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A Real Leather Case for the HP 95LX

A Real Leather Case for the HP 95LX

OK, I'm a nerd. I never wore a slide rule on my belt, but I wore calculators on my belt in college.

When I started using a pocket computer -- the Psion Organizer -- I used a gray nylon belt case sold by one of their distributors. I got used to it: it was always right there when alarms went off or I needed to check a phone number.

Now that the 95LX has supplanted the Organizer for me, I needed a belt case for it. I was using a really ratty old HP-65 leather case and kept hoping some enterprising third party would fill the gap.

Nobody did, so I went to a local holster maker to see what he could do. Most pistol holsters are "molded", just like the old HP hard leather cases: wet leather is pressed over a form and the result stitched to a backing. The holster maker used cast aluminum forms for various pistols; subjecting the 95LX to the pressing operation didn't seem like a good idea.

The solution was simple: I had a friend with a milling machine (he's really handy to have around), machine a chunk of aluminum to the size and shape of the 95LX. I took this back to the holster maker and he came up with a very rugged hard leather case that's a perfect fit. Best of all, the price was surprisingly low: $80 for a case that shames the old HP hard leather cases and is designed to my exact specifications.

My case is made from leather about twice as thick as the HP case leather, in a simple design with a spring steel belt clip and a Velcro secured flap. It's dyed a dark brown and has pigskin lining. At first my 95LX fit very snugly into the case and was a little difficult to remove. It took a week or two for the case to "adapt" to the 95LX.

To sum up, I'm impressed! The case is sturdy and quite well made. I wish I could get shoes that nice.

I asked Brian (the holster maker) to put a basketweave pattern on the front of mine (like the pattern on some leather cases on a policeman's belt) and want him to make me a belt with the same pattern.

As I mentioned, the case is a bit tight on the 95LX, but I expect it'll wear in over time. I think that part of the problem is that the aluminum block used to form the leather doesn't allow for the four rubber feet on the 95LX. It's that close! I think Brian is planning to build the mold up a bit for future work.

The holster maker is Brian Digardi, and his business is called Digardi Leather Co. It's located in San Jose, CA and the phone number is (408) 371-6367. He still has the aluminum form and is thus in a unique position to make custom cases for the 95LX Since each case is made to order, you decide what goes into it: RAM card pockets, type of leather used, belt or other type of case design, so on and such forth. If you're not local to the Bay Area, your best bet is to call him and arrange to send him a sketch of what you want.

He's been in business here a number of years and the local gun nuts tell me he's in high demand for custom gun holsters, knife sheaths, and so forth. I'm very impressed with my case (did I mention the matching belt? That was extra.), and I think you'd be pleased with anything he did for you as well.

I have no business connections with Digardi Leather.

Ed Greenberg

San Jose, CA, U.S.A

iPhone Life magazine


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