The Graphing Calculator – Explained

This is Team 5.2 explaining how our graphing calculator works. Our design is an USART based, interrupt driven device that generates mathematical input into a graphical output on the A3BU’s LCD screen.

In simple terms, it’s a calculator. That graphs. (Our team had a lot of trouble coming up with a name. Graphulator, The Graph Master, and Graphtastic Graphing Machine were all considered.)

Various interrupt methods were incorporated into the design through user character input and push buttons on the A3BU board. The input from the PC is parsed using our own developed parsing code, which gathers all possible outputs for a given range of inputs. The software then plots those on the LCD screen. The push buttons include various scaling and scrolling methods that allow the user to interrupt the program in order to horizontally and vertically scroll and/or scale, along with re-centering capabilities.

The hardware design is very similar to that of Lab 3, using a MAX232 chip to bridge communication between the PC and the LCD on the A3BU’s on-board USART. This is done in conjunction with a serial connection via RS-232 signals.


The Graphing Calculator Your Calculator Could Look Like

Needed to see more of our A3BU calculator? Watch this video with annotation below!


Hello Engineers!

Look at your calculator:

Now back to mine:



Now back at yours. Now back to mine.

Sadly, yours isn’t mine. But if it stopped having such a small screen and switched to A3BUs instead it could look like it was mine.

Look down. Back up. Where are you?

You’re in the snake program on the calculator your calculator could look like.

What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have two buttons for scaling purposes on my calculator.

Look again. The graph just zoomed in!

Anything is possible when your calculator uses an A3BU instead of … that tiny screen.


The Graphing Calculator

This is a brand new technology, one that will inevitably alter the way in which engineering students everywhere will learn how to graph mathematical functions. Team 5.2 presents to you – the graphing calculator!

Wait, that was already invented?

Well, please enjoy this teaser of how our graphing works. You’ll see a plot of the function sin(x) with an inbuilt horizontal scaling being used. Later we’ll explain more about how this works.