For centuries, people in Asia have used an ancient counting tool to perform mathematical operations. Dating back to at least the 12th century, this simple counting device has been passed down through the centuries with its original design and purpose virtually unchanged. A traditional suanpan or Chinese abacus consists of a rectangular wooden frame divided by a horizontal bar into upper and lower sections. A series of vertical wires or rods strung with beads extend from the top to the bottom of the frame. Each wire in the abacus frame has seven beads, with two in the upper deck and five in the lower deck.
Each of the two upper deck beads has a value of 5, while the lower deck beads each have a value of 1. The wires represent the powers of ten. Beginning at the right of the abacus, the first wire represents values below 10, the second wire represents values from 10 to 99 and the third wire represents to This pattern continues across the remaining wires, allowing a traditional abacus with 13 wires to represent very large numbers. The first step when using a Chinese abacus is to clear it, which is done by placing the device flat on a table and moving the upper deck beads to the top of the frame and the lower deck beads to the frame bottom.
To count a single number with the abacus, move the appropriate number of beads towards the bar. For example, the number 1 is counted by moving the top bead in the lower deck of the ones wire up to the bar. Atul Gupta. Basic Electrical Repairs. Lgoo Books. Electronic Troubleshooting. Richard Buttars. Brian Scaddan. Moremi Mareka. Christine Caputo.
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