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Royal LCB 841

Date of introduction:  August 1980 Display technology:  LCD
New price:  34.95 (SRP November 1980) Display size:  8
Size:  2.6" x 6.0" x 0.25"
 65 x 153 x 6 mm3
   
Weight:  2.9 ounces, 81 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  LR54 Date of manufacture:  year 1981
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan
Precision:  8  Integrated circuits:  NEC uPD1833G
Memories:  3    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Ken H. Meine
    Download manual:   (US: 2.1 MByte)

National Semiconductor introduced already in 1978 with the NS103 Data Checker an electronic record keeper with three continuous memories to track bank and charge account balances with dedicated keys:

Memory 1 [CHK] [DEP] [BAL] [A]
Memory 2 [PMT] [CHG] [BAL] [B]
Memory 3 [PMT] [CHG] [BAL] [C]
Total sum of Memories [GT]

While the NS103 Data Checker was based on proprietary technology, introduced NEC of Japan with the uPD1833G in 1980 a single-chip calculator circuit that created the blueprint for checkbook-sized Account Manager calculators and thereupon the market got swamped with products based on this design. The uPD1833G simplified the use of the memories by removing the redundant [A], [B], and [C] keys and replaced the inconvenient three-way power-switch of the NS103 Data Checker with two dedicated [ON] and [OFF] keys and a [DS] key to toggle between two entry modes:

Indicator (--) Floating decimal with manual insertion of the decimal using the [.] key
Indicator (AM) Add mode with the decimal automatically put in the dollars and cents position (0.00)

Even the successor of the NS103, known as NS103A, switched its internals to the uPD1833G but we feature some more Account Manager calculators in the Datamath Calculator Museum based on this technology:

Canon Checkbook - Missing the Toggle Key for the decimal mode
This Royal LCB 841 - The Art of Perfection in Japan
Royal LCB 835 - Just one Memory (uPD1831G)
Texas Instruments TI-2200 Checkwriter - Late, but not too late
Unisonic LC 262CK Check Master - Credit Card sized

NEC of Japan lost some market share with their design for Account Manager calculators in the Eighties, when competitors like Hitachi and Sharp introduced similar chips and finally lost the business completely to Toshiba's "Solar Cells" compatible design. Find more Account Manager calculators in the Datamath Calculator Museum:

Canon Checkbook II - Toshiba inside
Casio CB-80 - Hitachi inside
This Unisonic LC 224CK Check Master - Sharp Inside
Texas Instruments TI-2200 II Checkwriter - Toshiba + Solar cells = Winning formula

Dismantling the featured LCB 841 Checkbook Calculator manufactured in 1981 in Japan reveals a clean design centered around a NEC uPD1833G single-chip calculator circuit powered by two small LR54 batteries. The LCB 841 was replaced within a few years with the LCB 830 / LCB 835 manufactured in Taiwan and exhibited cost reduction measures not only with reducing the number of screws holding the back-plate of the calculator in place from ten to three.

Learn more about single-chip calculator circuits used in Account Manager Calculators.

Royal Typewriters and its sister company Triumph-Adler, part of Litton Industries, were sold in 1986 to Olivetti and is since September 2004 a private American company again and is today known as Royal Consumer Information Products Inc.

Royal entered the market of Checkbook Calculators with the LCB 841 in August 1980. It features Account Manager functionality with three permanent (till you remove the batteries) Memories and started a very successful product line. We discovered as of now eleven different family members:

1980: This Royal LCB 841, 3 Memories
1983: Royal LCB 830, 1 Memory, Wallet
1983: Royal LCB 835, 1 Memory, Purse
1986: Royal CBC 80NT, Solar cells, Taiwan, 3 Memories
1987: Royal CBC 70, Taiwan, 1 Memory
1988: Royal CBC 80, Solar cells, Thailand, 3 Memories, US market
1988: Royal/Olivetti CBC 80, Solar cells, Thailand, 3 Memories, Canadian market
1988: Olivetti DII, Solar cells, Thailand, 3 Memories, European market
1989: Royal CBC 70, Thailand, 1 Memory
1993: Royal CBC 95, Solar cells, Thailand, 3 Memories
1998: Royal CBC 2000, Solar cells, China, 3 Memories

Don't miss the Corvus CheckMaster introduced by Mostek already in 1975. This rare product retains the balance of your memory even when shut off but uses power-hungry electronics.



If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

Joerg Woerner, February 5, 2020. No reprints without written permission.