Commodore C110

Date of introduction:  September 1971 Display technology:  LED-modules
New price:  $240.00 Display size:  8
Size:  5.2" x 3.1" x 1.5"
 133 x 78 x 37 mm3
Weight:  10.9 ounces, 310 grams Serial No:  1347
Batteries:  6*AA NiCd Date of manufacture:  year 1972
AC-Adapter:  E-200
 7.2V 225mA DC, 7.0V 45mA AC
 7.2V 225mA DC, 7.0V 45mA AC
Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  TMS0103, 2*SN75491, 2*SN75492
Memories:   Displays:  9*Monsanto MAN-3A
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

The Bowmar 901B, here with the OEM-label of Commodore Business Machines (CBM) was the first "True-Pocket-Size" calculator based on components of the Texas Instruments company. This calculator uses both the original Klixon™ keypad and the TMS0103 single-chip calculator circuit. There is no doubt that the display was manufactured by Bowmar, known then as LED manufacturer.

This calculator was sold under different labels, beside this Commodore C110 it was popular as Craig 4501, too.

Please notice the voltage selector on the original Commodore power supply provided for Europe to switch between 220 Volts and 240 Volts. The next generation of the C110 power supply had a wide input range of 205 Volts to 250 Volts and omitted the switch.

This C110 marked the entry of Commodore into the market of portable electronic calculators and while it was a rather short-lived product, did it pave the way to an incredible success story. Its successor Minuteman 1 was introduced within just a few months and started a completely different design language but still using Bowmar electronics. The next evolution - consequently named Minuteman 2 - replaced first the Bowmar electronics and then the Texas Instruments Klixon™ keyboard with Commodore's own designs. It took another iteration with the Minuteman 2SR to drop even the Texas Instruments calculator chips and replace it with a design from MOS Technology, a company Commodore acquired in October 1976 and fueling in October 1977 a revolution with the PET2001 (Personal Electronic Transactor), the best selling "Personal Computer" of its time.

Calculator Introduction Design Electronics Calculator Chip Keyboard Display
C110 September 1971 Bowmar Bowmar TI TMS0103 TI Klixon Monsanto MAN-3A
Minuteman 1 January 1972 Commodore Bowmar TI TMS0103 TI Klixon Monsanto MAN-3A
Minuteman 2
Version 1
June 1972 Commodore Commodore
TI TMS0103 TI Klixon Monsanto MAN-3A
Minuteman 2
Version 2
September 1972 Commodore Commodore
TI TMS0103 Commodore
Wild Rover Corp.
Monsanto MAN-3A
Hewlett Packard
Minuteman 2SR February 1974 Commodore Commodore
National Semiconductor

The next iteration of Commodore's design language was introduced in 1974 with the Minuteman 3 series of calculators.

Klixon™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments.

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