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Commodore Reference Information

Go to full index of calculators For you researchers here is a summary of some of the manufacturing information about the Commodore calculators contained on this web site.  To see a range of their calculators click on Commodore Calculators

 

The First Calculators and Large Minuteman series
On the right you can see the very first Commodore calculator the C110 from early 1972 (possibly late 1971).  This appears to be a branded Bowmar model.  Very sturdy calculators with rechargeable batteries, Klixon keyboards and Reverse Polish Notation Logic.  This model was rapidly followed by the redesigned MM1 and MM2 series Minuteman calculators. 
C110
C110
1971/2
Model Brand Case Colour Main IC Date Code No. Digits Display Power Country Serial No.
C110 CBM light/dark grey ? 7204 8 + 1 LED flat 9V(R) USA G8222

 

Miniature Minuteman Series
Fascinating early miniature calculators with confusing Minuteman / MM numbering system.  Most had a curvy white plastic case that was quite innovative for its time.  Notice the first use of the red, white and blue colour scheme for the keys - I guess this was equally patriotic for American or British markets.   They are especially nice for using the flat (multi-dot) type of LED displays which are bright and allow a wide angle of viewing. However, some (presumably later ones) use the standard bubble-lens LEDs which have a much more limited viewing angle.  The range appears to cover mid 1973 to early 1974 and uses the MOS range of ICs - which Commodore were later to buy.  They are also surprisingly low in component count when you open them up which must have given Commodore quite a cost advantage over its competitors.  Good examples are hard to come by as the case had a front popper closing system that could damage either the case or the display escutcheon.
Minuteman 3 Metric
Minuteman 3 Metric
1974
Model Brand Case Colour Main IC Date Code No. Digits Display Power Country Serial No.
Minuteman 3M CBM white MOS MCS 2521 A002 2673 8+1 LED flat 6V(R) USA 024739
Minuteman MM3R (MT) CBM White Texas TMS0132NC 7346 8+1 LED flat 6V(R) Japan 269955
Minuteman 3 metric CBM white MOS MCS 2521 A006 0174 8+1 LED flat 6V(R) UK 020086
Minuteman 3 metric Commodore white/dark brown MOS MCS 2521 A006 1374 8+1 LED bubble 6V(R) UK 031962
Minuteman MM3PM CBM white Western Digital LC1552-B 7436 8+1 LED bubble 6V(R) UK 18267
MM3MT Commodore white Texas TMS0132NC  7409 8+1 LED flat 6V(R) USA 006487
Minuteman 6 CBM black/aluminium ? ? 6+1 LED flat 9V PP3 Japan 95563

 

Custom Green Line Series
The same case throughout with slightly varying size of oversized green plastic display filter.  Most start with the GL (for Green Line) prefix but the later ones started with a nine and then were followed by an R or D.  In both cases the R stood for rechargeable batteries, the D being disposable and all could be powered by an adapter.  In the GL series it appears that the second digit stood for the total number of display digits.  Even in this small list you can see that some calculators were deliberately downgraded; their ICs were capable of a lot more functions but keys were not given for these.  For example, the GL-976M did not give keys for the reciprocal, square or register exchange that was on board the IC.  The 4.5V specification was an over-rating for the charging voltage needed - the operating voltage would have been 3V as with the D models.  The range appears to have spanned late 1974 to mid-1976.
GL-996R
GL-996R
1975
Model Brand Case Colour Main IC Date Code No. Digits Display Power Country Serial No.
GL-976M(D) Commodore white/black Commodore GRBP-67 7536 7 + 0 green VFD 3V 2xAA Japan 03445
GL-976M(R) Commodore white/black Commodore GRBP-67 7514 7 + 0 green VFD 4.5V 2xAA(R) Japan 046230
GL-979D Commodore white/black Commodore GRBP-67 7540 7 + 0 green VFD 3V 2xAA Japan 69309
GL-986R Commodore silver/black Western Digital LC1552-B 7446 7 + 1 ? green VFD 4.5V 2xAA(R) Japan 67920
GL-996R Commodore white/black Commodore GRBP-89 7527 8 + 1 green VFD 4.5V 2xAA(R) Japan 076051
GL-997R CBM white/black Commodore GRBP-89 7531 8 + 1 green VFD 4.5V 2xAA(R) UK 55738
9R-25 Commodore white/black MOS MPS7545 1976 8 + 1 green VFD 4.5V 2xAA(R) Japan 91499

 

Red LED "7" and "8" series
The numerous "7" series consisted of tall slim bodied, usually basic calculators in brown/beige, beige or black.  The "8" series had a similar design but with a fatter body to accommodate wider and more keys.  All were powered by 9V batteries or an adapter.  As you can see this design survived many years from late 1974 to mid 1979 though the later models tended to have cheaper looking aluminium keyboard surrounds printed black.  Again, evidence of some downgrading is clear by comparing the 3D-98 IC.  It also appears that these models are more commonly made (actually assembled is the general opinion) in local territories rather than in the Far East.  This type of case was used at least once for a Scientific model, the SR7919 with a "function key" operation to minimise the number of keys required.  The suffix "M" for memory and "D" for disposable is almost consistent (the D being dropped from the rear label but kept on the box) but I'm not sure what the "A" represented.  Interestingly, from the two 796M models I have it shows that ICs made in the 10th week of 1976 were used for at least 30,389 calculators - from the serial numbers.
784D
784D
1974
Model Brand Case Colour Main IC Date Code No. Digits Display Power Country Serial No.
776M Commodore brown/beige Commodore GRBP-67 7549 7 + 0 LED bubble 9V PP3 USA 484121
784D CBM brown/beige Commodore RBP-01-B (or 8) 7449 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 03038
786D Commodore blue Commodore 3D-98MT 4876 8 + 0 LED bubble 9V PPS UK 111313
796M Commodore black Commodore 3D-98 7610 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 190754

796M

Commodore black Commodore 3D-98 7610 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 221043
797 Commodore brown/beige Commodore 3D-98MT 3476 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 46830
797M Commodore beige MOS MPS7560 3079 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 059436
668D Commodore beige Commodore RBP-01-B (or 8) 7449 8+1 LED bubble 9V PP3 USA 047656
887D Commodore beige/brown Commodore GRBP-89 7527 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 USA 168484
887ND Commodore beige MOS MPS7653 4777 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 42237
897D Commodore brown/beige Commodore 3D-98 2376 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 USA 009890
899A Commodore beige Commodore 3D32C 7644 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 128951
899D Commodore beige Commodore 3D-31-2A 7610 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 Japan 07009
7923 Commodore beige MOS MPS7564 0778 8 + 1 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 51132
8120D Commodore beige/brown Commodore GHU-03A 7549 12 LED Bubble 9V PP3 USA 098880

 

Scientific, Financial and Button Monsters
These fabulous calculators showed Commodore's desire to push the technology to the limit and supply advanced specialist calculators.  Some like the SR (Slide Rule) series were the forerunners of today's standard scientific models - but with occasional obscure functions.  The "F" (Financial) and "P" (Programmable) series died with the advent of computers and spreadsheets.  There were also more esoteric series such as the "N" (Navigation), "S" (Statistician) and "M" (Mathematician) that were never even copied by competitors.
SR4148R
SR4148R
1976
Model Brand Case Colour Main IC Date Code No. Digits Display Power Country Serial No.
F4146R Commodore black Commodore GHU-03A  7605 12+2 LED bubble 6V 4xAA(R) USA 062703
F4146R Commodore black Commodore G-04  7632 12+2 LED bubble 6V 4xAA(R) UK 100998
F4902 Commodore black MOS M867561 0041078 c1978 12 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 14943
201449-04
P50 Commodore brown MOS MPS7561 0083778 c1975 8+2 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 63947
SR4120D Commodore black MOS MPS 7200 0278 c1978 8+2 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 122427
SR4148R Commodore black Commodore GHU-03A 7439 12+2 LED bubble 6V 3xAA(R) USA 082916
SR4190R Commodore black MOS MPS 7200 5177 c1977 12+2 LED bubble 6V 3xAA(R) UK 130180
SR7919 Commodore black/beige MOS MCS 7529 009 2676 7+2 LED bubble 9V PP3 UK 94990
SR912 Commodore black MOS MPS 7561 0053478 c1978 10+2 LED bubble 9V PP3 Hong Kong 90899
201450-04
SR9120D CBM Black Commodore GHU-02A  7531 12+2 LED flat 9V PP3 Japan 09112
SR1800 Commodore Black
Commodore GHU-03A 
7614 10+2 Green VFD 4.5V 3xAA Japan 92169

 

The Minuteman Name
The Minuteman marketing name was used for the early Commodore calculators and continued randomly in use as a secondary branding well into the late 1970s.  

The origin of the name Minuteman is traceable to the 17th century when it was a US (in fact Massachusetts) military name for a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly.  Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength.  The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.  They are mentioned famously supporting Washington during the Revolutionary War in America.

Presumably it was this "ready at short notice to solve your problem" that spurred Commodore on to use this as a strap-line.

Minuteman Series 76 badge
Interestingly, the Minuteman badge was revamped for use in the "Minuteman 76 Series" which consisted of the SR6140R, SR6120R, SR9140D, SR9120D and SR990D scientific calculators from 1976.