Collecting calculators...


I begun "collecting" calculators about 5 years ago. Slowly, since that time, my collection grew up. Now, i have sevral calculators (about 120) still growing slowly.

The "problem" is that i also have a lot of manuals, battery pack, chargers, parts, peripherals and all that stuff is all mix in my shack, on the desk, under it, in a closet, in some box, etc.

My question is HOW TO ORGANIZE such a collection in order to have fun with it and to present it to me and others persons as a "great" collection.

I was thinking about :

- writing some kind of "inventory"
- making a kind of "showcase" for my calculators in order not tu put them simply in a box.
- creating a web site presenting my collection.
- ???

But i don't exactly know how to do these think and what else can be done to maintain a collection in a way that each calculator will be well treated and love as it should be ;-)

I'm sure some of you have some tips or even giving me some address with exemple of what to do with all these beauties in that dark box!

Well, they are not always in the box; each day i took one of these calculator and bring it with me at work, but you know i have my favorite and some are in the box longer than other; my 41CV is no in the bottom of the box... ;-)

Thanks for tips!


I asked myself exactly the same questions as you at about the same point (as far as number of calculators go) in my collecting. I ended up buying several nice glass and wood "curio" display cases and putting most of my collection in them. I also purchased a couple of wooden drawer sets to keep the chargers, manuals and accessories in -- so that they would be handy but out of sight. Finally, I rebuilt all the nicad battery packs and repaired all the broken calculators so that they all work and are all kept charged up. (This last part was, and still is, a huge amount of work and I'm rethinking that decision.)

The furniture ended up costing a lot of money, in some cases more than the calculators that occupy them! But it makes my collection more accessible (to me and others) and it looks nice.

Here are a few picutes:


More closeups, Katie, please?




My website with manuals on it has closeups of those calcs that I have manuals for -- HP's/TI's not included. I don't have closeups but here's most my collection (for insurance purposes) as of about a year ago:



Hi Katie,

In picture c14.jpg, the first calculator in the second row has 50+ white keys. What model calculator is that?





You have good eyes! It's a Commodore N60. The M55 and S61 also have 60 keys.



Katie -- you've got to make some money on this! I would think a Web Cam at $.50/minute would help subsidize future purchases . . .



I'm not sure that the handful of voyeurs on this list can keep me in lifestyle that I am accustomed to :)



......if you show the calculators in the nude......(the calculators, that is........) ;>0


I hope you don't mind your pictures being used to "set the bar" so far above & beyond my own meagre involvement as to render my hobby innocently quaint.

As in, "You think I'm too involved in calculators? Imagine decorating the dining room like this!"


(Not that I've got anything against mixing keyboards and cheese boards, but as I'm sure you're aware, there are some who just don't get it . . . )


Sure be my guest, I love to be the "bar". Your welcome to come and visit if you need to present an even more convincing case to whomever this quote is directed to:

"You think I'm too involved in calculators? Imagine decorating the dining room like this!"


O.K. Anybody wanna volunteer to play the suspicious, uncomprehending spouse so we can go sneak an in-person peek at Katie's collection?


Hi Katie:

your display---the layout, the architecture of the room etc is really cool, but the snow outside your window is even cooler!





You must live in southern CA. That snow was in early December of last year, just the first of many, many snowfalls that we had. I love snow, but by March I had my fill for a while.



Hi Katie,

Southern California is only a state of mind.....(I live in southern New England)

best regards,




That last picture shows HP machines that rule!!! I don't think the Smithsonian Museum has anything on you when it comes to calculator technology!!

These pictures inspire me to quote Bogart in Casablanca "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"




I don't know think that the Smithsonian would really consulter the Calcu-pen for it's collection. But I like to have it to look at during dinner instead of fancy dishes. (The cabinets are in my dinning room.)




My china cabinet is loaded with calculators and manuals!!! I look at it and remember Rodney Dangerfield saying "What a crowd!!!"




Let's try to identify these machines !

(only the first image for a start)
From top to bottom :

Level 1 :
(invisible) / Bowmar MX150 / OCW navigational LED ?? / Litronix (impossible to know)

Level 2 :
(invisible) / something "La Femme" ? / ?? / ??

Level 3 : printing... I don't know these

Level 4 : Omrons
?? / ?? / SR10 / 86 ?

Level 5 :
Commodore MM3 ? / another MM3 ? / Hugues watch ? / maybe a Sinclair ?

Level 6 : National Semiconductor
Scientist PR ? / Mathematician / Statistician PR ? / ?? / Mathematician PR (hard to distinguish the PRs)

Level 7 :
Elektronika MK61 ? / B3-something ? / Bowmar ? / 301 ??

Level 8 :
?? / APF ? / ?? / Unisonic ?

Level 9 : TI
2550 / SR10 / 50A ?

Level 10 : TI
MBA / 58 ? / 58C ? / 59 ?

You can certainly improve on this. I leave the HPs for your pleasure.


There more pics there now to help you out:


YOu take such nice pictures! Do you also have a camera collection?




Congratulations on this super collection!

You should start your own museum ;-)


Thanks, now that's too easy :

Level 1 : Sharp PC1201 / Bowmar MX150 / OCW navigational LED ?? / Litronix 2290
score = 2

Level 2 : TI 1200-series ? / something "La Femme" ? / Triumph Adler Lady / Triumph Adler Sir
score = 0.5

Level 3 : printing... I don't know these
...but the first is a NS and the thirs a Sharp
score = 0

Level 4 : Omrons 88M / 88 / ?? / SR10 / 86 SR
score = 1.5

Level 5 : Sinclair Cambridge programmable / Commodore MM3 ? / another MM3 ? / Hugues watch ? / Sinclair Enterprise programmable
score = 2

Level 6 : National Semiconductor Financier / Financier PR / Mathematician / Mathematician PR / ? is this a 3500 ? / Statistician PR
score = 2.5

Level 7 : Triumph Adler 81 / Elektronika MK61 / B3-something ? / Bowmar ? / 301 ??
score = 2.5

Level 8 : APF Mark 22 / Teal 826 / APF ? / ?? / Unisonic ?
score = 1

Level 9 : Longines Symphonette / TI 2550 / SR10 / 50A ?
score = 2.5

Level 10 : TI Programmer LED / MBA / 55 ? / 58C ? / 59 ?
score = 2

Total 16/100, not brilliant !

Based on the rarity of some models you have, I guess lots of other models are stuffed in boxes somewhere...
Thanks for the visit !


GE, you did pretty well on this. The closer pcitures will give you the rest of the answers I think.

I really don't have boxes of calculators stored away -- just a few HP duplicates and some other duplicates. I've just been trying to only collect "interesting" or rare calculators. I also have a few specialty areas:

Sanyo ICC series


Metric Conversion

Compucorp 3xx series

Financial (i.e., TVM function)

All of the calcs that I collect (except the HP's) are pre-LCD machines.


ypu mention rebuilding the battery packs. I have a HP33E which has a dead pack. What do I need to replace this. I live in Australia and the originals are hard to come by.

Thanks for any help.


PS I'm using 'AA' alkaline units at the moment and replacing them as I need them. Is this OK to do?


Take two AA NiMH batteries (or NiCads) and weld a strap across the bottom (you battery store can do this for very cheap).

Clean the seam between the cells with alcohol. Rough up the seam with sand paper. Fill the top seam with paste epoxy and smooth it level with the batteries. Fill the half of the bottom seam with paste epoxy (the other half is left empty so that the ridge in the battery compartment fits into it). Voila... instant Spice pack... better than the originals.


Like David said, or just use some AA NiMh batteries (in place of the rather expensive alkaline solution that you have) with an external charger. They cost maybe $10 for the batteries + charger on ebay/amazon/wallmart/etc and will last pretty close to forever.


Thanks Katie and David. I appreciate your help alot.
Everyone is so friendly and helpful in this forum

PS katie, impressive collection I must admit. I'd be too scared to own all that you have, because I'd try to use all of them :)

Thanks for all your help. Hope your collection, especiallly your HP's getsbigger




You can recharge the NiMH cells inside the calculator with the standard HP charger just like the original NiCads. For 1800 maH NIMH cells it takes three times as long to fully charge them, but they run the machine for three times as long between charges.


When you say it might take 3 times as long to charge them with the HP charger, what kind of time frame (in hours) are we talking about, keeping in mind that I've never charged the originals in the first place?

Thanks for all your help David. Glad to know there are genuine people who can help:)



Growing up, when I was about 11-12 years old, I remember going to KMart over the summer with my mom. She would go off to shop, but I would gravitate to the camera/watch area where they had these cool Unisonic calculators out. I remember turning them on and trying math problems to see if they would make a mistake.

The first models had a funny key (square root) and I tried to figure out what it did. Over the course of the summer and next year, the models got more and more complicated.

The model I want to find most of all is one I remember, but have never seen since...and people say it doesn't exist. It is the white whale to me.

I am convinced there was a unisonic calculator with hyperbolics built-in. Anyone have a picture of it?

There are (at least) 3 high end unisonics that I have seen.

There is a #799, #1099 and #1299. These I either have or have seen. Any other REALLY high end Unisonics out there?

Call me Ishmael...


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