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Hanimex BCM8181

The Hanimex BCM8181 was introduced in 1975. This calculator was made in Hong Kong and sold in the Netherlands, though it was imported by a company called Hanimex (short for Hannes Import Export), which was founded to sell European cameras in Australia. Who made this calculator? Who knows. It takes all sorts.

top view of the Hanimex BCM8181, with its screen displaying the numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

It comes with an impressive total of 25 keys, and it turns on and off with a sliding switch to the lower left of the screen. The buttons give gratifying (and hopefully gratified) clicks when pressed.

It has a Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD), a type of display still used today in places that are subjected to abuse. You'll find VFDs in cars, microwave ovens and some handheld video games from the seventies, eighties, nineties and beyond. The technology includes phosphor anodes which can lose their potency over the years, fading the display. This screen's a bit faded but still easily legible.

bottom view of the device

The calculator is 145mm long by 80mm wide and has a uniform thickness of 25mm. It takes 2 AA batteries inserted behind a removable hatch in the back, or DC power (3V and 0.3W - you do the math).

side view of the device

Straightforward but rich in features, plasticky but of a good size and shape. Decent. Respectable. A calculator for the ages.

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