Texas Instruments TI-73 Explorer

Date of introduction:  March 2003 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $69.99 (SRP 2008) Display size:  8 * 16 characters
Size:  7.2" x 3.2" x 0.80"
 182 x 81 x 20 mm3
Weight:  6.4 ounces, 182 grams Serial No:  2242007236
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 04 year 2004 (D)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  China (S)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: Zilog Z84C0008
 ASIC: TI REF 9815455
 Flash: F29LV400
 RAM: HY62WT081
 Display: Toshiba T6A04A
Program steps:  25k Bytes, 128k Bytes Flash ROM Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-73_Explorer_1.jpg (96775 Byte)The TI-73 Explorer followed the TI-73 and serves as a bridge between the TI-15 Explorer and the TI-83 Plus.

TI-73_Explorer_PCB.jpg (303731 Byte)Dismantling the TI-73 Explorer reveals no surprises, the printed circuit boards (PCBs) are still identical with the TI-83 Plus and based on 5 main Integrated Circuits:

Zilog Z84C00 microprocessor
TI REF 9815455 ASIC
Fujitsu F29LV400 512k Bytes Flash ROM
Hyundai HY62WT081 32k Bytes Static RAM
Toshiba T6A04A: Single-chip 64*120 pixel display driver

TI-73_Explorer_ASIC.jpg (82187 Byte)The picture on the right gives an enhanced view of the ASIC "TI-REF 9815455"  integrating some support logic. 

TI-73_Explorer_LC.jpg (104841 Byte)A component not easily detected on the printed circuit board (PCB) of the TI-73 Explorer is the driver circuit of the LC-Display. It is just a bare chip mounted on a flexible piece of circuit board attached between the display and the main PCB.

A special "teacher version" called TI-73 Explorer VSC combines the standard TI-73 features with a port to connect to a ViewScreen panel via a cable. Placing the panel on the overhead projector enlarges the image of the handheld screen so that each student can follow along.

A serial port of the calculators allows the connection to the Calculator-Based Laboratory system CBL, its successor CBL 2, the Calculator-Based Ranger CBR and its successor CBR 2.

Don't muss the colorful slide cases developed for the TI-83 Plus, they fit on the TI-73 Explorer, too.

Texas Instruments reduced in 2006 the chip count of both the TI-73 Explorer and its technical twin TI-83 Plus with the integration of the Z84C00 microprocessor, 32k Bytes RAM and TI REF 9815455 ASIC into a single-chip solution. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators. In 2009 the grandfather of all Flash-ROM based calculators, the TI-73, morphed into the skin of the TI-84 Plus. Don't miss the new TI-73 Explorer.

Stokes Publishing Company, Inc. based in Sunnyvale, California sold a companion for the teacher, view the wonderful TI-73 Explorer.

Explorer™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments.


1.60 (December 16, 2001)

1.90 (February 6, 2006)
1.91 (March 20, 2008, actual in February 2009)

You can check the ROM version of your TI-73 Explorer using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[2nd] [MEM] [1]

Information provided by and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

The TI-73 Explorer is permitted (as of September 27, 2007) for use on SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP exams but is not recommended for the AP exam.

horizontal rule

If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, November 11, 2004. No reprints without written permission.