Texas Instruments DataMan

Date of introduction:  June 5, 1977 Display technology:  Flourescent
New price:  $24.95 Display size:  8
Size:  5.8" x 3.5" x 1.2"
 148 x 88 x 30 mm3
Weight:  4.8 ounces, 136 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  9V   Date of manufacture:  wk 30 year 1980
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Italy (RCI)
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TMC1982
Memories:   Displays:  Itron FG105H1
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manuals:   (US: 7.8M Bytes)
  (US: 14.5M Bytes)

Remember Star Wars and you know the influence of this exciting learning aid. It follows the tradition of the Little Professor but is intended for youngsters above seven years instead five years. The DataMan is preprogrammed to teach the basic four mathematic functions through different games:

Answer checker
Missing number
Electro Flash
Wipe Out
Number Guesser
Force Out

Dismantling this Math Marvel manufactured in July 1980 by Texas Instruments in their Rieti, Italy facility reveals a very clean design based on a
single-sided printed circuit board (PCB) and powered by a 9V alkaline battery.

The electronics is centered around a TMC1982 circuit, a member of the TMC1980 single-chip calculator family closely related to the TMC0980 introduced in 1976 with the TI-30. Both designs are based on the TMS1000 Microcomputer series with an increased memory capacity of 18,432 Bits Read-Only Memory (ROM, 2k*9 Bits) and 576 Bits Random-Access Memory (RAM, 9 Registers * 16 digits). Main differences between the TMC0980 and TMC1980 are the display drivers - while the former supports LED displays, adds the latter high-voltage drivers for Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFD). In addition includes the TMC1980 both an integrated charge pump driver to generate the high voltage (around -22V) for the Anodes and Grids of the VF-Display and integrated drivers for the Filament (heater) allowing for reasonable manufacturing costs.

Other members of the TMC1980 family include the TMC1981 used with the TI-1680, TMC1983 used with the TI-45 scientific calculator introduced in 1978, TMC1984 found in the Spelling B and TMC1986.

A similar product was later introduced with the Math Marvel game.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.