Canon Pocketronic

Date of introduction:  April 1970 Display technology:  
New price:  $395 Display size:  n.a.
Size:  8.2" x 4.0" x 1.9"
 208 x 101 x 49 mm3
Printer technology:  Thermal
Weight:  31.8 ounces, 902 grams Serial No:  410383
Batteries:  6*NiCd AA + 7*NiCd 2/3AA Date of manufacture:  year 1972
AC-Adapter:  Charger 21 Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:    Integrated circuits:  TMC1730, TMC1731, TMC1732, SN21893
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Today we can assume that the people at Canon Inc. were heavily impressed by the Cal-Tech project started at Texas Instruments in September 1965 and finished in 1967. Both companies developed together the Canon Pocketronic, the first calculator based on Large-Scale-Integrated (LSI) circuits. A total of three LSI circuits was necessary to do the four basic calculations with numbers of 6 to 12 digits. The production of the calculator was done in Japan but uses a lot of components manufactured by Texas Instruments. Beside the LSI-circuits they delivered the print head of the thermal printer and the transistors. Please note that the paper is running out in a horizontal matter compared to the later vertical style of printing calculators. A nearly identical calculator was manufactured from Canon for Monroe. Explore the rare Monroe 10.

This Canon Pocketronic is the most important calculator in the history of Texas Instruments.
Take your time and enjoy the next 8 pictures.

A side view of the sleek Canon Pocketronic. The paper runs out from the small slit. Pocketronic_Side.jpg (79802 Byte)
Two Thermal Paper Tapes used instead a conventional display. Pocketronic_Paper.jpg (187180 Byte)
The inside view of the Pocketronic: bulletUpper left: Print head with driving electronics
bulletUpper right: Paper feed mechanism with driver coil
bulletMiddle right: Printed circuit board (PCB)
bulletLower part: Keyboard

Pocketronic_1.jpg (81289 Byte)

The print head magnified. Pocketronic_Printer.jpg (159461 Byte) That's all ? No, this picture doesn't show the three LSI-circuits mounted below of the visible PCB. The visible PCB with the plastic encapsulated IC is only a later correction of some timing signals of the printer head.   Pocketronic_2.jpg (70302 Byte) The bottom shell of the housings holds 6 AA-sized batteries and 7 2/3-AA sized batteries. All are rechargable NiCd style. Pocketronic_Accu.jpg (175466 Byte) The back of the calculator gives simple instructions how to use the Pocketronic. Pocketronic_Back.jpg (114462 Byte) The Pocketronic Charger 21 delivered with the calculator. Pocketronic_Power.jpg (64557 Byte)

One of the PCB's of the Pocketronic changed with time, please find picture of three versions here.

The Pocketronic was later replaced with the Pocketronic II.

The next calculators in Canon's line was the L121 using four instead the three LSI circuits driving a 12-digit Nixie tube display. Withi some month both the desktop model L100 and the the wonderful pocket sized LE-10 appeared.

Don't miss the Sharp EL-8 and Sanyo ICC-82D.

horizontal rule

If you have additions to the above article please email:

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