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Calculators: Handheld: Sharp Elsimate EL-500

(C) Emil Dudek 2010

(C) Emil Dudek 2010

Size (approx):

80mm x 138mm x 16-30mm (w x h x d)
Weight 166g not including batteries.

Power: 3.0V DC using 2 x AA size batteries.  It accepts an adaptor (3V, 0.2W, EA-17E, centre negative) through a socket on the top side to the far left.  The on/off switch is located on the left side in line with the display.  Battery life is quoted as 10 hours for manganese.
Case: The case is two-piece smooth off-white and black plastic and is heavily wedge-shaped.  A small black and red printed metallic sticker sits above the display in its own recess.  Another Made in Japan sticker sits on the surface. The green plastic display filter is flush but a silver painted escutcheon sits proud by a about a millimetre and is easily damaged and worn.  It does, however, give a bright and easily viewed image.  They keys are very short travel, rocking type but even then work well.  Key labels are printed in white text on the keyboard surround with some additional white lines framing the higher functions.  The rear has a small metallic sticker listing all the patents,
Display: 8 digit green VFD with a ninth digit for negative and error indicators.
Features: Standard four functions with change sign, powers, reciprocal, square root, DMS input, pi, trigs, logs and three-function memory. 6+2 scientific display mode.
Age: 1977
Manufacturer: Sharp Corporation, made in Japan.  Serial number 86016580 is on the inside of the battery compartment.  Also have 72404847.
Comments: Typical Sharp design but much more wedge-shaped than usual.  Difficult to find a clean copy as the display trim damages so easily.  Original case is soft black plastic (in a wedge shape) with open top and half-moon cut-outs on the sides.  It is embossed with Sharp on the front and Made in Japan on the back.

Components: 1 x cpu; Hitachi HD36125 7G33 (July 1977), 28 pin DIL, 0.6" width
1 x 9 VFD unit: single tube flat face; Futaba 9-ST 21A 7D (April 1977)
1 x transistor
5 x diodes
6 x capacitors
3 x resistors
1 x coil
1 x transformer; TDK 1443 Japan
Boards: The main cpu board (F1503) sits loosely on top of the keyboard assembly and is connected by a 19-way ribbon cable.  The keyboard is attached to the front with 8 screws.
Construction: Remove the two screws located on the back.  Remove the battery cover and you will see two lugs that can be pushed out carefully.  When these are popped the back will lift away easily.

Logic comments: The (CE) key is used to cancel an entry whilst the (C) key clears the whole calculator
Input overflow is suppressed inputting an ninth digit is ignored
Negative numbers are shown with a "- in the immediate left digit travelling into the far left (ninth) digit, thereby allowing full eight digit negative numbers.
There is automatic constant on multiply and divide only
The change sign can be used in mid number entry
Divide by zero just shows and is not recoverable
Overflow (and underflow) just shows and is not recoverable
Negative square roots are not allowed and result in an unrecoverable error as above
There is no indication of memory store (X>M) you have to remember it
Overflow in memory is flagged and the original number maintained
To clear the memory store zero by pressing (C)(X>M)
The Degree/Minute/Second function only works in decimal mode; to convert 24 45 54 key in (2)(4)()(4)(5)()(5)(4)()(=) which shows 24.765 degrees. 


The box measures 88mm x 165mm and is 39mm deep so is just big enough for the calculator in its cover.  It is printed in two-tone orange and black with a white area on the right hand side near the bottom for a serial number sticker.  It is constructed as a push-out draw and full wrap-around sleeve. manual The manual measures 130mm x 75mm and is 88 pages.  Printed in orange and black on the cover and black thought it is in four languages; English, German, French and Spanish.  It has plenty of examples and instructions.  Printed in Japan 8J9T(2003).