Monday, December 24, 2012


One Semester Down - Navigator CX: Hardware Kinks

I've just completed one semester using the TI Nspire CX Navigator System. I've experienced a lot of kinks in the hardware, a big learning curve with taking advantage of the robustness of the software, and mixed feelings with the students in regards to using the navigator system. I'll detail them in the next few posts.

Hardware Kinks
1. Router Set Up: Out the box you figure it would work, but no it doesn't. You have to download and upgrade the router firmware (instructions for allowing the router and your computer to communicate) first. The big problem was that the school firewall would not allow the firmware to download. After a call in to the 1-800-TI Cares, the rep suggested that I take the router off campus and upgrade the firmware at home. After trying unsuccessfully for it to upgrade at Starbucks, I finally did take it home and was able to be downloaded the firmware. I had to do it for the other teacher's router as well. I would think that since I bought the system in July and installed it in September that the system should have either come with the upgraded firmware or at least with a disc or link to the newest firmware.
2.  Inability to Access the Access Point.  Quite frequently, the Access Point would not be available and a few, several or all students would not be able to login.  Often times this happened at the most inconvenient time, like right before class or in between two classes. At first (after much time of troubleshooting) we discovered it was the USB cord that came shipped with the equipment. Apparently after a few weeks of use it became in operable. Then it was a problem that I was using Channel 11 instead of Channel 6 or 12 on the router. (Why have 12 channels available for use if only 2 are recommended for use boggles my mind.) Another problem is it takes the router around 20 minutes to initialized after it is turned on in order for the access point to be recognized, and sometimes it still wouldn't work. So I got in the habit of every morning, going to the Network Manager and having it refresh the handhelds. That worked for a while but then another problem occurred. Some of the wireless hats wouldn't connect. After troubleshooting to make sure the other issues weren't at fault, I was still at a lost. I called in to TI Cares and the rep recommended I reset the handhelds for which the wireless hats weren't working. So with my trusty paper clip I would reset the devices. And it worked. 
3. Handheld Stopped Charging: Even though this isn't a Navigator CX problem, I thought I would include it.  
The Handhelds were first purchased in the summer of 2011 and already 2 of them have had charging issues. TI Cares had me send in the first one, and they resent a new one. But for the second one, before they had me send it in, they wanted me to switch out the battery from the non-working one with a working one to see if it was the battery. Small problem, I don't have a tiny screwdriver for the screws to unscrew the battery, so the non-working handheld is still not working until I remember to find a tiny screwdriver. 

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