Author Topic: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators  (Read 3332 times)

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Offline KermMartian

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A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators
« on: May 11, 2014, 12:31:52 pm »
Texas Instruments' Silverlink is a product to connect calculators without USB ports (namely everything except the TI-84 Plus series and the TI-89 Titanium) to computers' USB ports to transfer files, screenshots, and operating systems. The Silverlink was first introduced about fifteen years ago, and the early models are already starting to show their age. A number of Silverlinks, including my own, have failed over time, and we anticipate that the rest will gradually lose their firmwares (with no way of repairing them) in the next decade or two. To fill this gap, ideas for a community-coded Silverlink clone have been kicking around for several years. Tim "geekboy1011" Keller has taken the initiative in creating Silverlink clone software for the Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) microcontroller development board.

Tim started from my Arduino to TI calculator linking routines, which he ported from Arduino "C" to bare-AVR C. He was able to deduce the file transfer protocols from a combination of USB sniffing, the venerable TI Link Protocol & File Format Guide, and occasional sanity-checking against the TILP repository. Tim is using the LUFA library for AVRs to handle USB; the flexibility of the library lets his Silverlink clone appear to be an original Silverlink to the host computer, and thus requires no new drivers. Since it appears to be a regular Silverlink to computer-side software, Tim's clone works with both TI-Connect and TiLP, the two popular software options for linking TI calculators and computers.

We look forward to Tim's continuing work on this project, and hope this and other projects will help retired calculators to remain useable and useful for many years to come. You can find more information about this project as well as an ongoing project log in the topic linked below.

More Information
SilverLink clone information and progress log: Cemetech, Omnimaga.
Cemetech source article: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators

« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 04:33:08 pm by KermMartian »



Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2014, 05:21:43 pm »
I saw this on IRC a while ago and unfortunately couldn't figure out what it does, since I am not tech-savy when it comes to electronics. However, this is a great initiative, since support for old link cables is dwindling. I myself have a TI-83+ I still use sometimes, so I would hate no longer having a way to send files to it in the future. Let alone my TI-82, 85, 92 and CFX-9850G, which use serial cables.
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Offline Geekboy1011

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Re: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 11:04:12 pm »
It is an arduino hooked up to the I/O port on my calculator. The arduino is hooked up to my pc with Ti's Silverlink Cable driver and TiLP is sending my calculator cadan. :D

Offline Eeems

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Re: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 12:32:07 am »
Very nice. I should see about getting myself an arduino.
/e

Offline Geekboy1011

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Re: A Silverlink Clone to Rescue Pre-USB Calculators
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 12:44:30 pm »
might be a cool idea though idk if you will have the time/patience to actually work with it. Have you ever worked with hardware in this sense before?