Question about Texas Instruments TI-86 Calculator

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Texas instruments ti-86 screen problem

Recently, I've used my old ti-86 and I saw too many lines across the screen that cut off the numbers appear on the srceen. How to fix that problem?

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  • thuanien Apr 01, 2008

    Thanks for your help but it didn't go away. there are vertical lines across the screen still.

  • Anonymous Apr 23, 2008

    I have the TI-86 i am also having problems with the lcd showing horizontal lines across the screen covering up the numbers and images. i tried replacing teh unit with new batteries with no luck, what else can it be?

  • Anonymous Jul 21, 2008

    also having the same problem. It looks as though there are lines missing.

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The TI-86 uses a very small, very thin ribbon cable to connect the display board to the LCD. The cable is about 2.5 " wide and about 4" long, and is only slightly thicker than a piece of paper but has about 40+ leads buried inside. Over time the leads will break at the folds (there are at least two folds in this cable to fit it down inside the case). There is no cheap solution to fix this problem. You might have some "Mr. Fix-it" try to fix it, but he will tell you to throw it away after he renders it completely inoperable. The calculator uses two Torx bit screws at the bottom of the case (T-6 size) so you will have to get the correct screwdriver to open the case. Save your money, sanity and time and use it till you can't stand the missing lines and throw it out. Even the data cable looks like it is glued down so if it lifts off after being cooked or frozen a couple of dozen times in the back of your car you can't fix this.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010

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  • Jay Renner Jan 20, 2010



    This shows a TI-86 opened with the LCD data cable unfolded. The breaks in the ribbon cable cause the lines to appear on the screen. The cable can also detach slightly from the side of the LCD and you can sometimes push down or tap the LCD and make a temporary fix. The problem is only solved by replacing the cable and I don't think TI sells this LCD to LCD driver board cable.


  • gaze gaze Sep 02, 2012

    DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY!. He has no idea what he is talking about. I just successfully fixed my TI which had about half of the horizontal lines completely dead. using the mode menu + brightness did not work so I opened the calculator and used hot air gun to carefully warm the connection between the black ribbon cable and the board behind the LCD. All the bad connections were between the board and the black folded ribbon cable. After warming it up I used a blunt small plastic object to glue the ribbon back to the board. The purpose of the hot air is to melt the glue.. The connection in question is hard to access because it is between the fold so you have to remove some of the black tape before you can stick something between the folds and access the connection. Good luck :)

  • gaze gaze Sep 02, 2012

    What is the point in replying anyway if all you can say is "throw it away" :)

  • Jay Renner Sep 02, 2012

    I don't take too much offense, but you are simply duplicating what caused this connection to fail in the first place - heat and cold. I have fixed more consumer electronics than I care to remember and the number one problem with most electronics are not failure of the electronics, but a mechanical failure of the connections between electronic devices. These failures can be a simple solder break at the legs of a voltage regulator that has heated and cooled a couple of hundred times, to the flexible connection breaking in a TI-86 calculator. Your solution is simply re-doing exaclty what probably caused the initial failure - heating and cooling of the joint/connection between the LCD and the cable from sitting out in a scorching hot car interior to freezing at night in the same car. Your solution may work, but I doubt it would hold up in the long run. Rather than kill myself over a $55.00 calculator (Amazon.com used price) why not just bite the bullet and throw it out or give it to "Mr. Fix-it" and let him/her go crazy.

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Hi I got a problem with Ti-86 which is a line of the screen pixel missing. I tried to increase and decrease the intensity of the screen (2nd and up, down). Also tried to go to MODE function. I have tried that for several times. It works great. The line of those missing screen pixel came back. I don't know why. Just try it.

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

  • bribribribri Sep 28, 2010

    what is mode function? and how do I get there! I really could use some help!

  • Somsak Tantong
    Somsak Tantong Sep 30, 2010

    You can go to Mode function by press 2nd and MORE button. Then press EXIT and go to MODE again for several times. I had that problem when I didn't use it for a long long time. So it might need to get some electron to work. This is also the same problem with other electronic device when it was off for a long time.

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Remove and replace the batteries should be first step. Also, I believe these have a smaller button-cell backup battery as well. Replace and reset to factory settings (backup any saved info if you can link with another TI calculator).

Posted on Mar 28, 2008

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DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY THAT IS TELLING YOU YOU CAN'T FIX IT. He has no idea what he is talking about. I just successfully fixed my TI which had about half of the horizontal lines completely dead. using the mode menu + brightness did not work so I opened the calculator and used hot air gun to carefully warm the connection between the black ribbon cable and the board behind the LCD. All the bad connections were between the board and the black folded ribbon cable. After warming it up I used a blunt small plastic object to glue the ribbon back to the board. The purpose of the hot air is to melt the glue.. The connection in question is hard to access because it is between the fold so you have to remove some of the black tape before you can stick something between the folds and access the connection. Good luck :)

Posted on Sep 02, 2012

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