Texas Instruments TI-30 III

Date of introduction:  1984 Display technology:  LCD
New price:   Display size:  8 (5 + 2)
Size:  5.3" x 2.8" x 0.45"
 135 x 70 x 11 mm3
Weight:  2.3 ounces, 64 grams Serial No:  0121957
Batteries:  2*LR44 Date of manufacture:  mth 01 year 1985
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (C)
Precision:  11 Integrated circuits:  TP0456/CD4565
Memories:  1    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Texas Instruments introduced in 1982 with the TI-30-II a new scientific calculator based on the TI-50 "slimline" calculator and the CD4565 C-MOS single-chip calculator circuit of the then new TP0456 architecture. In Summer 1984 the design of the TI-30-II was – together with its siblings BA-II, BA-35, TI-35 II – completely changed and production shifted to Cal-Comp Electronics and Inventec Corporation in Taiwan. It is very interesting to know that it took less than one year and production of these calculators was established both in the United States and Italy with a completely revised internal construction.

We noticed a similar time-frame with the “slanted” calculators, e.g. the TI-55-II introduced in 1981. Due to major quality problems with the keyboards of the original TI-55-II, a design very similar to the TI-50 keyboards, their technology was changed and production established in Taiwan, too. We know TI-55 III calculators manufactured either by Compal Electronics or Inventec Corporation, mid of the 1980s the two largest contract manufacturers for portable electronic calculators. Already in 1985 production of the 2nd generation slanted calculators, e.g. the TI-57 II, was shifted back to the US and Italy.

Dismantling this TI-30 III manufactured in July 1985 by Cal-Comp Electronics in Taiwan reveals no surprises. The rigid printed circuit board (PCB) of the calculator is more or less identical with the PCB of a BA-II manufactured in the same time frame and hosts a solid metal frame for the LC-display and a conventional battery holder for the two LR44 batteries.

The TP0456/CD4565 calculator circuit is encapsulated in a traditional Dual-Inline Plastic package and soldered with bended pins on the PCB.

Inspecting the PCB of this TI-30 III calculator brought our attention to a small mark reading 30T-11 and 30T-10 (silk screen), we noticed similar marks already with other calculators manufactured by Cal-Comp Electronics and started compiling a list of the PCB-Marks on calculators manufactured by OEMs for Texas Instruments.

Within one year the keyboard was slightly changed, view the later TI-30 III before production of the TI-30 III was established in Texas Instruments factories in the United States and Italy.

Later models used solar cells instead of the batteries, view the TI-30 Challenger.

The styling of the TI-30 III traces back to the BA-III prototype and was repeated on other models like the TI-35 II, BA-II and BA-35

If you are interested in the calculating accuracy of scientific calculators don't miss the Calculator forensics.

When production of the TI-30 III started in Italy a special version in a transparent housing was available. Don't miss the rare TI-30 III ClearCase.


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