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Messages - tangrs

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TI-Nspire / TI Nspire serial adapter design files
« on: March 19, 2022, 09:34:29 am »
Hello all,

I've received numerous emails asking for the design files for my TI Nspire serial adapter design from 2014, ever since I stopped selling them.

Recently, I recovered the long-lost design files. The design is, uh, not my finest piece of work, but I've attached the files anyway :)

They're all creative commons licensed, so feel free to distribute, or build on top of it.


TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: July 28, 2015, 11:02:19 pm »
Hello, long time lurker, first time poster here. I have several problems with my TI-Nspire CX running OS When I run linuxloader2, it allocates a maximum of ~31mb RAM (screenshot A), but every video I've watched showcasing Linux on the Ti-Nspire CX shows linuxloader2 allocating ~43mb RAM.

Yeah, that is rather strange. Could be just that OS 3.6 takes up more RAM.

This keeps me from using the xconfig initrd images.

If I remember right, the xconfig images are too large to be loaded onto the calculator. They load fine but leave too little memory left for Linux to use and decompress the image. You'll most likely need to load this onto a USB drive to get it to boot.

Another problem is that whenever I try to use an initrd larger than 4mb, despite what the "Improvements over old one" section of the LL2 readme says (Being able to load ramdisks and kernels larger than 4MB (up to ~40MB on the CX), I get a kernel panic.

Is this the xconfig image you're referring to here? In practice, you can only really load initrd images that are ~40% the size of total available RAM. This is because Linux needs memory to function and also needs additional large amounts of memory to store the decompressed initrd image.

When I try to use the old kernel with a ramdisk larger than 4mb or a flash drive, I get a crptic kernel panic screen (screenshot B).

That's strange. Could be a missing filesystem driver. What did you format the flash drive with? See above for ramdisks.

When I try to use the new kernel with a ramdisk larger than 4mb, I get a less cryptic panic screen (screenshot C) which doesn't make any sense since LL2 is supposed to support ramdisks larger than 4mb. And finally, when I use a flash drive to boot into Debian Jessie (armel), which only works with the new kernel, I can do most everyday tasks, but I can't properly reboot the system and have to reset (screenshot D). Thanks in advance!

Could be that Debian just takes a while to shut down. If you force a reboot by running
Code: [Select]
reboot -f does it reboot instantly?

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: June 24, 2015, 06:25:01 am »
Updated at 7th Feb 2013

Can this run Android?

Theoretically, yes but it's too much work for it to be worth it.


My my! Touche!

Congratulations! That is absolutely amazing!

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: May 30, 2015, 06:51:52 am »
Built 4.1-rc1 with config from

It boots but the problem remains: No device in sight on either dmesg nor lsusb  ???

tangrs, would you be so kind and post the .config you used? :) Just would like to rule out that there's something misconfigured in Vogtinators one

You need to enable a few drivers to get USB fully working. I believe if any of those are missing, the USB driver won't load successfully.

  • Zevio GPIO driver - CONFIG_GPIO_ZEVIO
  • USB NOP transceiver - CONFIG_NOP_USB_XCEIV
  • Fixed voltage regulator driver - CONFIG_REGULATOR_FIXED_VOLTAGE

I will update the Hackspire wiki accordingly

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: April 08, 2015, 10:33:32 am »
I built a kernel using the fairly old config and modified it a bit so it should work with systemd. Highly untested, might work just fine or ignite your calc.
Well, it bootet without any smoke or flames :D Actually without any issues at all

uname -a says 4.0.0-rc6, but tangrs states that his code will land in 4.1-rc1 (accordingly I couldn't get any usb action either). But it's nice to see the calculator running the newest kernel of all my linux devices (plenty)   :3

I'm not sure where tangrs' code is right now, but I guess in linux-next. Not certain how adventureous it is to build from that though

Yeah, it's sitting around in linux-next at the moment. It will (hopefully) get merged when the next merge window opens.

You can download the patches and apply them manually to your tree. It should apply cleanly to the 3.9 or 4.0rc kernel tree.

Patch #1
Patch #2
Patch #3

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: March 22, 2015, 05:32:38 am »
Today is a good day :D

The USB OTG and seamless switching support patch has been accepted and will be merged into the next Linux version.

Does this mean USB will work with the latest kernel?

Yep, it should work out of the box in the next major release 4.1-rc1 onwards.

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: March 20, 2015, 01:18:03 am »
Today is a good day :D

The USB OTG and seamless switching support patch has been accepted and will be merged into the next Linux version.

TI-Nspire / Re: nspire Linux Questions
« on: February 25, 2015, 10:59:51 pm »
I thought it'd be cool if someone took one of these: and put a tiny USB hub in it with a built in flash drive for linux

I think that's what floris497 was suggesting. I'll look into designing one.

TI-Nspire / Re: nspire Linux Questions
« on: February 23, 2015, 08:06:19 pm »
i wanted to make a little top mounted module,
witch includes 1 micro-SD card slot and 3 usb ports, and a power inlet, for the hub and if possible to charge the calc.

Sounds very interesting :)

I wonder if you would mind if I stole your idea and have a crack at it myself as well?

TI-Nspire / Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« on: January 20, 2015, 04:49:32 am »
They are indeed FTDI chips and I'm aware of the bricking issue. That's why I went out of my way to ensure I bought from reputable companies like Element14 and RS-Online.

TI-Nspire / Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« on: January 19, 2015, 05:15:44 am »
Update: I'm now accepting Bitcoins!

TI-Nspire / Re: Calling all Linux Kernel developers!
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:07:24 am »
Happy new year to everyone :)

I've gotten back into the TI-Nspire scene after a long year of uni and dealing with personal stuff. Currently working on the USB driver and almost getting seamless switching between USB host and gadget working :3

Why not ask on one of the kernel mailing lists?
You can, if you want to :P

I know nothing about kernel dev, either you or tangrs (where is he?) should ask.

Here :)

You could get Debian or any Linux distro that supports ARM to work on it. Personally, I've succeeded with Debian but I believe Arch Linux should be possible too. Rasbian wouldn't make sense since the TI-Nspire doesn't have hard float support.

TI-Nspire / Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« on: December 30, 2014, 10:59:51 pm »
Some good news and some bad news:

Good news is I finally got 4 serial boards soldered and tested today. You can order one at my website. It'll take a while for me to process and 3D print the enclosures so expect ~1 week processing time :)

The bad news is that the order for one of the crucial parts has only been partially fulfilled (hence why I could only make 4 this time) - the rest is on back order with an unknown ETA. I have ordered equivalent replacement parts which should be coming in much sooner.

So, if you missed out on this round, don't worry, as soon as the replacement parts arrive, I can make the remaining 6 as originally planned. If you miss round 2, fret not! Depending on demand, I may produce more stock. Otherwise, stay tuned for version 2!

In other news, I am still currently reverse engineering how the dock connector does USB host and plan to incorporate it into the next design as soon as I figure it out. I'm also planning on doing a dumb dock breakout board.

Finally, to everyone: thanks for the support! Most of the proceeds will go towards future TI-Nspire reverse engineering work and designing/manufacturing a version 2 of the serial breakout :)

Have a happy new year!

TI-Nspire / [Help needed!] Looking for some hardware
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:01:04 am »
Hi everyone!

I am looking for some hardware so I can do some reverse engineering. I am wondering if the members of Omnimaga could help me out.

As you know, I am developing serial breakout boards and one of the requests I got was to add a USB host plug header. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it's straightforward to implement and I'll need to do a little hardware reverse engineering to ascertain some component values.

In other words, I'm looking to borrow a lab cradle if anyone has one that they can lend me for a bit so I can figure all this stuff out.

The second piece of hardware I'm looking for is a broken TI-Nspire classic calculator/motherboard.

I am looking to finally work out the mystery of the NAND controller on classic TI-Nspire (i.e. clickpad and touchpads/non-cx) motherboards. I was hoping to find some test points where I can attach a logic analyser and compare the output with the commands I am sending to the controller. Unfortunately the NAND chip is BGA package which means I can't get under the chip to see where the traces lead to. I'll need a sacrificial motherboard where I can desolder and potentially rip the chip off the motherboard to see where the traces run to.

It does seem like a shame to ruin a perfectly good calculator for this purpose. If anyone has a broken classic TI-Nspire or the half of the motherboard with the NAND chip on it (marked with NAND256), I'd really love it if you could send it over for me.

In both cases, I'd be happy to pay for postage if you would be kind enough to send it to me.

Thanks in advance guys!

TI-Nspire / Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:40:31 am »
Hmm... $32 AUD... isn't this like $0.00 USD?? O.O

It actually is :(

Just kidding, I really like how this looks like. It's very professional. I just hope TI won't be d***ish enough to slightly modify the Nspire case to prevent those boards from fitting in or outright remove the dock connector like on Chinese models. On the other hand, the board needs to not be too loose, else there are risks of accidentally touching other pins upon connecting.

Yeah, I designed it to be tight fitting so it should be okay on that front.

As to the risks of TI messing with us, I don't think it will be a huge problem. I doubt TI will modify the case to prevent this board from fitting in, lest they scrap compatibility with their lab cradle. In any case, I will be providing full CAD files for the clamp so we could just as easily adjust it.

I should try to get one at one point. Good luck making them. :D

Cheers (Y)

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