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Calculators:  Same Calculator: Hello, Isn't that the Same Vintage Calculator?

Most of the calculators on this site are from the 1970s and you will see some that look identical.  In the mid 1970s branding was fairly common, most notably; Casio for Boots, Rockwell for House of Fraser and everyone for Prinztronic and Radio Shack.  By the end of the 1970s there was a fierce price war and many famous names became casualties.  A few names survived like Casio, Sharp and Texet, but others like Rockwell and Commodore went on to more profitable goods.  During the late 1970s, however, there developed a lucrative business around generic branded calculators.  These were cheaply built, often with a thin plastic case, minimum components and generic boxes.  The brand was printed on the calculator and box at the end of the manufacturing line.  They make a fun diversion for calculator collectors to "get them all"!  We may never know who really made them, but one can make guesses from the IC sets and designs.  If you have any info let me know.

Texet 880 Satek 8M Prinztronic 8000 Prinztronic 400

A very cheaply made calculator with just an Texas IC and a National Semiconductor display.  It does have a power socket for an adapter though.  Some of the key labels are rather odd like CS for change sign, but it works well enough.  Check out the Satek box for the brand stamp.  Also the same as the Unisonic 1542L.  They tend to vary between two keyboard models, green VFD and red LED and flat and bent display filters.  Also the keyboard surround blue print can vary in colour a lot.

Texet 880 Satek 8M Prinztronic 8000 Prinztronic 400
Kingsonic 5000
Harvard Falcon Voesa



Another cheap and cheerful Texas chip clone from 1977/8/9.  The Voesa uses the same case but a slightly different IC, exchanging the change sign function for a reciprocal.  The same as the MBO 3000, MBO 3010 (in black and white), the Texet 800M and the Bohsei 3000.  The Voesa is the same as the GPM 15.

Harvard H303 Falcon 3000 Voesa 3000 Mustang 3000
Polygon 3000
Binatone Memory
Cheaply made calculator from Hong Kong around 1979 to 1980 - it must have been some of the last red LED models.  Gold coloured fascia tried to recover the low quality feel.  Single Texas chip and display to cut costs.  Only seven digits for negative numbers and some other silly logic bugs makes me surprised it ever sold.
Scientec XS-5297 Conic LED 650
Accuron Universal Neat little calculator from 1976/7 period by Accuron.  The universal clone is exactly the same.  They even incorrectly edited the manual to leave the name Accuron in certain paragraphs!
Accuron Executive Universal Executive
Unitrex Universal Prinztronic Several cheap designs that closely copy each other from around 1976-1978   For instance the Radofin, Unitrex and Elwro appear to be exactly the same mould whereas the Prinztronic and Universal are close clones.  Were they linked by the same manufacturer of calculators or cases?  We will probably never be sure.
Unitrex 1640WD Universal 777 Prinztronic X15 Prinztronic SC1001M Radofin 1660 Elwro 441
Prinztronic 99M Homeland 8101

Very stylish calculator that oozed quality but appears to be a heavily branded style from 1975/6.  It appears to made by Toshiba.  The same as the Teal 806, 817, 826 and SR82 as well as the Mathbook 817L.

Prinztronic 99M Prinztronic 99P Prinztronic SR99M (type II) Homeland 8101
Vatman Mini

Same case but different models.  No doubt there are more out there from this 1976 clone.  All used an NEC cpu, Itron VFD, GICO keyboard and were powered by two AA batteries.  The display digits have a habit of tilting due to the lack of mounting mechanism for the display tube.

Decimo Vatman Mini M Decimo Vatman Mini Detson 803PM
Strand Strand Memory Federal F-1

From the middle of the 1970s comes this odd, green display filter dominated calculator.  The Strand is a UK (W.H. Smith) brand which is supplied by Decimo.  Looks the same case as Mannics 303, Roger F-1 and F5.


Strand Strand Memory Federal F-1
Vatman Nice design done to death by Decimo in the UK between 1974 and 1976.  The Elite is a German clone that is basically the same calculator with just a different brand name label on the back. Elite did a range that appears to have matched the Decimo range.  The 1000PR (like Decimo Vatman Vantage) and CO12X (suspect Colex) are unknown brands (any help would be gratefully received).  Made in Japan.

Elite 3001

(type IV)
CO12X 1000PR

Attractive design from 1975 with flat matt black surfaces and well defined edges.  There must have been a few more models in both ranges as you can see the Hanimex and Binatone are different examples of this.  Only let down by the wobbly keys really.  Uses Mostek ICs.
Hanimex BCM368 Binatone Cadet

Some of the last of the VFD calculators from 1980 these models look like a wannabe-Casio.  With brushed aluminium panels dominating the front and Casio-like keys they are reasonably well built with bug-free logic.  8+1 digit blue display.  Made in Korea.




L-0831 Singapore made calculator from around 1976 that uses minimum of components and a 9V battery to power it.  Sometimes supplied with brushed aluminium decorative panels.  Same design (and model numbering system) used for a wide variety of brands including Binatone, Monarch and Unico.  Uses different ICs and board designs in the same case.  Compare the insides of these fascinating calculators.

Adman L-0831T

Texet L-0831
Binatone 02/4503

This 1972-4 design uses an interesting sliding back section shaped like a U.  This allows access to the batter compartment.  A variety of different models were issued but all stating a German company TA Vertriebs GmbH, 8500 Nurnberg.  However, all appear to be made in England by Sumlock Anita. They use early Rockwell RPN ICs and flate red LED displays.  

Anita 811

Adler 81

This 1977/8 design uses a simple case and variety of NEC ICs with a late round-faced VFD unit.  The display filter is a little too clear, letting in too much light and the logic is not as good as you would expect from such a late date.  One example I have (the HTH) does attribute the manufacturing to Detron of Korea.

Same as the Hanimex 830M.

Decimo Vatman 
Mini MII (Type II)
HTH 830D Clever 2101
This 1978 design uses a smart three piece case and variety of Texas ICs with LED or VFD display. Variations include gold colouring  to the brushed aluminium keyboard surround.  Made in Singapore.
Prinztronic 48G Sovrin 438