ArTICam Interfaces Game Boy Camera with TI Calculators

[Christopher Mitchell] has given Texas Instruments calculators the ability to capture images through a Game Boy Camera with ArTICam. First introduced in 1998, The Game Boy Camera was one of the first low-cost digital cameras available to consumers. Since then it has found its way into quite a few projects, including this early Atmel AT90 based hack, and this Morse code transceiver.

TI calculators don’t include a Game Boy cartridge slot, so [Christopher] used an Arduino Uno to interface the two. He built upon the Arduino-TI Calculator Linking (ArTICL) Library  to create ArTICam. Getting the Arduino to talk with the Game Boy Camera’s M64282FP image sensor turned out to be easy, as there already are code examples available. The interface between the camera sensor and the Arduino is simple enough. 6 digital lines for an oddball serial interface, one analog sense line, power and ground. [Christopher] used a shield to solder everything up, but says you can easily get away with wiring directly the Arduino Uno’s I/O pins. The system is compatible with the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus family of calculators. Grabbing an image is as simple as calling  GetCalc(Pic1) from your calculator program.

So, If you have an old calculator lying around, give it a try to enjoy some 128×123-pixel grayscale goodness!

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 ticalc.org) 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.