Davinci The Pioneer series


Since 1980, Hewlett Packard introduced a series calculators with the series name Pioneer. This series counts 11 models with equal size and keyboard layout. These models can be arranged into three groups, ordered by the used processor. All three processors are derivatives from the basic Saturn concept, which is also used in the Champion and early Charlemagne models.

Model Code Type Input mode HP32SII
HP-10B Ernst Business Algebraic
HP-14B Midas Business Algebraic
HP-17B Trader Business Algebraic
HP-17BII Trader II Business Algebraic & RPN
HP-20S Erni Scientific Algebraic
HP-21S Monte-Carlo Scientific Algebraic
HP-22S Plato Scientific Algebraic
HP-27S Mentor Scientific Algebraic
HP-32S Leonardo Scientific RPN
HP-32SII Nardo Scientific RPN
HP-42S Davinci Scientific RPN


The Saturn Processor

The table below shows the differences between the three Saturn processors used in the Pioneer series. The LCD display of the Pioneer calculator simply betrays which processor is used.

Processor RAM ROM LCD Interface Models
Bert 256 10K 12 digit 7 segment HP-10B, HP-20S, HP-21S
Sacajawea 512 16K 12 digit 5x7 dot matrix HP-14B, HP-22S, HP-32S and the HP-32SII
Lewis 01 64K 108 pins dot matrix driver HP-17B, HP-17BII, HP-27S and the HP-42S

1 The Lewis processor has no internal RAM memory but instead it has an 16 bit address bus and 8 bit data bus memory interface to control up to 64K of SRAM.

The picture below shows the Sacajawea processor found in an HP-32SII calculator. The chip is mounted in a hole in the PCB.



The LCD Display

The next series of pictures show the different display typed used for the Pioneer series.

Pioneer display Pioneer display
12 digits 7 segment display
12 digits 5x7 dot matrix
display version 1
Pioneer display Pioneer display
12 digits 5x7 dot matrix
display version 2
132x16 dot matrix display
maximum 2 x 22 characters

Of the 12 digit 5x7 dot matrix display two versions are known. The version 1 has a smaller character height compared to the later version 2 display. The version 1 displays are used in the HP-14B and the first series of the HP-32S. Later models of the HP-32S and its successor, the HP-32SII, used the version 2 display.


The keyboard

All Pioneer calculators have the same keyboard layout with 37 keys. The key labels are different for each calculator model.

Pioneer keyboard 1 Pioneer keyboard 1
From a sparse looking HP 17B keyboard.
To a very busy HP 32SII keyboard.

For some models different label color combinations have been fabricated. See the HP- 10B ,HP-20S and the HP-32SII calculator.

The size of this famous calculator series is 5,85” x 3.15” x 0.6”. This is about 147 x 78 x 15 mm.


The rubber feet

A small change for a few models was the reduction of the number of rubber feet. The four small feet in the older series are replaced by two wider feet for the newer models

Pioneer Feet
Pioneer Feet



The Pioneer calculators are supplied by three LR44 or SR 44 button cells.




Soft pouch 1Soft Pouch 2
Two different soft covers of the Pioneer calculators.


Hard cover closedHard cover open
Hard cover for the Pioneer calculator.


HP 82240B
Thermal printer


Internal view

For those who are curious how an HP-32II looks inside: A Pioneer opened.


Pioneer series related links: