Alltronic 808

The Alltronic 808 is a simple four-function calculator from the mid-1970s. Manufactured in Singapore, likely by a contract electronics company, the Alltronic 808 exemplifies the transition from discrete transistor logic to integrated circuits in consumer electronics.

The Alltronic 808 measures 76 x 137 x 22mm and weighs 92g without batteries. It is powered by a single 9V battery and has a socket to accept an AC adapter. The two-piece plastic case is glossy black with a yellowed metallic keyboard surround that may have been an attempt at a gold appearance. The eight-digit LED display uses individual bubble lenses over each digit for magnification.

Internally, the Alltronic 808 uses the Texas Instruments TMS0972 chip as its only integrated circuit. This early calculator-on-a-chip contains the logic for the basic four functions and decimal placement. No other active components are present on the circuit board besides the LED display module. This demonstrates the simplification that resulted from integration in the mid-1970s.

Feature-wise, the Alltronic 808 includes the four basic arithmetic operations, a percent key, and a four-register memory. Automatic constant, entry correction, and overflow indication are implemented in the logic along with rudimentary negative number handling. However, due to the lack of a dedicated sign digit, negative results are limited to seven digits. Other limitations include non-indicated memory operations and fixed decimals on chained operations.

Overall, the Alltronic 808 provides an affordable and portable calculating experience using 1970s technology. While limited compared to modern scientific calculators, its simplicity and small form factor made basic math accessible to students and professionals of the time. As an early adopter of dedicated calculator chips, it illustrates the progress being made in electronics miniaturization and capability. For math on the go, the Alltronic 808 compact design was representative of the pocket calculators that became ubiquitous in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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