OLD CASIO CALCULATORS
The author was engaged as service manager for Peacock Bros. of Melbourne for the period 1954 through 1975. During that period he worked on Comptometers (by Felt & Tarrant) MADAS (by H.W.Egli), and Walther (by Carl Walther's Company). In the early seventies the advent of digital electronics started a kind of technological revolution and mechanical calculating machines started to be usurped by the 'new kid on the block' technology. As Japanese companies such as Busicom, Sharp, Toshiba and others juggled for positions in a rapidly evolving market, a company dedicated to the manufacturing of computer equipment slipped gently into position. The company Casio Computer Company started manufacturing calculators and later watches. Some products were serious others were 'novelty' items. This report consists of memories by the author Ray Mackay. Many of the memories are supported by documentation. Other memories, where documentation does not exist, have been left out.
Information related to Casio's beginnings is scant and hard to come by. The author's first knowledge the company even existed was in the very early seventies when he first sighted the early products from the company. These products being sold through Peacock & Associates. During this period a Mr. Kawamura was the Australian Agent and the product was marketed through Peacock Bros. as a parallel line to other products. Endeavours are being made to provide a firm foothold concerning Casio's beginnings and, if and when such details become available, they will be inserted into this report.
The format, at least in this draft, will take on a sequence related to dates. As various models became available an illustration, where available, will be given plus some technical aspects of each model. Actual release dates are not known, however the schematics indicate model numbers and dates which should provide some guidance. Where prices are given they will be indicated in the currency of the source of the price (i.e. AUD will indicate Australian Dollars). The form will be a little boring as there is no attractive way to list the information. It could be done either with illustrations or as a list. It should be remembered that some models were marketed through companies such as Tandy, Radio Shack and Remington Rand and possibly others. If Trade Marks exist for such products acknowledgement is given to the trade mark holders. The document is produced for the information of collectors and educators. It is not to be sold privately for profit however, it may be copied and distributed freely for the purpose and reason it is written.
model known by the author was the Remington SSR-8 sold
under the Casio Name FX-1- and FX-11. Circa May 1974 the
machine was listed as follows:
Drawing Number A8B-1
Display fluoro Glass Encapsulated driven by an IC driver MicroPD 175C
CPU Micro-Chip MicroPD179C (which would indicate NEC)
Power Battery Mains
Prices not known
Early models were the
Mini-root-M, Mini Memory, Mini-root & 801MR. These
were sold as Remington Models 821GT, 823GT, 819 &
825GT circa July 1974 (the author does not know if the
designs were Remington or Casio designs). Technical
aspects are as follows :
In February of 1975 the inventive nature of Casio came to the fore front and machines began being released in a continuous stream. First the Personal-8 using a MicroPD973C CPU and fluoro display. This was followed by a Personal-8M in March. This machine seemed to use a Toshiba T3315 CPU and an E8120.
In May this was followed by an extremely small Pocket Mini which was designated the CP-801B (AX-11A-A) It used a MicroPD974C with the display driver on the CPU. Also in May, the Personal Mini, CM-607 (AX-1A-A) introduced a departure from the normal as the display was offset to the left with the keyboard to the right. It also had a shift key to recall overflow. The CPU was a MicroPD178C and the Display a fluoro LD8109.
In July a re-issue of the Pocket-Mini came out called a CP-801C (AX-17C-A) it did not have the square root function.
One assumes larger machines were required for large fingers and for the desktop but were still required to be portable and in July 1975 the Casio 102-MR came out. Using a HD3692 and LD8126 fluoro display it could be popped into a suitcase and presented large keys for the operator.
|Also around the same period. The Casio Model 101F (AX 15A-a) had many of the features of the 101 and 102MR's but had a new key placement design for touch usage rather than the look and press keyboards of the earlier machines. It started to come with the type of keyboard we had become familiar with over the years. The 101-F was followed (also in July) with a 121-F which looked identical to the 101-F but had an extra 2 digits in the display. The ON/OFF switch also came up on to the keyboard. Other than these differences the illustration on the right will suit as a guide.|
It was indicated that 1975 was a big year for Casio and in July (the same month as the above) a personal eight digit calculator with memory and square root, plus percentage key, the Memory 8A was introduced (see illustration on the left). This machine used a MicroPD977C Chip and LD8120 fluoro Display. Its release was accompanied by a machine that looked a little like a hip flask. This machine was a Pocket 8S ( which may explain the Flask look) it had no memories or square root key but it did percentages. The CPU was a MicroPD974C and it had an 8 digit fluoro display.
In August 1975 two new releases were the 102-MR on the left and the FX-101 on the right. Such a proliferation of machines was being released with similar if not identical functions, one started to worry about the motivation. It is obvious they are not merely catering for an Australian market as we did not need the constantly changing formats or the four functions keys plus the option of memory or square root, floating or fixed decimal place and percentage calculations. The author could see why people would want a specific number of digits in the display but why so many models? Suddenly the introduction of a scientific calculator the FX-101 brought a gleam in to the author's eye. Something new to explore and fiddle with. Still using the MicroPD series (this time a 979C) the unit dropped back to using a display decoder. It also had a ring-in, a chip designated T3184, listed as a rectifier although I doubt it is; the purpose is not known. One would suppose, to gain the extra chip space required for the additional logic the chip count had to be increased however, the display was still fluoro an LD 8126. It had a fair compliment of Trig keys plus x to the y and pi or e to the x, etc.
In the same month a very attractive print
out calculator was released R-100 and had a very nice
|In August, the same month, a
desktop scientific calculator the FX-3 was released,
having a number of trigonometric functions plus several
memories. This machine appeared, at the time, to be
attacking a specific market. This target escaped me as,
although it was a desktop machine, it appeared to have
severe limitations for 'real' scientific use. The chipset
appeared to be a four chip Hitachi chip set judging by
the HD prefixes. One appeared to be the CPU (HD3555) a
second a multiplexer ? chip HN25301 and the third
(HD36610) a display driver. The fourth with a We (write
enable?) pin could also be a memory chip. November saw
the release of a Memory-8R which looked like the CM-607
(seen earlier) but had a square root key. The format
otherwise remained the same. The CPU was a HD3691 and the
saw the release of the first LCD display from Casio, the
Pocket-LC it had the usual four function plus Square root
and Percentage plus a memory recall key.
Naturally, as one would expect, it was far slimmer than the 'fluoro' display calculators. The Chip was a T333 and the LD0503 display was mounted in a cradle for easy placement and replacement. Schematics are available for the display timing.
LC-820 - MEMORY-10, 803-MR and 103 MR
It is rather perplexing to note the introduction of the liquid crystal display on the one hand and the return to fluoro for three machines released around the same period.
There must however, be reasons behind such timing and one supposes that the time delay between design of IC's, the placement of orders and the drawing to manufacturer delay causes such anomalies.
MOVE ON TO 1976 ANOTHER BIG YEAR FOR CASIO
CASIO PERSONAL 1 (H-802), AL-8 AND AL-10 (FRACTION CALCS), POCKET LC (CL-811B) AND POCKET LC II
At this stage it became a non-viable proposition for the author to store spare parts and carry out repairs on such small mark-up items. The one Biolator et al were MicroPD572C - MicroPD 577C (HD 36145) - MicroPD573C and the Old T3333. Peacock Bros. ceased to replace individual components and, because of the ultra reliability of the units, a change over policy during the warranty period was adopted. The author's technical interest started to waine and his intellectual pursuits started to take new directions. North American Rockwell was designing new products and these took up time and the interest of the author. Due to obligations the author continued support of Casio but became more orientated towards the sales; whilst still maintaining Comptometers, MADAS and Walther mechanical machines. Plus the new electronic Walther and Busicom machines. As an aside the collection of Casios continued to grow. New models were released in a constant stream. The author collected information until 1978 and then the process became repetitive. There is not much to see or work on with IC's and without intellectual stimulation interest is hard to maintain. The continuation will list machines and illustrate the models that followed as far as 1978.
These models from left to right being...
Scientific Calculator (AX-38A-A) , P811 Pocket Mini
(AX-44A-A), Micro-Mini (AX-49A), FX-102 Scientific
I will continue in this format so that those interested may have a guide to different models. Those who download the site can enlarge or clear the GIF images to suit. The Internet is convenient and if some 'enthusiasts' require schematic or chip details they only need to ask. Commercial inquiries should be addressed to www.casio.co.jp or www.casio-usa.com as these notes are for hobbies only and not intended for commercial use.
These in order from left to right are as follows...
(AX-72A-A), R-220 (AX-25A-A, 805MR (AX-62A-A),
At this stage we are
coming to the end of this collection. If you've got this
far I award you the medal of perseverence for answering a
call beyond duty. It has been a time consuming exercise
and one must admit, rather a dull exercise.
In order of appearance left to right...
FX-110 (AX-78A-A), AL-10S (AX-76A-A),
Crossing the boundary 1977 to 1978.
In order of appearance left to right...
AQ-1000 (GX-26), MQ-5 (GX-66),
The Micro Mini and the LC-820 conclude my list of calculators for which I have schematics and limited Service manuals. From here onwards the list would continue in catalogues that were issued by Casio as coloured advertising catalogues. There are about ten of these and they vary in content. The content grows each year as Casio's innovative style continues. I have catalogues covering 1981 / 82 / 83 / 84(2) / 86 / 88 and 89. They can each have up to 42 coloured pages and to copy them all was a task I undertook for James Redin & Guy Ball. They now have all the details from these catalogues on a CD. Included on the CD were copies of many flyers going back through the same period. From this, one should be able to compile quite a listing. Later, if interest is high enough I may scan in the catalogues for the 1990's however, these catalogues continue to come out regularly and in ever increasing size. These later catalogues should exist all over the United States in any case and, thus there may not be a need for these more recent ones. The latest 1997/98 catalogue for example has 86 pages with an average of three calculators per page.
I also have line drawings indicating keyboard configurations and machine body shapes of early Casios between 1969 and 1974. Some of these may be of historic use, however the technological information is no longer of value unless one wishes to restore a particular model. Cataloging this lot for the Internet is impracticable.
Machines from Casio's latest range are illustrated on our Web Site www.casio.calculators.com.au and using the Hyperlink to Pegasus and other sites additional information is available. For those members of James Redin's Collectors Database and Guy Ball's International Association of Calculator Collectors that request the enclosed information I trust it suits their need. There is a full days work in such an activity and unless it helps some one, there is little sense in pursuing the project, as a Web Page, any further. In the end the mind starts to boggle as one tries to remember where one is at. Casio's innovative style seems to assure steady growth. New machines are released in a constant stream as the latest Casio catalogues will indicate. Further inquiries may be placed with firstname.lastname@example.org. Having said that we can put the project to bed.
Regards Ray Mackay
© January 1998 Ray Mackay All rights reserved ® 1998
French translation by Anna Chekovsky
Updated January 04, 2015