Steve Marsden’s

TI-83 Plus and CBL Programs

[Note: ALL of the TI-83 Plus programs described here are in *.zip files. The data acquisition suite is saved as a "group" file in the *.zip archive. After downloading and unzipping the files you will need the TI Connect software (which is free from TI) as well as a GraphLink cable (also available from TI, but not free...).

Chemistry Lab Data Acquisition Suite, v. 2.8

This suite of seven programs is what I use with my classes to gather, process, graph and analyze data. Included are provisions for measuring temperature, transmittance, voltage, current, pH and conductivity and pressure. Data can be displayed continuously or displayed/stored by time or other user-specified variable. The user interface is similar to Vernier's original CHEMBIO programs but the data capacity is greater (198 per channel, depending on available memory) and several data runs can be collected without stopping to print/copy data out. Current and conductivity routines are for my own probes (details available). The newest version (2.8) differs from the previous version (2.7) only slightly: the opening screen, which used to be stored in Pic6, is now part of the menu program. No more students coming to lab missing the file and not being able to run the programs! Some cosmetic tinkering has also been done, including the addition of lower-case where called for (pH, not PH) and a little more on-screen information for some of the procedures. Because of the introduction of lower-case letters and the data transfer routine, the programs are no longer completely compatible with the plain TI-83.

TI-83 Plus version *.zip file contains:

HCHEM.8XG: Chemistry Lab Data Acquisition Suite, v. 3.0, the group file consisting of:

  • The menu driver for the program suite.
  • Collects data at user-supplied time intervals--called by CHEMENU
  • Calibration routines for various probes--auto-called by CHEMENU
  • Displays continuous data (not saved in memory)--called by CHEMENU
  • Takes data on immediate command--called by CHEMENU
  • Separates data sets in memory, moves them into lists, minimum analysis functions (graph, convert %T to A, LinReg)--called by CHEMENU
  • Returns calculator to factory default settings--auto-run from CHEMENU

Additional programs

BEYNON.8XP: Empirical formula calculator after Beynon, v. 1.2

I wrote this program for use in an experiment my AP students do. It uses the P+1 isotope ratio and molar mass to determine a range of probable chemical formulas from Mass Spec data. Essentially produces extracts of Beynon's tables in portable form.

GEIGER.8XP: The Half-life of an Isotope, v. 1.3

This is a conversion of an old BASIC program I wrote for an experiment my Honors students do each year. The program simulates in rudimentary fashion the process of obtaining a background count, counting a sample (21 samples, chosen randomly), and determining the type of decay by particle deflection (updated 7/05). Students then process the data on their own to determine the identity of the isotope. The conversion is a little more spartan than the original program, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to support old BASIC interpreters on the school network! The full experimental write up can be found here.

GCOUNTER.8XP: Geiger Counter Software for the CBL, v. 1.2

This is an adaptation that began with Vernier's legacy program, RADIATIN, for the original CBL and their Radiation Monitor. In adapting the program I removed the graphing capabilities (including the histogram) and raised the default count to 100 for both background and ratemeter functions (in my area and with most of our samples this gives a theoretical maximum standard deviation of ten percent; "hotter" samples, more counts, better data). Other counts can be set for different samples or for different applications. The program now has essentially only three main functions: background count, ratemeter, half-life. All three display the standard deviation with the count so students can decide if the statistical uncertainty is acceptable and adjust the count if desired (or reject the last counts in the half-life experiment). The background count takes about 7 minutes in this area. The ratemeter function will count a sample repeatedly for up to five times and display the results on the calculator screen as each count is completed. Counts can be adjusted automatically for background. The half-life routine is the same as Vernier's original (without the graphing) and the times/counts scroll up the calculator screen as they are measured. It is intended for isotopes with short half-lives (perhaps less than 10 minutes). In the newest version the count uncertainties are also displayed to help students make judgments about the reliability of the later counts in a decay which approach background. With this program, the original CBL and Radiation Monitor from Vernier, I have performed simple counting statistics experiments, shielding studies, age determinations of old disc sources, determination of KCl content in Morton's "Lite Salt", and half-life determinations of Ba-137m, Pa-234m and Tl-208. An experiment incorporating most of these ideas can be found in the AP Laboratory Text.

Other TI/CBL Resources

  • Texas Instruments Calculator Program Archive

    The "official" site, with programs for the entire inventory of different calculators and CBL applications. Note that the newest TI Connect software no longer contains the old GraphLink [here it is!] applications for the family of TI calculators but does enable file-handling, including the ability to retrieve both lists and matrices from the calculator and save them as .CSV files which can be opened with Excel or other spreadsheet software.

  • TI-83 Plus Study Card Stacks for Science

    Pretty much what it sounds like. More than just chemistry here from the official TI site. And free.

  • CBL Made Easy!

    This is probably the only guide you will ever need for the original CBL. Produced by the folks at Vernier. You will need the Adobe Acrobat reader to view the file.

  • Science programs for use with the TI-8x

    Part of a larger site containing examples of CBL experiments as well as mathematical explorations using the calculators (access from the pull-down menu). From Kent J. Crippen.


    Not a Texas Instruments site, but an "unofficial" calculator site with information about programming, link cables and third party software for them, program archives and more. Don't miss the TI-Calculator emulator, Virtual TI. This Windows application puts a fully functional TI calculator on your computer screen! You can load programs into it and they will run. You can even connect a CBL to your computer with a GraphLink cable and it will run! This is great if you have the ability to project a computer screen in the classroom because students can actually see what you are doing with the calculator. Various "skins" are provided with the software so that it will look like whichever version you are using. Drawback: you need a GraphLink cable so you can copy your calculator ROM to the program and ROM images newer than 1.12 will not work yet. The skin for the Silver Edition is not in the basic package but there are several versions available at the site, some better than others.

  • IVIEW for Windows

    A program written by John Hanna that allows you to edit Pic files from the calculator or import certain types of graphics files from your computer and convert them to Pic files for the calculator. Don't miss the rest of John's calculator stuff here.

  • TI-83Plus Chemistry Programs

    You will find a number of programs here dealing with electrochemistry, buffers and more. From Mr. Allan at Mt. Whitney High School, Visalia, CA.