Faber-Castell 2/83N Novo-Duplex

October 20, 2010

The Faber-Castell 2/83N desktop rule (and its less common pocket-sized sibling, the 62/83N) is probably the most sought after slide rule, especially after Dr. Clifford Stoll’s Scientific American article, When Slide Rules Ruled, drew attention to this epitome of slide rule development. As Dr. Stoll writes, the 2/83N “is considered by some to be the finest and most beautiful slide rule ever made.”

I purchased this 2/83N directly from Faber-Castell as new old-stock. In other words, it sat unopened on the manufacturer’s shelf since it was made, and has never seen the inside of an office or lab. I was the first to open it.

Front left side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Front left side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Front right side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Front right side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

The Castell 2/83N is a full-sized duplex rule, having scales on both sides of the slide and stator. The front contains the typical A, B, C, D, and K scales, along with folded C and D scales (CF and DF), and inverse C, D, and CF scales (CI, DI, and CIF). Also found on the front are all sine scales (S and ST), double tan scales (T1 and T2) and Pythagorean scale (P, which gives the cosine of the angle on S). The C and CF scales are highlighted with Castell’s signature “mint” stripe, and the A and B scales are highlighted in pale blue.

Back left side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Back left side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Back right side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

Back right side of the Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule.

The back of the rule contains four pairs of log-log scales (LL0 to LL3 and LL00 to LL03), C, CI, D, and L scales, and Castell’s unique W scales, which are like double-length C and D scales. They can be used to compute square roots, or for multiplication and division with the precision of a 20-inch rule.

Like on most Castell rules, the scales are self-documenting, meaning that the scale name appears at the left end of the scale, and its mathematical formula is at the right end.

The cursor has gauge marks for HP/kW conversion, area of a circle, and working with factors of 3.6 (e.g. degrees to seconds conversion).

Specifications
Make and Model: Faber-Castell 2/83N
Manufactured: Germany, Approx. 1972-1975
Overall Dimensions:   38cm × 5.7cm × 0.6cm (15″ × 2.2″ × 0.25″)
Scale Length: 25cm (9.8″)
Construction: All Plastic
Scales: T1 T2 K A DF | CF B CIF CI C | D DI S ST P
LL03 LL02 LL01 LL00 W2
    | W2CI L C W1‘ | W1 D LL0 LL1 LL2 LL3
Cursor: Plastic with Extra Hairlines: HP↔kW, Diam↔Area, and 3.6x Hairlines
Date Acquired: April 2008

Being new, the plastic display/carrying case was also in mint condition, with a scratch-free clear plastic top and bottom, and shiny brass (?) hinge pins.

Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule, case, manual, and reference card.

Faber-Castell 2/83N slide rule, case, manual, and reference card.

The instruction manual, in English, was in excellent condition, with just some yellowing of the paper with age (no musty smells). Even the box it came in was in pretty good condition, with just a few worn corners and two bent tabs. Not bad for a 30-something year old product.

Also included was a plastic reference card, about the same length and width as the slide rule. One side gives a detailed description of the SI system of measurements, and the other side describes the basics of set theory. I’m not sure why the latter would be useful to a slide rule user, since slide rules are used for arithmetic, not math.

Related Articles

If you've found this article useful, you may also be interested in:

52 Comments

  1. Fred Friedman
    February 04, 2011

    You have a beautiful collection. I also have a Faber-Castell Novo-Duplex 2/83N and love showing it off (using it) in front of all my younger associates, some that have never seen a slide rule in use. My collection also includes a Pickett N902-T, but I don’t remember where I got it. I also have a Sama&Etani circular slide rule that I purchased when I was in junior high school (1966). Beside the usual scales it has a huge plastic slide-out insert with “hundreds” of conversion tables for various science topics.

    A reat website….thanks for sharing.

  2. Zoran Andjelinovic
    May 02, 2011

    Posedujem ovaj siber treba mi upustvo, bio je najbolji na svetu koliko znam, platio sam ga jako mnog,ali sam i bio dobar na njemu.

    Imao sam od Borisa Apsena upustvo ali ga nemam .

  3. Jim Horne
    May 28, 2011

    Hi. Nice diplay. Can you elaborate on your comment “since slide rules are used for arithmetic, not math.”?

    Thanks, Jim

  4. Stefan Vorkoetter
    May 28, 2011

    Jim, slide rules are used for working with numbers. Multiplying, dividing, square roots, logarithms, sines, cosines, tangents, etc. They aren’t much use for math in general, such as algebra, calculus, set theory, group theory, and so on. Arithmetic is to mathematics as spelling is to writing.

  5. Andre Teodoro
    March 25, 2012

    Hello Stefan, how did you get direct contact with the Faber Castell (as new old-stock) to buy this 2/83N, even if they know others have these for sale? if you can give me the contact and the amount you paid for it, I am interested in buying one of these beauties too! best regards! Andre Teodoro

  6. Stefan Vorkoetter
    March 25, 2012

    Andre, a colleague of mine found a link on their German web site. However, they are now officially selling these via their on-line store, so it’s even easier to buy one. Here’s a link to them: http://service.de.faber-castell-shop.com/epages/es117781.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es117781_ServiceParts/Categories/Faber-Castell/FaberCastell_Rechenstaebe

  7. Len Kay
    April 25, 2012

    Stefan… first, wonderful website. I stumbled here via a link to your Sanyo eneloop battery review, and have thoroughly enjoyed your slide rule and fountain pen pages (I own a Pickett, K&E, some Lamys, and a Pelican myself)… Second, after reading this I decided I HAD to own a 2/83N!

    However, as of this writing (April 2012) the 2/83N is now out of stock on the F-C website (via your link above). I guess you created a run on the inventory! The GOOD news is, they are available pretty regularly on eBay. There’s a fellow in Germany who it appears has a stockpile of these (new old stock) and he’s selling them one at a time. I’m awaiting delivery now. He also has 62/83Ns.

    As the above reader said, thanks for sharing this stuff. Science & engineering lost a lot when we lost the slide rule, because it makes you think about your problem first, for the decimal point.
    Regards, Len

  8. Emilio José Contreras Berumen
    May 23, 2012

    I need a 2/83 Faber Castell slide rule. I do not know how to buy one with pay pal.

  9. Hasko D.
    August 17, 2012

    I offer an unused original mint 2/83N Slide Ruler
    NovoDuplex A W Faber Castell within German Manuals
    and original showcase (plastik) Manufaktured ca 1972 scratchfree and
    like new from Germany.
    Shipment registered Worldwide, send your offer to
    SR.collector (at) qzjl.com

  10. Jeff B
    December 28, 2012

    Well, I tried the website above and had no problem ordering two of them. They are “Auf Lager” (in stock) according to the webpage and it never made mention as I ordered that they were unavailable, sold out, etc.

    I will probably get ones with German instructions as opposed to the English ones you got, Stefan, but that’s ok. I’m fluent in German, but I can find English pdf’s on the web for it for my nephew.

    That said, someone not fluent in German might have a difficult time filling out the forms and following along with the ordering instructions. All prices are in Euros and were not converted to US$. I expect I’ll see that when the Master Card bill comes next month.

    If interested, they were just under 75 Euros each, 8.40 Euros for shipping. I was warned on the invoice that because it was shipping to a non-EU land I might get stuck with additional (translated) “Tariffs, taxes and fees.”

    Still a great buy compared with what several sites are asking for NIB examples.

  11. Jeff B
    January 01, 2013

    New year’s day update:

    Faber-Castell posted the transaction yesterday (31 Dec 2012) to my Master Card. It was “pending” for a couple days before that. Master Card charged me with a $2 transaction fee. (For the trouble of converting Euro’s to dollars and making an international transaction, I suppose.)

    Anyhow, the Euro was going for $1.32 so the whole charge for everything including the fee was $210, or $105 per slide rule. They have my money, I’ll let you know if and when the 2/83N’s show up.

  12. Jeff B
    January 16, 2013

    Final update: They arrived!

    The FedEx man arrived today (16 Jan 2013) a few minutes ago and dropped off the box. The outside of the box was torn, but everything inside is fine.

    Total time from ordering to delivery was 19 days.

    Frankly, they look like they were made yesterday — just absolutely perfect. Here’s what they sent:

    2 — 62/83N slide rules. Each came in a green box/carton with Faber-Castell gold-embossed on it. Besides the slide rule, there were German instructions (a bit yellowed with age and folded to fit inside) and a white plastic rule with conversions, etc. on it.

    1 — set of photocopied English instructions.

    1 — complimentary Faber-Castell pen

    1 — invoice and sheet with return policy (in German)

    My total cost for one of these absolutely mint, untouched sliderules worked out to $105. Because of exchange rate fluctuations between the Euro and dollar, your mileage may vary.

    Lesson learned: Even if it says there are none left, keep coming back. They seem to be finding (possibly assembling from spare parts?) new ones.

    Good luck, and thank you, Stefan, for the tip and website!

  13. Jeff B
    January 16, 2013

    “Oops” in previous post: I said I received the “62/83N.” It should have said the “2/83N”. Hope that didn’t mess up anyone.

  14. Anton
    January 25, 2013

    Hi Jeff,

    Good to hear you received your 2/83N.

    I have both the 62/83N and 2/83N in pristine condition. Originally with German manuals, but I managed to get English one’s in excellent (near perfect) condition, for next to nothing.

    Keep an eye on ebay, as bad examples of the slide rules do come up with English manuals in v good condition. You can pick them up for a few dollars (or pounds) as most collectors seem to overlook the worth of a manual on its own.

    There is some guy on ebay who sells ‘as new’ old stocks of various Faber Castell slide rules. He doesn’t mark up too much so is worth checking out if the site proves too much.

  15. Jeff B
    January 31, 2013

    Hi, Anton!

    I actually got one of the 2/83N’s out and started using it. The other is stored away and I’m not touching it. I am VERY impressed with the quality of manufacturing. The “German precision” one hears about truly shows up in this slide rule!

    I was issued a Deci-Lon back in the day and still have it and use it. I like the layout of the Deci-Lon in some ways better than the 2/83N, and the “bare-bones” number of scales for a high-end rule is something I actually like, too. But the incredible precision of manufacture and the accuracy resulting from that (stators and hairlines were perfectly aligned right out of the box)…well, the 2/83N tops the Deci-Lon in that regard, hands down. And they’re really pretty on top of it all!

    Thanks, Anton, for the tip about English manuals. I have been keeping an eye out for one, although I have found a pdf. So far, no one I’ve found can beat the FC website price for their slide rules, though.

    I may go back to the FC website for more, when the finances straighten out a bit. I intend on giving one to my nephew, who works for IBM and has shown interest in slide rules. So, I may have to get one more for a backup. Also, there are 20 other models on their site just waiting for me! LOL!

  16. Sean McHugh
    March 01, 2013

    Hi,

    I went to the site but it shows the 2/83N as coming in a cardboard sheath/box, not the standard plastic case. Can anyone explain?

    http://tinyurl.com/7rvl967

  17. Jeff B
    March 01, 2013

    Hi, Sean!

    They have been out of the plastic cases (and English manuals) for some time. This is tail end stock. I would note that I recently picked up a third one (to serve as a backup to the one I’ve been using after I give the other one to my nephew), as well as a couple of other models of slide rules.

    They must be getting close to the end of the last remaining stock. The two I got in January had manufacture dates of “175” stamped into the end of the slide. That would be “January 1975.” The one I got a couple of weeks ago in February, a month later, had “1075” (October 1975) stamped on it.

    Don’t let a cardboard box stop you. If you want a pristine copy of the “Holy Grail” of slide rules, this is the time and place to get one! There is a German reselling the exact same slide rules (cardboard box and all) on Ebay (buy it now) for $189. You should be able to get it direct for $100-$110 depending on exchange rate, etc.

    Like I said before, if they went from Jan 1975 to Oct 1975 in one month, I just can’t imagine there are a whole lot of them left in stock. (I guess this proves they were still manufacturing them yet in late 1975!)

    Good luck!

    —Jeff

  18. Sean McHugh
    March 01, 2013

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the informative reply. I too have a couple, one from my technical college days, that is faded and discoloured and one that I bought on eBay. The later one was in great condition, except that it has the previous owner’s name engraved on it. One directly from the manufacture would be nice. I wish I had heard about this earlier. I reckon these 2/83Ns seem popular enough for Faber Castell to reissue.

  19. Jeff B
    March 03, 2013

    This is old stock that was stored and not sold until now. The engravers and other machines to make them are long gone.

    But I think I know what you mean. You’re right about FC taking an interest in selling off the old stock now and making some Euros. Cliff Stoll’s 2006 Scientific American article started a frenzy and I’m sure FC is cashing in. They’d better. Their customer base is 50+ years old and not getting any younger, although I have a 23-year-old nephew who works for IBM who is taking an interest in them.

    I have no problem with the FC website and have even set up an account with them to speed up future orders. That said, if you’re not kind of fluent in German, you might have problems getting through it. I haven’t tried it, but maybe by using “Chrome” as your browser, there is, I’m told, a way to make it translate pages for you automatically. Worth a try.

    So, if you want an absolutely factory-fresh, untouched copy of one, get it now! Good luck!

  20. Mark
    March 07, 2013

    How fortunate am I to have found this article, and to have read the comments!

    I went on FC’s website and placed an order today for a 2/83N. I’ve been looking for one of these for a looooong time, but have hesitated buying on eBay and vintage scientific instrument dealers. Put off by the high price.

    But to have an opportunity to buy one from the manufacturer after all these years? And at a price lower than can be had at an auction? Couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Crossing my fingers it all goes well.

    FYI … I used Chrome to translate the pages to English, and it worked pretty well. Also made use of Google Translate when I received confirmation emails.

  21. Jeff B
    March 09, 2013

    Well, Mark, you may be getting one of the VERY LAST 2/83N’s from FC. I just looked at their website and the 2/83N is now (as of 2/8) “Nicht auf Lager,” which means “Out of Stock!” You may have beat losing out by a day!

    I’ve seen that before, though, and then it changes back to “Auf Lager” a day later. But they are SO close to the final manufacturing date that they can’t have too many left! My last two were stamped “1075” for October 1975. I’d be interested in what date stamp yours has/have.

    Congratulations, you are lucky! I have been using one of my 2/83N’s a lot. A beautiful tool, really fun to work with.

    —Jeff

  22. Mark
    March 11, 2013

    A GRAND TOTAL of 4 days after I placed the order on the FC website, my 2/83N arrives at my front door. Unbelievable! It looks fantastic, and apart from a few heart palpitations upon opening the green cardboard box and finding the cursor in two pieces, it’s in great shape. The cursor clicked together easily. Came with the reference card, original German instructions, yellowed, and a fresh copy of the English instructions. With a nice pen.

    I’m having a hard time coming up with a date stamp for you Jeff. The edge of the slide has “57” stamped on it, followed by an unintelligible character (looks like a “+”), and there is a “PX” stamped on the edge of the stator.

    I’ll also note that the cursor assembly is the adjustable one, with four screws per face, which would seem to indicate manufacture after 1962 and prior to 1973 (according to the sliderulemuseum).

    The manual has a date code of 10574 (May 10, 1974?)

    Any insight would be helpful.

  23. Mark
    March 11, 2013

    I also noticed a sideways “7” on the stator.

  24. Jeff B
    March 14, 2013

    Hi, Mark—

    The date stamp is impressed (indented with no ink) into one end of the slide, Mark. Two out of three of mine are really easy to read. The third is not so easy to read, but I can make it out with some effort. I’m sure back in the day the machine stamped that into the end pretty quickly. Pretty easy for the machine to smear it or not completely stamp it, I guess. Not a big deal back then, but kind of an annoyance nearly 40 years later when you’re curious.

    A cursor assembly from ’62-’73 on a 1975 (or so) slide rule indicates to me that they (FC) may have been assembling new ones from left over, or repair, parts they had on hand. That might be good — you (and I and others) would have a “factory original” variant of a well-known slide rule! For someone who collects variants, that might make it desirable.

    I guess the sliderulemuseum will have to update that section of FC sliderules now. I would argue that, coming direct from FC, ours are as legit as ones sold 40 years ago!

    I’m sure your heart skipped a beat when you saw an apparently “broken” cursor!!! Glad you figured out what was happening. (I’m sure you oriented the cursor to the correct sides of the rule.) I frankly haven’t had the nerve to pop mine off yet. But then, I don’t need to, I guess.

    And the 2/83N is still “Nicht auf Lager.” You, sir, may have received one of the very last 2/83N’s FC ever sells. Congratulations! And those ARE good pens.

    —Jeff

  25. Mark
    March 14, 2013

    Jeff, I would have to agree with you regarding the vintage of the cursor against the likely manufacture date of the rule itself. Just one more thing that make ours, the wretched refuse of a bygone era, special!

    If you ever have to take off the cursor, it snaps apart very easily. I find that my rule collects dust like crazy. Very staticy. I get dust/lint under the cursor and it annoys me. My (aluminum) Pickett N4-ES, being a conductor, has no such static problems.

    Considering all the possible characters that could be printed on the slide, I would have to vote for the mystery character being a “4”. This would make the date code “574” … May ’74. Which happens to match the date code on my manual.

    I’ll confess that when I placed the order for this rule, the main page (which lists their online catalog of rules) indicated that the 2/83N was “in stock”, but the 2/83N-specific page listed it as “out of stock”. I took a chance and ordered it anyway. Glad I did!

  26. Mark
    March 20, 2013

    Checking the FC website, and the 2/83N is still out of stock. I have to wonder if I got the last one? THAT would be cool!

  27. Jeff B
    March 28, 2013

    Yup, Mark. Just checked the website as I’m thinking of getting other models, too, and it’s still not in stock. My bet is it will stay that way. The secret about these got out a few years ago and even at $100+, they weren’t going to last forever. Still, they must have had quite a few around, or at least enough spare parts to make even more.

    I’m not a dealer, but I’m betting dealers snapped them up getting as many at a time as they could afford. On Ebay they are showing up with 80-90% markup. Pretty good profit!

    Congrats! I’m thinking you got one of the last ones, too!

    —Jeff

  28. Doug H
    May 11, 2013

    In searching the web for information about the 2/83N, I discovered this page and it led me to ordering a few different models.

  29. Doug H
    May 11, 2013

    Opps, I pressed submit by accident before finishing my comments above… Anyway, I ordered four different models directly from Faber Castell. Considering most of the slide rule manufacturers are all but gone, I would have never expected to see any OEM company having kept their old remaining stock stored away, let alone offer them for purchase this late (2013)! The four I ordered were the 2/83N, 2/82N, 62/83N, and the 12/82. I placed my order on May 3, and at that date, all of the various rules they had listed on their site were “In Stock”. My order arrived just 7 days later through Fedex on May 10 in excellent condition (I live in the Chicago area). Like others have reported, I was also greeted with the detached cursor that apparently popped apart during transit on both the 2/82N and 2/83N. No concern though, as they securely snapped back together. I also wanted to mention the date codes on mine seeing that it’s been a few months since the last comment when there was concern that the last of the 2/83N’s were finally sold out and no longer available. My 2/83N is dated “1075” (October-’75), the 2/82N is dated “175” (January-’75), no date code on the 62/82, but the most surprising of the date codes was on the model 12/82, which was clearly stamped “1176” (November-’76). The slide rule museum stated that Faber Castell ceased production of slide rules in 1976, but I would have never expected to see production go quite this late, so this one must be the very last to be made considering the November production. My 12/82 does not have the green striping like that shown on the FC website, but rather a pink highlighting instead. Perhaps this was a very late production change? I also wanted to comment on the cursor types as used on the 2/82N and 2/83N. Both of mine have the adjustable 4 screw cursor with the tan slider bars, which are the apparent “older” style as used on pre 1973 models. The rules are of outstanding quality, and very impressive.
    I am very pleased to have had the unique opportunity to purchase these, especially the “holy grail” 2/83N direct from the original company. That makes owing these particular rules quite special as I can consider myself the original owner! That’s not something one can usually claim when buying slide rules today…

  30. Steve Smithing
    July 16, 2013

    I was reading the posts and followed the link to the Faber Castell online store. Initially I saw that the Faber Castell-Novo 2/83N slide rule was not available. I have limited German, so went to Chrome and it was a snap to use the website as Chrome did a good job of converting from German to English. Long story short I was able to order a Faber Castell as follows:
    1 piece 000052 Castell Novo Duplex 2/83N
    € 74.79 0% € 74.79
    and the total price was: Total amount € 83.19
    I’m really looking forward to getting this slide rule.
    Steve

  31. Steve Smithing
    July 18, 2013

    Update – I received my Faber Castell-Novo Duplex 2/83N today, 2 days from the date I ordered the slide rule, extremely fast shipping. The package contained the Slide Rule, instructions in German and a photocopy of instructions in English and a Faber-Castell pen. The slide rule is a work of art. I can see that I will be busy for awhile with my new slide rule. I want to thank the person who found the URL link to the online store, it is a pleasure to do business with the Faber-Castell online store – they are fast and efficient.
    Steve

  32. Jeff B
    September 16, 2013

    2/83N is still in stock as of Sept 16. Amazing. They must have had a ton of leftover pieces to keep assembling new ones this long.

  33. Little Iron
    September 23, 2013

    Hi, thanks for this page and link leading me got 2/83N and 62/82N, order just placed. Using slide rule is really fascinating and do a lot of training. Thanks for everyone here and May God and Trueparents Love and Blessing be with everyone of you and your family. Little Iron

  34. jordan
    April 23, 2014

    Very impressive slide rule. I grew with electronics calculators and computers (38 y.o) and I know that slide rules existed in the past and were used mainly as torture instrument to do math in the dark ages of first half of XX century. Now I own 4 of them, the last addition being this same 2/83N in mint (almost NOS) condition with box and papers, I obtained in a small German village flohmarkt few days ago. The guy said “no one is using them today, i can not ask more than 5 eur”. I didn’t knew what I am buying before I get home and check in the web. The craftsmanship is really impressive. I still can’t get it, how they are producing plastic parts with such low tolerances. I find it also pity, that these tools dissapeared totally in just few years. I assume that a slide rule should have much higher production costs than an electronic calculator (even powerful scientifical ones, like TI 30XS Pro) and it could be one of the reasons. Maybe one day they will make a come back (when it would be cool again to be smart, to talk instead of chat and to have real friends instead of FB ones).

  35. Roland
    May 20, 2014

    Stefen, excellent web site, stumbled on it by accident. I’ve been looking on e-bay for the 2/83n. Just been to the German website and ordered one. I now live in China, so fingers crossed it makes it here.

    Keeping a dying art alive. When I was in our London office I mentioned I was after a slide rule and all the old guys brought in their well used working slide rules. They remembered them fondly but it was a struggle getting anything of value out of them. Hope I can brush up on my very old rusty skills.

    Will let you know if it gets to China and may look at getting a few others before they are all sold out.

    Thanks again,
    Roland.

  36. Roland
    June 15, 2014

    Well the 2/83n arrived just like all the above mentioned items, well packed, in as new condition and with a free pen and a photo copy of the English instructions.

    All the best,
    Roland.

  37. Keith Meintjes
    October 24, 2014

    I have a 2/83N, exactly as illustrated. I bought it as a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student in South Africa in 1970. The date stamp is embossed on the end of the bottom left side (where it says “CASTELL NOVO-DUPLEX” and is 5 69.

    The epitome of slide rules. Within just a couple of years they were made obsolete by HP Engineering calculators. I have one of those, an HP-11c, also.

    Keith

  38. Conrad
    November 10, 2014

    Good day

    I also have a Novo – duplex that i Got from my father , and anothe Faber Castell slide rule that i dont have a model number on . If anyone is interested in this please mail me

    Kind regards

    Conrad

  39. jungmin im
    January 27, 2015

    Thanks for good information.
    I have orderd 2/83N from FC website and it came a few days ago.
    and it has date stamp ‘475’
    And the 2/83N is now again ‘Nicht auf Lager’.
    Maybe german FC dosen’t know how much stocks they have.
    It’s unbelievable that I still can purchase this 40 years old ‘famous’ thing NIB.

  40. donkeyrider
    February 14, 2015

    I can see why technical folks would like the high-end FC slide rules, but many folks don’t realize that even the simple pocket slide rules were useful. I still use a Dietzgen 125 mm slide rule like the one I had in college in the 1960’s — and I use it even though its cursor is broken like the one I had when I was a student. My personal choice for a slide rule is the Hemmi 135, a small thing that does arithmetic, squares/square roots, and trig, the things I do the most with a slide rule. Unless I’m doing something scientific, I don’t need the log-log scales.

    In the 1980’s at work, I used the little Sama and Etani slide rules even though I had calculators and computers at my desk. They were convenient when you were away from your desk.

  41. Hermilio Maia
    February 16, 2016

    I own two Faber-Castell:
    A Faber-Castell 62/82 (pocket size) with a green leather cover. This was used from 1965 to 1971, until a got an HP-35 calculator (paid $350 through a university program!)
    It is in very good condition, except the C scale (center scale) is very loose , after 5 years of heavy use in engineering school and then in professional life. I don’t have the manual for it.

    A Faber-Castell 2/83, plastic case with clear top, bought in 1970, and exceptional shape. I have the original manual (Portuguese). I didn’t use these slide rules after 1971, when the HP-35 arrived.

    I want to sell both, and will not list on Ebay. If interested email me with an offer.

  42. Stefan Vorkoetter
    February 16, 2016

    I’m not interested, but if anyone reading this is, reply to this post (I don’t publish commenters’ e-mail addresses) and I’ll forward it to Hermilio.

  43. Barry Moore
    April 10, 2016

    Hi Stefan, Thanks for a great trip down memory lane for me. I have been collecting slide rules and calculators since my uni days. In 1975 I purchased my first HP calculator (HP55) for $350 and in the same year bought two brand new 2/83N faber castell slides for for $5 each as the uni bookshop wanted to get rid of them – The slide rules I still have but I sold the HP55 (;-( to buy a HP34c 😉 (which still works). My first slide rule, which I used at high school in 1970 was my dads old 1950’s faber castell but it had lost its cursor so I made one from a piece of cellophane and a hair from my head. A new Hemmi was purchased soon after as I kept getting inaccurate results. I have enjoyed reading your HP35s programs and will be typing them in for a try out soon. Of course my HP prime already does the matrix functions but I am impressed with the way your code in the HP35s does all the indirect addressing. I have retired now from a career as an electronics engineer and then a technical college teacher in electronics and telecommunications. More time now to play with my toys! regards Barry

  44. David Rowell
    June 12, 2016

    I ordered and received, two days later, a 2/83N just a couple of weeks ago off the FC site. Can’t make out the date on the slide.

    Sadly, no free pen, and tragically, one of the ugly cardboard boxes rather than the plastic cases of yore. Photocopied English instructions and original in German. And a German plastic strip of equations and set theory.

    Was stunned to get it so quickly. Based on what I’ve paid to ship things internationally (and the huge box it arrived in) I suspect most of the cost of the rule went in freight. But not complaining!

  45. Alfredo Marquez Claussen
    July 29, 2016

    I have what appears to be exactly the same sliderule… BUT, it says “NOVO-BIPLEX” instead of Novo-Duplex. Mine has its instructions in Spanish as it was purchased in Mexico in 1972. I keep it as it makes me remember my long deceased Dad, that always bought me the best items to help me finish my career (I studied Chemical engineering between 1972 and 1978). I was really starting to give it intense use (albeit with some help from one of the first 4 portable function electronic calculators, a MIIDA-8 that lacked square root but had a switch operated constant). When one day WHAMMM!… I saw a poster of the then new Hewlett-Packard 35, which left me wondering if that contraption was real or only an imaginary dream. Soon my father asked a friend of him that lived on the border, to please buy me one HP. Fortunately, the improved 45 became just available and I got a new HP-45 instead of the 35, at just a slightly higher price (still expensive at more than 325 US Dollars from 1973!). Let me tell you that I still have both marvels, and both work flawlessly today (the HP-45 has received about a half dozen battery replacements, and currently has three SONY NiMH AA cells, but otherwise is as fresh as when it left the HP factory! Both the Faber-Castell and the HP-45 have a very strong ADDICTIVE character: after you use a double length (50 centimeters effective length) slide rule, or a tested ans true “RPN” calculator, I guarantee you will NEVER use a different one, Truly! Best wishes, Alfredo Márquez Claussen, Mexico City.

    P.S.: I became so addicted to HP calculators, that I bought a HP-41CV, but it had a noticeably LOWER quality than the older classic ones, and after several years of use, had to repair it as the alkaline cells leaked and “ate” the gold coated battery contacts… but my older HP-45 has NEVER failed except for the original NiCad cells.

  46. Roland, DK
    April 04, 2017

    Via another route and by coincident, I came to the Faber-Castell Online-store. Before purchase, I just double checked with Stefan’s website in which he mentioned the same F-C online store. The 2/83N Novo Duplex in cardboard box was still available for €89, which seems a bargain compared to used 2/83N eBay prices.
    Needless to say, I instantly bought one 🙂 €10 for shipping to Denmark.
    Can’t wait !!

  47. Teresa Harris
    April 04, 2017

    I was looking to sell a slide rule belonging to my father. Trying to find a market value, I came across this thread.
    My question is what is the difference between a 2/83N and a 2/83? Obviously I know nothing on these items. This tread is very helpful.
    Thanks!

  48. Stefan Vorkoetter
    April 04, 2017

    The 2/83 is an older version of the 2/83N. A quick look on eBay uncovered one 2/83 that sold recently for about US $50. It can be a little confusing on eBay because a lot of 2/83N rules are listed as 2/83.

  49. Roland, DK
    April 11, 2017

    Received my 2/83N Novo Duplex today ! 🙂 I’m very impressed with its size, build quality and the beauty of it !
    The ruler came in a green Faber-Castell cardboard box with an original “Rechenstab-Anleitung”, a laminated (or plastic) equations chart and, printed on A4 paper, the English Instructions.
    I haven’t been able to find a date code on the ruler. Is it supposed to have one, and if yes, can anybody tell me where the code may be hiding?
    On the back of the small German instructions booklet it says:
    1073* printed in Germany 1/783 N d

    All in all, very impressed and for sure worth every cent !

  50. Lucas Soldano
    June 14, 2017

    The date of the Faber-Castell 2/83N is punched on the head facet of the sliding (central) rule. The head facet is the surface perpendicular to the scales axis. A magnifying glass may help you see it. The format is “M YY”. For example (as in mine :-), “3 75” means March 1975. Hope that helps.

  51. Roland, DK
    June 16, 2017

    Thank you very much Lucas. Without your help, I most likely wouldn’t have found it ! The first 4 is clear, followed by a barely visible 7, followed by what seems to be the bottom half of a 5, but could be the bottom half of a 3 as well. My gut feeling says “4 75”, April 1975.
    A 42 years old sliding rule in pristine condition. Happy as the proverbial pig in …. 😉
    Awaiting the long winter nights to really dig into this beast …
    Thanks again for your help Lucas !

  52. Lucas Soldano
    June 16, 2017

    You are welcome, Roland. If you are really serious about unleashing the full power of your 2/83N, it will take you much less than a winter to realise that you need something more than its user manual booklet. As far as my knowledge goes, the most authoritative instruction book written for the 2/83N is “Stabrechnen mit Novo-Duplex 2/83N und Duplex 2/82N” by Siegfried Petry. In German. I owe a Spanish translation, so I would _assume_ it has been translated into English as well. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

Want to see your picture next to your comments on this site and others? Visit gravatar.com to register your own globally recognized avatar.

Buy Stefan a coffee! If you've found this article
useful, consider leaving a donation to help support
stefanv.com

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information on this web page is presented without warranty of any kind, and Stefan Vorkoetter assumes no liability for direct or consequential damages caused by its use. It is up to you, the reader, to determine the suitability of, and assume responsibility for, the use of this information. Links to Amazon.com merchandise are provided in association with Amazon.com. Links to eBay searches are provided in association with the eBay partner network.

Copyright: All materials on this web site, including the text, images, and mark-up, are Copyright © 2017 by Stefan Vorkoetter unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. You may link to this site or pages within it, but you may not link directly to images on this site, and you may not copy any material from this site to another web site or other publication without express written permission. You may make copies for your own personal use.