Texas Instruments TI-73 Explorer (2009)

Date of introduction:  2009 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $69.99 Display size:  8 * 16 characters
Size:  7.5" x 3.3" x 0.85"
 190 x 84 x 22 mm3
Weight:  7.4 ounces, 208 grams Serial No:  2528000247
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 11 year 2008 (I)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  China (P)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  ASIC: TI-REF TI-738X
 Flash: S29AL004D
 Display: Novatek NT7564H
Program steps:  25k Bytes, 128k Bytes Flash-ROM Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-73EN_P1108I_P1.jpg (331294 Byte)When Texas Instruments introduced in 1998 with the TI-73 the first graphing calculator designed especially for grades 6-8, it laid the foundation for the successful TI-83 Plus. In 2003 the color of the TI-73 Explorer was changed to match with the TI-15 Explorer and it took another year before Texas Instruments introduced with the TI-84 Plus a powerful upgrade of the TI-83 Plus. Today - in 2009 – the TI-83 Plus is still available and the TI-73 Explorer just inherited the skin of the TI-84 Plus.

TI-73EN_P1108I_PCB.jpg (316500 Byte)TI-73EN_P1108I_Back.jpg (264859 Byte)Dismantling this fancy-shmancy TI-73 Explorer manufactured in November 2008 is rather disappointing! Both the Hardware and Software of the calculator are identical with a TI-73 Explorer manufactured in March 2008 sporting the old-style housing.

TI-73EN_P1108I_ASIC.jpg (66476 Byte)The electronics of the TI-73 Explorer is centered around the ASIC "TI-REF TI-738X" that clocks the Z-80 microprocessor with 6 MHz and incorporates the 32k Byte RAM and some supporting logic. The ASIC was probably manufactured by Toshiba and recalls us the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition with the "TI-REF 83PL2M/TA2" ASIC and the early TI-84 Plus with its "TI-REF 83PLUSB/TA2" ASIC.

The Spansion S29AL004D Flash-ROM located in the calculator featured a capacity of 512k Byte and stores both the Operating System and Application programs.

TI-73EN_P1108I_LC.jpg (58697 Byte)The driver circuit of the LC-Display was traditionally manufactured by Toshiba for Texas Instruments' graphing calculators. This TI-73 Explorer manufactured in 2008 shows with the Novatek NT7564H a one-by-one replacement. It is just a bare chip mounted on a flexible piece of circuit board attached between the display and the main PCB.

Texas Instruments introduced in France in June 2009 with the an entry level graphing calculator based on the TI-82 STATS. We prepared together with fellow collector Xavier Andréani a comprehensive comparison of entry level graphing calculators, to shed some light on the different specifications of the TI-82 and TI-83 / TI-83 Plus based products.

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-84 Plus Silver Edition, they fit on the new TI-73 Explorer, too.

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.


TI-73EN_P1108I_OS.jpg (61182 Byte) 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.

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© Joerg Woerner, March 16, 2009. No reprints without written permission.