Hand-held Calculators

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Canon Palmtronic LE-10
&
Canon Palmtronic LE-80M

Canon's Pocketronic calculator was one of the first hand-held calculators, but produced output printed on paper tape only.  The Canon Palmtronic LE-10 here, of 1971, was the first Canon hand-held calculator with a display.  The calculating functionality is provided by two Texas Instruments integrated circuits.

The Canon Palmtronic LE-80M, at botton, is a later model, of 1973, with a memory and calculating functionality provided by a single Hitachi integrated circuit.

Canon Palmtronic LE-10

Canon Palmtronic LE-10 and charger

The Canon LE-10 beside the charging unit.

Canon Palmtronic LE-10

Distinctive features: The first Canon hand-held calculator with a display.  Uses rechargeable battery pack, recharged with calculator in a charging unit.  The calculator is fitted with a battery-check meter.

Technical details:
Display is 10 digits, red LED.

4 functions.

Main integrated circuits in this example - Texas Instruments TMC1824NC and TMC1825ANC, here date coded to early 1972.

4.8v (sealed battery pack with 4x AA rechargeable cells, see photograph below).

83 x 145 x 38 mm (3.3" x 5.7" x 1.5").

The batteries are recharged by clipping the calculator on the charging unit and securing it with a serrated screw.  The calculator is fitted with a battery-check meter.

This model first went on sale in 1971.

Made in Japan.

Canon Palmtronic LE-10 on charger
Canon Palmtronic LE-10 battery pack

The Canon Palmtronic LE-10 calculator recharging on the charging unit.

Note the battery-check meter at the top left of the keyboard.

The calculator uses a sealed, removable, battery pack which slides into the top of the calculator.

Canon Palmtronic LE-10 circuit board

With the cover removed showing the two main, Texas Instruments, integrated circuits.
There is another board below with the keyboard and display.

Canon had an agreement with Texas Instruments for the development and production of calculator integrated circuits. The first Canon calculator, the Pocketronic, required 3 large integrated circuits, whereas the model here, from a year or so later, requires just 2 large integrated circuits.

Canon Palmtronic LE-80M

Canon Palmtronic LE-80M

Canon Palmtronic LE-80M

Distinctive features: A later Canon hand-held calculator with a display, and memory.  The calculator is fitted with a battery-check meter.

Technical details:
Display is 8 digits, red LED.

4 functions, memory.

Main integrated circuit in this example - Hitachi HD3553, here date coded to mid-1973.

6v (4x AA replaceable cells).

83 x 170 x 36 mm (3.3" x 6.7" x 1.4").

The calculator is also fitted with a battery-check meter.

This model first went on sale in 1972.

Made in Japan.

Inside Canon Palmtronic LE-80M

With the cover removed.  The Hitachi HD3553 integrated circuit which provides the calculator functionality is to the left of centre.  It is surrounded by peripheral chips.

The U.S.A. was at the forefront of the development of integrated circuits in general in the late 1960s-early 1970s, but Japan made great efforts to catch up, with government help, in the early 1970s.  The article "The Story of the Race to Develop the Pocket Electronic Calculator" relates how this impacted on the development of pocket calculators.

Hand-held Calculators

Vintage Calculators

© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2019  except where noted otherwise.