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Sharp Pocket Computer Resources
Sharp Pocket Computer - Calculator Types

INTRODUCTION

Basic programmable Sharp calculators were very popular from about 1982 till the beginning of the nineties. To get an overview of the various models, just have a look at www.pocketmuseum.com. This is the most complete collection of pocket computers I have ever seen (some very exotic types are included).

Other museum sites are Taschencomputer on Homecomputermuseum.de (in german), [BROKEN] Sharp Pocket Computer Museum (in german), Computer-Archiv - Sharp (in german) and the [BROKEN] Pocket Computer Museum (another one).

The Sharp calculators can be programmed in BASIC and, in some cases, in low-level assembly language. Most of the calculators have a 11 pin link port, some of them have an additional 15 pin serial port.

Each model has a different combination of capabilities, memory capacity, programmability, and compatible peripherals.

CURRENT MODELS

As far as I know there is not a single vendors who still sells Sharp pocket computers (of the PC-xxxx series) or accessoires for it. Former vendors were:

[BROKEN] www.abyte.de
... link is broken

www.cynox.de
... this company sold some huge memory cards for the PC-E500. The memory cards match also to the PC-1360, PC-1280 and others. With the PC-1280 I managed to address 128 of 256 kB as ramdisk, the PC-1360 was only able to address 32 kB, but it works and I don't think that the original (smaller) memory cards are still available from Sharp.

[BROKEN] Yellow Computing
... was offering link cable products for the PC-E500(S) and for older models. Looks like the company does no longer exist.

DISCONTINUED MODELS

To get an overview of all the models, as said before; just have a look at the www.pocketmuseum.com. For the IMHO best models I'll give a brief description here.

PC-1280

... was the top model of the 12XX series. It has a foldable design, 24x2 LCD display, low batt indicator, memory backup battery, the SC61860 CPU, a RAM extension slot which cooperates well with the cynox RAM cards and a powerful BASIC (extended BEEP, ARUN, GPRINT ...). Lucky if you get one!

PC-1360

... was the top model of the (very small, only two models) 13XX series. It has a LCD display with four lines, also the SC61860 CPU, two RAM extension slot which work with the cynox RAM cards, a 15 pin serial interface and also a powerful BASIC. This is the best models for graphic applications.

PC-1403H

The PC-1403H is the big brother of the PC-1403, which has 32 kB instead of 8 kB. The 14XX series was an economic series. The PC-1403H is not the top model of this series, but the real top models with two line LCD display and RAM extension slots are rather rare. The PC-1403 has a 24 character LCD display, a faster CPU (SC61860) than the PC-1401/02, a group of scientific calculator keys and the ability to display small letters. A must-have, lightweight with much memory.

PC-1500A

The classic one, a high end model. For a description go to Sharp PC-1500 computer (TRS-80 PC-2) resource page.

CHOOSING WHICH MODEL TO BUY

  • If you need a powerful calculator, just choose the PC-E500(S). It is fast and may be equipped with much RAM.
  • If you like a good,lightweight scientific calculator, look out for a PC-1403(H). Be aware that some models of the 14XX (and also the 12XX) series have four bit CPUs, which are not machine language programmable.
  • The PC-1360 would be the right choice if you like graphics applications.
  • To learn how to write programs for the Z80 CPU choose a PC-E220.

Most of my calculators I got from online auctions at www.ebay.com

Edgar Pühringer
last modified: 2014-11-28