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Calculators: Handheld: Rockwell 63R (aka Scientific Slide Rule) (type I)

Size (approx): 85mm x 160mm x 24mm  (w,h,d)
Weight 246g including sealed internal batteries


4.5V DC, 3 x AA size rechargeable batteries.  Accepts an adapter/charger (undefined but 4mm plug, centre positive) through socket on the top side in the middle. 
Case: Sturdy stippled brown plastic case with light beige keyboard surround.  Oversized neutral display cover shows a clear view of the numbers.  Squashy but positive keys are tilted up and pivot around the bottom - like the early Unicom keys.  The raised Rockwell logo and two vertical edges are painted silver and have not worn at all on this example.  The model number is printed on the lower keyboard surround in dark brown along with the key labels. There is a large metallic sticker on the back which is crammed with instructions.
Display: 8+2 digit blue VFD display with a ninth digit (and intervening one) for the minus signs.  Display input starts at the left rather than the normal right.
Features: Standard four functions, square root, change sign, trigonometric, logs, powers, reciprocal, pi, factorial, scientific notation, parentheses, degree/radian conversion, register exchange and eight function memory.  Switch for degrees and radians.
Age: 1976
Manufacturer: Rockwell international, Microelectronic Product Division, Anaheim, California 92803.  Assembled in Mexico, US and foreign parts.  Serial No. 205776.


Classic Rockwell design a little larger than most.  Odd pivoting keys in the normal Rockwell colours.  The logic is sound with few bugs but let down by lack of recovery. The original case is stiff padded brown plastic with brass toggle closing and an internal PVC wallet for the instruction manual - obviously no expense spared. There was apparently three versions of this calculator with different keys - you can see another one at Rockwell 63R type (II).

Components: 1 x cpu: Rockwell A4802CB 7616 (date code week 16 of 1976) 42 pin staggered DIL
1 x 12 digit VFD flat panel glass faced display in its own four sockets
0 x transistors
3 x diodes
2 x capacitors
1 x resistor array PE 81170 7421, 14 pin DIL 0.3" width
16 x resistors
1 x transformer/power supply converter: TDK LAC-028-2 327R03 Japan
1 x rechargeable battery unit: 3 x AA sized units labelled +326R07 J9540R11-01
Boards: The keyboard assembly is secured to the front and joins the main cpu board by a 22-way plug.  The main cpu board can easily be totally removed as it just locates on four plastic pillars.
Construction: There are four screws hidden under the rubber feet on the rear. Prize them off from the outside edge as the screws underneath are offset. The whole of the rear will left off when these are removed.

Logic comments: (CE/C) is used once to cancel the last number entered and a second time to clear the whole calculator.
Input overflow is suppressed, inputting a ninth digit is ignored
Negative numbers are shown with a minus  in the ninth (far left) digit thereby allowing full eight digit negative numbers.  Negative exponents in the intervening digit.
There is automatic constant on all four functions
Divide by zero shows a ". .0.0."  and is not recoverable
Overflow shows a ". .0.0."  and is not recoverable
Memory storage is indicated with an upper "n" in the intervening digit.  When you have a negative exponent then this turns to a square.
Overflow in memory stores the overflow result, well almost!
Negative square roots are not allowed and result in an unrecoverable error
The change sign key can be used in mid number entry but not before
The extra functions are accessed by first pressing the (F) key, use (CF to cancel the function select)
nth root of m is calculated by  (m)(Yx)(n)(1/x)(=)


The manual measures 68mm x 131mm and is 100 pages!  It has a two colour cover and black and white pages.  This example is in English only. Oddly enough, whilst it is stuffed wih examples, pictorial key guide and in-depth guarantee pages it does not have a specification page (with dimensions, power consumption etc.)

Copyright 1974, Rockwell International. 

"Rockwell International ...where science gets down to business".

main board The detachable main cpu board is shown on the left.  At the bottom is the wide format transformer followed by the multi-way socket for the keyboard.

The small white package at the top right is (I think) is an early resistor array.

Notice the main Rockwell IC (lower middle) with the typical staggered pins.

Compare to the late Rockwell 63R type II.