Question about HP 48gx Calculator

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Display / LCD issue

The my 8 yrs old HP-48GX calc seems to work fine but the display is very faint and is barely visible.

Is this repairable.

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Try adjusting the brightness setting for the LCD screen by holding down the "on" key and pressing the "+" key at the same time to make your screen darker or the "-" key at the same time to make it darker.

Posted on May 01, 2009

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Yes (although it can be a fair amount of work, and requires some skill). First, have you tried changing the contrast by pressing and holding "ON" while tapping the plus or minus keys?

Otherwise: There are sources that describe how to dissassemble the calculator (a challange in it self) and from there the display can be worked on. Usually what happens is that the glass display is connected to the rest of the circutry by "rubber" connections (actually, a rubber that alternates between conductive strips and insulative strips) and the clamping force that keeps the connections has weakened. You can test this by gently pressing down on the display and see if the contrast changes. If so, the clamping action needs to be strengthened, which might be possible if you think about it (once you have got the calculator open).


Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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Hello! So, if I am correctly understanding your problem (sorry it's a requirement to re-state the question), is that you can't see the numbers but the actual math is working fine.  You might know that there are solar-powered calculators, which are powered by light, hence the word "solar." There are also battery powered calculators too.  Then there are what I like to call "hybrid calculators" because they are a combination of both.  For just normal solar-powered calculators, they only work with light, and with battery powered only by batteries. The "hybrid" calculators run on battery, but have a solar panel for backup. So the problem might be two possible problems that I am seeing. One being, the battery ran out and the solar-panel is really crappy, so there might be need for a new battery. Second being, the battery ran out and the solar panel is in an area of just not enough light to supply power.  And if it is just a solar panel calculator then you will see a little box indented on then top of the calculator, on the front side, with little lines separating it into little squares; and you may need more light.  And if it is just battery powered you will see, on the back of the calculator, a little box screwed in which is where the batteries are held.  If it is a hybrid it will have both. And one thing that had escaped me before is that the screen of the calculator could be cracked somewhere, and the ink be spilling out.  I am sincerely sorry if I am totally wrong about this calculator, as I have never used or even seen one.  I am sorry if I have wasted your time, and I hope this helps. I wish you great luck! =)

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

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In the keyboard test (below), make sure the keys are pressed in the right order. If the calculator fails the keyboard test then it needs repairs. (Ignore the begining of the post and skip to the last part For Repairs )

You can reset the calculator:

Turn the back of the calculator towards you. Extract the top left rubber pad on the back of the calculator and use a paper clip to press the Reset button. If that does not restore the calculator to health, you should perform the dagnostic tests.

Make the calculator perform a
Self test.
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  2. Press and HOLD the key [ON]
  3. Press and release the key with "E" to its right (the one before last in first row)
  4. Relaese the [ON] key.
It tests the RAM and ROM. You will see various patterns on screen. Afterwards you should see
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The empty stack should appear.

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If the above procedure is successful, you may want
to test the keyboard.
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  2. Press and HOLD the [ON] key
  3. Press and release the "D" key.
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  5. Press and release the "E" key. KBD 1 should appear on the top left corner of the screen.
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If you follow the proper sequence and a hexadecimal number appears after pressing a key, the calculator requires service.-

For repairs
There is an HP customer self repair (CSR) which you can contact. On the site it is sais that the service is available for products under warranty or on contract. but you have nothing to lose by contacting them. Here is the link to the web site

You can also try this site. They do repairs on most models, except the newer ones.

Hope it helps and Thank you for using FixYa.
Do not forget to rate the solution.

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Note that repairing two discontinued models, with the possible scarcity of parts, may prove expensive.

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