Texas Instruments TI-30

Date of introduction:  June 13, 1976 Display technology:  LED-stick
New price:  $24.95, £14.95 Display size:  8 (5 + 2)
Size:  5.8" x 3.1" x 1.4"
 148 x 78 x 36 mm3
Weight:  4.0 ounces, 114 grams Serial No:  6631991
Batteries:  9V or RK2 Date of manufacture:  wk 46 year 1976
AC-Adapter:  AC9132, AC9182 Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:  10 Integrated circuits:  TMC0981
Logic:  AOS - 4 Pending Operations, 15 ()    
Memories:  1    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
Download leaflet:   (US: 2.1M Bytes) Download manual:   (US: 4.1M Bytes)

The TI-30 was introduced mid of 1976 together with the SR-40 and the financial calculator Business Analyst. With a SRP of $24.95 compared to the $49.95 of a fully equipped SR-40 the TI-30 was a great success. Probably the best selling calculator ever with about 15,000,000 manufactured units between 1976 and 1983.

TI-30_Late_PCB.jpg (45983 Byte)Inside the TI-30 is identically to the SR-40, the massive cost reduction was the sum of two details: The rechargeable battery pack was replaced by a simple 9V cell and the molded lettering of the colored keys replaced by a printed key plate. Battery consumption of the TI-30 was horrible, marketing guys from TI invented the after market sales of "Rechargeable Kits" RK1 and RK2 ($10.95). They used one or two AA-cells and a step-up converter to generate the 9V of the TI-30.

The electronics of the SR-40 is centered around a TMC0981 circuit, a member of the TMC0980 single-chip calculator family, while the TI-45 uses a chip from the TMC1980 family. Both designs are based on the TMS1000 Microcomputer series with an increased memory capacity of 18,432 Bits Read-Only Memory (ROM, 2k*9 Bits) and 576 Bits Random-Access Memory (RAM, 9 Registers * 16 digits). Main differences between the TMC0980 and TMC1980 are the display drivers - while the former supports LED displays, adds the latter high-voltage drivers for Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFD). In addition includes the TMC1980 both an integrated charge pump driver to generate the high voltage (around -22V) for the Anodes and Grids of the VF-Display and integrated drivers for the Filament (heater) allowing for reasonable manufacturing costs.

Another option was the use of the AC9182 AC-Adapter providing 9V DC with an outlet like a 9V battery.

Three simulated vinyl cases were available ($3.95 each) to protect the calculator:

Blue Denim
Tan Suede
Rust Corduroy

Texas Instruments introduced the revolutionary Algebraic Operating System (AOS™) in September 1975 with their flagship Programmable calculator SR-52 but this SR-40 and its sibling TI-30 brought it to the masses. And consequently created a nightmare for TI's Portfolio Manager of Scientific calculators...

A similar version of the TI-30 was sold under the German Privileg label. Please view the SR-35NC. The German TI-33 lacked the AOS system. In Europe some TI-30 using a different display screen were sold, don't miss the 1st Italy design of the TI-30.
In the meantime we discovered a rare TI-30 with a completely different keyboard technology. The TI-30 manufactured in Brazil looks identical but varies the calculator chip slightly. Don't miss the rare TI-30/super manufactured for Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth and the colorful SILCA 48

Simply by comparing the designation of the integrated circuits of the entry line "Majestic" calculators, you'll get the all members of this family:

TMC0980    Goulds Pumpulator uses a custom design ROM (CD9801)
TMC0981    TI-30 and SR-40
TMC0982    Business Analyst and TI-41
TMC0983    Programmer
TMC0984    TI-33

Digging deeper into the TMC098x calculator chips you'll locate an OEM-chip used on a TI-30 "clone" manufactured in Hong Kong:

TMC0985    Amelia Scientific 2001

Later in production of the Majestic-line calculators the metallized TI logo was changed to lower manufacturing costs. View here the TI-30 w/o chrome.

Press the X-RAY button and view the internals of a TI-30.
 (Pictures provided by Edward Soudentas)

It took 5 years before the keyboard layout of the TI-30 appeared again with a LCD calculator. View the TI-30-II. In the meantime LCD calculators like the TI-25 or the TI-50 appeared.

If we call the TI-30 based calculators "entry line" we should name the TI-55 "advanced line".

You like this housing ? Don't miss the TM 990/301 Microterminal.

Don't miss the TI-30 for the vision impaired people, the Schoenherr Braillotron.

The TI-30 is featured in the Texas Instruments Incorporated bulletin CB-250 dated 1977.

Find here an excerpt from the TI Learning Center leaflet CB-272 dated 1976:

TI-30. Extended capability calculator with memory, scientific notation.

TI’s unique AOS™ algebraic operating system makes the TI-30 calculator especially useful to secondary students. Problems are entered left-to-right and are executed following standard algebraic hierarchy: First powers, Then multiplication and division, And finally, addition and subtraction. There’s no special entry sequence to learn; thus, students can focus on the mathematical concepts and their application.

A bright 8-digit display indicates negative sign, overflow and underflow, and in scientific notation indicates 5 digits plus 2-digit exponent. Its powerful slide-rule features and keys are ideal for throughout the high school curriculum: memory system for storing intermediate results, up to four pending operations enclosed in up to 15 sets of parentheses, [DRG], [x2], [SQR x], [1/x], [INV], [sin], [cos], [tan], [K], [EE], [log], [lnx], [yx] and [%].

“Calculator Math™ Introductory Algebra”, a supplemental mathematics learning program, was developed by the   University of  Denver  ’s Mathematics Laboratory for use with the TI-30 in secondary classes. A challenging and informative book, The Great International Math on Keys Book, is also available for use with the TI-30. Its 224 pages of valuable operating tips, math fact, useful formulas, puzzles and games are of particular relevance to high school students.

© Texas Instruments, 1976

Find here an excerpt from the Texas Instruments Incorporated leaflet CL-199J dated 1981:

TI-30 Student Math Kit

Economical problem-solving kit with scientific calculator.

Developed with the cooperation of nationally known educators, this calculator-based math system is designed to meet the needs of today’s students. As skills grow through high school to college and into career, the TI-30 Student Math Kit will continue to meet the more advanced math challenges.
Basic to the kit is the powerful 48-function slide rude calculator that performs arithmetic, percentages, squares and square roots, logarithms and trigonometric functions. The key to mastering its full potential is The Great International Math on Keys Book. Developed in cooperation with the staff of the University of Denver Mathematics Laboratory, its 224 pages offer useful, interesting information about calculator mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life. Topics include algebra, trigonometry, business and finance, home management, conversions, helpful tables and charts, probability and statistics, physics and chemistry and fun puzzle and games.
Also included is an owner’s manual, and carrying case. An optional AC adapter is available.

© Texas Instruments, 1981


AOS™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments.

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© Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.