Texas Instruments Touch & Discover School Edition

Date of introduction:  1992 Display technology:  n.a.
New price:   Display size:  
Size:  11.6" x 11.7" x  2.7" 
 295 x 298 x 69 mm3
Weight:  30.9 ounces, 876 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*AA cells Date of manufacture:  wk 47 year 1992
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TSP50C42 (CSM42042)
 Module:TSP60C80 (CM80008)
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

We know the extension "School Edition™" from different calculators like the:

• The TI-30Xa SE introduced in 1995 with its tamper proofed molded 
   keys instead of the rubber keys and an extra window above the 
   display and solar cells.
• The TI-30Xa SE introduced in 1999 and sporting the robust housing
   of the TI-32 Explorer Plus with the electronics of the TI-30Xa Solar.
• The failed TI-30Xa Solar School Edition introduced in 2005 and 
   recalled immediately.

These calculator all received some changes from the standard calculators like a more robust housing or disabled functionality.

But what are the modifications of this toy compared to the original Touch & Discover introduced almost 5 years earlier all about?

At first glance you'll notice three differences:

• The housing of the Touch & Discover comes in blue instead of the standard bright orange
• It bears a "School Edition" Logo
• Both Expansion Slots on the left side of the Touch & Discover are occupied with two modules

One of the two mentioned modules sports two connectors for an external power supply and a headphone. Obviously a welcome addition for a busy classroom

Dismantling this module reveals a small printed circuit board (PCB) holding not only the two connectors but two additional spaces for Integrated Circuits (ICs) in a DIP16 packages, most likely Speech ROMs with 256k Bits capacity, each.

The second module is labeled "ENGLISH MODULE" and contains the Speech ROM of the Touch & Discover School Edition. The only visual differences other than the color to the an Expansion module from the standard Touch & Discover is the shape of its label.

Dismantling this module reveals a PCB with two spaces for Speech ROMs in SPDIP28 packages, while the cartridges of the original Touch & Discover omitted the PCB by soldering the Speech ROM directly to the connector. The "ENGLISH MODULE" of the featured Touch & Discover School Edition uses just one chip in place:

• TSP60C80/CMM80008: VSM (Voice Synthesis Memory) with 1,024k Bits

Dismantling this Touch & Discover manufactured in January 1990 by Texas Instruments in the United States reveals a very well engineered printed circuit board (PCB) with just two Integrated Circuits:

• TSP50C42/CSM42005: TSP50C50 VSP (Voice Synthesis Processor) with 8-bit microcontroller and 8k Bytes Mask ROM for both program and voice and 128 Bytes + 16 Nibbles RAM
• TSP60C19/CMM19002 or TSP60C21/CMM21002: VSM (Voice Synthesis Memory) with 256k Bits


horizontal rule

If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, June 27, 2005. No reprints without written permission.