Author Topic: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?  (Read 3201 times)

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Offline OrestesGaolin

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Hi, would it be possible to connect my old TI-86 to PC via an ordinary mini jack - USB cable or would it destroy my calculator? I live in Poland and it's impossible to get the original TI link cable here and the shipping from UK or USA almost doubles the price of the item.

The thing I'm talking about looks like this.

Offline Happybobjr

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 02:38:38 pm »
I would hazard a guess that it would not work.  Download TiConnect to see if there are any options that look like it might fit.

I am 98% sure it will not harm your calculator what-so-ever, so feel free to try.
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Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 05:17:48 pm »
It don't think it will harm your calculator. If anything it just won't work. It's similar in concept to the silver link, but i don't know what kind of internal differences there might be between the cables. I'd guess that it probably won't work. *Edit* You said TI-86? I don't think TI connect even supports that. You'd have to find linking software that works for the TI-86 as well. I'd suggest seeing if TILP (third party linking software) supports the TI-86. You'd still most likely have a cable issue though.

*Edit2* Ok, Ti connect does still support the TI-86, though I know I've had issues with getting some files to transfer, even with a proper cable. Not that the cable won't recognize them, but some files get flagged as invalid file types for some reason (last time I tried this).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2015, 05:22:41 pm by Art_of_camelot »

Offline Sorunome

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2015, 08:56:13 am »
The TI's socket uses only three poles while that cable uses four.
Also you'd somehow need to make sure that the grounds are wired up correctly and write your own drivers, I guess with USBs DATA+ and DATA- you could, in theory, create your own silverlink.

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Offline OrestesGaolin

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 04:16:46 pm »
Grounds and voltage are the things I'm most worried about - I couldn't find any data for TI-86. Summing up - no one knows whether it would work. It could but most probably with great effort of work.

Offline OrestesGaolin

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 12:06:00 pm »
OK, now i see it is almost impossible to connect TI-86 via the solution I thought of. But I have a new idea - would it be possible to connect minijack-minijack cable with standard jack adapter to my PC and somehow simulate a behaviour of second TI?

Offline Sorunome

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 02:46:27 pm »
No. Because the ports on the computer are either only output or only input, not both directions. You'd have to split the correct stuff up to the mic in and audio out, and then you'd need to prevent the default audio drivers and write your own (which would be a mess)

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Offline utz

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 08:40:34 pm »
Would it not be possible to convert vars to a wavefile and send that? It'd be somewhat dodgy of course, since you can't receive ACK commands like that, but then again you can predict with reasonable accuracy when they will occur. Correct me if I'm wrong though, I really don't know much about TI's link protocol.

@OrestesGaolin, the best option for you would probably be to buy a cable from German ebay, shipping costs should be reasonable. Or find an old PC and build yourself a serial or parallel cable.

Offline Sorunome

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 02:29:08 am »
My guess is that sending a file is more a communication between the client and the host, rather than the host just streaming it.

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Offline utz

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Re: Is it possible to connect TI-86 to PC with an ordinary mini jack cable?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 11:14:53 am »
Yes, it certainly is. As far as I understand, it basically works like this: Host sends a command, telling the client to get ready to receive a packet. Client ACKnowledges, and starts listening, or sends back an error code. Host sends 128 byte package. Client acknowledges it has received it, or reports read error. Rinse and repeat.

So, assuming we can predict when the ACK command is sent, we can stream nevertheless - if there was an error, then the calc will say so (on the display) and ignore the incoming bytes. It would be far from ideal, but good enough as a fallback method I guess.