely new. This early HPC unit is equipped with golden ball-contacts for the external power supply.

The following files are available on the Systemyde website: Did not put back the label which covers the screws.

Especially the possibility to access ROM code made it the preferred toy for “hackers”. All keys could be re-assigned to user-defined commands.

One one side marked “”. A unique feature was the barcode reader “wand” that allowed to read in programs that were printed on paper in the form of barcodes. Interestingly, the “print stack” command is listed incorrectly as “PRST”. Mint out of the box, everything like new except the maual box.

A very popular calculator. You can enter a program that starts with a local label.


Hp 41c Calculator

One with standard key symbols, one with no labels. Also, it is not possible to use “CLP” to delete the memory occupied by the program! Both reader and manual in excellent condition. Register memory shared with program memory. Within a program local labelsA – J and a – j can be used.


Hp 41c Owners Manual Download

Type, Precision, Input Mode. Labels and mutli-character string labels. Without most of the keyboard labels, to be used with keyboard overlays.

Hp 41c Owners Manual Pdf

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