17 April 2019

Review: KKmoon DIY Calculator Counter Kit

Note: I am not sponsored by anyone, but I want people to know where they can find this kit.

When I realized I wanted to take my calculator collection more seriously, I ordered the KKMoon DIY Calculator Counter Kit from Amazon. It was only $15 and seemed like a fun project. The parts ended up sitting in a box in my closet for several months but this past weekend I decided to sit down and finally put the thing together.
KKMoon DIY Calculator. Fully assembled.
The KKMoon DIY Calculator Counter Kit turned out to be a lot of fun to put together and had some very cool surprises within. The manual includes a link to a page with instructions on how to build it: http://www.diyleyuan.com/jc/L8Q.html. The images on the page are very clear and easy to follow. Each component feels well-made so the only way you're going to mess things up is if you do something really stupid.

Unfortunately, the acrylic case proved to be an agonizing endeavor. Peeling off the protective covers on each piece was easily the worst part of this entire experience. The second worst part was assembling the keys, which use tiny pieces of paper you have to cut out. The buttons look terrible.

It took me two hours to build, and the end result is pretty cool. You can see inside the device and with the exception of the buttons, the calculator looks great. The display is bright and back lit, unlike any other device in my collection.

While the buttons look ugly, they feel fantastic. They're loud and clicky and extremely responsive.

In addition (haha) to the basic mathematical functionality, this device is also capable of determining the resistance of resistors by inputting the color rings. I haven't had much luck with this and I don't know why. Maybe the resistors I was looking at used a different system?

You can also use this calculator to determine the needed resistance to use an LED by inputting the source voltage and the working voltage of the LED.
Hex calculator in action.
But my personal favorite feature is the hex calculator. This mode lets you input a value and it will return it in hexadecimal. This is extremely useful for me as a computer science student and a very pleasant surprise.

One of the two CR2032 batteries. Impossible to access without disassembling entire device :(.
Except for the hex calculator, the only thing that makes this device stand out is the fact that I built it myself. I don't really like the way it looks, and the two CR2032 batteries can only be accessed by disassembling the entire device, which is not a trivial task. I fully intend to modify this calculator in the future, so there will be more content about it.

Here's the complete build video. It's two hours long and probably very boring.

Basic calculation. Display has a minor defect that affects the second from last digit.
This device is incapable of calculating very large numbers.
Top view.

Bottom view.
The manual.

No comments:

Post a Comment