Hand-held Calculators

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Casio MQ-1 and MQ-2

By 1976, with the introduction of LCD displays, digital watches and digital calculator-watches powered by button cells became very practical.  Around this time Casio introduced some very tiny standard calculators, such as the micro-mini, and approached the digital watch from the other direction by incorporating a clock in a tiny calculator rather than incorporating a calculator in a watch.  This resulted in the MQ-1 and the MQ-2.

 

Casio MQ-1

Casio MQ-1

Casio MQ-1 (Micro Quartz)

Distinctive features: Tiny calculator and clock.

Technical details:
Display is 6 digits, LCD (yellow-filtered to cut out wavelengths of light harmful to the LCD).

4-function, clock, stop-watch.

Battery: Two G-13 button cells (1.55v silver oxide).

Size: 112 x 32 x 11mm (4.4" x 1.25" x 0.4").

1977.

Made in Japan.

Note that since it is a clock, there is no on/off switch.

Casio M-Q1 in hand

Casio MQ-1 in calculator mode.

Casio MQ-1 in clock mode

Casio MQ-1 in clock mode, showing 4:13pm and 44 seconds.

Casio MQ-2

Casio MQ-22

Casio MQ-2 (Micro Quartz)

Distinctive features: Tiny calculator and clock with alarm.

Technical details:
Display is 8 digits, LCD (yellow-filtered to cut out wavelengths of light harmful to the LCD).

4-function, clock, stop-watch.

Battery: Two G-13 button cells (1.55v silver oxide).

Size: 121 x 36 x 11mm (4.75" x 1.4" x 0.4").

Made in Japan.

Note again that since it is a clock, there is no on/off switch.

The MQ-2 is slightly larger than the MQ-1 and has an 8-digit display, instead of 6-digits, and an alarm.

 

Significance:
With advances in electronics and by using a liquid crystal display (LCD) it became possible to include a clock with the calculator where the display was continuously on.  This was a great advantage over the previous Casio CQ-1 model with its power-hungry VFD display.

These tiny calculators with clocks never really became popular, perhaps because they are not very convenient to carry around and use.  They both have a lug to take a lanyard, so they could be worn around the neck.  However, the keys are very tiny and close together making them difficult to use.

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© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2017  except where noted otherwise.