Best Affordable Calculator for Electronics?

Discussion in 'Math' started by fitzthecool, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. fitzthecool

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 20, 2015
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    What Calculator would you recommend for a newbie hobbyist that will meet my needs until I know what I am really doing?

    Some things that are attractive to me include;
    1. Multi-line display
    2. Solar power
    3. Anything educational (If there's one that actually help you understand advanced calculations better, that would be awesome.)
    Thank you!
     
  2. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Any scientific calculator should work,just go for the cheapest one that looks the most robust.
     
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  3. fitzthecool

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Thank you ISB123. That's what I thought, but I was hoping somebody has experience with several models and could steer me to something that they prefer, or is a better value.

    It seems there's a large group between $8-$25, then a big jump up to $100+. Do these pricey ones really have features I am going to wish I had?
     
  4. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    I suggest able to work with binary and hexadecimal notation.
     
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  5. OBW0549

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2015
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    I'll second ISB123's and atferrari's suggestions: find an inexpensive scientific calculator that can also work in binary and hex (for programming work), with solar or dual power. I have an old Casio FX-280 (now discontinued, I think) on my computer desk, and a newer Casio FX-300MS on my electronics workbench. I think they were both under $10.

    I don't think it makes sense to pay any more than $25 for a calculator; if you do, you'll just be throwing away money to get fancy features you'll rarely-- if ever-- need.
     
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  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I use the OpenOffice version of Microsoft Excel on my laptop and a scientific calculator from a thrift store ($1) on my bench.
     
  7. fitzthecool

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Thanks guys. I just got back from Staples. I bought a Casio fx-115ES Plus. Looking forward to using my new toy.
     
  8. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Boy, you sure didn't waste any time!

    Hope you like the toy.

    I like RPN and so I usually pay a bit more for an HP that supports it (which is not that easy to do). Also, I used to like how ruggedly built HP calculators were. Notice the past tense. The last one that I bought (an HP-32S if I remember correctly) was about $35.

    But I haven't used a hand-held calculator for several years (though there have been times I would have preferred to have one available). I use the calculator that comes with Windows a LOT and, when that's not sufficient, I turn to Excel. I suspect that this unconsciously-imposed hassle factor has also forced me to do a lot of my simple math with pen and paper, which has kept my arithmetic skill pretty sharp. My freshman year in college I realized I had gotten so reliant on my damn calculator that I was having trouble adding or multiplying two 2-digit numbers without it and have since deliberately chosen to not use a calculator of any kind for stuff that I should be proficient at manually. It's paid off.
     
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  9. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Now, a last and friendly suggestion: RTFM!!
    Enjoy.
     
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  10. absf

    Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2010
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    I bought a Canon F-7895GA 2 years ago and I love to use it quite much when I am not on the computer.

    With my PC is switched on, I use mostly the MS calculators on the desktop. And I also have a HP48 emulator on my desktop. It is so sophisticated that I am still learning how to use it.

    my desktop.PNG
    Allen
     
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  11. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Ummm...guys....there is literally nothing that can't be done with a smartphone today -- including scientific calculators of all types, free and not free.
     
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  12. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Or on your laptop/desktop, fire up your web browser (I use Chrome) and enter in your equation. A Google calculator appears with the answer.
     
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  13. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Not everyone has a smartphone.
     
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  14. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    There are expected to be 2 billion smartphone users by 2016, or about 1/3 of the world's population. I think it is a safe bet that most members here have a smartphone, ipod, or tablet.
     
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  15. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    They have pop up ads and are clunky to use.
     
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  16. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Clunky? Haven't noticed....but considering there are hundreds of different calculator apps for Android and others, I am sure a few of them are likely clunky.

    Ads? Well, don't be so cheap. Send the author his $0.99 or $4.99 to get rid of the ads. Still cheaper than a separate device.

    I've got 3 calculators that I've had for the past 30 years. They fit like a glove.

    *But*, my phone is always with me. The calculators are not. I find myself using the phone more over time (for all sorts of things), and as you get used to it, the old hardware starts to feel clunky.
     
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  17. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    My phone is a cheap flip phone. I use it's very basic calculator, but it doesn't have much.

    Of course I also carry a Win8 tablet in my purse, but if I need a calculator there is either my computer (which is the common use) or one of several scattered around the house.
     
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  18. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Well, then, I suppose you have proven me wrong.
     
  19. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Not really, but with this crowd a blanket statement begs for exceptions.
     
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  20. fitzthecool

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 20, 2015
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    I use my smartphone for so many things.

    I like the idea of a dedicated device for some things, and I guess a calculator is one of them.

    I like stuff, especially tools.
     
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