Sharp EL-8

Date of introduction:  November 1970 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:  $345 Display size:  8
Size:  6.4" x 4.0" x 2.6"    
Weight:  1 pound 4 ounces Serial No:  11170Y
Batteries:  EL-84 (6*AA NiCd) Date of manufacture:  year 1970
AC-Adapter:  EL-81 Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  Rockwell NRD2256, AC2261, DC2266, AU2271, CG1121
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Sharp Electronics Corporation introduced end of the year 1970 with the EL-8 - also known as ELSI-8 for Extra Large-Scale Integration - their first portable, battery operated calculator. It uses the same technology as the desktop calculator QT-8D. A version without the rechargeable batteries was sold later as EL-8A. The next calculator in Sharp's line was the EL-811.

Dismantling a Sharp EL-8 calculator manufactured in 1970 reveals an impressive mechanical design based on a robust metal chassis holding the keyboard assembly, display module and electronics. Below the keyboard assembly we identify nine integrated display drivers manufactured by Hitachi.

The display itself makes use of individual Itron fluorescent tubes with the odd trademark segmentation of early Sharp calculators.

An additional printed circuit board (PCB) hosts the brain of the calculator - the famous Rockwell chip set based on 4 larger Integrated Circuits (ICs) labeled NRD2256, AC2261, DC2266, AU2271 and a smaller clock driver labeled CG1121.

Read more about Sharp Corporationís Calculator Innovations.

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