Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Oh TI-83! You graphing calculator of yore. So expensive, so limited compared to today's options. Yet you still hold a special place in my heart! I actually still use my calculator for stuff almost on a daily basis, though rarely taking advantage of its full capabilities. For simple stuff I usually already have some sort of computer program open that can do it. I could also solve it using Google. For more complicated stuff I'll use Excel or Matlab. And yet...there is something about whipping out that hunky chunky plastic and punching the keys that still satisfies.

So when my TI-83, which I bough entering freshman year of college, starting showing weird artifacts on the screen, a little part of me died. I could not in any way justify spending $80-90 to replace it new. Trolling Craigslist and eBay is a pain in the butt. Could it be repaired? Yes, as it turns out, and the Internet provides.

I found this video in a few minutes. This fellow had similar flaky issues with the screen. He was able to trace it back to flex-cable that bridges between the logic board and the display board. This thin ribbon of metal-on-plastic, adhered on either end with z-conductive tape, had one trace that had become open-circuit. The solution? Bridge it with fine wire:

I covered it over with Kapton tape to keep the wire from rattling around. Put the case back together, pop in the batteries, and we are back in business!

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