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Calculator Programs for Coasters
The Basics
Okay, so here we are with no lives. Soooo, what more to do than make something youll never use. For the next 30 minutes or so, were going to be building programs in graphing calculators. Though its not tested, these programs should work on most Texas Instruments calculators. I personally have a TI-83. Most people in school now have a TI-83Plus which will work as well. The models Im going to walk you through are the TI-83, and TI-83Plus. If you have a different model, PM or IM me and Ill try to help you out.
Building the Beast
Now that you know how to access your programs area, well being making our first program. During this first program, Ill describe each and every detail so that you understand how it works and what each part does.
1: turn on your calculator and press the PRGM button
2: using your directional pad, press the right button 2 times until new is highlighted
3: press enter and name the program CSTRDROP by typing in each letter with the green super-scripts above most of the buttons. for example, to get CSTR, press PRGM then LN, 4, and * as in multiply.
4: once you get it named it will take you too a screen that says PROGRAM: CSTRDROP
:
5: now Im giving you an idea of what the end process will look like. here goes,
Disp SOLVE FOR
Disp 1 SPEED:
Disp 2 HEIGHT:
Input ,A
If A=1
Goto 1
If A=2
Goto 2
Lbl 1
Input DROP HEIGHT:,L
square root of ((H*.3048*9.81/.5))*2.2369363*.864+L=V
Disp DROP SPEED IS:,V
Stop
Lbl 2
Input DESIRED SPEED:,v
Input LIFT SPEED:,L
(((V/2.2369363)2 *.5/9.81)+L)*3.2808=H
Disp HEIGHT IS,H
looks pretty sickly doesnt it? its not.
6: you can see the first thing we need is a Disp command. Disp stands for display and enables what-ever you put in parenthesis to be seen when you run the program. Those of you familiar with HTML will understand this a bit better but Im telling it as if you all are dumb and idiots.
7: make sure youre still in the program called CSTRDROP (your calculator probably shut off while I was jabbering) and press PRGM. what comes up is a list of words which well use later. press the right button once till you see that I/O is highlighted. now press 3. it takes you back to the PRGM screen with Disp shown. now we can start typing.
8: what you put here really doesnt matter since it doesnt interfere with the calculations of the formula, you could be TRIGONOMETRY SUCKS for all I care, but every time you run the program, that will pop up on your screen. whether or not your moma will like seeing that when you show her this, is your own risk that I dont take blame for. I would type SOLVE FOR since that tells you your going to try and solve for something. one trick you need to learn, if you press 2nd and then ALPHA. with the 83Plus you can hit ALPHA twice to make it lowercase.
9: now press ENTER which will take you to the next line. press PRGM and hit the right button once, then press 3 to get Disp again.
10: type 1 SPEED: and make sure you have the quotations.
11: press ENTER and get another Disp. on this one type 2 HEIGHT:.
12: now were going to press PRGM and the right (Im going to call it > for now on) button and make sure 1: is highlighted. press ENTER. Input shows up in the PRGM area, now type ,A. its odd yea, but it tells the calculator that the number you push next is going to be a branch where each leads in different directions.
13: now click PRGM and then ENTER. you can see that If was placed in the program, type A.
14: here is a tricky part, press 2nd and then CATALOG which is the 2nd button from the left on the bottom row. using the up and down arrows, scroll until you see the = sign. when the little black arrow is pointing at it, hit ENTER.
15: now hit 1 and then ENTER. press PRGM and then 0. you get Goto on the program screen. next simply hit 1.
16: repeat numbers 13,14, and 15 but instead of 1 hit 2 in the spots required. in the end it will look like this: If A=2
Goto 2
17: now we can do some more logical non-technical stuff. press PRGM and then 9. Lbl comes up, now hit 1and then ENTER what we have just done is told the program that the next few lines we write will be the sub-program for the whole program. imagine it like a tree that splits from the single trunk to 2 branches. the two branches never interact yet they came from the same source, thats how this works. we had one program where you decided what you wanted to do, now you will input numbers to solve for variables. for you younger kids, a variable is a number that can change, for instance, (3.14)R where you can change R to get a different number when multiplied by 3.14.
18: next hit PRGM and >. hit ENTER and you get Input. input stands for a number that you are pressing. your giving input to the calculator. type DROP HEIGHT,H. what will be displayed is DROP HEIGHT and ,H is what we will put in the formula to stand for height. consider it a tag or label.
19: now were going to do the same thing as above but instead it will turn out as Input LIFT SPEED,L. remember to get the Input go to PRGM, hit > and then ENTER.
20: here is the fun part; the formula! dont you feel like a mad scientist? the formula is square root of H*.3048*9.81/.5)*2.2369363*.864+L=V. to get the square root of, hit 2nd then x2 which is the first button 5 rows up from the bottom. to get the (, hit the side-by-side buttons in the 5th row, 3 and 4 columns from the left. to get the = at then end, dont hit ENTER, that will just take you to the next line. instead, hit STO-> which is 2nd row from the bottom, first button. it will give you a symbol similar to >, then type V.
21: now that weve got our formula written, we have to display the answer! it doesnt do it on its own so we have to tell it to. to do this, type DROP SPEED IS:,V. Im pretty sure you know how to type all of that. what that line does is take the answer from our formula, V, and attaches it to the line DROP SPEED IS. once again, you see that the ,V is a tag that tells what and where from to pull something.
22: the first branch of our program is almost done, all that needs left is to close it. to do this, hit PRGM then ALPHA and finally F. Stop appears in your program. what the ALPHA F did was select the correct direction and it wasnt a number since Stop was so far down the list of directions.
23: one branch down, one to go. for this next one, I wont be as detailed as the first so stay focused and pay attention. type in Lbl 2. remember that Lbl is a direction so you hit PRGM then 9
24: here is the 2nd branch of the program;
Lbl 2
Input DESIRED SPEED:,V
Input LIFT SPEED:,L
(((V/2.2369363)2 *.5/9.81)+L)*3.2808=H
Disp HEIGHT IS,H
Stop
you should be able to copy that down without any problem or issues. just remember that to get Input you go PRGM > twice and ENTER. same for Disp except instead of ENTER you hit 3. dont forget the 3 tags at the ends of the Inputs and Disp.
25: test the formula by turning off your calculator and turning it back on. hit PRGM and then find the program titled CSTRDROP. highlight the number next to hit and hit enter. it will ask you the questions and if you will plainly input the answers you need and want. for a test, run the program and hit 1 then ENTER. it asks you the drop height, put 208 in and hit ENTER. then it asks for the lift speed, hit 6 then ENTER.
Complaint Department
If something goes wrong, its your fault! Haha, no, if your having trouble with the formulas or how to work with your calculator, talk with me on AIM, MSN, or PM/E-Mail me. Id be happy to help. These formulas are great at working with elementary; they tell you what the train will do in different situations. Remember that the drop height isnt the height of the structure. For instance, Raging Bull is only 202 tall but the drop is 208 tall. So I would put 208 for the H variable. The lift speed is exactly what it sounds like. Put it at 6 and hit enter. Tada! 74.16414787 comes up. Thats in mph and all the inputs you make such as height and speed are all to be in imperial fashion. Speed=MPH, Length=Ft, ect. This particular formula was made to be accurate with B&M hyper coasters in NoLimits and real life ones such as Raging Bull and Apollos Chariot. They may not work correctly with Intamin or Vekoma coasters. Reason being, they have different friction rates, which is the rate of speed lost over a given distance. I have it set for B&M at 0.864 at the moment and to change it, just find those numbers in the formula and change it as needed. Ill post the Intamin, Vekoma, and wooden friction rates as I calculate them. The reason there are 2 programs is that one of them calculates the speed at a drop from you giving a height. The other is the opposite; you give a speed and it tells you how high you need to be to get that speed. The 2nd program has some issues and isnt 100% accurate. It should be within 1-5 feet though. The first program is only off by 1 or so mph so its pretty accurate. Reason for its in-accuracy could be different lift speeds and friction rates between coasters. Well that wraps it up for this tutorial, 2 more are to come; G-forces and launches! Happy programming!
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