My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work - Hewlett Packard

This is a discussion on My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work - Hewlett Packard ; On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It works fine ...

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Thread: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

  1. My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work


    On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It works
    fine with the new batteries.

    Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?

    Bob
    --
    == All google group posts are automatically deleted due to spam ==



  2. UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work


    "BobW" wrote in message
    news:M56dnUCxprla3HTVnZ2dnUVZ_tbinZ2d@giganews.com ...
    >
    > On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    > reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    > batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It
    > works fine with the new batteries.
    >
    > Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?
    >
    > Bob
    >


    Here's an interesting update to this story.

    I called tech support and described the situation. They asked me to pull the
    batteries out for 24 hours. I did, but the 20B low battery indicator still
    did not appear when the almost-depleted batteries were reinstalled, and the
    calculator still acted flaky.

    Tech support, then, sent me another 20B. It exhibits the same problem (no
    low battery indicator). I called tech support and told them that the
    replacement didn't work properly, either, and I asked for a refund. They
    escalated the case to "Corporate".

    I called Corporate and the supervisor could not see the tech support case in
    his system. He asked for the serial numbers from the original and
    replacement 20B calculators. He said that they were invalid serial numbers.
    He said that CNG82600547 and CNG82300642 were not valid serial numbers, and
    that it appeared to have one too many zeroes. Very odd, indeed.

    At this point, Corporate said that they could not issue a refund because it
    was beyond the 30 day refund time period. I (calmly) explained that there is
    no way that their customers could know about this design deficiency within
    their one month refund period because the batteries last much longer than
    that, and I never got a low battery warning from the time I purchased the
    calculator to the time it lost its memory. He said that he was sorry, but
    that was their policy.

    I, then, called the Small Medium Business customer service department. The
    lady looked into it, said that it was beyond the 30 day refund period, but
    that she would make an exception because of the situation. I asked what I
    should do with these two unwanted 20B's. She told me to recycle them at an
    eWaste center (i.e., HP did not want them returned), and she made a note of
    that in the case file.

    So, I'm relieved that HP eventually stood behind their product, but I'm very
    disappointed that, to me, the 20B is unusable because I'll never know when
    I'm about to lose my work.

    Bob
    --
    == All google group posts are automatically deleted due to spam ==



  3. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    On Oct 10, 5:36*pm, "BobW"
    wrote:
    > I called Corporate and the supervisor could not see the tech support casein
    > his system. He asked for the serial numbers from the original and
    > replacement 20B calculators. He said that they were invalid serial numbers.
    > He said that CNG82600547 and CNG82300642 were not valid serial numbers, and
    > that it appeared to have one too many zeroes. Very odd, indeed.



    HP 50g calculators each have TWO serial numbers. One is printed on a
    sticker stuck onto the case (come on, HP, these serial numbers should
    be engraved) and the other is burned into the ROM. Strangely, these
    two serial numbers are different and also have a different number of
    digits.

    The sticker on my 50g is CNA 644xxxxx [8 digits] and the software
    serial number is CNA 641xxxx [7 digits]. So apparently my unit was in
    the factory for 3 weeks before its plastic enclosure was made.

    (On the 50g, to view the software serial number, start to perform a
    ROM upgrade by holding down the [+] and [-] keys while pressing the
    reset button on the back. This brings you to a screen that says 1.
    UPDATE CODE 2. SELF TEST and displays BOOT and SERIAL information.)

    Maybe the 20b also has two serial numbers of different lengths and
    "Corporate" got these two numbers mixed up. It's embarrassing if a
    company cannot keep track of its own products.

    S.C.

  4. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    BobW wrote:
    >
    > "BobW" wrote in message
    > news:M56dnUCxprla3HTVnZ2dnUVZ_tbinZ2d@giganews.com ...
    > >
    > > On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    > > reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    > > batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It
    > > works fine with the new batteries.
    > >
    > > Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?


    What firmware version is your defective 20B? I wonder if it's a
    hardware or software bug...

    --
    newell N5TNL

  5. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work


    "Scott Newell" wrote in message
    news:48EFE3B0.3E8@cei.net...
    > BobW wrote:
    >>
    >> "BobW" wrote in message
    >> news:M56dnUCxprla3HTVnZ2dnUVZ_tbinZ2d@giganews.com ...
    >> >
    >> > On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    >> > reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    >> > batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It
    >> > works fine with the new batteries.
    >> >
    >> > Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?

    >
    > What firmware version is your defective 20B? I wonder if it's a
    > hardware or software bug...
    >
    > --
    > newell N5TNL


    I couldn't find any documented way to find the firmware version, but after a
    little playing around, I figured it out. Here's how to do it:

    With the 20B off, hold down the PMT key. Then, press the ON/CE key. Finally,
    release the PMT key. This will put the 20B into test mode.

    When in test mode, use the scroll up/down keys to select the mode or data
    field display. To enter a mode like "Test Keyboard" or "Test Screen" modes,
    press the INPUT key and then hit various keys to see results.

    Anyway, by scrolling in these test modes, you can see various bits of
    information. Here's what I found for the two 20B calcs that do not display a
    low battery warning with known-crummy batteries:

    Old 20B (original purchased 7-17-2008):
    SW Version = 6 24 2008 2
    Checksum = 213.213
    Test Battery = 2.900

    Replacement 20B (received 10-10-2008):
    SW Version = 6 16 2008 1
    Checksum = 34.034
    Test Battery = 2.900

    Also, when I put in the almost-depleted batteries, I get:
    Test Battery = 2.200
    but I have to make several attempts to get into this mode because the 20B
    keeps shutting off in the middle of these attempts.

    So,

    1) It looks like the replacement 20B has older firmware than my original (if
    I'm deciphering it properly).
    2) The 20B seems to be able to read the battery level relatively accurately,
    and I can see the low battery indicator icon lit up when I get into "Test
    Screen" mode.

    I'll be contacting HP, again, with this new information. The problem may
    simply be in the firmware.

    Bob
    --
    == All google group posts are automatically deleted due to spam ==



  6. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    BobW wrote:

    > > What firmware version is your defective 20B? I wonder if it's a
    > > hardware or software bug...
    > >
    > > --
    > > newell N5TNL

    >
    > I couldn't find any documented way to find the firmware version, but after a
    > little playing around, I figured it out. Here's how to do it:


    It was mentioned on the HP Museum forum. I guess I should add that to
    the Wiki.


    > Anyway, by scrolling in these test modes, you can see various bits of
    > information. Here's what I found for the two 20B calcs that do not display a
    > low battery warning with known-crummy batteries:
    >
    > Old 20B (original purchased 7-17-2008):
    > SW Version = 6 24 2008 2


    > Replacement 20B (received 10-10-2008):
    > SW Version = 6 16 2008 1


    > So,
    >
    > 1) It looks like the replacement 20B has older firmware than my original (if
    > I'm deciphering it properly).


    That's how I read it as well. Very interesting.


    > 2) The 20B seems to be able to read the battery level relatively accurately,
    > and I can see the low battery indicator icon lit up when I get into "Test
    > Screen" mode.
    >
    > I'll be contacting HP, again, with this new information. The problem may
    > simply be in the firmware.


    It certainly sounds plausible. You could even update the two broken
    calcs...

    I've seen two firmware versions, and heard of a third:
    http://hpwiki.fatcity.com/doku.php?i...mware_versions


    --
    newell N5TNL

  7. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    On Oct 10, 8:32*pm, "BobW"
    wrote:
    > Old 20B (original purchased 7-17-2008):
    > SW Version = 6 24 2008 2
    > Checksum = 213.213
    > Test Battery = 2.900
    >
    > Replacement 20B (received 10-10-2008):
    > SW Version = 6 16 2008 1
    > Checksum = 34.034
    > Test Battery = 2.900
    >
    > Also, when I put in the almost-depleted batteries, I get:
    > Test Battery = 2.200



    I seriously doubt the 20b can read the voltage of the battery to the
    thousandth of a volt. Looks like the HP is reading to the tenth and
    then violating the rules of significant figures

    But the fact that it seems to be able to read the voltage (to a
    reasonable degree of precision) strongly suggests that this is a
    firmware problem and not a hardware problem, so it would be a waste to
    throw out two 20b's over this issue.

    S.C.

  8. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    HP should fix this, hopefully in a firmware revision.

    But this makes the 20b unusable? I find that hard to imagine.

    How much work would ever be a risk? 10-15 cash flows? 10-15 data
    points?

    It can't hold enough data for this to be much of a risk, of course
    IMO. But, I would still find that hard to believe. :-)



  9. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    On Fri, 10 Oct 2008 17:23:57 -0500:

    > HP 50g calculators each have TWO serial numbers.
    > One is printed on a sticker stuck onto the case
    > (come on, HP, these serial numbers should be engraved)


    My computer's and printer's serial numbers come on stickers, too.

    Even my first HP (HP35), IIRC.

    > On the 50g, to view the software serial number,
    > start to perform a ROM upgrade...


    How about the SERIAL command?
    (optionally followed by SCROLL)
    On all HP49/50 series?

    [r->] [OFF]

  10. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    On Oct 11, 1:37*pm, "John H Meyers" wrote:
    > > On the 50g, to view the software serial number,
    > > start to perform a ROM upgrade...

    >
    > How about the SERIAL command?
    > (optionally followed by SCROLL)
    > On all HP49/50 series?
    >
    > [r->] [OFF]


    SERIAL doesn't seem to work on my 50g (ROM 2.09). It interprets that
    as a variable named 'SERIAL'.

    S.C.

  11. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    S.C. wrote:
    > SERIAL doesn't seem to work on my 50g (ROM 2.09). It interprets
    > that as a variable named 'SERIAL'.


    You have to attach library 256 first (256 ATTACH), or else just do 256 MENU
    and pick it from the menu.

    Regards,

    Eric Rechlin



  12. Re: UPDATE: Re: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    sticker: CNA 63805561
    256.05 MENU SERIAL => ...CNA6311848
    That's my 50g

    engraved 49g+: CN33103000
    using [ON]&[F4 D] then [ON]&[F3 C] and quick holding down [ + ]& [ - ]
    and releasing them gives the UPLOAD menu with CN33100509 at the bottom

    exiting by selecting selftest then [ON]&[F3 C] and it reboots...
    that's my defective 49g+ (the keys didn't last - HP does not replace...)
    V-PN

    wrote in message
    news:ebfc9c57-faf4-47ca-81ea-c1270519d466@y29g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    X
    The sticker on my 50g is CNA 644xxxxx [8 digits] and the software
    serial number is CNA 641xxxx [7 digits]. So apparently my unit was in
    the factory for 3 weeks before its plastic enclosure was made.

    (On the 50g, to view the software serial number, start to perform a
    ROM upgrade by holding down the [+] and [-] keys while pressing the
    reset button on the back. This brings you to a screen that says 1.
    UPDATE CODE 2. SELF TEST and displays BOOT and SERIAL information.)
    X



  13. 2nd UPDATE: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work


    "BobW" wrote
    >
    > On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    > reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    > batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It
    > works fine with the new batteries.
    >
    > Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?
    >
    > Bob
    >


    It seems like there is hope. Look at Cyrille's post and my response to his
    post:

    http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiw...=141803#141803

    Bob
    --
    == All google group posts are automatically deleted due to spam ==



  14. Re: 2nd UPDATE: My HP20B low battery indicator doesn't work

    On Oct 12, 4:35*pm, "BobW"
    wrote:
    > "BobW" wrote
    >
    >
    >
    > > On my 20B, the batteries were so low that pushing certain buttons would
    > > reset the machine, but the battery low indicator never came on. The two
    > > batteries each measured about 2.67V, and the new ones about 3.25V. It
    > > works fine with the new batteries.

    >
    > > Anyone else seen this lack of low batt indicator problem on theirs?

    >
    > > Bob

    >
    > It seems like there is hope. Look at Cyrille's post and my response to his
    > post:
    >
    > http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiw...cgi?read=14180....
    >
    > Bob
    > --
    > == All google group posts are automatically deleted due to spam ==


    I don't have an account there, So I'll post it here:

    When is the voltage reading for the battery off condition taking
    place? Continuously? Only at certain times? If it is during the
    physical keystroke the higher current draw will result in a lower
    voltage reading, meaning the idle voltage level is potentially notably
    higher than that used for indicator calculation. Perhaps more testing
    adding a resistor of the right value between the power supply and the
    device to better simulate the impact of the batteries internal
    resistance is in order.

    OT:

    It seems to me there is a market for a bench power supply that
    simulates various batteries accurately. You input the type, number,
    configuration of cells, and and indication of remaining "juice" (Not
    sure what scale should be used, but obviously at maximum the Open
    terminal voltage is that of brand new cells in the given
    configuration, and the minimum is 100% depleted: open terminal voltage
    of zero (well past the cells' end of useful life)) and it outputs a
    voltage that accurately varies with the current, modeling both the
    parallel and series internal resistances (and perhaps even the
    internal capacitances) of the batteries at indicated remaining
    capacity. Such a device probably exists, but I have not seem them,
    even in reasonably well general purpose university electrical labs.

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