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HP 30b Business Professional Calculator - Operating Modes, Clearing Options, and Error Messages

Mode menu options

The HP 30b Mode function, accessed by pressing , allows users to customize the appearance and operation of the HP 30b to suit themselves. Table 1-1 below indicates the options you can change in the Mode menu, and the default settings, as when the HP-30b is in a new or reset state. When using this menu, you may exit the menu by pressing .
Mode Menu Settings
Display Description
FIX= 2
Number of digits displayed to the right of the decimal point. Default is 2 decimal places. Key in the number of digits you want and press , or press until the number of digits you want is displayed.
If you specify a value of -1 for FIX, the calculator displays numbers with the most appropriate number of digits after the decimal point.
Tip: if you find you need to change the FIX setting often, use this shortcut:
  1. Press and release it. Check that the shift key annunciator is displayed.
  2. Press again, and, without releasing it, press a key, through , that corresponds to the desired FIX setting, of 0 through 9 digits.
    Pressing selects FIX= -1 as described above. FIX settings for 10 and 11 are not available using this shortcut.
Degree or Radian
Angular mode for trigonometric functions. Default is Degree. Pressing toggles between these options.
Date: mm dd yyyy or dd mm yyyy
Format for dates. December 3, 2010 is entered as 12.032010 in mm dd yyyy format, or 3.122010 in dd mm yyyy format.
The (.) in both formats separating the first and second groups.
Default is mm dd yyyy format.
Pressing toggles between these options.
Note that when a date is displayed, a number between 1 and 7 is displayed at the right of the display. This number indicates the day of the week corresponding to that date. Monday is 1 and Sunday is 7.
In 360-day calendar mode (Cal.360), days of the week are displayed only if the date is valid.
1.23 or 1,23
Selects decimal point or comma as decimal separator. Default is decimal point, 1.23.
Pressing toggles between these options.
1000.00 or 1,000.00 or 1000,00 or 1.000,00
Selects thousands separator. Default is none, 1000.00. Pressing cycles through these options.
The 1000.00 and 1,000.00 options are only available if the decimal separator is set for point. 1000,00 and 1.000,00 are available only if the decimal separator is set for comma.
Chain, Algebraic, or RPN
Calculation mode. Default is Chain.
Pressing cycles through these options.
English, Français, Deutch or Español
Language settings for the messages. Default is English.
Pressing cycles through these options.
Actual or Cal.360
Calendar options for bonds and dates. Cal.360 uses twelve 30-day months. Default is Actual.
Pressing toggles between these options.
Annual or Semiannual
Bond interest payment type. Default is Annual. Pressing toggles between these options.
TVM Standard or Canada
TVM mode. Standard mode sets compounding periods per year (C/YR) equal to payment periods per year (P/YR). Canada mode allows the compounding periods per year to be set independently. Pressing toggles between these options.

Begin/End mode

A special mode setting relates to the solution of problems known as annuities. This mode tells the HP 30b to solve these problems assuming that payments are made either at the beginning of a period or at the end of a period, which is why this mode is called Begin / End mode. When the HP 30b is in Begin mode, the display will show the word BEG in the top right corner of the screen. There is no indication in the HP 30b display when the calculator is in End mode, other than by the absence of the word BEG.
This mode is changed using the shifted BEG and END functions. The begin mode is on the front of the key and you press to activate begin mode. The end mode is on the front of the key and you press to activate end mode. When in begin mode, the HP 30b display will show a small BEG annunciator in the top right corner of the screen. If you receive an unexpected result when solving an annuity problem, make sure that the calculator is in the proper mode and try resolving the problem.

Adjusting display contrast

To adjust the brightness of the display, press and hold while pressing the or keys. Each press of the or keys slightly increases or decreases the contrast of the display.

Clearing options

Pressing one time cancels current number entries, mathematical operations, or a menu selection, in that order. Pressing repeatedly, with multiple operations pending, cancels one operation at a time, from the latest to the earliest. In algebraic or chain mode, to ensure nothing is pending at the start of a new calculation, press twice.

The reset menu

The Reset menu allows you to reset some, or all, of the menu items, variables, and registers to their default values. To open the Reset menu, press . TVM displays on the top line. Press repeatedly to scroll to a specific item. If you select the command to reset all values, All, you will be prompted to confirm your choice. To reset, press . At the All Reset message, press to reset all data in the calculator or to cancel.
Pressing while working within a particular menu takes you directly to the item of the Reset menu that allows you to reset that menu. Say, for example, you are working in the Bond menu and you wish to reset all your entries in the Bond menu. From anywhere in the Bond menu, press . Bond displays on screen. At this prompt, pressing resets the Bond menu and returns you to the last item you were working with in the Bond menu.
Since entering data in menus can represent a significant amount of work, when the reset commands for the cash flows, statistics and delete all (Del.All?) functions are used, you will be asked to confirm your choice. At the prompt, press to confirm, or to cancel. Once cleared, press to return to the cash flow or statistics menu.

Number entry

Enter numbers by pressing -, , the key, and entering an exponent by pressing .
To correct a number entry, press . Each press of erases the last digit or symbol entered, starting with the least significant digit at the far right of the number. If you press after a calculation, the least significant digit of the result will be deleted, with each successive press deleting another digit.
This will delete the least significant digit of the number, which may not be the least significant digit displayed due to the chosen display setting.
Tip: This is perhaps the easiest way to see all the digits of a number, regardless of the chosen display format. Simply press after a calculation to see all the digits. Pressing one time will exit this edit mode without clearing the number in the display.
To enter a number in the display, press the digits successively. A number can have up to 12 digits. To change the sign of a number from positive to negative, press . Scientific notation is used to enter very large and very small numbers. For example, to enter the number 1.2345123 in scientific notation, first enter the mantissa, 1.2345, then press: and enter the number representing the exponent, 123. The exponent must have a value between -499 and +499.

Error messages

The table that follows shows the error messages that the HP 30b can produce and their meanings.
Error Message
Cause or Explanation
ER: Underflow
The calculation generated an underflow (result of 0).
ER: x/0
Division by zero.
ER: 0/0
Zero divided by zero.
Infinity multiplied by zero.
ER: ∞/∞
Infinity divided by infinity.
Square root of a negative number.
ER: LN (0)
Attempted to take the natural log (LN) of 0.
ER: (x<0)
Attempted to take the natural log (LN) of a negative number.
ASIN or ACOS of a number > 1.
ER: 1^ ∞
Attempted calculation of 1^(+/- infinity).
ER: (x<0) ^ ∞
Attempted calculation of the infinite power of a negative number.
ER: ∞^0
Attempted calculation of ∞^0.
ER: ∞^(Frac)
Attempted calculation of ∞^(non-integer y).
ER: (x<0)^(Frac)
Attempted calculation of negative x^(non-integer y).
ER: Out of Bounds
Input out of bounds.
ER: Invalid P/YR
Returned by TVM functions if payments per year are invalid (<0 or non-integer).
ER: Invalid Input
Returned by any functions if arguments are invalid for any reason.
ER: Invalid I%
Returned by finance functions if I% is ≤ -100%.
ER: No Solution
Returned when there is no solution to the problem.
ER: Many or No Solutions
Returned if there is no solution, or more than 1 solution to the problem.
ER: Many Solutions
Returned when there are many solutions to the problem.
ER: Invalid N
Returned by time value of money or amortization functions if the number of periods per year definition is invalid.
ER: User Abort
Returned by long functions if user requests break.
ER: ∞ Result
Returned if the result is infinite.
ER: Insufficient Data
Returned by statistics functions if there is insufficient data for analysis.
ER: No Payback
Returned by payback function if there is no payback on this problem.
ER: Unique solution to IRR Not Found
Returned if IRR tries to calculate a solution but cannot find it. User should supply a new guess and try again.
ER: Stack
Stack overflow.
ER: Parenthesis:
An error linked to use of parentheses: unmatched, too many, etc.
ER: Insufficient Memory
Insufficient memory.
ER: No Solution Found
No solution found.






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