“I need to solve the algebraic equation, but first let me take a selfie.”
Who could ever forget playing Super Mario Bros. or Tetris on their graphing calculators during algebra class? While these number-crunchers may seem to pale in comparison nowadays to other mobile devices, Maker Christopher Mitchell has discovered a new way to entertain oneself using the popular Texas Instruments gadgets: taking selfies.
A project he calls ArTICAM, the graphing calculator mod allows a tinkerer to transform a TI-83 or TI-84 Plus into a selfie-snapping device using a Game Boy Camera and an Arduino Uno (ATmega328). With just a little wiring and ready-made code, you’ll be taking the ultimate pics in no time!
The project calls for an Mitsubishi M64282FP image sensor to capture the 128×123-pixel grayscale images; meanwhile, the “eye” of the Game Boy Camera is removed and connected to an Arduino.
Since TI calculators don’t include a Game Boy cartridge slot, the Maker selected an Arduino Uno to interface the two and built upon the Arduino-TI Calculator Linking (ArTICL) Library to create ArTICam.
“The ArTICL library lets an attached graphing calculator use GetCalc to take a photograph and transfer it as a picture variable directly from the Arduino. The calculator can also fetch and set the internal registers of the M64282FP to adjust parameters such as brightness, contrast, and post-processing settings,” Mitchell writes.
The paring of the camera sensor and Arduino super easy. As the Maker points out, no other components were required to connect the camera to the Arduino, as the ATmega328 based board provides all the necessary power, digital control pins, and analog sensing pin.
While the end result is a grayscale picture that probably won’t win any photography awards anytime soon or be shared on Instagram, the hack is certainly a new way to entertain yourself during those boring lectures.
Do you have an old graphing calculator lying around somewhere? Here’s how to get started with some grayscale goodness!