DATAMATH CALCULATOR MUSEUM
Texas Instruments TI-5050
|Date of introduction:||March 1975||Display technology:|
|New price:||$199.95, DM 748.00||Display size:||n.a.|
|Size:|| 8.6" x 3.9" x 2.5"
218 x 98 x 63 mm3
|Printer technology:||Thermal TP-20225|
|Weight:||28.2 ounces, 802 grams||Serial No:||71809|
|Batteries:||6*AA NiCd||Date of manufacture:||wk 43 year 1975|
|AC-Adapter:||AC9170||Origin of manufacture:||USA|
|Precision:||10||Integrated circuits:||TMC1014, TMS1214|
|Program steps:||Courtesy of:||Joerg Woerner|
|Download manual:||(US: 2.3M Bytes)|
Yes, this calculator is called the first handheld printing calculator by Texas Instruments. There are great differenced between the first calculator based on TI's thermal printer technology - the Canon Pocketronic - and the TI-5050. The first one used a serial printing method, writing one digit after the other, this one writes the results in a parallel manner.
The TI-5050 uses internal NiCd batteries to support the printing head with enough power. With the external charger alone you can't get the calculator to work.
Dismantling this TI-5050 manufactured in October 1975 by Texas Instruments in the USA reveals a designed centered around two members of the famous TMS1000 Microcomputer family. The first chip labeled TMC1014 is manufactured in PMOS (p-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology similar to the original Canon Pocketronic and features 1k*8 Bits ROM plus 64*4 bits RAM in a 28-pin DIP (Dual In-line Package) housing while the second chip labeled TMS1214 adds to identical specifications two extra Output lines in a 40-pin DIP housing.
The TI-5050 was replaced soon with the TI-5050M sporting an additional memory and cutting the chip count into half. Interesting to learn that the TI-5050M uses different algorithm for basic math functions, a simple division of  [÷]  returns 0.666666667 instead 0.666666666.
The first really handheld printing calculator was introduced two years later with the TI-5025.
Don't miss the first printing desktop calculator, the TI-500 introduced already in 1974.
If you have additions to the above article please email: email@example.com.
© Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.