CodeWalrus

Development => Hardware => Topic started by: p2 on August 22, 2016, 10:01:33 pm

Title: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on August 22, 2016, 10:01:33 pm
Currentle we (DarkestEx + p2) are working at a little hardware project together.
Out original idea was that it would be really cool to be able to use external Keyboards on your calculator.
However that idea developed into something bigger... Our plan is the following:

We want to use Arduino parts to create a rather cheap posibillity to use one (or multiple) external keyboards (PS/2, USB, 2.5mm Phone connector) without any need of knowledge about the technology we use. We want it to be as simple to use as any cable or adapter. But not only for basic programs, we also want to develop Axe libraries so any Axe game can be controlled using a real keyboard :)

Also it should make it possible to easily add speakers to your calc since we want to add a audio amplyfier with a 3.5mm Audio output.


In addition we're thinking about making software development on calcs easier (and faster).
Therefore we want to add a special mode in which typed characters would be automatically turned into calculator commands. So typing "Lbl" on your keyboard would result in the basic command LBL. This might also be extended to support Axe commands as well.


But still it's of cause not sure how far we're gonna get and which of these features we're gonna actually add :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 23, 2016, 04:29:30 am
Hm it would be interesting to see this in action. Would this require the calculator to do extra processing that can potentially slow down program execution? The tokens thing is interesting too, although it might get annoying in some cases, such as if for example someone tries to type the word Answer in his code, only to see it automatically replaced by Ans+w+e+r.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: Juju on August 23, 2016, 04:36:02 am
If I remember correctly, there is TI actually made keyboards for calcs, if we could plug any keyboard, PS/2 or USB, to be converted to TI's keyboard protocol, well that would be interesting.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 23, 2016, 04:38:15 am
Yeah, there is the TI keyboard.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on August 23, 2016, 10:04:36 am
the first idea was to make the TI keyboard work for axe. Then we thought about real keyboards since the TI keyboard sucks ^^
btw the ti keyboard isn't supported by axe so just using this protocoll won't be enough :/

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 23, 2016, 04:29:30 am
Hm it would be interesting to see this in action. Would this require the calculator to do extra processing that can potentially slow down program execution? The tokens thing is interesting too, although it might get annoying in some cases, such as if for example someone tries to type the word Answer in his code, only to see it automatically replaced by Ans+w+e+r.

We thought about toggeling this with capslock or maybe an extra button on the device so you could easily switch between code and text mode :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 24, 2016, 05:37:01 am
Wait, how is the TI keyboard not supported by Axe? Does it just error/do nothing when Axe is installed or something? I never used that keyboard.

And that would be a nice idea to have a button for switching between text and code. As long as it doesn't force autocompleting stuff like M$ Word did (for example it always changed the first letter of a new line to a capital letter and wouldn't let me change it back to lowercase) any option is good for me
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: Juju on August 24, 2016, 06:29:30 am
Probably more like the code for supporting those keyboards isn't running while ASM or Axe programs are running, I guess.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on August 24, 2016, 09:33:39 am
Axe completely ignores the keyboard (already tried it out myself).
It only works in the homescreen.
DarkestEx's explanation was that Axe didnt support the necessary drivers for the I/O-Port to work with the keyboard :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 25, 2016, 05:37:54 am
Ah, right, I thought that such driver was already made in the TI community before.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on August 25, 2016, 09:44:26 am
For using the TI keyboard in Axe? Or what exactly? Do you maybe have a link or something? ^^
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on August 25, 2016, 10:04:52 am
Quote from: p2 on August 25, 2016, 09:44:26 am
For using the TI keyboard in Axe? Or what exactly? Do you maybe have a link or something? ^^

Seems fairy impractical to use CBL1 in axe.
Well p2, we will additionally support USB and PS/2 keyboards.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: calcplays on August 26, 2016, 05:18:02 am
It would be interesting to see if real computer keyboards could be used on even more calculators.  The Nspire already supports them with Ndless and a USB hub.
Is there a particular keyboard you want to use?
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 26, 2016, 03:52:52 pm
I didn't know Nspire Linux could support PC keyboards.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: c4ooo on September 02, 2016, 11:47:08 pm
doesn't a USB to calc converter already exists?
Also, having a hub for both Keyboard and speaker to be plugged into calc would be cool, but the problem i see is that there are only 2 ports on the calc (USB(which not all calc have) and analog). I would imagine you will have troubles driving both a keyboard and a speaker, although maybe the sound could be generated off-calc? :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 03, 2016, 12:12:21 am
Quote from: calcplays on August 26, 2016, 05:18:02 am
It would be interesting to see if real computer keyboards could be used on even more calculators.  The Nspire already supports them with Ndless and a USB hub.
Is there a particular keyboard you want to use?

No it should work with all PS/2 and most USB keyboards.

Quote from: c4ooo on September 02, 2016, 11:47:08 pm
doesn't a USB to calc converter already exists?
Also, having a hub for both Keyboard and speaker to be plugged into calc would be cool, but the problem i see is that there are only 2 ports on the calc (USB(which not all calc have) and analog). I would imagine you will have troubles driving both a keyboard and a speaker, although maybe the sound could be generated off-calc? :)

Well I would suggest you have a little read ;)
The converter is supposed to allow accessing SD card programs from your calculator and to allow using proper USB and PS/2 keyboards on your favorite TI-84+ and maybe the TI-83+.
Well USB will not be used by our project at all and the other jack can only be data (keyboard, SD) or audio at the same time.
Generating sound off-calc is possible, but it's not a focus yet ;)
We might think about it though.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: c4ooo on September 03, 2016, 01:56:31 am
You might want to consider that the older models only had only an analog port, the TI8x+ analog and usb, while the CE only has USB.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 03, 2016, 11:41:49 am
Quote from: c4ooo on September 03, 2016, 01:56:31 am
You might want to consider that the older models only had only an analog port, the TI8x+ analog and usb, while the CE only has USB.

Well this is not an analog but a digital port which we will support. We will NOT support the USB port at all. The CE will not be supported and on the TI-84+ we will only use the Headphone style connector.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: c4ooo on September 05, 2016, 02:20:59 am
Hmm by "analog port" i meant the "Headphone style connector", but now i remember that its not analog  :-[
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on September 05, 2016, 09:17:45 am
as mentioned above WalrusLink will be connected to the calc using the 2.5mm headphone-style connector and you can chose between keyboard usage and the little audio amplifier (sadly not both at the same time).
So it should be possible to support TI-83+, TI-84+, TI-83+SE, TI-84+SE and TI-84+SE(TE) only speaking of the connector. (still not 100% sure about supporting the 83+-family).
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: calcplays on September 05, 2016, 10:50:22 pm
Would it be possible to use the calculator as a keyboard on computers? A new level of accuracy could be brought to emulators, for one.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 05, 2016, 10:52:50 pm
Quote from: calcplays on September 05, 2016, 10:50:22 pm
Would it be possible to use the calculator as a keyboard on computers? A new level of accuracy could be brought to emulators, for one.

If we would switch from a ATmega328p to a ATmega32u4, then certainly yes :)
Is there much interest in this?

@p2, you might want to get an arduino pro micro instead of one of the Unos. We can try this out :D
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 06, 2016, 04:30:22 am
Being able to control our computer, especially an emulator, with a calculator would be nice. I just hope that the TI-84+ doesn't get discontinued, because it would suck if no calculator that is still in production was supported. But I understand the difficulty of implementing USB support >.<
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on September 06, 2016, 08:38:58 am
I really like the idea of it ;)
Could we add both in one device, like switching between both chips? Or could the ATmega32u4 do both tasks?

If its just the chip, I'm gonna buy two of them today ;)
for the entire arduino I could need a link so I can buy one, too :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 06, 2016, 09:56:40 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 06, 2016, 04:30:22 am
Being able to control our computer, especially an emulator, with a calculator would be nice. I just hope that the TI-84+ doesn't get discontinued, because it would suck if no calculator that is still in production was supported. But I understand the difficulty of implementing USB support >.<

Well we are focusing on the 84+ and the 83+. The USB-only models will not be supported at all.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on September 15, 2016, 09:56:58 am
Little irrelevant update: Most of the stuff we ordered has arrived by now so working on the hardware can begin now  :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 12:02:28 am
Quote from: DarkestEx on September 06, 2016, 09:56:40 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 06, 2016, 04:30:22 am
Being able to control our computer, especially an emulator, with a calculator would be nice. I just hope that the TI-84+ doesn't get discontinued, because it would suck if no calculator that is still in production was supported. But I understand the difficulty of implementing USB support >.<

Well we are focusing on the 84+ and the 83+. The USB-only models will not be supported at all.
Yeah I know, hence why I was saying that. If the TI-83+/84+ gets discontinued (probably in less than 2 years, or in the best case scenario they will lose ASM/Axe support) then WalrusLink audience will vanish overnight if it doesn't support newer models. But I don't want to pressure you into supporting USB-only models, since it's your project.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 05:01:55 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 12:02:28 am
Quote from: DarkestEx on September 06, 2016, 09:56:40 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 06, 2016, 04:30:22 am
Being able to control our computer, especially an emulator, with a calculator would be nice. I just hope that the TI-84+ doesn't get discontinued, because it would suck if no calculator that is still in production was supported. But I understand the difficulty of implementing USB support >.<

Well we are focusing on the 84+ and the 83+. The USB-only models will not be supported at all.
Yeah I know, hence why I was saying that. If the TI-83+/84+ gets discontinued (probably in less than 2 years, or in the best case scenario they will lose ASM/Axe support) then WalrusLink audience will vanish overnight if it doesn't support newer models. But I don't want to pressure you into supporting USB-only models, since it's your project.

It would be impossible to add USB support with our current hardware and to be honest, there is no need for it. It's wouldn't be worth reverse-engineering the protocol and getting a USB stack up and running on some low-end ARM.

I don't think TI will make any bad updates for the monochrome series again. They have already focused on their new victims.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 05:34:59 am
Quote from: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 05:01:55 am

I don't think TI will make any bad updates for the monochrome series again. They have already focused on their new victims.
I think you are missing my point @DarkestEx (language barrier?). By discontinuing a calculator model, I mean that they could stop producing and selling it entirely, just like they did with the TI-81, TI-82, TI-85 and TI-86. In other words, only thrift shops and Ebay will sell them, used.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 05:43:09 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 05:34:59 am
Quote from: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 05:01:55 am

I don't think TI will make any bad updates for the monochrome series again. They have already focused on their new victims.
I think you are missing my point @DarkestEx (language barrier?). By discontinuing a calculator model, I mean that they could stop producing and selling it entirely, just like they did with the TI-81, TI-82, TI-85 and TI-86. In other words, only thrift shops and Ebay will sell them, used.

Oh yes, that. Well this will be the last graphing calculator i will be using so I guess it doesn't matter much for me.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on September 20, 2016, 07:43:23 am
I guess we should first focus on getting it up an runnign on a 84+  :)
MAYBE we could try adding some more models later, we'll se ^^
@DarkestEx: Using the SD memory trick, do you think we could later add compatibility in an update? Or would entirely new hardware be required?  :ninja:
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: TheMachine02 on September 20, 2016, 08:36:37 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 06, 2016, 04:30:22 am
Being able to control our computer, especially an emulator, with a calculator would be nice. I just hope that the TI-84+ doesn't get discontinued, because it would suck if no calculator that is still in production was supported. But I understand the difficulty of implementing USB support >.<


I does already exist in fact : https://www.omnimaga.org/the-axe-parser-project/usbpad8x-usb-keyboard-axiom/
You can control your computer with an axe program :p
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 10:04:47 am
Quote from: p2 on September 20, 2016, 07:43:23 am
I guess we should first focus on getting it up an runnign on a 84+  :)
MAYBE we could try adding some more models later, we'll se ^^
@DarkestEx: Using the SD memory trick, do you think we could later add compatibility in an update? Or would entirely new hardware be required?  :ninja:

It's simply not possible.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 07:48:46 pm
What is the SD memory trick anyway?
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 07:50:22 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 07:48:46 pm
What is the SD memory trick anyway?

Being able to software upgrade from sd card :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 07:51:16 pm
But none of the TI calcs have a SD card port. ???
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DarkestEx on September 20, 2016, 07:52:27 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 07:51:16 pm
But none of the TI calcs have a SD card port. ???

Of course not. The walruslink adds one :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 07:54:18 pm
Oh right true, what was I thinking lol?

In any case, for a larger audience the WalrusLink needs to not require way too much hardware modding, especially soldering, for the user once it's  completed, since some people tend to be scared of soldering or suck at it. Something cool about the Nspire connector that some community member did years ago was that it could be plugged into the Nspire dock port without opening the calc case.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on September 20, 2016, 07:56:06 pm
we got a buit-in SD card on which teh entire software is saved. So whenever we decide to update something you dont need to buy a new WalrusLink, just take out teh sd card and replace the old files ;)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 20, 2016, 08:26:32 pm
Yeah I meant to implement the WalrusLink in the calc in the first place. :P That said, not having to buy a new one every time already helps :)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: Mario AR. on June 16, 2017, 12:28:25 am
Hi :)

Just got a PS/2 keyboard working on a TI-83. It was kinda easy, since there are already libraries for PS/2 input and TICL.
I thoug: the old an unused Scroll Lock can be used to switch between normal and tokenized input. NumLock can be used to enable a special input for asm programs.

I think the best solution for the hardware that requires few soldering skills is this:
(https://packetradio.com/catalog/images/6mdinfil_small.gif)
All I had to do was solder 4 jumper wires. It can be easily connected and disconnected to the Arduino. The same for the stereo jack.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on June 17, 2017, 02:22:24 pm
Heya Mario AR and welcome here. :)

I wonder if PS/2 keyboards and mice are still widely available for sale? IIRC Staples charge $70 for an USB-PS/2 adapter
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: SopaXorzTaker on June 17, 2017, 03:45:17 pm
Implement the ESP8266 interface that'd add WiFi!
Now would that be even more great with crude on-calc web browsers and stuff?
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: Mario AR. on June 17, 2017, 08:30:43 pm
Forgot to mention, I used an USB keyboard, with an adapter.
$70 for an adapter? Thats insane! I got mine for less than $1.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/MOSUNX-Futural-Digital-Hot-Selling-1PCS-USB-Female-to-PS2-PS-2-Male-Adapter-Converter-keyboard/32804618151.html

Most cheap USB keyboards work with these.
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: c4ooo on June 17, 2017, 09:09:48 pm
Quote from: SopaXorzTaker on June 17, 2017, 03:45:17 pm
Implement the ESP8266 interface that'd add WiFi!
Now would that be even more great with crude on-calc web browsers and stuff?

What would be really cool is streaming your PC screen to your calc O.o
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: p2 on June 22, 2017, 12:03:58 am
that should be possible, but mind that the entire downscaling would have to be done on the PC's side since the calc would lack the processing power. So we'd end up with a blurred image whene u could see almost nothing of any GUIs and stuff, abd it would be a mere slave, non-functional without the right software on the computer (just like that good old irc program for the 83+)
Title: Re: The WalrusLink Project
Post by: c4ooo on June 22, 2017, 07:04:45 pm
Quote from: p2 on June 22, 2017, 12:03:58 am
that should be possible, but mind that the entire downscaling would have to be done on the PC's side since the calc would lack the processing power. So we'd end up with a blurred image whene u could see almost nothing of any GUIs and stuff, abd it would be a mere slave, non-functional without the right software on the computer (just like that good old irc program for the 83+)

You wont need to downscale it, you could just scroll about :)
(Ofc the PC would "scroll" for you, sending you only the visible section.