Program cards Program cards


The HP-65 was the first pocket calculator with a build-in magnetic card writer/reader. The magnetic cards, by HP named program cards, enabled the user to store programs and exchange programs with other users. The small cards were transported through the calculator by a build-in motor. The HP-67 and its desktop version, the HP-97 also have a magnetic card reader. They all used the same magnetic cards and the programs were exchangeable. The HP-41 series can be extended by an external card reader, the HP 82104A. Programs written for the HP-65/67 series could not directly be run on the HP-41 series. A conversion program was available.

The dimensions of a card are approx. 71 mm x 11.4 mm. A program card contains two tracks, labeled 1 and 2. Each track stores 952 bit of data, divided into 34 records with a length of 28 bits. The first record stores information about the kind of data on this card and the last record contains a CRC. The remaining 32 records can hold up to 112 program steps in case of a program card or 14 data registers in case of a data card.

The strip is transported through the card reader with a constant speed of about 60 mm/s.

Program Card  

By cutting the corresponding edge, the card is made read-only. This can be done to protect it for accidentally overwriting.

Hewlett Packard sold preprogrammed cards with programs, the so called Pacs. The picture below shows card SD-12B from the Standard Pac for the HP-67/HP-97 models. The printing on this card correspond with the soft keys used for this program.

Program Card The edged are already cut that makes this card read only.
Program card The picture on the left shows a clip of the HP-97 with the program card inserted in the special card holder. The text on the card corresponds with the soft keys labeled A to E.


HP 9282-0596 Program card holder

The pictures below show a program card holder HP 9282-0596.
This holder contains 5 sheets which hold up to 8 program cards each.

Program card holder Program card holder


HP 00097 - 13142 Three Program Card Holders (HP 9282-0596)



HP 00097-13143 Blank cards

120 Blank magnetic cards in a box.

Blank cards



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