Hand-held Calculators

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Elka 101

Elka 101 - green
Elka 101 - orange

Elka 101

Distinctive features: One of a series of models manufactured in communist Bulgaria and exported to the west. Available in several bright colours.

Technical details:
Display is 8 digits, red LED.

4-function, memory.

6v (4x AA).

Main integrated circuit - Rockwell A1030ME.

70 mm x 135 mm x 30 mm (2.75" x 5.3" x 1.25").


Produced by ISOT.
Made in Bulgaria.
This and other models were sold in Western Europe.

Side view
Inside Elka 101

Inside the Elka 101, with the Rockwell integrated circuit in the middle of the board on the right.

The name Elka is derived from the Bulgarian for Electronic Calculator.
The first Elka electronic calculator was introduced in 1965, while the ELKA-22 of 1966 had about 260 Transistors, 760 diodes and an 180-bit ferrite memory.
The first calculator using Bulgarian-made SSI and MSI ICs (under the "UNIMOS" trademark) was the ELKA-42. This was developed by the "Institute of  Microelectronics", which later became part of "Microelectronics"-Botevgrad, and was exhibited at the Osaka World Expo in 1972.
(Information courtesy of Todor Arnaudov).

This was the middle of the period of the "Cold War" and Eastern European communist countries lagged behind in the development of integrated circuits and displays.
The introduction of hand-held calculators in Japan and the West caused consternation there and was met initially by importing the technology, as here by using Rockwell and Texas Instruments integrated circuits.
Bulgaria had one of the largest electronics manufacturing industries of the Eastern European countries and in the late 1970s was in the top 10 of world consumer electronics manufacturing countries.

For further fascinating information on the strange and exciting calculators from the USSR and eastern Europe see Andrew Davies' Museum of Soviet Calculators at http://www.taswegian.com/MOSCOW/soviet.html

and Sergei Frolov's Soviet calculator site at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/1061/calcolle.htm.

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Hand-held Calculators

TI Cal-Tech
Canon Pocketronic
Sanyo ICC-0081 & ICC-82D
Sharp QT-8B
Busicom LE-120A & LE-120S
Sharp EL-8 & Facit 1111
Minolta Minolcom
Brother PRO-CAL 408
Walther ETR3
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apf Mark V
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Heathkit IC-2009
MITS 150
Summit Ko9V, K16 & SE88M
Unicom 102
Victor 85 "Tallymate"
Elka 101
RFT minirex 75
Sharp EL-120
Sharp EL-805
Bowmar MX-55
Atlas-Rand, Berkey, & Keystone
Hewlett-Packard HP-65
Casio fx-10
Casio AL-8 & family models
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Novus 650 "Mathbox"
Rockwell 8R
General Instrument EZ3000
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Texas Instruments Spirit of '76
Pulsar Calculator Watch
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Adler Lady & Sir
Elektronika B3-18A & C3-15
Commodore S61
"Standard Type 1"
Sharp EL-8026
Texas Instruments TI-30
Canon Multi 8
Casio ST1
Wrist Calculators
Kosmos I & Kosmos Astro
Hanimex Calculator-Recorder
Navigation Calculators
TI58 Special Function Calculators
Sandvik 842S Coromant
"Standard Type 2"
Panasonic Electronic Ruler
Teal Photon
Casio Mini Card LC-78
Feet & inches calculators
SCAT Specialist Calculators
Sharp EL-826
Sharp EL-825
Sanyo CX-1
Elektronika MK-33 etc
Sharp PC1211/Tandy TRS80 PC1
Slide Rule
Otis King L

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© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2013 except where noted otherwise.