I recently got my hands on a TI-81 VSC with an untethered port. It is based on TI-82 hardware and has ROM V2.0V and the greyish LCD. Here's a few pictures of it:


The front, displaying ROM version.

The rear. Note the 6 digit serial number on a sticker covering much of the appendage.

Side view. VSC port notably protrudes from the rear.

Needed to get at the VSC board, so I removed the sticker using heat gun. Early example of TI using torx screws on calculators.

Separate EMF shield on the VSC board.

Rear of the VSC board as mounted on the calculator.

The VSC board itself. 2 main chips, 17(?) pin output, female pin sockets on the VSC board.

The VSC port.

Back lid of the VSC.

Back of the calculator. Regular back housing, just with holes drilled to accommodate the VSC.

Other side of the rear housing.

Interestingly, the serial number is stuck on the inner foil shield. Manufactured Aug 1993.

Internal boards. Just like the 82, but without link parts.

Main board chips.

LCD board. Foam strip not on the rear case, but mounted here instead.

The pins connecting mainboard to VSC protrude this much. Normal case will not fit these pins.

Note that during reassembly, you must mount the VSC board after snapping on the main rear housing to ensure alignment. Then put on the VSC housing. If you assemble the rear with vsc then put the two halves together, there will be a slight gap between the pins on the main board and VSC.
Unfortunately, I do not have any VSC compatible hardware to try out the calculator's special abilities. Maybe I'll get a used TI-presenter when the time comes.
And the full album in glorious iPhone SE quality: https://imgur.com/a/e6vlN42
Very impressive teardown, quite interesting to see the VSC board.

I wonder if anyone on the community has any VSC gear they could provide?
Indeed, great teardown of that uncommon model Smile

Quote:
I wonder if anyone on the community has any VSC gear they could provide?

Sure Smile
Here are teardowns of:
* a 73 VSC prototype with a patch on the PCB: https://tiplanet.org/forum/gallery/album.php?album_id=108 ;
* a 85 VSC: https://tiplanet.org/forum/gallery/album.php?album_id=131 ;
* a TI-Presenter: https://tiplanet.org/forum/gallery/album.php?album_id=258 .

The TI-Planet gallery also shows the connector side of a 92+ VSC and a V200 VSC ( https://tiplanet.org/forum/gallery/image_page.php?album_id=65&image_id=1078 ), and a picture of the 89T Presentation Link Adapter as part of a news item showing the USB descriptors: https://ti-pla.net/t22795

About the 73 VSC: a bit less than a year after becoming the libti*/gfm/tilp maintainer, among the collection of 15 calculators I picked up from Romain Liévin was the 73 VSC prototype given by TI to him for developing libti*/gfm/tilp when he visited the TI Education HQ in Dallas. The "Engineering sample" sticker and a completely unmarked back cover, without any form of serial number or date code, was a strong hint about the fact that this item could be a special one.
critor wanted to tear it down and post the pictures, so I exchanged it with his standard 73 Explorer, either when we met at the TI office in Paris in 2011, or later through mail. In 2012, he opened it, took pictures and posted them.
Very interesting calculator! It's a little bit hard to tell, but if that label says the HW-rev is C, I think that's the first one we've spotted!
EDIT: Upon closer inspection, it seems the revision is E, not C.
IRC wrote:
[09:48] <notipa> 'VB' is poorly understood
[09:48] <notipa> i wonder if it means "Viewscreen Base" because VB has been seen on a non-VSC 81 as well
[09:49] <notipa> and a converted unit would get a 5 digit Lubbock serial or a VS-prefix Inventec serial
[09:49] <notipa> with the original serial peeled off the unit and put on the RF shield


Here's a VB prefix on a non-VSC unit that I really, really should have bought (the significance wasn't understood at the time).


On an unrelated note: we don't know of any 'C', and the production timeframe (assuming a linear progression of hardware revisions) would be a few days at most. We've seen 'B' 0493s (ROM 1.8K, blue-on-green LCD) with dark blue housings during the transition to the redesign seen in 'D' and later (ROM V2.00).
CVSoft wrote:
On an unrelated note: we don't know of any 'C', and the production timeframe (assuming a linear progression of hardware revisions) would be a few days at most. We've seen 'B' 0493s (ROM 1.8K, blue-on-green LCD) with dark blue housings during the transition to the redesign seen in 'D' and later (ROM V2.00).


Fascinating. With all this time in quarantine, I'm thinking about combing through ebay for revision C once or twice a week. Any telltale signs I should be looking for?
Pi Time wrote:
CVSoft wrote:
On an unrelated note: we don't know of any 'C', and the production timeframe (assuming a linear progression of hardware revisions) would be a few days at most. We've seen 'B' 0493s (ROM 1.8K, blue-on-green LCD) with dark blue housings during the transition to the redesign seen in 'D' and later (ROM V2.00).


Fascinating. With all this time in quarantine, I'm thinking about combing through ebay for revision C once or twice a week. Any telltale signs I should be looking for?

I comb through ebay for all sorts of things, including TI-81s every day and haven't spotted a single one. I guess if it did exist, we would expect a golden faceplate name on the left with a thin ON button notch. The serial number would begin with 04.
  
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