Silverlink clone resurrects pre-USB calculators

The Silverlink of yore connected TI calculators without USB ports to PCs, facilitating the easy transfer of files, screenshots and operating systems.

As KermMartian of Cemetech notes, Silverlink was first introduced about 15 years ago, so it doesn’t comes as much of a surprise that a number of units are starting to show their age by failing over time.

“We anticipate that the rest will gradually lose their firmwares (with no way of repairing them) in the next decade or two,” writes KermMartian.

“To fill this gap, ideas for a community-coded Silverlink clone have been kicking around for several years. Tim ‘geekboy1011’ Keller has taken the initiative in creating Silverlink clone software for the Arduino Leonardo (Atmel ATmega32U4) microcontroller development board.”

Keller kicked off his clone project by leveraging KermMartian’s Arduino to TI calculator linking routines, which he ported from Arduino “C” to bare-AVR C. He then deduced the relevant file transfer protocols using USB sniffing, the TI Link Protocol & File Format Guide and checking against the TILP repository.

“Tim is using the LUFA library for AVRs to handle USB; the flexibility of the library lets his Silverlink clone appear to be an original Silverlink to the host computer, and thus requires no new drivers,” KermMartian explains.

“Since it appears to be a regular Silverlink to computer-side software, Tim’s clone works with both TI-Connect and TiLP, the two popular software options for linking TI calculators and computers.”

Interested in learning more about Tim’s initiative? Additional information is available on the Cemetech forums here.

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