+Home     Museum     Wanted     Advertising     Articles     EMail  

Remington E-3 "Multiplier" Desktop Calculator

Remington E-3 (Note Lack of [÷] and [.] Keys)

The Remington E-3 is an OEM version of the Brother 310 produced by by Brother Industries, Ltd. in Japan. It is identical to the Brother 310 other than the Remington E-3 badge beside the display panel, and the Model/Serial number tag. The machine was built by Brother in Japan, and provided to Remington Rand without the model-specific badging and label, with Remington marketing, sellings, and supporting the calculators under the Remington brand. Like the Brother 310, the Remington E-3 is a three-function calculator that does not provide a divide function, nor does it support fractional numbers (e.g., there is no decimal point key). The lack of division was a pretty serious handicap for an electronic calculator. It seems the thought behind such a calculators was that a the reduced cost associated with a three-function calculator could sell into extremely cost-sensitive markets such as for home, and very basic business use.

The brains of the machine utilize a three-chip MOS LSI "multiplier" calculator chipset made by Mitsubishi. Whether by design, or an accident(logic flaws in the chipset that caused problems with the division function), this chipset did sell to Japanese calculator makers Brother and Denon. Denon's machine was the Denon DEC-311.

The three Mitsubishi chips, part numbers MA8111, MA8112, and MA8113, were packaged in ceramic flat-pack packaging, with a rectangular package having long gold leads extending out from both long edges of the package. In the Denon calculator, the "higher-end" of these "no divide" calculators, the chips were retained in complex sockets that supported and connected the packages by the leads. Less-expensive versions, like the Remington E-3 (which was identical OEM Brother 310 other than the name badge and model/serial number tag) had the chips soldered directly to the circuit board. The Brother 310 and its OEM copies (e.g., the Remington E-3) use seven-segment vacuum-fluorescent display tubes as opposed to the Nixie tube display in the Denon DEC-311. It isn't known if the Mitsubishi chipset provides some form of display mode select, allowing it to drive Nixie tubes (1-of-10 outputs) or seven-segment display technology depending on input to the chipset, or if the rendition of the display is determined entirely by the display driver circuitry located outside the chipset.

With technology advancing so quickly in these times, the notion of selling a "three-function" electronic calculator that could not divide was not a great strategy. With prices for full four-function electronic calculators in free-fall, why would anyone buy a calculator that could not handle fractional numbers, and didn't have the ability to do division, when for literally just a few dollars more, they could buy a full four-function calculator? It seems like the idea behind these machines was more of a marketing gimmick rather than having any real merit. Whatever reason drove the marketing of these rather handicapped chips and calculators, it likely will remain shrouded in the mists of time.