How many of us have an everyday tool that’s truly unique? Likely not many of us; take a look around your desk and turn out your pockets, but more often than not, what you’ll find is that everything you have is something that pretty much everyone else on the planet could have bought too. But not so if you’ve got this beautiful custom RPN calculator in a wooden case.
This one comes to us from [Shinsaku Hiura], who generally dazzles us with unique mechanical clocks and displays. This calculator solves a more practical problem — the dearth of RPN calculators on the market with the correct keyboard feel, specifically with the large keys and light touch he desired. Appropriately, the build started with a numeric keypad, which once liberated of its USB interface was reverse-engineered to figure out how the matrix was wired. Next up, a custom PCB to connect the keypad to an Arduino and a 20×4 LCD display was milled up, while a test case was designed and printed to check fitment. The final case was milled from a block of solid walnut and fitted with an acrylic window, for a sharp look with clean lines and pleasing colors.
As for the calculator itself, the demo below shows it going through its paces. The code is clever because it leverages the minimal number of keys available by hiding all the scientific and engineering functions behind a “secret silver key” that was once the equals key and obviously not needed in RPN. Hats off to [Shinsaku] for a handsome and unique addition to his desk.