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Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
05-10-2019, 05:58 PM
Post: #1
Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
This is my first post since joining a couple of months ago.

One of my interests is the Soviet/Russian RPN calcs, as my signature shows. We've had threads about the Elektronika MK-52 and MK-61. Several years ago Semico (that company's chosen English spelling) in Novosibirsk began production of models, including the Elektronika MK-161, that are meant to be able to run standard programs for the old RPN MK series in addition to having advanced capabilities of their own.

This year I decided to go for broke and try to get a new Elektronika MK-161 directly from Semico. Based on the current price in rubles, this calc would be about US$250 plus shipping costs. My assumption was that the total cost to get one would be $400–$500.

I sent an e-mail to Semico to ask if the company had any agent in the US and how I could purchase an MK-161 otherwise. The e-mail was sent in Russian and English with the Russian part carefully machine-translated using Yandex, meaning the resulting Russian sentences were retranslated back to English to ensure they made sense.

Semico responded to my e-mail in both Russian and English to say it had no US agent and it accepted bank payment via Western Union. I responded to ask about total charges including shipping and any other fees so I could send the correct amount, listing the calc, the AC adapter (which I would use with a converter), and a couple of other related items to be part of the order. Because the company's web page gave two different numbers for the bank account, I asked for clear directions about which number to use.

That was in early April. There was no response. Early this week I sent a followup e-mail. So far still no response.

Well, that was a good try. At this point, even if Semico were to contact me with directions, there are too many doubts in my mind about this company to go through with wiring money. I know of people who were badly burned doing business with Russians in the 1990s. To be fair, maybe the company is afraid to deal with Americans or there is some misunderstanding from my e-mails. But not responding is not the way to deal with any of that.

Just thought some of you would find this info of interest in case you had wanted to get your hands on one of Semico's MKs. TL;DR: forget about it.

HP-33C, HP-28C, HP-28S, HP 50g, HP Prime
Elektronika RPN calcs MK-52, MK-56, MK-61
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05-11-2019, 07:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
I remember to read about the mk161 here in one of the threads some yeas ago but can't find it.

Meanwhile i have been following another forum dedicated to the DM42 where several members of this forum have registered themselves there as well.
One member identified as Vitasam mentioned that he acquired the mk161. Here:

Maybe he can help?

Concerning sending money to a non secure business platform, i could tell you a few bad experiences i had. Fortunately it was small money amounts in every case. Curiously the "sellers" were allegedly Chinese in two cases and American in another.
I use to buy electronic components from Ukraine and Russia on ebay and never had issues with them.

What i know from the Russian native auction/selling sites is that usually they will not sell and will not answer to foreign queries, even from European neighborhood.
Basically they can not guarantee a successful business transaction abroad and chose to not sell.
And if they did reply to your query and they believe you got all the information ti proceed, they may not reply to further "redundant" queries. I had this experience in the past as well.

Now, spending 250 USD without any guarantee that you will get the goods only depend on how healthy you are Smile

Jose Mesquita member

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05-12-2019, 02:14 AM
Post: #3
RE: Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
(05-10-2019 05:58 PM)ekrampitzjr Wrote:  Semico responded to my e-mail in both Russian and English to say it had no US agent and it accepted bank payment via Western Union.

I can't comment about Semico, but one thing I will interject.
For Americans at least, it is *extremely* expensive (and a big hassle) to do transfers from regular US banks to folks (friends, relatives, sellers, whomever) overseas.

Some years ago I used to purchase a lot of stuff (but not calculators!) on the German version of "the auction site" and at that time while many of the sellers were willing to ship to the US, they often didn't take PayPal. In Germany, like much of Europe, Überweisung (bank transfers) is a normal way of life which it isn't here.

Anyhow, after a fair amount of research, I settled upon using TransferWise, which is an online service started by a couple of Skype's original developers and headquartered in London. I've used them many a time over the past 5-6 years with never a bit of trouble. Mostly I have transferred to Germany, but I recall one or two other places as well. It's a LOT cheaper than a regular bank transfer and even a good bit cheaper than paying the seller fees on PayPal (which a lot of those who accept PayPal require).

For your info, I looked up a $250 transfer from US to someone in Russia.
Of course, you can also specify the amount you want the recipient to get, and they'll tell you the amount you are charged in your source currency... however you prefer.
But anyhow...If I sent $US 250, there is $5.55 transfer fee and then the current exchange rate is 65.11770 rubles/$. So, for that $250 you spend, the recipient gets 15,918.02 rubles.
I have no idea how this compares with a typical US bank.

I think the fees are a good bit less and exchange better to transfers involving US$↔€ or US$↔£. In general, the broader the currency, the cheaper it is. They try to actually move as little money across boarders as possible. Mostly, they match up exchanges of the same currencies going in opposite directions. Currencies commonly used internationally are therefore the best deal.

I do have an MK-52. Neat machine, but definitely Soviet in build quality :-)
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05-12-2019, 04:48 PM
Post: #4
RE: Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
Try to use emulator eMKatic (see on sourceforge) firstly.
MK 161/152 dont have an english interface.
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