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HP50g - Using External Power (i.e. USB to computer)

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Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hey All, 

I have read in multiple forums that it is possible to run the HP50g power off of a computer, or other USB source through the USB-mini port on the HP50g.

I am an engineering student taking my classes from home,  so i have no real need to run it off of batteries. Has anyone had success in doing so? I am not sure if I am missing something simple here, or if it is a defective cable I have purchased etc.

Thanks for the help in advance!

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Yes, any powered standard USB mini cable will run the HP 50g, even without any batteries installed.  I keep my 50g plugged in whenever it's on my desk, to extend the life of the batteries.


If it's not working for you, check whether the cable provides power to other devices.  The cable need not be a data cable; even a charging-only USB cable should work.


The 50g even can tell you whether it's running off the batteries or off the USB cable.  Here's how: Turn on the 50g. Press and hold down the ON key, then press and release the F6 key, then release the ON key.  This launches one of the built-in self tests.  Press 8 to start the Power test.  In the middle of the screen you will see either "BATTERY NORMAL" if powered by batteries, or "USB POWER WORK" if powered by USB cable.  You can plug and unplug the USB cable during this test, and watch that message change.  If it never shows "USB POWER WORK" then something is wrong with your cable or your 50g.  Press ENTER to exit the Power test, and press ON to exit the self test.


Hope this helps!  Disclaimer: I don't work for HP, but I love using their calculators.

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"This launches one of the built-in self tests.  Press 8 to start the Power test."

Fantastic. Although I didn't mention in it in my question, this diagnostic was exactly what I was chasing! Thank you for a thorough reply and your enthusiasm, Joe. I agree with you to the fullest, I often find myself sliding over to my HP in lieu of the desktop software I run, some things are just engineered better 🙂

Thanks again,


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