Panasonic JE-170U

Date of introduction:  1980 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:   Display size:  10
Size:  6.5" x 3.8" x 1.25"
 166 x 96 x 32 mm3
Weight:  6.7 ounces, 194 grams Serial No:  18400677
Batteries:  2*AA Date of manufacture:  mth 12 year 1980
AC-Adapter:  JL-046, JL-047, or JL-048 Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  20 Integrated circuits:  TMC1081NL (MBSLΔ8048)
Memories:  1    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manual: (US: 2.2M Bytes)

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., founded by Kōnosuke Matsushita in 1918 as a light bulb socket manufacturer and better known under their current name Panasonic Corporation or National brand, is a major Japanese multinational electronics company, headquartered in Kadoma, Osakas. Matsushita introduced already in 1969 with the PANAC-12W (JE-240) their first electronic desktop calculator with 12-digit capability and Nixie tube display joining established Japanese manufacturers like Busicom, Canon, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba. Next important step in Matsushita's calculator line was the sleek Panasonic 1000 (JE-102) introduced in 1971 and based on seven LSI (Large Scale Integration) chips manufactured by Mitsubishi before introducing in 1972 the Panasonic 1010 (JE-1010) with just two Mitsubishi LSI chips and finally switching with the JE-801 and JE-1001 to Texas Instruments' single-chip calculator technology.

This portable JE-170U calculator was introduced in 1980 together with its desktop twin JE-1604U and provides 20-digit arithmetic and a 10-digit display. When the calculated result exceeds 10-digits before the decimal point, the overflow symbol "C" or "E" lights up at the left of the display and the approximate result can be obtained by multiplying the displayed number by 1010.

Dismantling the featured JE-170U manufactured in December 1980 by Matsushita in Japan for the North American market reveals a very compact design based on a single-sided printed circuit board (PCB) centered around a TMC1081NL single-chip calculator circuit connected to the keyboard and powered by two AA-sized disposable Alkaline batteries.

The TMC1081NL is a member of the TMS1000 Microcomputer family introduced in October 1974 with the SR-16 calculator. While the TMS1000 design was mainly intended for designs using power-hungry LED displays with external display drivers, uses the TMS1070 redesigned output drivers for the 11 R-Outputs (Display Scan) and 8 O-Outputs (Segments) that can withstand voltages up to -35 Volts and hence allows direct operation of low-voltage Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFDs).


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Joerg Woerner, December 28, 2022. No reprints without written permission.