Say what you need about Soviet know-how, however you’ve acquired to confess there was a sure type to Chilly Struggle-era electronics. Issues have been maybe not as streamlined and glossy as their Western equivalents, however then once more, simply have a look at the Nixie tube craze to see the place collectors and fans stand on that comparability.
One notably attention-grabbing artifact from the later a part of that period was the stunning Elektronika MK-52 “microcalculator”. [Paul Hoets] has finished a cautious however thorough teardown of a nice instance of this late-80s machine. The programmable calculator was clearly geared towards scientific and engineering customers, however [Paul] relates how later variations of it have been additionally utilized by the monetary neighborhood to root out banking fraud and even had built-in cryptographic features, which made encrypting textual content straightforward.
[Paul] has put collectively a video of the teardown, detailing the principally through-hole building and the attention-grabbing use of a daughter-board, which seems to carry the high-voltage part wanted to drive the 11-character VFD tube. The calculator seems to be very nicely cared for, and as soon as reassembled seems to be like it could be up for one more experience on a Soyuz, the place as soon as it served as a backup for touchdown calculations.
We love the look of this machine and recognize [Paul]’s teardown and evaluation. However you say that the Cyrillic keyboard has you stumped and also you want a bilingual model of the MK-52? That’s not an issue.