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Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Posted by Nick on 3 September 2000, 00:55 GMT

The inimitable Sami Khawam ventured into the crazy, strange world that is IRC today to inform me of the release of new hardware schematics on his web site.

The PICLink is a homebrew graphlink that is fully compatible with the TI-GRAPH LINK software used with normal graphlinks. It includes an updated hardware layout and the software you have to install on the chip. This looks like a really great thing. If you're too cheap to buy a black graphlink for $18 (or a real graphlink for $60) from your local electronics or office supply store, just build one for about $20!

On another unrelated note, has anyone had experiences with their old gray graphlinks where the gold on the calculator end would gradually wear off and it wouldn't be able to conduct an electrical current? I do believe that's happened with mine, but I can gold-plate it at college in a chem lab or something. Hopefully. :)

The IR Link does exactly what its title implies: it's a full-fledged infrared link for any TI calculator. It works with all models (yay!) so there's no worries for any users who were afraid they would be left out. The design has been completely redone from the ground up, and the PCB was reconfigured. Yay! :)

Sami also hinted to me about the possibility of a memory expander that uses Sony PlayStation memory cards in the future. That would own. I wanna see a Clik! drive for the TI, too. (smile)

 


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
B D  Account Info

I can't get PIC chips in USA and Sami has never answered my e-mails. Can anyone help. Also the HEX file that is used for the PIClink won't work on my programs. It is misalained or something. Please someone look into this.

     3 September 2000, 01:08 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Robin Kay  Account Info
(Web Page)

1) Of course you can get PIC chips in the USA... The company that manufactures them is in fact, "American". You mearly need to locate a supplier...
2) What do you mean by, "The HEX file won't work on my programs"? The HEX file is meant to be programmed into a PIC with a suitable device programmer (It's a program for the PIC). What other "programs" are you refering to?
3) Misalained?

--Robin Kay--

     3 September 2000, 02:02 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
rabidcow Account Info
(Web Page)

don't know where in the us you are, but here (santa clara) you can get them at jdr microdevices for ~$5 each. you might want to check out www.microchip.com

my programmer won't load it either, it complains "invalid address 7fff" if you get this, delete line 140 and it should load. (or put somethingn other than a : in the first column of the line)

     3 September 2000, 05:04 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
AuroraBoriales

There are many subistutes to the PIC, like the SCENIX, whatever that is, but thhey claim that it is compatiable with the PIC in pin offset and can be programmed with the same code. An actual pic is kinda hard to find. I found mine in an old answering machine. since the PIC can be reused, i recommend using a socket instead of soldering it onto the PC board.

     4 September 2000, 17:08 GMT


Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Joe Smith  Account Info

I would recommend www.digikey.com for electronics supplies.

     4 September 2000, 19:08 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
ranchdresson  Account Info

Couldn't you just hook-up a remote from your t.v. or something to your calc. It's gotta be possible.

     5 September 2000, 06:20 GMT

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Doug Williams  Account Info

Nick,
My Graph Link broke too. As you said the tip of the plug disconnected (in my calc). I got it out after taking the port apart. Anyway, I just spliced my calc-to-calc cable and cut off the old pulg. Then I combine the two. It works just fine now. Good luck with your repair.
-Doug

     3 September 2000, 01:22 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Nick Disabato  Account Info
(Web Page)

Mine didn't disconnect, the gold that conducts the electricity wore off.

--BlueCalx

     3 September 2000, 01:35 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Adamman  Account Info
(Web Page)

The same thing happened to mine, so I had to buy a new graphlink. What has kept the new one alive: emulators.

~Adamman

     3 September 2000, 04:30 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
AuroraBoriales

The new windows only graphlinks are just fancy serial links. They have a port instead of a plug on the end probably becase this might happen. When the gold wears off, or the plug falls off, the link is wasted if you do not attach another plug. This is probably the reason why TI is now using sockets instead of plugs.

     4 September 2000, 17:10 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Kerey Roper  Account Info
(Web Page)

I too used a calc-calc cable to fix my graphlink after it broke. It has worked fine for several months now.

     3 September 2000, 04:53 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Etec  Account Info
(Web Page)

I have both a black and grey one. I use the black one because I only have 9 pin serial ports and because it seems to work slightly faster. But thats probly because I was using a 9pin to 25pin adapter on my gray one. But my grey one is now on my mac so it doesn't matter that much. But I didn't know that the Gold one could wear out that easily, I thought the gold plating was more durrable then that.

     4 September 2000, 00:11 GMT


Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Joe Smith  Account Info

that same shit happened to me too! I used a plug from an old sound-card extension link I had lying around.

     4 September 2000, 19:27 GMT

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
DWedit  Account Info
(Web Page)

Why the hell would anyone build a graphlink for $20 when they could just buy the black one for 18$?

     3 September 2000, 02:41 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Daniel Bishop  Account Info
(Web Page)

More importantly, why would anyone be willing to spend $40 more for a gray link?

     3 September 2000, 03:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Paulo Marques  Account Info

Hey, it was 3 years ago, ok??? I was young and naive!

     3 September 2000, 19:00 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Robert Maresh  Account Info
(Web Page)

I got my black graphlink for $15 at Best Buy!

     3 September 2000, 03:48 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Robert Xeon Smith
(Web Page)

What's this black/gray stuff? I don't understand. I have a gray GraphLink that I purchased a while ago, but it didn't cost me anywhere near $60.

     3 September 2000, 04:22 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Kerey Roper  Account Info
(Web Page)

TI released a black 9-pin serial graphlink for Windows earlier this year (it might have been last year, I'm not sure). The gray link is 25-pin serial cable from 82 and 85 days and can be used with Windows or Macs.

As for the $60 part, I don't ever remember gray links costing that much. I always thought they were $25-30.

     3 September 2000, 05:03 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
David Kantola  Account Info

I bought a gray link in early '99 for ~$30 and at the time it was the only link (from TI) available, so it's far from the "82 and 85 days". In fact, I still have the package and it was the one that didn't come with a 25-9 pin adapter or the other adapter that's included with the "full" package. The "full" package also contained the Graph Link software and was priced at ~$60. I think the only ones that are available now are the "full" gray link package and the black "Windows-only" package (with the USB package coming later this year). See http://www.ti.com/calc/docs/link.htm

     3 September 2000, 06:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Kerey Roper  Account Info
(Web Page)

I meant that that was when the grey link originally came out. This is evident in it's FCC ID: DGITI8582-MACPCIF

I remember seeing grey links for about $30 about a year and a half ago, because I wanted to buy one, but didn't feel like spending that much on a calculator link.

     4 September 2000, 05:49 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
AuroraBoriales

Depends. A gray link only costs around 30 dollars if you buy it on the web at wholesale stores, 40 dollars if you buy it retail. Same goes with the gray link-mac adapter-software kit. It costs over 60 dollars if you buy it from retail, and just a little under 50 dollars if you buy it wholesale.

     4 September 2000, 17:17 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
vbduck  Account Info
(Web Page)

I am sorry for my inipropriate comment before

I got my black cable for $20
I know someone who got the grey for $30
Why does the thing have to have the little short cable?
the link cable doesn't always work.

     3 September 2000, 07:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Jonas Lööf

The original 'grey graph link' is quite advanced. It converts the comunication to standard serial protocoll (9600 bps). The 'pic link' is made to have the same function as the grey link, so it obviously is quite expensive too. The 'black graph link' is TI's rip-off of the well known '$4 serial link' for wich plans have been around for several years. This is a much simpler design, requiring just a few resistors and diodes, and thuse alowing TI to have a much higher profit margin. If you want a link compatable with TI's Link program for windows, my advice is to build the '$4 Serial Link' as it is compatible with the 'black graph link'. The 'pic link' was a good idea but with the arrival of the 'black graph link' it has become quite obsolete.

     3 September 2000, 12:19 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
AuroraBoriales

You need a grey link in order to use a modem with your calc. The grey link does it by complete conversion of the TI protocol(TTL I think) to RS232. A modem will only work with the old grey one.

BTW, right now, dimension TI is selling grey links for 24 dollars.

     4 September 2000, 17:14 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Alan Rudolph  Account Info
(Web Page)

I love going on the internet with my TI-82.

     8 September 2000, 00:15 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
DarkWolf

Some people have MACINTOSHES like me! Duh! The black link does not work on a mac.

     3 September 2000, 18:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Etec  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yea, macs RULE!! j/k don't want to start a platfor war. Both Platforms are good. But I think it would be easier if TI would use USB. That way All you need is a USB cable and you can not only could you transfer at higher speeds but you'd be able to connect to any Platform wit the same cable. No adapters needed. But I think TI would much rather make a profit.

     4 September 2000, 00:17 GMT


Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
AuroraBoriales

The gray link is far more advanced. It does complete conversion of TTL to RS232. This allows external perhiperals like modems to operate. The black link is just a cheap way to adapt. Think of it as a 4$ serial link built by TI.

     4 September 2000, 17:19 GMT

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