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Sharp EL-160/ELSI-160

Brand: Sharp.
Model: EL-160 or ELSI-160.
Origin: Japan.
Introduction: 1971.
Type: Early basic desktop calculator.
Functions: 4-Basic function, memory and double precision mode, no constant.
Display: 8 digit + Sign individual VFD Itron tubes.
Keyboard: 18 reed-switch keys, toggle switch M/D and ON/OFF switch.
Main chips: Rockwell ACM1156A, AU2271C, NRD2256, DC1152. ACM and AU chips have date code 7129 (around July 1971), NRD and DC chips have date code 7117 (around March 1971). Hitachi HD3113P with date code 0J (December 1970).
Logic comments: Derived from the 1969-born Sharp QT-8D with the first implementation of LSI CMOS technology in an electronic calculator. It uses 4 chips manufactured by Rockwell in the USA but designed by Sharp, each counting around 1875 electronic components (now you can see more than 50,000,000 components on the same surface!). This architecture, with some changes, was used in other calculators like Sharp QT-8D, Sharp QT-8B, Sharp EL-8, Sharp EL-8M (portable version of the EL-160), Burroughs C3260 and other OEM versions. Keyboard has an unusual layout with a minimun key count: only 19 keys for all functions, including number input and memory functions. A brief description of each key:

0-9 and . (decimal point): Numerals and decimal point keys. This keys have an automatic locking system to avoid pressing more than one key at a time.

(Multiply-Divide): Use to multiply or divide if you complete the operation with += or -= respectively, see examples below. The red ÷ denotes that you must complete the division with the also red -= key.

+= (Add-Multiply): Use to add or complete a multiplication.

-= (Subtract-Divide): Use to subtract or complete a division.

C (Clear): Clears the calculator.

M/D: Memory or Double Precision mode. In Memory mode you have a memory to store results (see below). In Double precision mode you can multiply and divide with up to 16 digit of precision.

CM: Memory mode: Clears the memory. Double precisión mode: Returns to 8 upper (left) positions of a 16 digit result after pressing MR.

MR: Memory mode: Recalls memory content. Double precision mode: Shows 8 lower (right) positions of a 16 digit result.

M+: Memory mode: Add display to memory content. There is no M- key, so you subtract from memory adding a negative number, for example: To subtract 4 you type 4 -= M+. Double precisión mode: No function.

Simple operation examples:
a) To compute 2+3 enter 2
+= 3 +=
b) To compute 2-3 enter 2
+= 3 -=
c) To compute 2*3 enter 2
3 +=
d) To compute 2/3 enter 2
3 -=
Remarks: Elegant and very well designed calculator, better than its clones (see Burroughs C3260) with rounded lines using the tipical white-blue-red colors on the keyboard. The portable version of this machine is the Sharp EL-8M with the same functionality in a compact and battery-operated design.
Size: 11.61 x 7.07 x 3.31 in, 295 x 180 x 84 mm.
Accesories: Hard suitcase and power cord. This hard suitcase is not original from Sharp (there is no Sharp logo on it), but the size is perfect for the EL-160, so someone purchased it and now the machine is very well protected!
Condition: (9/10) Excellent, very good condition, full working.
Additional readings: You can read a complete article about the Sharp EL-160 here, from


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