Texas Instruments Calculator-Based Laboratory CBL 2

Date of introduction:  March 2000 Display technology:   
New price:  $240.00 Display size:  
Size:  8.5" x 3.2" x 1.2"    
Weight:  8.0 ounces Serial No:  1384002606
Batteries:  4*AA Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 2003
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  CPU: Toshiba TMP91CW12F
 Flash: Fujitsu 29F800
 RAM: Sanyo LC35256
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner 

Already October 21, 1999 Texas Instruments announced the Second Generation Calculator-Based Laboratory™ or CBL 2™ and introduced it about March 2000 in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America.

CBL2_1.jpg (46996 Byte)Main differences between the CBL 2 and its predecessor CBL are the introduction of the Flash technology as program and data memory and the missing LC-display for convenient standalone operation.

CBL2_2.jpg (68192 Byte)The CBL 2 connects to a graphing calculators such as the TI-73, TI-73 Explorer, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83 Plus, TI-83 Plus Silver Edition, TI-84 Plus, TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89, TI-89 Titanium, TI-92, TI-92 Plus and Voyage 200. New features include Flash memory with built-in calculator software, a supporting cradle, and four channels for data collection. The Flash memory allows users to update programs with the most current software version and update the functionality of the CBL 2. Users can utilize the remaining memory to store multiple experiment trials, experiment setups or other programs. The Innovative Cradle System allows the CBL 2 and graphing calculator to become one unit for portable single-handed use on most Texas Instruments graphing calculators. 

Additional features include the following:

Built-in User Program: Transfer programs to calculators with 
   the push of a single button. Start collecting data immediately, 
   or set up the CBL 2 for more sophisticated applications. 
Quick Setup Mode: Collect data without the calculator using 
   auto-identification (Auto-ID) sensors. Reconnect to a calculator 
   or computer to retrieve and analyze the data. 
   The included Auto-ID sensors are light, voltage and a new and 
   improved stainless steel temperature sensor. 
Compatibility: Compatible with most existing CBL programs and 
   workbooks as well as with many popular sensors for data collection. 
Language Localization: Download one of more than 10 language 
   versions of the built-in user program, including Spanish, French, 
   Italian, Swedish and Portuguese. 
Performance: Collect a total of approximately 12,000 data points 
   at rates of up to 10,000 points per second on each analog channel 
   or up to 50,000 points per second on a single analog channel.

Users can start collecting data immediately with the CBL 2 with four easy steps:

Transfer the built-in DataMate user program from the CBL 2 to 
   the calculator with a single button push.
Run the DataMate program (DataMate application on the TI-83 Plus).
Plug an Auto-ID sensor into the CBL 2.
Begin collecting data.

CBL2_PCB.jpg (129761 Byte)The hardware of the CBL 2 System makes use of a powerful Toshiba TMP91CW12F microcontroller with fast 10-bit Analog-Digital converters, a 32k Bytes Static RAM and 1M Bytes of Flash ROM. The brain of the CBL 2 is a member of the TLCS-90 family, actually a 16-bit implementation of the Zilog Z80 CPU with 4k Byte RAM and 128k Byte ROM plus a lot of peripherals integrated into a tiny package.

The CBL 2 system accepts three analog inputs and an ultrasonic motion detector input to connect the Calculator-Based Ranger CBR and its successor CBR 2. The sampling rate is adjustable between 10,000 samples per second to one sample every 4 hours on each analog channel or up to 50,000 samples per second on a single analog channel. The memory stores a maximum of 12,000 datapoints compared to the 512 points per channel of the original CBL System.

The CBL 2 has approximately 500K Bytes of free memory that allows users to save experiment setups, store multiple trials and archive other calculator programs. The addition of Flash memory gives users the ability to upgrade the functionality of the unit instead of having to purchase a new one. To that end, the Flash technology allows the CBL 2 to grow with educators' changing curriculum because they can download software upgrades from the TI Web site.

The CBL 2 being marketed by Texas Instruments was developed as part of an ongoing business alliance between TI and Vernier Software of Portland, Oregon.

The TI-Nspire and TI-Nspire CX calculators are compatible with the TI-Nspire Lab Cradle introduced in 2011.

Find here the original press release dated March 27, 2003:

Texas Instruments and Vernier Software & Technology Celebrate 10 Years of Collaboration with New Support and Professional Development Offerings for Science Educators

Educational handhelds enrich scientific investigation through data collection, experimentation and analysis

PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2003

In 1993, there were 4.1 million computers in use at public schools compared to 12.7 million today, one to one computing hadn’t been coined yet, and students had to analyze science and math projects at their desks or lab table. It was in this environment that Texas Instruments, the leader in handheld educational technology, and Vernier Software & Technology, the leader in data collection tools and software, began collaborating on how their portable technology could take science and math into the world and make them more exciting and relevant to students. The two are now celebrating 10 years of making portable data collection and analysis a reality for thousands of classrooms.

The companies continue to build on this expertise with today’s announcement at the National Science Teachers Association National Convention of several new professional development and support services. The jointly developed initiatives include face-to-face and online professional development programs through Teachers Teaching with Technology (T3™), and an online subscription to popular Vernier Lab books focusing on data collection.

Through an alliance with T3, Vernier and TI have produced five, face-to-face training institutes and one new online training course:

Vernier/T3 Biology with TI Handhelds
Vernier/T3 Chemistry with TI Handhelds
Vernier/T3 Earth Science with TI Handhelds
Vernier/T3 Middle School Science with TI Handhelds
Vernier/T3 Physics with TI Handhelds
Vernier/T3 Introduction to Scientific Data Collection and Analysis (Online)
Teachers participating in the face-to-face courses, available in a one- to five-day format beginning in April, will receive a certificate of attendance for completion of the course. Teachers participating in the online course, available in May, will earn 35 Continuing Education Units (CEU) and /or graduate credit.

Also, TI and Vernier have developed new online subscription supplemental materials as a part of TI’s Online Subscriptions series. Titled, "Online Subscription to Science Data Collection with Vernier and TI Handhelds," the online materials sell for a one-time fee of $85 and are accessible to all teachers in a school’s science department. The new series is available at

"Working with TI over the past decade has allowed us to expand our reach into additional markets. We share a common vision, values and philosophies on education," said David Vernier, CEO and founder of Vernier Software & Technology. "When our organizations were first introduced, we were very impressed with TI’s commitment to teachers and their deep pledge to understand educators’ classroom challenges and professional development needs. This very much mirrored our strategy and approach. As a physics teacher myself, I could see how TI’s dedication to education would truly set them apart as a partner. This dedication is what fuels us to continue developing leading-edge products and services for teachers."

"Vernier has led the development of probeware and data collection devices for 22 years. Through our work with Vernier, we’ve learned an immense amount about the dynamics of the science classroom and teachers’ needs," said Tom Ferrio, vice president of TI Educational & Productivity Solutions. "Our partnership continues to evolve through the development of reliable, portable and reasonably priced educational tools, supplemental materials and professional development training. Together we’ll continue to look for ways to enhance the classroom experience and create real value for our teacher community."

During TI’s and Vernier’s 10-year working relationship, the companies have co-developed CBR™, a motion detection device; CBL 2™, Calculator-Based Laboratory™ for collecting and analyzing real-world data; and the Vernier LabPro® data-collection device. In addition, they have supported educator use of these technologies with professional development training sessions.

About Vernier

Vernier Software & Technology, based in Beaverton, Oregon, was founded in 1981 by Dave Vernier. He was teaching high school physics and realized that there were many things that new personal computers could do to help science teachers. The company started with software and hardware for Apple® II products, with the first programs being available on cassette or disk, and then moved on to Commodore 64, MS-DOS®, Macintosh®, Windows®, Power Macintosh®, and TI handheld graphing technology. TI’s CBL 2 was recently named one of Curriculum Administrator’s Top 100 Products for Education. Vernier’s LabPro won the American Association of Physics Teachers’ Most Innovative New Product Award for 2000, as well as wards from Technology & Learning and Media & Methods magazines. Vernier has had 22 consecutive years of growth in sales and won many regional and state growth awards. The company has grown to 60 great employees, three employee owners and was recently named as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in Oregon for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, visit

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© Joerg Woerner, October 23, 2003. No reprints without written permission.