Send Wireless TXT between Two TI Calculators


TI calculators with wireless circuitry

One day while sitting in class in a Cornell University schoolroom, [Will] and [Michael] thought how cool it would be to send text messages to each other via their Texas Instruments calculators.  Connecting the two serial ports with a serial cable was out of the question. So they decided to develop a wireless link that would work for both TI-83 and TI-84 calculators.

The system is powered by a pair of ATmega644’s and two Radiotronix RF Modules that creates a wireless link between the two serial ports. The serial ports are 3 wire ports, which can be used for several things, including acting as a TV out port. [Will] and [Michael] reverse engineered the port’s protocol and did an excellent job at explaining it in full detail. Because they are dealing with the lowest level of the physical protocol, there is no need for them to deal with higher levels like checksums, header packets, ext.

Be sure to stick around after the break to see a video of the project in action. It’s quite slow for today’s standards. If you have any ideas on how to speed it up, be sure to let everyone know in the comments.

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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.