Author Topic: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards  (Read 13594 times)

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Offline tangrs

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TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« on: November 22, 2014, 06:35:06 am »
Hey guys, it's tangrs.

Just want to announce something I've been working on over the past few weeks. It's a USB serial adapter that plugs right into the TI-Nspire dock connector.











The one shown in the pictures above is a very early prototype. The PCB is a hacked up home-made one (holy crap, DIY reflow soldering is a pain in the ass without solder mask) and the 3D printed bracket that goes with it is still in its early designs. The prototype works though :) I've already ordered some professionally made PCBs for the connector part.


So, my question to all of you guys, how many would be interested in buying one of these once I've got a decent design up and running? I'm deciding whether to mass produce a small batch of these once I'm finished with the design :)



Offline Vogtinator

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 07:41:37 am »
Hi, nice to see you here again :D
I'd definitely order one.

Is is possible to connect the rest of the dock connector pins to some 0.1 inch headers? That could be very useful for some experiments with SDIO, SPI and such.
Some easily accessable traces to solder on would be nice, too.


Offline Hooloovoo

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 05:02:21 pm »
Yes, I'd get one! You should also attach the power pins on the nspire to the power pins of the USB so you don't have to plug in the nspire while working on it. Will it be compatible with the b/w models?
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Offline Keoni29

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 05:08:03 pm »
This looks really nice. Did you consider selling these on tindie?
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Offline Adriweb

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 05:11:57 pm »
Looks nice, I may buy one too :)
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Offline bb010g

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 06:01:32 pm »
What's the benefit to having another USB port through serial?
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Offline Vogtinator

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 06:06:16 pm »
Why "another"? Serial is only accessible via the dock connector.

Offline bb010g

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 06:08:42 pm »
Why "another"? Serial is only accessible via the dock connector.
So it's a nice way to use serial via USB?
Arch Linux user
Haskell newbie | Warming up to Lua | Being dragged into C++
Calculators: HP 35s, Casio Prizm, TI-Nspire CX CAS, HP-28s, HP Prime, Mathematica 9 (if that counts)
π: 3.14...; l: 108; i: 105; e: 101; l+i+e: 314
THE CAKE IS A LIE IS A PIE

Offline pimathbrainiac

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 06:26:23 pm »
I need to show epic7 this because his normal charging port is broken.
* pimathbrainiac mutters something about wanting his old buddy back.
I am Bach.

Offline Adriweb

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 07:09:15 pm »
note : it would have been nice too to have the 2nd USB (the dock one) made available as well through this interface.
Although that may be more difficult.

(documented here : http://hackspire.unsads.com/wiki/index.php/Hardware#Connector_J01_-_Dock_connector )
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Offline Hooloovoo

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 07:10:55 pm »
It would also be good to figure out how that dock works because I don't think anyone figured it out yet. Also could you make this like a slide case which fits over the calc? that way it would be easy to carry with the calc.
"My world is Black & White. But if I blink fast enough, I see it in Grayscale." -tr1p1ea
Spoiler For some of the calcs I own:



(actually I have quite a few more than this, but I don't feel like making bars for them all.)

Offline tangrs

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 06:30:19 am »
Just to clear up some misunderstandings, the dock connector has serial UART pins that can be used to get diagnostic information during boot up, in Ndless programs and Linux boot logs. This is a connector that slides into the dock connector and connects the pins to a USB-to-serial converter chip. I'm hoping it will be a replacement for some of the (admittedly very creative) home made dock connectors I've seen floating around.

From some of the feedback, I'll be also adding a possibility to break out the pads to normal header pins for GPIO hacking and adding a USB port for the second USB host pins too - though I may have to design these separately. However, I am not familiar with the possibility of powering the Nspire via the dock connector though. I will have to look in the hackspire documentation to see if this is a possibility.

The design is not finalised yet. I am trying to figure out a good way to clip these onto the calculator while also being compatible with all models.

Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2014, 07:35:48 am »
This is the holy grail of Nspire dev. O.O Do want.
* Streetwalrus drools

And yes, the Nspire can charge via the dock as shown by the mutli calc docking station. I have no idea how it works though.
send it

Offline gudenau

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 05:05:40 pm »
I would like one of these! How much would it cost?

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: TI-Nspire USB serial breakout boards
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2014, 09:04:50 pm »
Wow that looks even nicer than the previous one now. I am curious about how much this would cost?

Also make sure to keep this maintained, because we never know if TI might perform slight changes on Nspire cases to make sure that this connector no longer fits. :P
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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