It looks like they are simply connecting to test points on the PCB that correspond to the relevant rows/colums for the keypad matrix - basically piggybacking the existing keypad.
I wonder if they have any plans available?
Do you have documentation on this? I had a very old project of mine that was halted mostly because I couldn't parse the keypad matrix on the CE.
As far as this keyboard goes, I love the idea of a math-oriented full keyboard, but I feel like hooking it up to a TI-84 sort of defeats it. It is very cool, though. The TI-84 is the way that it is, keyboard included, because it's inherently meant to be portable and durable. If you're going to make a full math keyboard anyway, I think I'd also want to slough off the restrictions of using a TI calculator. I would actually spend loads of money on a simple USB keyboard that enlarges the TI-84 layout to the scale of a normal keyboard, such that I can plug it into my PC and use it in other programs that are stunted by normal math entry like the Nspire student software, MATLAB, and WolframAlpha.
Next time I have disposable income to spend on my computer I'm definitely going to build a custom math keyboard. Probably in the form of a ortho-linear standard PCB turned sideways.
I am thinking about selling V2 fully assembled, but the price would match. (Rough estimate would be $275 for a felly assembled KE V2, calculator included). What are your thoughts about that?
A kit would be much more preferable for me. I would like to use my own switches and calculator and $275 would be a little too much for me.
Yea, I agree, I think it would be nice to also offer just a kit by itself so people that like to tinker with stuff have the opportunity to make it themselves but in a more controlled environment. I personally really like doing these kinds of things but get kind of spooked when just doing it without a guide. I think I would still buy the fully assembled KE V2 if you only sell it in that form, but it would be nice to have the option to do it ourselves.
If it is possible to make a kit, what would be rough estimate for how much it would be? If you just do the fully assembled kit for V2, what would be included in it?
I was just talking about wanting to build an 83+ keyboard in a mechanical keyboard group and someone mentioned this. I was thinking more along the lines of a keyboard i can plug into the computer to make debugging asm programs easier on TilEm2 (i was thinking of using chocs though) but this looks so beautiful, if you do another round definitely count me in!
Thank you for the checkup, TLM. And thank you all for the continued support and patience with this project. I have been using my copy of this kit for a while now, and while I don't do much math these days, it has been an amazing machine to use, especially for playing games. I added a large 2200mAh battery, so even with the LED's on, the battery life is pretty splendid.
It has been a while since my last update. My hand is on the mend, and I just got the clear from my doctor to stop using my brace. With this newfound freedom, I spent 5 hours this past Saturday making the keycaps. Streaming the process on the #hcwp channel on Discord, I completed 96 of the 204 keycaps for the 4 kits. This weekend, I will do another 5-6 hour session and finish the rest of the caps. Thank you all who hopped on the stream and chatted for a while, it was a lot of fun!
The cases, screen bezels, and all other 3D-printed parts have been printed. There is a little post-processing to do, which should not be difficult to manage in the afternoons this week.
All-in-all, the shipping-out date for these kits is forecasted to be April 15th. I will contact the receivers of these 4 kits via Discord PM in the coming week.
Speaking of Discord PM's, I have been talking to a few people from the custom mechanical keyboard community to help realize the idea of a second run of these kits using manufactured parts. This will involve some design changes, which should also add some of the requested features. Details are still in the works, and I am still far from a finalized design for this "Version 2.0".
If you know anything about DFM, manufacturers to reach out to, or general tips for cut+bent sheet metal and multi-color dye-sub keycaps, please feel free to reach out. I am currently talking to a Chinese keyboard part manufacturer IDOBAO about running a set of keycaps, but I have a feeling it might be a bit expensive.
tl;dr: Thanks for patience, hand is getting better. Finishing the first 4 kits, shipping out on April 15. Currently in talks with manufacturers to do a larger second run.
wow, thanks for the update, it sounds like you're going to be keeping busy with this for a while, I was just wondering if you plan on continuing to update this thread or if there is somewhere else that we can get updates on this project? I'd love to hear more about progress and like what is going on.
I will keep this thread updated for these 4 kits, but a lot of the future discussion about the TI-84 KE will happen on my Discord, as the mechanical keyboard community is particularly fond of the project and there is interest in a round-2. https://discord.gg/mrXDGJdQBv
For those of you that have reserved one of these first 4 kits, I will contact you shortly
Wow I really made an account on this website just for this. Anyways, I noticed you said that you were selling kits on your website, so I went to the website in your bio and couldn't find any mention of this calculator project. I managed to pick up a TI-84 Plus CE for pretty cheap recently and would love to have this as a fun little project. Thanks for all your great work! (I'm not sure if I used the reply feature here correctly, I'm too young for this kinda forum 😆)
Thank you all for the feedback!
I understand that quite a few of you made an account here just for this thread. I highly encourage all of you to explore the site, dig your calculators out from the back of your desk drawers, and try some programing! There are plenty of guides on this site and others, and we Cemetechians are always available in the chat (left side of the website, or on Discord and IRC) to help out, answer questions, and give tips and tricks. Welcome to Cemetech!
Small update: I had my splint and stitches removed, so I am back into the production of the Version 1 kits. I'll post more pictures and updates and things progress. Mainly need to 3D print parts and do some pre-wiring. I sure hope you like the kits, and I'll make a comprehensive how-to guide, and will obviously be available via chat to help with assembly.
Version 2 development is underway! Here are some features that will be added:
I will upload all of the files/CAD/software to my website (not sure if uploading non-programs to the Archive here is okay?), and will attempt to have Version 2 be able to be ordered through an online store (I have a friend that hosts their own commerce site, I will try asking them to add the KE V2 to their listings). I am thinking about selling V2 fully assembled, but the price would match. (Rough estimate would be $275 for a felly assembled KE V2, calculator included). What are your thoughts about that?
I am toying with the idea of making an Nspire CX II CAS Keyboard Edition, (TI Nspire KE CAS?), but I have a feeling boone would buy it (on top of being much more difficult to make), so it would just be a project for myself.
I don't currently have any more kits to sell, but keep an eye out for version 2. There will be more features. I am opening version 2 up to the mechanical keyboard community, which is why its moved to Discord.
I got my kit a few days ago and spent the last two days building it. It went pretty smoothly and I had a lot of fun assembling it! I love the final design, even my friends that aren't into calculators admitted it looked pretty cool.
You did a great job designing it NoahK, I won't be able to afford the V2 but I'm really looking forward to what you come up with!
A few interesting tidbits, remaining issues, one of them a question for NoahK:
My older (2016, OS 5.2-loaded) donor calculator had two testpoints that were in different locations than the model in the instructions. Thankfully, with the inclusion of the keypad PCB photograph with row/column labels, I was able to track down the different locations of the requisite test points: B (to the right of A, under [WINDOW]), and H (to the right of B, under [ZOOM]).
When I finished initial soldering of the keyboard rows/columns, it seemed like a key was stuck, and comparing rows and columns, I discovered that C7 appeared to be stuck. In trying to macro-photograph the 7 test point, I accidentally spotted a tiny fleck of rogue solder bridging the contacts of the right arrow key. Melting and solder-sucking that fixed things.
I can only toggle the keyboard backlights on with the backlight button: pressing it again doesn't toggle it off. Indeed, even shorting the exposed "2" and "4" pins on the Adafruit PCB doesn't turn it off. However, shorting the exposed "IN" and "OFF" contacts does, per the description. How can I repair this?
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