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Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Posted by Nick on 3 September 2000, 00:55 GMT

The inimitable Sami Khawam ventured into the crazy, strange world that is IRC today to inform me of the release of new hardware schematics on his web site.

The PICLink is a homebrew graphlink that is fully compatible with the TI-GRAPH LINK software used with normal graphlinks. It includes an updated hardware layout and the software you have to install on the chip. This looks like a really great thing. If you're too cheap to buy a black graphlink for $18 (or a real graphlink for $60) from your local electronics or office supply store, just build one for about $20!

On another unrelated note, has anyone had experiences with their old gray graphlinks where the gold on the calculator end would gradually wear off and it wouldn't be able to conduct an electrical current? I do believe that's happened with mine, but I can gold-plate it at college in a chem lab or something. Hopefully. :)

The IR Link does exactly what its title implies: it's a full-fledged infrared link for any TI calculator. It works with all models (yay!) so there's no worries for any users who were afraid they would be left out. The design has been completely redone from the ground up, and the PCB was reconfigured. Yay! :)

Sami also hinted to me about the possibility of a memory expander that uses Sony PlayStation memory cards in the future. That would own. I wanna see a Clik! drive for the TI, too. (smile)


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
robert soren
(Web Page)

I think it would be kewl to have a clik! drive for my calc or sometype of a drive. I got My graphlink for only $15.

     4 September 2000, 02:16 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)


now THIS is something i'd actually BUY if it was being manufactured, but it seems i'll have to make one myself if it comes to that...

     4 September 2000, 02:35 GMT

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)

this is a little off-topic, but it has to do with linking...

how do i use that Telnet program? i mean, how do i connect it to the phone line? where can i find more info on building calc-to-phone adapter things?!

     4 September 2000, 02:39 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
DWedit  Account Info
(Web Page)

The phone to calc thingy is a gray graphlink cable connected to a modem, i think.

     4 September 2000, 05:26 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Kerey Roper  Account Info
(Web Page)

You also need a null modem cable/adapter. If anyone could tell me what pins go where in a null modem cable, I would be very grateful. I have quite a few 25-pin serial cables that I never use and would like to make one a null modem cable.

     4 September 2000, 05:57 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Josh Storz  Account Info

heheh, i actually got this thing to work awhile back... uh, here's what i did. i took the gray graphlink, put it between the calc and a male-male 25-pin serial adapter. within that adapter i removed pin 20 so that the calc wouldn't drain the dtr on the modem and make it think it wasn't connected. on the other side of the adapter i hotwired pins 4 (i forget whether it was 4 or not... find any pin that has power on all the time) and 20 to fake a dtr signal from the computer. the i took a null modem cable that had 25 pin on one end and 9 on the other (null modem cable is just a serial cable with the send/receive wires flipped on one end)... plugged the 25 pin side into the adapter and the 9 pin into the modem. figured out the authentication string and everything and got my email! only problem is its hard to type fast on the calc keyboard but its still fun. if you need any more help just email me... uhh, forgot to change my email... should be josh@pacificds.net
Hope it helps!

     4 September 2000, 18:44 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Alan Rudolph  Account Info
(Web Page)

Calc <--> grey link (no adaptor) <--> null modem adaptor <--> male gender changer <--> modem <--> phone line

A parallel or serial cable will cause this not to work- you must get the gender changer (it sucks- at Radio Shack, the gender changer and the null modem adaptor cost $6 each). I think it has to do with impedance.

     8 September 2000, 00:21 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Josh Storz  Account Info

maybe that'll work for your modem, but mine wouldn't establish a connection until i had tricked it into thinking it was connected to a computer but making the dtr pin always on. that's where the hotwiring comes in :)

     12 September 2000, 23:47 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link

you need a GRAY GRAPHLINK or a PICLINK. The black one will not cut it. Plus, you can use a standard modem that is external. Old external modems use serial ports to connect. Once you have connected a modem to your graphlink and graphlink to calc, you need to connect a phone line to the modem. That is how it works, i think...

     4 September 2000, 17:21 GMT

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Josh Storz  Account Info

hey guys... about 1/2 year ago i actually built two of the ir links... sami was a big help, even sent me some parts (when i paid him of course) and offered general help. while the irlinks are very very neat they're not near fast or powerful enough. i only used 1 ir led and the range wasn't that great... i couldn't even get it to work with my television. i was able to play tetris and chat but for file transfer they're way toooo slow... but for the price its a great hobby. hopefully he'll be able to come out with a faster, longer range device with some software HE wrote to go with it.

     4 September 2000, 18:52 GMT

Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Knight/Rocket  Account Info

Gold plating the ends of the link would work very well, IF you remember to remove the gold from the places where the black bands were visible before.
I know- we gold plated stuff in chem lab and my newly gold-plated 83+ link actually transfers programs faster now than it did when it was new! I can't say why, I just know it does!

     8 September 2000, 04:20 GMT

Re: Re: Sami Khawam's Hardware: PICLink, IR Link
Cheesy Account Info
(Web Page)

How ironic...
Today in Chem we gold plated pennies...too bad i didn't read this article yesterday!!!

     13 October 2000, 08:46 GMT

Building Gray Graphlink Cable

I bought a black Graphlink cable for my TI-85, only to find out that I need the gray cable because my computer is an ancient 486 running Windows 3.1. Any ideas on how to build a gray cable (ie. which pins to what part of the adapter)?

     17 April 2001, 22:37 GMT
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