TI Link Protocol Guide - Introduction & Special Thanks

Introduction & Special Thanks

Why this documentation?

Texas Instruments graphing calculators are capable of transferring information to other graphing calculators, computers, or special devices such as the Calculator-Based Laboratory. Programmers can make use of this capability to write programs that interact with the calculator.

We (Romain Liévin and Tim Singer) are separately developing two PC-based linking programs for TI graphing calculators. Up until now there has not been a single complete and accurate piece of documentation for the Texas Instruments transfer protocol and related information. Rather than write two incomplete documents, we prefer to write a single work that is as complete as possible.

Organization of this document

This document details in a systematic manner all necessary information which is required in order to develop a linking program, but may also interest the curious.

The first section describes the hardware byte-transfer protocol and the different link cables available when this document was written.
The second section covers the software packet-based protocol of the TI-89 - a must for any link software programmer.
The third section covers all calculators:
- the format of the variable types themselves, which is useful for displaying and manipulating data on a PC.
- the file formats readable by TI's Graph Link software.
- reference tables - two character maps and a table of tokens.

The 'Introduction and Special Thanks' and the 'Hardware Linking' sections are common to the TI-xx documentation.

Special thanks

Most of the information in this guide has been taken from other documents. Special thanks go to: Other information was taken from our original documents:


Our main goal is to provide a complete and updated specification of the Texas Instrument linking protocol and related information. If you wish to correct or add to this document, please contact us at one of the addresses supplied below (or from our websites).

Tim Singer:

Romain Liévin:

The latest version of this documentation can be found on ticalc.org or on either of our web sites.
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Hardware Link Protocol

Site maintained by Romain Liévin (roms@tilp.info) and Tim Singer (tsinger@gladstone.uoregon.edu)