Thanks lhornburg ..Assuming that you have the same conventional way in determining the manufacturing date,My question is,How to determine/what is the conventional way in determining the manufacturing date of a unit using the serial number only.
Please note that the dates are based on when a major manufacturing revision occurred. It is not (but could be) the original release date. In other words, a product could have multiple revisions during its lifetime.
DE - country of origin (Germany) 38 - year of last major manufacturing revision -- to calculate year you add to 1960 (so your date is 1998) 7 - month of last major manufacturing revision -- yours is July (note: many divisions have two numbers here to document the week #01-52, it is dependent on the division) 00142 - unit #, usually incremented by one, and often begins with 100
So my educated guess is that you have the 42nd unit manufactured after the 1998 July manufacturing revision. I would guess that your unit was made in July or August.