Aristo M16 (HP parts)



#5

Recently I got an Aristo M16 from 1977.
It is "Made in Germany" by a manufacturer of slide rules and drawing accessories. There are some interesting details in the actual design but maybe it varies from lot to lot.

First: The on-off-switch is made of "Aristopal". This is something like Astralon and a characteristic material of "Aristo"-slide rules. The other keys are made of the same PE as the cases of some newer Aristo slide rules. So far for the slide rule collectors.

The keys have the same haptic appearence as the old HP-keys and they are based on the same mechanic principle. Inside there is an original HP-Singapore display. In operation it is brilliant and offers much more contrast than the average cheap display used in simple calculators of that era. It looks like a smaller version of the HP97-display

The processor is a Rockwell B5000, hand-soldered with the unnessecary pins cut on the copper side of the PCB.

This calculator is genuine german (not from Taiwan or somewhere else) but maybe it was designed with some help from HP (to sell some parts they don´t need anymore)?


#6

Sources in the net confirm HP display modules being used in ARISTO calcs, though not for the M16 being a rather late model (the last one "Made in Germany"?).

#7

ARISTO obviously used mainly HP displays (for their LED cals).
I have found others too (only listed up to "I"):
CASIO ROOT-8S
Commodore 3101, Minuteman 2
Corvus 310, 322, 411, 415
DALTONE POCKET 80
Faber-Castell TR1
Interton PC4007, 4008, 4009

HP was "just another source" of LED displays, I assume the Bowmar, Litronix, TI and HP displays were compatible and exchangeable, so it was just a matter of pricing and availablity.


#8

Interesting for me was the fact that the keyboard of the M16 is designed like an HP35-keyboard (with the keys molded to the frame on the lower edge). The older Aristos have the usual keyboard with the central spring. This led me to opening it and discovering the display - ok, maybe I would have opened it anyway, like I do with all my old stuff.
The display is a lot better than the one on my other cheaper calculators of that era but obviously HP has sold its display bars to all the main manufacturers.


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