Saturday, May 12, 2018

Retro Review Casio fx-702P


Retro Review Casio fx-702P







General Information

Company:  Casio
Type:  Scientific, BASIC Programmable
Memory:  26 memory registers, can be expanded to 226 memory registers;
1,680 programming steps maximum
Battery:  2 x CR 2032
Years:  1981 - 1984
Original Cost: approximately $200 (from the research I could gather)
Display:  20 characters with a contrast wheel

I picked up a Casio fx-702P at a local monthly swap meet in Pasadena, which came along with a Casio FX-2 cassette interface and a FP-10 printer.  Not bad for $15, which normally this would sell anywhere from $80 to $150 on eBay.

My review will focus on the calculator.

Features

The Casio fx-702P is a landscape BASIC programmable calculator designed for storing up to 10 programs.  The maximum amount of steps allocated is 1,680; which seem quite small compared to today’s computers. 

The set of scientific functions is nice: hyperbolic functions, linear regression (in the form of y = a + b*x), sign function, integer and fraction parts. 

Programs on the fx-702P can be printed using the FP-10 printer.  As of this review I have yet to test the printer, other than providing it with four AA batters, the printer does turn on.  Programs can also be stored to cassette tapes via the FX-2.  I am assuming the connectors on the FX-2 can be connected to any compatible cassette recorder. 

The Programming Language

What I find unique about the programming language of the Casio fx-702P is the language.  A lot of the commands are three characters, for example:

Command usually used in BASIC
Casio fx-702P command
INPUT
INP
GOSUB
GSB
PRINT
PRT
RETURN
RET
SQRT
SQR
ASIN
ASN

The DMS allows results to be displayed in a degrees°minutesseconds” format.  DEG(degrees, minutes, seconds) converts DMS to decimal. 

A nice command is the SET command, where you can set the number of decimal places to be displayed.  For example SET F4 sets the calculator to FIX 4 mode.

Changing the angle measurement is interesting, you have to type in MODE and the specific number: MODE 4 for degrees, MODE 5 for radians, and MODE 6 for gradients.

Subroutines can work within and between programs.

Arrays and lists can be used, however, they come at an expense of an already low amount of programming steps.  There is only one array and list name, which is A.  A(i) first maps to the other one-letter variable names B-Z first. 

What surprises me the most is the lack of ROM or RAM cards for the fx-702P.  There is no way to expand the number of steps on the fx-702P.

Keyboard

On the surface, the Casio fx-702P looks like a good, clean keyboard.  The keys are pretty responsive.  The F1 (red) and F2 (blue) shift keys have a nice contrast. 

However, with the batteries I used, which were purchased from a swap meet, the calculator only lasted a couple days (total use I estimate to be an hour in those days) before the display went blank and the keys became unresponsive. Fortunately, using brand name batteries, like Duracell provides better and steady results.    

Verdict

The Casio fx-702P is a good programming calculator and I understand why it is highly sought.  If you want to own one, I would look for the best price.


Eddie

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2 comments:

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