Modded TI-83 Calculator

[Christopher] sent in his modded TI-83 calculator. (Hit the read link, a bug is broke the one I tried to embed) Besides the uh, racing stripes, he added a PS/2 port (though I see drivers for this mod are up on and an integrated (cpu controlled) RGB backlight. The backlight is controlled with a programmable AND array that’s slaved off a pair of the CPU I/O lines. Just to top everything off, I poked around and found that you can overclock these puppies, as well as expand their memory. I’m hopeful that wetsanding and varnishing the thing 10 times smoothed out the paintbrush lines, but an inexpensive airbrush would yield much smoother results.


  1. Phobiac says:

    The link you have is wrong, I’m not sure if the right one is this: or this: though.

  2. pitothemax says:

    Well it looks cool, but the paint covers up the alpha and 2nd text above the keys. But this guy probably has everything memorized.

    I doesn’t look like the LEDs light up the screen enough to see.

  3. Will O'Brien says:

    For some reason, the proper link is being broken by blogsmith. The read link is fine, so just use it.

  4. Khaotik says:

    Whoah, I used to talk to Kerm all the time. Never knew he did stuff like this. Pretty cool.

  5. Jakeh says:

    This isn’t bad for a beginner, in fact i like the concept a lot! Just silly enough :)

    However, a few bits of advice if i may.

    1) Spray paint is your friend, Airbrushing would be even better, but don’t underestimate the humble rattle-can.

    2) Streamline that ps/2 port! My favorite method is to use 5min JB Weld as a filler/adhesive. Just block up the bigger gaps with electrical tape, and spear some JB all over the joint–and i mean really goop it on. Once it’s totally hardened (24hrs), you can sand it down into a nice smooth shape that slows seamlessly into the calc’s body. When you paint it all, it can look quite professional!

  6. Sweet! Thanks for the tips, everyone. I tried filling in the PS/2 port area with hot glue, but that worked out less than well. By the way, the direct link is:

  7. Aud1073cH says:

    Stop laughing, math is cool now.

    So now someone’s just got to do some OC’ing, etc. of a Voyage 200 PLT or a TI-89 Titanium.

    I’m sorry, is this a tangent?

  8. That is awesome. A remember my ti 83, and trying to add an internal speaker to it. I used it for class notes, and the principal thought it was cool.
    fun times.

  9. y0mama says:

    I use to do assembly language stuff on the ti89 z80 based unit. I wrote a tutorial once on how to interface with serial circuits through the I/O port.

    I also did some work on operating system for it.

    TI Calculator hacking has been going on for over a decade. I remember years back someone made a mod that added another processor, and implemented parallel tasking in assembly.

  10. I don’t recall ever running across the second-processor thing, but I’m working on a shell in assembly that was a GUI API, peer-based networking, built-in PS/2 support (of course), and functional multithreading. You can check it out at

  11. kikkoman says:

    a few years ago used to tinker with the ti82. as we mostly played phoenix or other shell based stuff during school, overclocking was more than useless. EL backlight and memory expander were pretty cool, though.

    that ps/2 port thing is really handy. any old notebook trackpad should work, too (and won’t require long annoying cables..)
    great work!

  12. Alan Rager says:

    Does the site say how he did any of it?

  13. It does indeed, in my construction blog. Just click the link and choose “The Construction Blog”. Feel free to post on the site if you need more details on any of it, and I’ll probably be posting a tutorial soon.

  14. In addition to your calculator, you should add a usb interface. And you should also add an overlocking button.

  15. Ben Ryves says:

    Good work, Kerm. ;)
    The PS/2 routines are available (in beta) from my website,

  16. digitelle says:

    In somewhat of a response to 14, I think the USB port should replace the PS/2. You could then use a USB hub or docking station and the possibilities become semi-endless, keyboard and mouse at the same time!

    Not sure that a secondary monitor for a TI-83 would be useful though….


  17. alex says:

    im definitely gonna look into hacking the included usb cable circuitry to try and accomodate input. I have a USB to PS/2 Converter laying around that i think i can take apart and use the USB part of to integrate into the calculator.

  18. zero-cool says:

    I’m trying to learn how to modify my TI 84, any tips? Thanks for the help.

  19. Stewart Munro says:

    Oh my these are fantastic lads! I am trying to make my casio go faster have you any tips for this old maths teacher?

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