Old, Old News
Old, Old Info
Old, Old Updates
Old, Old Items
Thursday. 1/18/99: The Richfiles Robotics and TI web page Version 4.0!!!
The Xoom site has become the official Richfiles web page, and has recieved major updates, and will continue to recieve major updates. EVERY single page will have functionality changes and updates. The link tables are all being redone (the ones on the bottom of the page will be done last). All, in all, the Richfiles version 4.0 has arrived, and like a long convoy, is still ariving, and still ariving, and will still be ariving all week! Hehe! ( :
Thursday. 1/18/99: Xoom site updates! Walker 3M and MECI IV M pages updated!
The Xoom site has new web page updates! The brand new Walker 3M and the upgraded MECI IV M have been included!!! The 3M page includes basic info and a nice image of it, and the MECI IV M page has both old and new images of the walker. Best of all, is the link to a page with images of how MECI IV M can get up after falling over! More updates will come soon!!!
Thursday. 1/18/99: Xoom mirror up! may rebuild page there!
Well, I registered a new Xoom web site, and intend to build a new and updated page there. I'll be fully separating the TI and Robotics sections. The page has always supported both frames and no frames viewing, but I'm going to make it a little easier to work with. I may also redo the text and graphics in the old TI section and make a "useful" and a "geek" section. The "geek" section will contain the obsolete stuff for archival purposes only. The "useful" section will contain the Processor acceleration and links to other memory and backlight upgrade pages, as I don't do the work and might as well link rather than redo the page. The geocities account wil eventualy become the mirror, acessing the Xoom page for news, etc. The old TI page will return to it's original TI form, and link to the new page if I get it to look good enough. Also, I'd like to know what you think of the navigation deal on the top. It's been a while since I used a 640x480 screen, and I've made it to be back compatible. I'd like the e-mail and counter at the top, but the links still need to be scrolled down. I am thinking of adding a side frame. I don't like making the main window smaller, but I think I can get it to work right. I'm going to try some new things. I'm hopeing they'll work. I'm still going to keep the old text links, etc. I don't like pages that use excessive graphics, since they take longer to load. I lived on 25 MHz, 14.4 KBs internet computers long enough to know there are still people out there who don't have newer systems. I'm going to rebuild my start page, which many people didn't even know was there. Logo, frames/no frames link, counter if I can get it working, and maybe some advertisments or something. I'm going to keep them off the main page, except for things like if I recomend a book for the robotics section, I'll include a link to amazon or something like that. Only appropriate stuff. If the new Xoom site looks good enough, I'll simply use the geocities as a backup mirror incase Xoom ever goes down. I have another Geocities acount, but I havn't even toued it for over a year. I don't even remember the actual address. I'll have to look at it to see. (:
If you have a tip or recomendation for the new site, e-mail me at email@example.com
The Richfiles Model Building Page (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Lair/8510/Richfiles.html)
The Richfiles Xoom Mirror (http://members.xoom.com/richfiles/)
Expect updates of the new mirror soon. For now, ignore the mirror's massive array of broken images. They are the old Geocities links, and I just FTPed the Geociies page to the Xoom page. No modifications have been made yet. Soon the news page will be movere, and accessed by the geocities page remotely.
Thursday. 1/14/99: Got the motors!!!
Good news, I ordered the motors and they are on the way. Hefty price tag, but I think things will work out fine. I'll begin working on the simpler robots first.
Thursday. 1/13/99: Need those motors!!!
I came up with 5 small robot designs (small meaning 5 or less motors, small to medium Neural nets). This is a major provement over the 3 smaller designs before. Now there are 8 planned small robots and then Quadrapod that I hope to complete before summer, for the next robotics episode of Algo's FACTory. Yep, it looks like another round of televised robots, created by myself! Unfortunately, that total of 9 robots might yet cut itself back to 4! I jus found out that those motors I need are going fast. 20 in a few days. It want from 70 left to 50 left, The show doesn't get their budget for a little while yet!!! By then the motors will be gone. I'd buy them with my own money, but my own money would be lucky enough to buy one or two! Anyway, my request, is if you have any Nihon Mini Motors (gear motors with about 45 RPM turn), I might be willing to buy them. I desparately need these motors. 5 robots ABSOLUTELY depend on getting them. If i don't get the motors, the robots don't get built, and they obviously won't be on the show. I'll be makng the following robots: Floor Monkey (a ground crawler), Gooney Bird (a 2 axis light tracking head), and a currently un-named 3 motor walker can be built or have been begun. I have motors for these robots. There is Quadrapod, which will be the star of my robot team, and then there are the 5 robots that won't make it withouting those motors: MECI IV M (a 4 motor walker, and yes, it's the one on my page, but the motors were not suitable, and needs new ones), Turbot (a 2 motor tumbler, and undsputed king of BEAM robotics, in it's brutality to other robots and survivability!), Roboaconstrictor (a 3 motor, 4 segment snake), Walkman II (a very close replicant of Mark Tilden's OWN famous 5 motor "Walkman", one of the most famous of the BEAM robots), and finaly, Lobster (one of Tilden's more advanced neural network designs, consisting 5 motor walker with 6 Nv- Neurons, 7 Nu+ neurons, and an Nu- neuron). Not bad, huh! Anyway, the last 5 robots are some of the coolest, but also depend on getting those motors. They were commonly called BG Micro motors, as they were usualy sold from a surplus company called BG Micro. I have a source for them that is NOT BG Micro, but as I said, they are going fast!
Saturday. 12/27/98: New Robot: The Floor Monkey!!!
Go to the robotics section to see my latest robot. It's a Bicore based "head" that seeks the brightest light source by aiming itself toward it. Rather than traditional heads which are on a stand, this one crawls on the floor or table to aim itself. Not much up yet except pictures. Go the robotics section to see it.
Saturday. 12/26/98: New Quadrapod section up under the robotics page!
Well go there, it's self explanitory. New info, schematics, PCBs, and much more. Select the robotics section from the navigation frame (you may need to scroll down and click manual link cause that stupid menu doesn't work. I may just remove it if I ever get time. You'll see the pic under the robotics section. Hope you like! At least it's good news. My car decided to die today. I was able to go around town at about 10-15 miles an hour. Overheated, and I think ther may be a leak. I may have to walk to college! Yikes!
Thursday. 11/12/98: Quadrapod I schematics: Revision 4: They're done!
GREAT NEWS! the final revisio of the main schematics is now up! This solves the problems I had trying to get the flip flop and or latch to work by replacing it with a few discretes. It's more of a latch. I have two options in the diagram. You can use a spare XOR as an inverter so you can still have a PNC with out adding a chip for just one gate. If you choose to omit the PNC, or would rther add teh sp, then a plain inverter fits in nicely. I had to add an extra OR gate, and it results in a chip with only one used, however, I'm separating boards, so I'll have one chip with 2 and another with 3 gates used. I'll just tie those to ground. with the exception of the OR gates, and when using circuit B, there will be no other major wastes of gates. The circuit looks right, and I'll run a test to be sure of it later, but right now it looks like Quadrapod is one step closer to it's first steps! Feel free to examine the schematic and evaluate it. One goal was to achieve complex walking gaits using no microcontrolers. The closest to that is the VOX chip, which is not a microcontroler, but is a special purpose chip. That doesn't count, fortunately! (:
I have the 8 motors to make the legs from. They have a diferent type of mounting, and I'll have to make a whole new leg setup than was planned. I hope to come up with something, but I need money for materials. I'm completely broke after the motors. I'll have to wait on more purchases, till I can actualy get some cash. I have to worry about bills as well. ):
Tuesday. 10/27/98: Quadrapod I schematics: Revision 3
Just another update to the Quadrapod schematic. With Revision 3, I got the chip count down to 14 chips. Not drastic, but better than 17 (If you've noticed, the chip count chainges daily, sometimes several times a day! :)
I've also made PCB layouts for select parts of the circuit. This is a major step to completion! I'm also going to put the circuit into a simulator to finaly test it off of paper! PCBs should be up within a matter of weeks if things go well!
Sunday. 10/25/98: Quadrapod I schematics: Revision 2 and TI orders
Well, i've updated the schematic for Quadrapod I. I fixed some tied gate outputs by inserting OR gates, and I removed a redundant circuit. The whole diagram is a bit smaller now! The main circuitry is very tightly packed, so don't mis read any lines on it.
As for TI orders, I'm still doing the Turbo and external speakers, and I'll sell the TI-85 temperature sensor chips at $5 each. My base fee for any upgrade is $20 (whatever you get. It covers all the shipping and parts costs) If you get turbo alone, it's $20. A speaker alone is $20, but I'll do both together for $30. Chips are $5, flat rate, cause I'm just trying to get rid of my stock. I'll discount larger quantities as well.
I also have 1 or 2 Indiglo backlight kits to sell ($40 each). I have 4, but plan on using 2 myself. I'll use the third as well if no one buys it. It'll work in the TI-81, 82, 83, 85, and 86. Not sure about the 73 and 89 though. I guess that's it for today. I'll be working on some other schematics and PCB layouts.
Sunday. 10/25/98: New robot schematics, Challenger series Quadrapod I, and page tune-ups!
Well, first, I've went over the page and made an old news section to aleviate loading time of the front news page. I've left a few things on the current news list so new viewers may see those without loading the other news page. I've also fixed up some of the links and retouched the whole nevigation menu bar. If made the links list easily accessible and quick loading, so if your computer won't use the drop down menu, you can just scroll down and click the links manualy. Simple enough? Huh?
Quadrapod Schematic (Click [Back] to return here)
Well, I've done some thinking and even some work on the first Challenger Series robot: Quadrapod I. The schematic is AMAZINGLY HUGE, and it's not even done!!! It takes active low inputs to drive a 4 leged/8 motor walker using a 6 Nv Nervous network. I may need to make a few changes to the schematic, but all updates will be posted as quickly as possible. Like I said, this is preliminary, and if you build it, it's at your own expense. I can't guarantee it'll work (specificaly the outputs of the AND gates connecting together. I think i may need an OR gate for that??? Not sure). The motor/leg orientation uses 4 legs, with a motor to lift, and a motor to move forward and backward. It's the SAME orientation as the Hexapod II from Lynxmotion, but the two middle legs are removed. The most basic version of Quadrapod I will have speech recognition. Stop, Go, Reverse, Left, and Right. The circuitry shown in the schematic translates these commands into proper sequences for the legs by rerouting the signals from a Microcore. Cool huh!!! Anyway, here it is! The first Revision of the Quardapod schematic, Challenger series #1. I do have plans for adding a microcontroller and sensors. IT'll be remotely operated via a walkie talkie, and if I ever get the money for it, I'll add a video transmitter to it and a portable video display (possibly LCD, but I can live with it being a standard CRT portable TV)?
Tuesday. 6/16/98: I've got a new e-mail address!!! Also, my bots are on TV!!!
Well, after college and FOX and allt hat stuff, I've finaly got to my web page and made an addition! I'm informing all that I have a NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS!!! The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I've started College now, and am studying Electronics technology. I have an apartment accross town, and evrything is going great so far!!!
Also, I have to brag, but my robots were finaly used for the show "Algo's FACTory" on FOX. It comes on Sunday mornigs at 7:30AM. It should be on your local FOX affiliate. I know it comes on at 7:30 on my local FOX station (WFTC). I can't wair to see it air. It's a pretty good childrens science show. short, but it's good. (They deserve an hour! He, he! plug for Algo's! :)
Anyway, I had 5 bots on the show. A SMALL solar roller, two photovores, and two walkers. One was Walkman Jr, and the other BORIS. BORIS had to be run over a tether. I built such a cool control box for him, but it was too heavy! ): I ended up building the hand held tether connected box to it (built ifn half an hour!!! Compared to 2.5 weks for the onboard controler!!!) That was hectic! I spent over $100 just on rush orders and stuff to get it done intime for the show!!! I remembered his interest in muscle wire, and We'd previously aggreed on a price to cover the cost's of the robots, but I didn't mention the extra money I spent. I don't realy mind I guess (although I could realy have used it!!! :)
One bot (Walkman Jr) accidentaly walked himself off the table, but they sent $60 to cover repair costs. He actualy looks pretty cool now!!! (coller than before)!
Another thing I need to mention, is that the Challenger series bot (the first one that I had started) is majorly delayed. I planned on finnishing it for the show, but I bought some motors, but they are too weak. $160 for 16 motors, and I can't use them!!! They are from MAXON, the company that made the motors for the Mars pathfinder robot! They are good, but aren't strong enough for a bot the size of Challenger. I might be able to use them for smaller bots??? Maybe.
Untill then, i'd like to do some expiriments with various types of drives, such as a screw gear drive made from a long screw attached to the motor shaft and a bolt with two pins soldered on each side so it piviots. I mwould also like to buy a tool called the UNIMAT I. It is over $500 for the two kits though, but with it, I could even make my own gear boxes and frames!!! Donations anyone! (:
Yeah right, but seriously, I'd trade my old PC for one! (: It's not anything special. No sound card or CD. Only a pentium 75. 2 drives, 200 something MB HD. Not much, but Just so you know how much I want a UNIMAT!!! I could build whatever I wanted with it!!!
Well, I hope I ggood in college! I suppose a few bots could be made for extra creddit assignments! (:
Tuesday. 6/16/98: MORE GREAT NEWS!!! I got a V3 redirection address! http://come.to/richfiles!
BORIS, my muscle wire robot is nearly done!
Well! my page is now MUCH easier to get to!!! just type http://come.to/richfiles. That's it!!! I found a nice FREE service at http://come.to/ and they are realy worht it! I would recomend any geocities user to get up of their butts and sign up. it take a few minutes, and it's free. You get a choice of premium paid service with the works, or you can choose free sercice with a banner, a pop up window, or a delayed window (I hate delays and pop-ups, so i choose banners! Scroll down my menu and news page to see my colection! :)
Ok, now for some more cool stuff! My muscle wire robot, boris, is mechanicly complete! All I need is a 6 transistor driver and a 4 Nv microcore! I'm going to try making a single board and having a ground connection at the front and the back (the main conector is on back). by doing so, I can simply plug the board in and not worry about any real mountings. I'll plug in the battery directly onto the board probably. It'll be one cool bot!!! Pics will be up soon (camera is not present! ): It's kinda weird. I just put this emensely long web address onto the right middle leg banner (BORIS has a banner on each of the 6 legs. Leave it to a corporation to put adds on a robot kit! :) I realize I should have waited cause now my address would actualy fit onto one line!. As for the other banners, I have BORIS in front left, the BEAM logo in the right front, and my address and logo on the middle. Anyway, the last two legs got the Mondotronics name and the Muscle wires logo. I colorized them all (red black and blue for the muscle wires logo, my classic green richfiles logo, full color BEAM logo and a red "BORIS". Mondotronics is black, cause there isn't much you can do to just a name.
More good news, the Challenger bot is now a two bot series for sure. Challenger Fe-Line will be first, body lenth will be just over a foot long. It'll probably have a tail, little head, and it'll be rather simple. I'll try to make it able to meow too. That should drive the cat insane. It'll probably be thinking "boy that cat looks ugly! It's go no fur and makes wierd noises!" :)
Challenger K9 will be bigger and WAY more advanced. It'll respond to verbal commands, can do simple tricks, and will show at least 4 different emotional states (happy sad, frightened, and angry). Sound cool! I'm reading psycology books and books on the brain to learn more on how these structures work. I found out about this cool slug that has only 20000 brain cells and it's gigantic! It's so big that some of it's brain cells are visible to the eye!!! Some scientists are mapping it's neural pathways, and if I can find info on that, it'd make a GREAT model to creat a future slug bot! (WAY in the future! :)
Saturday. 6/6/98: GREAT NEWS!!! Walkman has been done for a week or two, and I have pictures!!! I also have a new robot project! EXTREMELY COMPLEX!!!
Check them out!!! They look great! Walkman works and (not shown in picture cause they are older) he now has two photoresistor eyes, a 9 volt instead of a 6 volt lithium (read expensive), and it has better controls, including a fine tuning knob for the rear motor.
Challenger is apropriately named, as it'll have a MINIMUM od 10 motors. I was going to go with servos, but I think I'll go with some quality surplus geared motors. They are low voltage and are CHEAP! (:
Challenger will have motors for each hipp, knee, shoulder and elbow, all using forward backward motion. The front 2 limbs will have two motors that pivot them right and left for turrning. The limbs are dextrous enough for the robot to even sit!!! It can crouch with it's head low and it's rear legs high, it can walk, tip toe and maybe even do a slow trot (depends on how powerful and fast the motors are). Basicly, the frame is going to be modeled after a dog's skeleton. It has all this mobility because the legs are highly articulated rather than being rigid. So many people say that good sensors can compensate, but there are only so many things a rigid leg can do, even with a creative neural network or a good processor. I'm going with the good leggs, add sensors later approach. It'll be dificult, but I can also make the bot modular. I'm going to create a type of back plane or mother board on the spine. The boards are modular, and the way they will go together, I might as well build an electronic spine! I'll probably have several low level boards (brain stem) for things like walking forward, turning left or right, crouching, sitting, walking backwards, And eventualy, tip toing forward, tip toing backwards, running forwards, and running backwards. I'll have then higher level boards that plug into the low level boards, such as follow object, avoid object, find charger cause I'm hungry, and so on. I want to create a type of emotional simulator where it can go into a frightened mode or a happy mode and an aggressive mode and such. It's a matter of properly interpereting the stimuli (by that time I hope to have some major high quality sensors). I'd like to get a cognachrome system so it can see, but they cost $2500, which is about 20 times higher than my budget! (:
Anyway, Challenger is not built yet, and his modular system allows me to make the frame, and add on to it as I go. I don't need to design the entire system onto it at once. I simply add functions to it slowly untill I have what I need to make it work perfectly. To start with, I'll create the spinal cord back place to attach the lower level funcion boards to it. I'll only have 1-3 boards at first. Walk forward, turn left, turn right, and maybe back up. Nothing special, just the basics. The sit down and crouch boards will be a little diferent. They will act as a toggle, where you send a pulse and it sits, you send another it stands straight, and so on. The high level board is gong to be last, and is most likely over a year or two away. It'll allow complex behaviors. Throw some fur on it and you might wonder if it was a dog! Maybe! (:
Did i mention it'll understand basic verbal commands (only go, reverse, stop, turn left, and right turn though. It's an old Radio Shack VOX chip (made in 1988))
Monday. 6/1/98: EL iformation Update and Bad news about light flasher... Major order cut backs!
Well, firts off, I'm going to make sure you have the right information on David Knaack. He changed e-mail and also has a web page with instructions on installing the EL backlight. I'm repeating the addresses for David knaack's web address and e-mail. If you need to buy an EL (electro luminescent) backlight (Indiglo), then contact David Knaack (email@example.com or possibly firstname.lastname@example.org). To see detailed instructions on the upgrade, go to his web page at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/lab/5725/
The next thing i need to say is quite simple. I have a FULL time job, college preperation, my robots, etc. I'm not going to have much time for TI stuff. I'm not taking any new orders. I was going to do EIIs, but I simply don't have the time (I was hoping for a part time, or very nice full time job, but I've got one where I could easily be working up to 12 hours a day! (good money though). Unfortunately, TI upgrades will have to go on the back burner for this summer. I've taken a few recent orders, and I plan to finish them (One is a big order, but I've got a month cause the guy is on vacation for a month). Put simply, I don't have any free time left. I don't even have enough for my robots, but I'm going to cram them in there some where.
I have Walkman working, and will scan pictures soon.
Monday. 5/25/98: GREAT NEWS!!! My robots might make it on TV!!!
There is a children's science show called ALGO's FACTory. The producer joined the BEAM robotics list and mentioned that they are planning an episode on robots. He want's about 3 dozen or so home made robots. I've got one almost done that I am willing to put on the show if he wants it on. It's a 2 motor walker I'm naming after Walkman, the robot that turned me over to BEAM robotics. No software, no computers, no programming. 100% based on biology! (a microcontroler however sometimes does tasks that are to dificult to do in hardware however (sound recognition and such)). BEAM is essentialy a philosophy of robot building. Why re invent, when nature already has a way! Many BEAM bots are based very much on nature. This is one thing that make BEAM robotics so cool. Simple is better. The inventor of BEAM robotics, mark Tilden, has a patent for a device called the microcore. It's a Nervous Network that imitates the spinal cord and lower functions. The two motor walker I'm building is based on Tilden's Microcore, using only 4 units! That's like a bug with a mere 4 brain cells. Still, they do imitate brain cells. It may be outrageously simple and very basic, but it works!
Tuesday. 4/28/98: WOW!!! 10000 HITS!!! far cry from 399 when this page got popular!!!
Also, I've got a new home for the Richfiles v4.0!!!
Light flasher added to list of upgrades I do!!!
OK, it's been over 2 months since my last update. Sorry about that. It's just that geocities is slow and I have to wait for it to load up to even change any part of my page. I'm looking forward to being on a derver where I can advertise that i sell all this stuff!!! (:
I'll have the first year for free, because I made a trade with a friend from the TI-Hardware list, Robert Brack. I gave him a multimeter and he gave me $30 and a free year of web space on his server. That alone is a great deal, but it isn't even going to be very expensive after the first year.
Well, anyway, 10000 hits! let's celebrate! WOW!!! Well, another friend of mine, Brian Watson, was the one to turn the counter! He sent a joking message asking what he won! (:
Well, He recomended a light flasher. I've been getting asked about it alot anyway, so here is my big 10000 hit special! I'm adding the light flasher to the official Richfiles Upgrade list. It's got stuff, not even on the page, but for the wholle time I've had the light flasher schematic, I've never bought, built, or even seen one. I've had lots of sucess with other projects, so I'm going to make a list of the parts tommorow, and when I order more parts for the SPinTerface ports and my BEAM robots, I'll order parts for a couple light flashers! Sound good!
Now, the light flasher will still be a special order item, but it will be sold by me. Oh, I'm not advertising, I'm just celebrating and telling all who visit about all the wonderful things that Geocities won't let me put here. I'll have a form just for buying stuff when i have my new page. Just enter the quantity of the items you want, and include your name, e-mail and shipping address, and I'll get the message and reply to you!!!
I may also start cutting my own EL panels for the Electroluminescent (Indiglo) backlight. Curently, you have to buy the EL from David Knaack (email@example.com or possibly firstname.lastname@example.org). To see detailed instructions on the upgrade, go to his web page at http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/lab/5725/
There also may be a WORKING RADIO LINK soon!!! It's made by Grant Stockly, and if he get's it running, it may have a range anywhere from 1/4 mile, to as high as 2 MILES!!! It'll possibly require too much power for the SPinTerface port, so it will most likely have a battery pack. I'll build it to plug into the SPinTerface port or the link port if I ever get a chance to make them.
I'd actualy like to cut back on orders an hardware so I can get my new web page up and finnish STICK Fighters 92. Both tasks will take a lot of time! I may even unsubscribe from the list for a while to do it!!!
More good news, I got a TI-82, a TI-83, and a TI-86 logic board, and can now map out the schematics for all the calcs except the TI-92!!! This will take a lower priority however, since it's so time consuming. I will get it done though. THe TI-86 board is damaged, but easily done. It's only surface damage, and it'll be absolutely no problem. THe TI-83 comes in 2 versions, so it has to be done twice!!! OUCH!!! The TI-82 is still half done, which is the same place as it was before! ): The TI-81 and TI-80 will take less time, but I'm not even sure when I'll get to them! ):
Oh well though, lot's of good news! Also, I'm still looking for broken calcs, including ones with broken LCDs and ones that have good LCDs (In otherwords, any calc :)
"This is Richard Piotter, signing off. Don't die... (:"
Thursday. 2/26/98: I do build the devices on this page for people, if you're wondering
TI-82 schematic half done!!!
Hotmail canceled my account. I'm not happy, so use my POP mail address for all questions. I'm going to bug Hotmail untill they either fix my account or forward the contents to my POP mail.
I have had many people ask me if I would build the devices for them because they are afraid to mess with their calc or they don't want to do the work because they don't think they have the skills. If you fall under that category, just e-mail me at email@example.com. I'll be happy to build the stuff for you. Ask what else can be made, because there are a few items not up yet because of my broken PowerBook 1400cs. I appreciate people's interest in my devices!
Also, my TI-82 schematic is about half done. I could finnish easily, but I am having trouble because both circuit boards I have are severely damaged. If anyone has a broken TI-82, 83, or 86, or any other calc for that matter, let me know. I need it to finnish the project! Thanks!!!
Monday. 2/23/98: My Apple PowerBook 1400cs LCD got SMASHED! Bad News!
I have barely been able to keep up with my e-mail, much less my web page. Sorry! I have to use a public terminal at the local library. It may cost me $800 or more to fix my LCD.
There has been no word on a release date for the Extender II, but the hardware should thereticly run perfectly and the drivers are all being worked on. The TI-82 is the only problem calc, cause it's VAT is not well done with the current OS and a driver wil be just about impossible until the next OS version for the 82
As for the Schematics! GREAT! I'm working on the TI-82 now, and even though both boards I'm working from are badly damaged, and it has a 40 PIN CHIP (which put simply, is a PAIN in the BUTT!!!) It's taking longer than I thought it would, but I'm getting it done. I realy could use a TI-82 board that has no physical damage (LCD smashed, but board OK). Oh well. I'll be rechecking the TI-82 several times after it's release, because, due to it's complexity, there is a high margin for error. Wish me luck! I'll do the TI-80 next, then the TI-81. The TI-80 is scribed for a link port, but none is installed. It may be possible to play with that idea!!!???!!! The TI-81 has several versions as well, one of which, I believe was rumored to be scribed for a link port! I've discovered that the TI-85 and the TI-81, aside from the link port, are NEARLY IDENTICAL. It may be possible that some TI-81's are actualy TI-85's with 81 ROMs!!! This is a common way for companies to save money. Make one board style and modify it to work in two devices! Who knows??? I'm also interested in buying a WORKING TI-80, 81, maybe an 82, and a BROKEN TI-83, 86, and 92. Any calcs that are broken and cheap or givaway, let me know. I NEED the calcs to finnish the Schematic project!!! Thanks!!!
Monday. 2/9/98: TI-85 SCHEMATIC Complete and Clean!!! The Richfiles v4.0 comming soon!!!
I have finaly posted the final TI-85 schematic. The LCD will be done later, as a separate document, but unles mistakes are found, I will not update it. The Chip numbers are for ROM 10, latest makes. The older ROM versions, even older ROM 10 calcs may have or omit the jumper resistor on the battery (+) terminal, the 1.6 Meg resistor near the ROM chip, and they may have different chip numberlink port may also be on a separate miniature circuit board or soldered to the main board. I'm working on the TI-82 now, but t will be some time yet. it is a VERY complex calc. Nearly twice the number of discrete components and four chips!!! It will take time. It will be included soon in a separate TI calc schematics section, which will be accesible in the drop down menu on my nav bar, or in place of the e-mail in my navigation table at the end of each page. You can still contact me with the e-mail link in the pages table. I eventualy will include all modifications and updates on all pages (total rewrite!!!) in The Richfiles v4.0!!!
Look for The Richfiles v4.0 soon!!! the address will be www.richfiles.com!!! It should be up in several months. I'll post when it's up!
Wednesday. 2/4/98: COMPLETED TI-85 SCHEMATIC!!!
This is the most up to date TI-85 schematic. It has all the circuitry on the main board complete. I only need to label and clean the image. I'll do the LCD later. I'm already started on the TI-82 schematic. I'll make a whole section soon devoted to TI calculator schematics. It will soon be in the navigation menu.
On another note, I may be saying good bye to geocities!!! (=
Turns out I found a great server. Unlimited space for a base fee of $20/month. THey have a resell program and I'll be offering people some of my web space for $15 per month. Most of it goes to the company, but I get to keep a certain amount to fund the web page. Those web pages I sell to other people will also have unlimited space. I may come up with some other plans, but I'll post here for the last time when that page goes up. It will be a few months yet, but when It does go up, this page will merely refer to the BIG one. I'm going to have step by step instructions on each upgrade, done specificly for each calc. I'll have schematics and info, and hopefuly an archive of programs. I'll work on my TI-BASIC tutorial, and I'll probably take fewer orders. I'll post of course, that I do the upgrades for those who don't have the skills, but I'm going to spend MUCH more time working on it than I'll be spending developing hardware. I'll return to hardware after the major content of The Richfiles v4.0 is complete. Opinions, orders, and requests for info on the new web page are welcome. Like I said though, It will be a few months. I need to pull together a total of $400 for the first year. Hopefuly I can make the page pay for itself, but we'll have to see. If I can get enough people to get web pages through me, then I'll also provide funding for the Calcfiles.
Monday. 2/2/98: Check out the TI-85 SCHEMATIC!!!
Mel Tsai did the ROM, RAM, Link, and about half of the processor. I did power circuits and the keyboard. It looks done, but there is a possibility it isn't. It looks like the processor has more connections, so I'll check it out. I'll do the LCD board later. Everything looks fairly good. Much was drawn, but I did my additions by computer. I'll redo the whole thing soon to look nice. This link is the most complete schematic. It has nearly all the circuits recorded. I'm not sure, but all those un connected pins on the processor may actuly go somewhere, so I'll figure it out in a day or two, unless I get some more SPinTerface orders. Mel Tsai sent an expirimental INTERNAL 512K memory expander. It is an extremely high speed device since it's inside the calc, but it has many bugs and may not work at all. The device uses 3 of 4 ports Mel Tsai found. If anyone wants to develope this idea, try it, but only if you are EXCELENT with both ASM and Hardware.
Saturday. 1/24/98: STICK Fighters 92 is on it's way!
GOD IT RULES! The animation is DETAILED and fast! I am making STICK Fighters for the TI-92. It's based on the same old STICK for the TI-82, but I'm totaly rewriting it! I'm using a fery nice combo of TI-92 only features to make it EXTREMELY fast, have EXCELENT detail in the graphics, and NOT require massive amounts of Picture variables. I'm going to release a pre-version, where you only fight, but other features such as the classic and NEW finnishing moves will be incorporated. Infact! the old finishing moves will be updated. I'll Make the exploding head better, the fire more realistic in the burn opponent finnishing move. I'll add a more DETAILED tear body appart move, as well as adding the face to the rip spine out and of course new moves. The tear heart ou move is as good as they come (even on the TI-82, you can see the blood and sweat dripping off your opponent). Possible finishing moves may be cracking the opponent's skull open, electrocution, drowning, or any thing that is requested. I'm the master of Graphics, so don't doubt it can be done! I'll post it as soon as I finnish!
Tuesday. 1/13/98: My new link table is working nicely!
I have added the page navigator after the link table. Now you can choose from multiple pages (Model page, TI page, Muscle car page, and more when they are done)
Monday. 1/12/98: I'm working on a new link table at the bottom of the page!
My new link table is similar to the table in the old style menu. It looks nicer and is very well arranged. The active page is darkened and the various branch pages have all the page links active, so it acts as a back button as well (example: if you were in the TI-85 turbo page and wanted to go back to the Main turbo page, you'd click turbo page at the end)!!! Works great. Won't be finnished till tomorrow.
Sunday. 1/11/98: JAVA WORKS!!!
I finaly got the java script menu to work, thanks to Brian Leech. He pointed out a line that had a mistake in it. Thanks!
Saturday. 1/10/98: Well, it's been over 2 months, but I'm really starting to get to work here!
I finaly got my links page complete and is now posted. This page is a list of many, many links to other sites, some of which I collected and others that I got from other lists. They are alphabetized, so you should be able to find what you need. Hope it's enjoyed!
Monday. 1/5/98: finaly added the backlight and power expansion pages!
The power expansion page now replaces the battery expander page. It includes all battery extenders, and the AC power supply. The backlight page may get some additions, but it contains all the information required to do the installation. I have also redone the turbo page layout. there is now a single turbo page with links to each calc. This will make a single place to go to for turbo upgrade information, with each calculator in a sub link. Some calculators have nearly identical instructions and go to the same page (81/85), but it works. More updates are soon to come...
I like it alot. Feedback on it is welcome too. NOTE: Do not actualy USE it YET. It has some bugs in it. It goes to the the correct page, but it puts it into the navigation frame, not the main frame. I still have the table there, so scroll down and use that to navigate. If anyone knows how to make it update the other frame, let me know. Thanks!
FRIDAY. 10/31/97: I have not been able to update the SPinTerface or the TI-BASIC tutorial for quite some time due to my full time job.
I intend to try using the weekends more to do this, but I may be slow at adding things. Sorry.
Monday. 10/13/97: I have put up the instructions for some NEW CARTRIDGES, plus back light and power supply info will be up soon!!!
I have added cartridge instructions for the Piezo Electric Speaker cart, temp sensor cart, temp cart with atmospheric and wand sensor (2+ chip version), the fight flasher/8 device controler. The new battery expander and AC power pack will be up soon!
Monday. 10/13/97: I found the ultimate speakers for the TI calcs. They even give PLAYWAV a little bass!!!
I ordered a pair of Multimedia Speakers from all electronics for $3.00. They are rectangular and the speakers are extremely tiny, 1"x1.5" approximately. They are in a Bass reflex case like in the BOSE radio and they sound great with the calculators! I actualy get a little BASS from some programs, and the sound in all is much richer and clearer. I can almost make out PLAYWAV! If I added the Circuit from the Amplified speaker... well imagine a TI calc with a little bass! Another thought, is that since the Expander III is so complex and will have 8-bit sound, why not use the surface of the speaker as one side of a case and put a cover over the speaker's side, with the EIII board in it. Imagine TI calculators producing 8-bit sound WITH BASS!!!
"Sunday. 9/28/97: I have put up the first parts of my TI-BASIC tutorial for my TI Page and some NEW CARTRIDGES plus back light and power supply info will be up within the week!!!
I added a TI-BASIC tutorial that goes through all the basic BASIC commands. I'll then get into more details including data storage, graphics (2D and 3D), Keyboard interfacing, Link port interfacing, and general use of loops and conditional structures to create utilities, games, and other types of programs. I have the basic I/O commands explained. I also have a little info on graphics, but it is more complex. I will work on it soon. I also am or will soon be adding more cartridge instructions. The Piezo Electric Speaker cart, temp sensor cart, temp cart with atmospheric and wand sensor, the fight flasher/8 device controler, and the new battery expander and AC power pack! I'll also show how to build a very simple "SPinTerface Jumper Cable" which links power and allows multiple carts and calcs to be added (great for I2C carts and networking). I can also add a simple link to SPinTerface cable that lets you daisy chain SPinTerfaced calcs!
Thursday. 9/11/97": I am starting a TI-BASIC tutorial for my TI Page!!!
I will be adding a TI-BASIC tutorial that goes through all the basic BASIC commands. I'll then get into more details including data storage, graphics (2D and 3D), Keyboard interfacing, Link port interfacing, and general use of loops and conditional structures to create utilities, games, and other types of programs.
Thursday. 9/10/97": I am finnished integrating my model building page interface with my TI Page interface!!!
This week, I got my model page started. It took a little extra thought and changes to both pages, but I now have a system of currently two web pages that link seamlesly between each other!
The way this works is that when you first go to a page, it loads the logo and the news page and puts that page's navigator menu up. You can click the links in the page navigator to reach various sections of the page. The first link is the main navigator menu. Each page has it's own navigator menu that looks identical, but has tiny modifications to the HTML. When you click a link that leads back to the same page, it just reloads the page navigator back into it's frame, but if you click for a different page navigator, it moves to the other page and it updates the whole window. The interfaces and appearence of both (soon more than two) pages is identical, so it almost seems like one enormous page!!! I hope you like it! I will be adding content soon.
Tue. 9/9/97": I am finaly starting my model building page!!!
This week, I got a new page started. I should be doing a lot of work soon, and there may be bugs because the two pages are going to exist within a seamless link. The navigators will be pulling data from both pages and making it look like one enormous page. My official Model Building Page address is www.geocities.com/Area51/Lair/8510/Richfiles.html, but you can access the TI Page files from within it and the TI Page, www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/5081/Richfiles.html, can also access files within the Model Page. The seamless integration uses frames heavily, so if you start getting multiple windows or frames within frames, don't worry, It will pass soon.
Right now, I'm only worrying about getting the pages navigators running. once those are opperational, I can start adding the actual content to the model page. I will also add the Multi chip temp sensor, the Piezo electric disk speaker cart (The new design that ACTUALY WORKS WELL!!!), and the improved battery expander and some other power accesories. I'll also add new info on the Universal Bus Expander Card (UBEC) for the Universal interface for the calculator.
Tue. 8/19/97": I need help with software for an 8-bit sound cart!!!
I need help!!! I designed an 8-bit sound cart, but I don't know assembly language. I need help from someone who has plenty of knowledge with ports and interfacing. I believe that Microwire is compatible with the TI calculators (I may be wrong, but isn't Microwire what the Expander SF chip uses?). The chip being used is the MAX550B, Low power, +2.5v to +5.5v, 8-bit voltage output DAC and it utilizes the microwire serial interface. I will have a schematic up soom for anyone who wants to help out. Because 8-bit digitized sound takes massive amounts of memory (5KB per second at a sampling rate of 5KHz per second), I would like a function generator routine. A function generator routine could create Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, Square, and noise waves using simple algorythms rather than digitizing the data. This would save massive amounts of memory and allow a type of sound chip emulation. If you allowed multiple functions you could use that AND, OR, and XOR stuff to mix the channels. Imagine multi chanel 8-bit waveform generation with digitized data also possible. I don't believe that a waveform generator would be hard to program. I will even send you the chips and datasheets to build one yourself, or at least create a prototype/expirimental setup for testing (no volume control). I need help with this. I can't do it myself. This is a high priority on my list. 8-bit waveform generation would allow GameBoy quality sound to be produced! The possibilities would be endless for sound. If someone knows Usgard library programming, you could create a library that would have all the sound routines. Just access it and put some values into the registers and you could have it producing high quality sound!
I want someone good with hardware to look at the thing and tell me if it is a feasible design or if there would be problems before I have programming started.
Tue. 8/19/97": I finaly got with it and fixed my page!!!
I'm sorry for not fixing my page. I've been extremely busy answering e-mail and filling out orders. I have created a SPinTerface FAQ, so if you have any questions look there first. If your question is still not answered, then contact me via private e-mail, unless it is about a NEW, WORKING, OPERATING CARTRIDGE that you want people to know about.
I will be adding the designs for my other working carts over this week. The FAQ will be updated often and If you need one built, just ask via e-mail.
I'm still accepting designs for my SPinTerface cartridges. If you come up with a good design for the SPinTerface, or if you want me to modify one to work with it, you can send me a schematic for it. I will give full credit.
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