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lynnl
12-31-2005, 11:17 AM
I've been perusing G. Lautard's recipe for incremental ball turning, and have convinced myself that I need (read 'want') a programmable calculator.

But.. having never used one I'm in total darkness as to which one or what features I'd like.

I majored in math, but alas, I'm afraid my math skills have atropied to about the 9th grade level now. But with some brief brushing up I can usually solve whatever problem arises.

Does anyone here have any recommendation/warnings about the calculators now available?

Dawai
12-31-2005, 11:44 AM
Yeah, a small laptop is nearly as cheap.. and you can hook it to things. I saw one here the other day for $399 with $100 rebate.

A buddy bought a Neato $50 calculator, it can calculate offsets, yards concrete needed, studs per wall distance, etc.. It is called "contractors" version.

I just loaded Mach3 onto my laptop for the plasma cutter project.. gee they changed the screens again.. more simpler..
AND< Adrian's site has the cheapass dro software on it. It will read a chinese scale or a encoder.

mklotz
12-31-2005, 11:46 AM
The BALLCUT program (free) on my page will do the calculations for you.
Moreover, unlike most programmable calculators, it will generate a file of the
output data which you can print and carry to the shop for reference.

Note that there are other programs on the page for employing the same
incremental technique to cut other shapes with cylindrical symmetry, e.g.,
ogives. With PROFILE you can specify your own shape and it will generate an
incremental cutting table.

Regards, Marv

Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

m squared
12-31-2005, 12:05 PM
When I was taking math in college, albeit a few years ago, there were two schools of thought. The engineering students all went with the HP48gx because it could do 3D wireframe graphing. The downside was cost, and you had to learn RPN (reverse polish notation) to program or even do simple calculations with it.
I was a pre med major, and I purchased the TI85, mostly because it was cheaper. I found it was easy to program and it will be able to do the functions needed for ball turning. I havent used mine for that (yet), but it does have a feature that will allow you to trace a graph, where it gives you X and Y coordinates for your curson location.
If I didn't already have one I would probably check the end of the semester sales bulletin board at the local college. Baring that, ebay is probably a good place to look. You could probably also talk to the math department at said local institution and get some good insights as well.
I feel your pain about math atrophy, some days I feel like I can't count over eleven without unlacing my boots.
Whatever you get, make sure you get the instrucion book with it, it will greatly simplify your life when it comes time to program.
If you have a computer with MSExcel a spreadsheet could probably be worked up that would do the math for you. Come to think of it a set of such sheets for common ball sizes might not be a bad thing to have in your references...hmmmm..laminate...put in a binder...Oh, sorry my AADD taking over again. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
Anyway, best of luck, and happy new year.
M2

m squared
12-31-2005, 12:07 PM
or you could just do what Marv and David said. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

lynnl
12-31-2005, 01:31 PM
Yeah, the most sensible thing would be to just use Marv's programs and be done with it.(and I will check that out) But partly I just want the calculator to play with and maybe exercise some of the 'ol gray matter.

I was looking at some TI's at a Target store yesterday, and the high end models had cables for connecting to (I assume) a computer. From what I gleaned from the net, only the HP's use the RPN. I think I'd like to have that option. Sounds like once you get accustomed to the RPN it makes life easier.

gizmo2
12-31-2005, 01:36 PM
Marv, geez, when do you sleep??? Thanks for the link, bud.

CompositeEngr
12-31-2005, 01:52 PM
I have a Ti 85 and an 89. I like the 85 better, probably because I spent hours with it in school. The 89 I got later because it was on sale, and has more memory and a nicer interface. Battery life in the 89 sucks. I have both sitting next to me on the desk, and the 85 is the only one that runs right now.

I bought mine right before the usb interfaces came out on them, but I have the parallel interface.

mklotz
12-31-2005, 02:49 PM
gizmo2 wrote:

"Marv, geez, when do you sleep??? Thanks for the link, bud."

I've been writing application programs since back when one did it in Fortran on
punched cards. A number of the programs on my page were written while I was
still working but I got serious about adding to them when I retired.

Most of these are small utilities, written quickly to solve a single shop
problem, rather than being large applications meant to do a wealth of tasks.
I find that this narrow focus helps folks to learn how to use the tools more
quickly.

In addition to being useful for their indicated task, they were also meant to
show homeshop hobbyists how a little time spent learning some mathematics can
make their shop life much easier.

While the latter attempt has been a dismal failure, folks do seem to find the
programs useful.

Regards, Marv

Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

Dawai
12-31-2005, 03:35 PM
Marv, I got several small programs in visual basic you are welcome to the code and exe's..

My code applets are worth while just to see how the Hillbilly does it.. ha..

Evan
12-31-2005, 04:32 PM
Marv has probably written a small program that automatically "screen scrapes" this forum looking for any new posts that use key words that might relate to his software. If it finds something it activates a small widget that tugs on a string tied to his toe. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

mklotz
12-31-2005, 05:41 PM
Evan,

As I remember, one of the programs (GEARFIND) was written to help you solve a
gearing problem for the orrery you are/were building, not that you couldn't
have solved the problem yourself, I'm sure.

What venue, other than Usenet and the metalworking BBSs, would you suggest for
making newbies aware of the programs?

Oh, and the string is tied to the cat's tail ;-)

Regards, Marv

Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

SGW
12-31-2005, 07:29 PM
You could probably also set up an Excel spreadsheet to calculate what you need to, if the thought of it doesn't make you want to barf.

m squared
12-31-2005, 08:04 PM
Another nice thing about the TI, at least the one I have, mid 1990's vintage, is that it has a hard slip cover that fits over to make it "shop resistant" and it will fit in the handbook drawer in your toolbox.

So marv, does the cat meow when it's tail gets pulled? That would make it an audio interface wouldn't it? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

M2

Evan
12-31-2005, 11:46 PM
"As I remember, one of the programs (GEARFIND) was written to help you solve a
gearing problem for the orrery you are/were building, not that you couldn't
have solved the problem yourself, I'm sure.

What venue, other than Usenet and the metalworking BBSs, would you suggest for
making newbies aware of the programs?"

Marv,

The orrery isn't dead. I decided I needed a milling machine so I could better make some of these other projects.

As for getting the word out on your freeware you need to start by pushing your page higher in the listings on Google.

Google ranks pages by several criteria. First is the number of other pages on the net that link to the target page, the more the higher the rank. List your page wherever you can.

Next, it searches pages for keywords with the highest score given to keywords that occur early in the text. The word "machining" doesn't appear on your page until well down in the text. The word "freeware" doesn't appear at all. That is one of the most important search terms I use when looking for goodies like yours.

Google doesn't pay attention to meta tag keywords but other search engines do and you don't have any meta tag keywords. You need to add some in the header information.

Some examples of pushing up pages:

If you search Google for "astrophotos" my page is rank 11.

If you search for "Karelian Bear Dog" my customer's page (I designed and host it) is number two.

If you search for "bowron lake provincial park" my page is number one.

edit:

Oops. The word "freeware" does appear near the top of your page. I guess I wasn't searching from the very top. Regardless though, you need to make the first several hundred words contain much more relevant wording that pertain to the subject at hand.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-31-2005).]

RAD1
01-01-2006, 11:29 AM
Funny, I've been researching which fancy calculator to get or pocket computor, or laptop. I like the idea of having excell available. A friend has TI84 silver with excell installed. We are going to see if it will interface with computor. The pocket computor sounds like a good option, although it's $100-$200 more than the TI84s $124 price tag. But then you can install regular machinist calcutors and store notes etc... If I remember I'll let you know how the TI84silver works out.

Dawai
01-01-2006, 12:30 PM
Most older pda's program with a bastich basic or odd C+. Programs are available free for download.

NONE of the new pda's have the "LOTS" of software the older ones do.

I have been working with one here as a DRO, not happy yet. They run Moto-boards, stamps, mini robots as a Human interface.

BillH
01-01-2006, 01:57 PM
When I had my workshop, my TI 83 and TI89 were used almost as much as my milling machine, no I take that back, I used them everytime I was using the lathe cutting the train wheels. If I had a DRO, wouldnt of needed it.
I love em both, The ti 89, some one made a C compiler for it. The ti89 also helped me ace the required math classes early at my college.
The ti89 though, sometimes when doing division with very large numbers(think astronomy class) it will give you very wrong and funky answers, I had to reach for the cheapo pocket calculator for the right answer.
The ti 83 is also a great calculator but less featured.
In highschool my math teachers would make me erase the memmory on my ti83 before a test when they found out I could write programs on it to solve complicated problems.
Now I find myself writing java console programs for doing stuff. I wrote one program where I enter in feet and inches and it spits out the scaled dimensions in as many scales as I want. Helps me to visualize quickly just how big something might be. Since it loops, I dont have to do anything but enter feet and inches, enter in a negative number to make it quit. Yeh I know, basic stuff.

skeeter
01-01-2006, 05:54 PM
Hey Fellows,

Here is a freeware calculator that does it all. It is the full featured PRN .

Great calculator. It is several types.

http://www.geocities.com/dbergis/freeware.htm

Have fun,

sauer38h
01-01-2006, 08:17 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lynnl:
From what I gleaned from the net, only the HP's use the RPN. I think I'd like to have that option. Sounds like once you get accustomed to the RPN it makes life easier.</font>

Too late. Even HP's just about abandoned RPN. When my 32s recently followed its predecessors into the calculator graveyard, I found that even HP is down to one or two RPN models. Too bad - if you're like most people, once you spend the thirty seconds or so it takes to master RPN, you'd rather eat broken glass than go back to that algebraic stuff.

BillH
01-01-2006, 09:00 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sauer38h:
... Too bad - if you're like most people, once you spend the thirty seconds or so it takes to master RPN, you'd rather eat broken glass than go back to that algebraic stuff. </font>

I ate broken glass one time, was crunchy and didnt cut my mouth open. Apparently a glass top to a serving dish broke and put glass into the food.
I never tried RPN so I dont know what I am missing.

What I like about my Ti89 is that I can enter in the algebraic equation directly and tell it to solve one of the variables and it does it. The calculator will make you stupid.

phil burman
01-02-2006, 03:07 AM
I don't understand why anybody would want a programmable calculator. You have a PC so use a spread sheet. It’s an amazing tool for anybody involved in any kind of engineering. It's less of a learning curve and once you have learnt you will use it for all kinds of things. You can even graph the results to check the shape and print a table of the numbers for use in the shop. If you really want to get into a bit of programming then Excel has a very powerful visual basic/macro capability.
For those that need to do repetitive calculations and have never seen or used a spread sheet, the first time you see it you will say WOW can it really do that.

Am I missing something w.r.t. programmable calculators?

Best Regards
Phil

lynnl
01-02-2006, 09:27 AM
Well mobility is the big issue.

I admit I know very little about Excel. I use it a little at my work, for maintaining simple tables and such. But can't say that I like it much. Yeah, I'm sure if I knew it better I'd appreciate it more.

RAD1
01-02-2006, 10:55 AM
Marv, That is really good of you to put that site out there for others to use. I don't have the time to check it out really good right now but I'm certainly going too be using it. Thanks alot for sharing your knowledge with us.

Dawai
01-02-2006, 11:09 AM
For the good of the community..Marv needs a medal..

I try to help others, I find myself lacking at times. I posted a lot of my code and programs and HOW TO's on www.bbssytem.com (http://www.bbssytem.com) under robotics.

Sometimes while helping others you notice a knife in thier hand fixing to stab you in the back.

You do develop a good feeling by helping others.

RAD1
01-02-2006, 11:14 AM
Lynnl,
Here is a website you can go to, and see what you can download into various TI calculators.

lynnl
01-02-2006, 11:15 AM
Yes! I really like Marv's site. Lots of good info, and easily accessable.

Too many websites that I see get too carried away with the bells and whistles and window dressing, to the detriment of whatever content of substance might be there. I liked Marv's.

lynnl
01-02-2006, 11:16 AM
Oops... RAD I think you forgot something...

Nevermind, I should've given you a little time http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Thanks

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 01-02-2006).]

RAD1
01-02-2006, 11:16 AM
OOPS!!!!
I forgot to give the website. It is: ti.com/home_p_calc

Paul Alciatore
01-02-2006, 04:04 PM
Well, I guess I'm cheap because I have a couple of Casios. They probably don't do as much as the HPs or TIs, but I have yet to find anything I needed to do on them that they won't do. A couple or three years ago I got the CFX-9850GB on clearance at Wal-Mart for about $35. As far as I am concerned, you can't beat that.

For better or worse depending on your viewpoint, no RPN. But I am sure it could easily compute the X-Y coordinates for generating a sphere or other mathematical curve.

Paul A.

BillH
01-02-2006, 04:19 PM
Phil, I use Excel a whole lot too. That was the single best class I ever took in High school.
Why a programmable calculator? Simple, it fits in your pocket, goes where you go.

[This message has been edited by BillH (edited 01-02-2006).]

Evan
01-02-2006, 04:53 PM
Does anyone know of a pocket calculator that runs plain old BASIC (or any other high level language) like the pocket computers that Radio Shack used to sell many years ago? I don't want a PDA or a fancy hi res color screen, just a real pocket computer that I can easily program.

The ones that Radio Shack sold only ran an hour or so on a set of batteries. With todays technology they should be able to run nearly indefinitely.

BillH
01-02-2006, 04:59 PM
Evan, both the TI89 and TI83 are programmed in their own type of basic, actually its more like a script than anything else. Some one made a C compiler for the Ti89 and I wouldnt doubt that they exist for the ti-83 as well. And ofcourse you can also program them in asm.
Ofcourse you can download a Ti Calc emulator, find a rom of the particular calculator your considering, and play with it before you ever buy it. Ofcourse finding the rom is the tricky part being copywrighted and all that.

lynnl
01-02-2006, 05:17 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul Alciatore:
Well, I guess I'm cheap because I have a couple of Casios. They probably don't do as much as the HPs or TIs, but I have yet to find anything I needed to do on them that they won't do. A couple or three years ago I got the CFX-9850GB on clearance at Wal-Mart for about $35. As far as I am concerned, you can't beat that.
..
.
.
Paul A. </font>

Paul, are those Casio's programmable?

I was looking at a Casio at Target dept store (about $39), but they had them on a display which made it impossible to read all the specs. The young gal (clerk) said 'no' (after I finally made her understand the question). But I don't think she knew the difference between a calculator and a cabbage.