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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
Memories:      
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 TI-76.fr 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.

ROM-Versions:

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 ticalc.org 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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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

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