Toshiba LC-836MN MEMO NOTE 30

Date of introduction:  1978 Display technology:  LCD (yellow)
New price:   Display size:  8 
Size:  5.4" x 2.7" x 0.35"    
Weight:  2.8 ounces Serial No:  C54068
Batteries:  3*LR44 Date of manufacture:  year 1978
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  Toshiba T3690, T3691
Memories:  30    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

The Toshiba LC-836MN could be called the first portable electronic Databank. It was introduced already in the year 1978 and was 9 years ahead the first Mini Data Bank sold by Texas Instruments.   

EC-4002_PCB.jpg (65551 Byte)The LC-836MN uses an early chipset manufactured by Toshiba, Japan. The T3690 microcontroller scans the keyboard, drives the display and does the calculating functions. The T3691 stores a maximum of 30 information items in units of 6 alphabetical characters and 8 numerals each. If you add the bits together you end with a total amount of 2048 bits or 256 bytes.

Later products like the LC-840WA continued the approach of small chipsets in calculator derived products.

The alphanumeric display uses an odd 8-segment layout with one additional segment to the standard calculator layout. The display on the left reads "MEMORY".

Radio Shack gave in their manual a lot of ideas what you can store in the 30 memory places:

Person's name and telephone number
Bank name and balance
Person's name and date of birth
Passport number, Cash card number, License number
Caloric value of foods
Various rate of money exchange
Golf scores
Key and Locker number
Constants such as C = 2.997925, me = 9.1091, K = 1.38054

A similar product was sold by Radio Shack with the EC-4002 and by Hanimex with the SLC 891. Later the LC-1038MN added an alarm clock. Japanese competitor Canon introduced a smaller Databank with the LC-MEMO in 1978, too.

Don't miss later Personal products like the Avigo, introduced 20 years later.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, July 3, 2002. No reprints without written permission.