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Connecting external hardware to graphing calculators has long been one of the most exciting areas the calculator hobbyist community has pursued. As far back as 1996, the venerable RichFiles SPinTerface was created, and since then, there has been the Emerson PS/2 library for connecting mice and keyboards to calculators, calculator mind control, calculator networking, calculator WiFi, and linking protocols and hardware of every description. Most recently, there has been my own ArTICL library (source on GitHub), which lets your TI-BASIC programs interface directly with an Arduino attached to your TI calculator, to control LEDs and motors, read sensors, buttons, and switches, and access everything the Arduino can do.

For a long time, the only official TI Education tools to connect hardware to calculators were the CBL, CBL2, and CBR. However, TI has recently been starting to embrace the same focus on calculators as classroom STEM tools that we have promoted for a long time, including the growing "Maker" movement embodied in things like Maker Faire. Driven by what we believe is a growing teacher demand for the ability to do something like what ArTICL does in the classroom, TI will soon introduce a new device called the TI-Innovator. First introduced to the public at T^3 2016, the TI-Innovator is a box containing a TI MSP432 Launchpad development board that can be connected to a TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire via miniUSB. To crib directly from my T^3 2016 wrap-up:

Quote:
The TI-Innovator is encased in a durable plastic enclosure, with three 4-pin input ports and three 4-pin output ports (power, ground, data 1, and data 2, presumably) for peripherals. It communicates over USB-over-serial to the TI-84 Plus CE and TI-Nspire CX, which leads us to believe that we could use other USB-over-serial capable devices with the new TI-OS. Actually, the TI-84 Plus CEs in the TI-Innovator room were running the unreleased TI-OS 5.2; although there were three or four new features in the OS, including new ways to manipulate strings and have timed Pauses in the OS, we'll hold off discussing specific commands until we know that they'll definitely be in OS 5.2. TI has been developing lessons for the TI-Innovator in three areas: (1) Middle school science; (2) Ten Minutes of Code for older students; (3) Fundamentals of Making.




The TI-Innovator can initially be used without any external hardware, other than a graphing calculator. The MSP432 Launchpad already has LEDs on-board, both single-color and RGB, and the TI -Innovator box also contains a speaker and a brightness sensor. When students are ready to use the Innovator with more hardware, it includes standardized CBL-style ports compatible with a random of external hardware like sensors, buzzers, and motors. TI will offer the "TI-Innovator Fundamentals Pack" with resistors, capacitors, LEDs, and other discrete components with accompanying activity guides, as well as the "TI-Innovator Science Pack" with sensors, motors, and other components that connect to these ports. The box also breaks out some of the MSP432 Launchpad I/O pins for direct use, and very advanced students can even unscrew the plexiglass cover and use the MSP432's pins directly.

We look forward to seeing what students and teachers will do with this new hardware, and congratulate TI on embracing calculator-driven electronics education. If their experiences are anything like ours over the past two decades, there's a huge potential for students to get more interested in electrical engineering and programming, and we look forward to seeing how that evolves. Finally, as soon as we have our hands on a TI-Innovator ourselves, we're excited to bring you a hands-on review of the device.

More Information
TI Education's TI-Innovator Information Page

Yep, looks like Cemetech driving innovation since 1996.

In the future I'll get a CE; the possibilities are increasing gradually, and I can't wait to get my hands on C development so that I can port Python.

Then again, I wonder how much TI will decide to sell these kits for? It's hard to believe TI could sell this for something cheap enough to be put into classrooms, although they are the ones who make the SoCs.
oldmud0 wrote:
Yep, looks like Cemetech driving innovation since 1996.
Haha, thanks. I'm curious to try to (objectively) compare the power and ease-of-use of ArTICL and the TI-Innovator if and when I get my hands on one.

Quote:
In the future I'll get a CE; the possibilities are increasing gradually, and I can't wait to get my hands on C development so that I can port Python.

Then again, I wonder how much TI will decide to sell these kits for? It's hard to believe TI could sell this for something cheap enough to be put into classrooms, although they are the ones who make the SoCs.
An excellent question; I'll try to reach out and find out.
I'm curious about pricing as well, but more than that, since this device is "usb-over-serial" (can you explain what that means a tad more?), isn't it possible we could use any device with the innovater, not just the CE?
I'm most interested in the speaker inside. This could mean a way to make music for the CE. Smile I'm hoping its not terribly expensive.
despite how good this ''link-box'' looks, I still prefer controlling stuff through my calc's I/O port. I once hooked up my TI84+SE to a simple audio/light circuit built around an amplifier IC. I created a basic program that generated a real variable and loop-sent it indefinitely through the I/O port. I connected the alligator clips of a special 3.5mm PC interface cable to the input of the amplifier. The 3.5mm end was linked to the calc with an appropriate adapter. The whole setup flashed an LED and made popping sounds from the whistle chip. The circuit was assembled with my 9.5-year-old Elenco Snap Circuits set. The TI innovator is only necessary due to the CE not having an I/O port!
Zaalane wrote:
I'm most interested in the speaker inside. This could mean a way to make music for the CE. Smile I'm hoping its not terribly expensive.
That's exactly what it is; we actually tested this at T^3 with a program they provided. I too hope it's not expensive; I'm waiting to hear details.

Luxen wrote:
I'm curious about pricing as well, but more than that, since this device is "usb-over-serial" (can you explain what that means a tad more?), isn't it possible we could use any device with the innovater, not just the CE?
I might have been slightly asleep; that's supposed to be more like "Serial-over-USB", a la FTDI. Yes, it would definitely be possible to write drivers for other devices to use the Innovator, especially since it's just a Launchpad in a box.
Hmmm...

I wonder fi this can connect to wifi....

Calcnet, anyone?
caleb1997 wrote:
Hmmm...

I wonder fi this can connect to wifi....

Calcnet, anyone?
If you pop off the cover, you can attach a TI CC3100 WiFi booster pack, among others, so it would certainly be possible. Here's a sample project that uses the MSP432 + CC310:
https://www.hackster.io/adrianf/create-a-multi-tasking-iot-wi-fi-sensor-9d7fdf
This is a bit late, but how exactly did the music sound? Was it similar to how arduino produces beeps or something more complicated?
Zaalane wrote:
This is a bit late, but how exactly did the music sound? Was it similar to how arduino produces beeps or something more complicated?
Because the calculator can only send data to the Launchpad so fast (especially since all commands are plain-text, including ASCII-encoded numbers), it's a series of beeps. Someone writing clever assembly code could make it produce more complex music, for example by piping PCM-style audio as a bytestream to the Launchpad.
KermMartian wrote:
Because the calculator can only send data to the Launchpad so fast (especially since all commands are plain-text, including ASCII-encoded numbers), it's a series of beeps. Someone writing clever assembly code could make it produce more complex music, for example by piping PCM-style audio as a bytestream to the Launchpad.


I hope this will help us better understand the USB so something like that will be possible eventually Smile
Zaalane wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
Because the calculator can only send data to the Launchpad so fast (especially since all commands are plain-text, including ASCII-encoded numbers), it's a series of beeps. Someone writing clever assembly code could make it produce more complex music, for example by piping PCM-style audio as a bytestream to the Launchpad.


I hope this will help us better understand the USB so something like that will be possible eventually Smile
I absolutely do as well. in fact, it seems like there might already be some code in 5.1.5 that uses the USB port in interesting ways for USB-serial and USB HID, so I'm hoping we'll be able to learn from those implementations. If you (or anyone) happens to already have some information about USB, please feel free to append it to this thread: https://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12484
Currently trying to get the TI-Innovator to work with the TI-Nspire but it doesn't seem to work. Does anybody have any idea of how I can get it to work? Thanks.

jeffw wrote:
Currently trying to get the TI-Innovator to work with the TI-Nspire but it doesn't seem to work. Does anybody have any idea of how I can get it to work? Thanks.

You'll need the TI-Nspire OS 4.3, which TI will release soon.
Quick question: how did you get the TI-Innovator, is it from [a pilot] school?
Adriweb wrote:
jeffw wrote:
Currently trying to get the TI-Innovator to work with the TI-Nspire but it doesn't seem to work. Does anybody have any idea of how I can get it to work? Thanks.

You'll need the TI-Nspire OS 4.3, which TI will release soon.
Quick question: how did you get the TI-Innovator, is it from [a pilot] school?


Thanks. I am using it in a camp TI is offering in partnership with UT Dallas. I'm beyond the age of this (but close to it) so it's quite insulting the level of knowledge they present. However, it's cool technology Smile

They offer TI-84 Plus CEs on version 5.2.0.0031.

I guess since this is not released yet, anybody have any questions? I have five days to mess with it Smile

https://utdallas.app.box.com/s/peyjxitegb3p03atokrgy5k0j0er1dl9
I see ; I guess they'll upgrade some CE handhelds to 5.2 and Nspire to 4.3, then Smile

Have fun with the beta versions and the Innovator, even if indeed it might be a bit easy Razz (I see grade 8-10, on the PDF)
I don't really have specific questions as I have been able to play with the Innovator already, but maybe other people will.

BTW, on the Nspire, with even OS 4.2, some Lua scripts should be able to talk to the Innovator, IIRC (considering it's a Launchpad board inside, and some things have been tried successfully already). But I suppose the camp will show Basic things not Lua.
Does anyone know a price range for these? This way, I can start saving for one.


On the other hand, this makes no sense at all..

Texas Instruments wrote:
TI-Innovatorô I/O Module Pack

Required for Science Through Engineering Design activities, this pack contains a servo motor, vibration motor, light sensor and white LED modules.


Why a I/O module pack? We all know the CE doesn't have a I/O port... And unless I'm mistaken, neither does the Nspire. This makes no sense.



EDIT: Never mind. I think they meant the I/O pins on the Innovator, and not a I/O port. Sorry.
*bump* For the people who were interested in buying this, it looks like the Bach company is now selling it for $58.90. Of course, you might just want to buy a $12 Launchpad and flash it with the Innovator firmware. Wink

https://www.bachcompany.com/product.aspx?ProductID=594
Hi, I know this is an old topic, but I need help connecting my TI-84 Plus CE-T with the new version of MSP-EXP432P401R LaunchPad Rev 2.1 (RED)

I've downloaded the hub update to the LaunchPad


Got the two of them connected, using the USB unit-to-unit cable, a connector that allows data and power, and the Launchpad data cable.


When I launch the Hub app, it briefly shows Connected, then switches to Not connected.



None of the programs from the Manage menu are working. What am I doing wrong?

Thank you!
  
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