USB keyboards

Discuss the new Altair 8800 Micro

USB keyboards

Postby Quaxo76 » Nov Fri 30, 2012 7:53 am

Hi all,
I have a problem with finding a suitable keyboard to use with my Altair Micro. Apparently ps/2 keyboards are impossible to find here. I found a really nice USB keyboard, very very small, which would make a great rig with the Altair and my 5" mini LCD TV. But trying to plug it in through one of those usb-to-ps2 adapters won't work.
What are you all doing? Is there a reliable supplier of mini ps/2 keyboards? Or are there good adapters that actually translate the signals, instead of simply routing the wires to a different connector?
I've searched around a lot online, but people mostly have the opposite problem - that is, using their old ps/2 keyboard on an usb-only computer.

This is actually a problem with many DIY computer projects - I have the same issue with my propeller-powered BASIC computer, and with my old Amiga 1200... That's why a decent "active" adapter would be a great find!!

Cristian
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby vbriel » Nov Fri 30, 2012 12:04 pm

I know. As of right now, there is no proper way to convert a USB keyboard to ps/2. It would require a USB microcontroller to convert the signals. Have you tried eBay? In the US, ps/2 keyboards are still everywhere.
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby Quaxo76 » Nov Fri 30, 2012 12:41 pm

Vince, why don't you design a proper kit for that? I'll buy at least three, I promise! :)
I tried (briefly) eBay, but searching for "ps2 keyboard", it shows hundreds of USB keyboards with the ps2 adapter.
Anyway I'm coming to the US for Christmas, I will look into some garage sales or something...

But I'm wondering: why do these adapters work with "regular" computers (I tested them, they work fine) but not with these "home-built" kits?

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Re: USB keyboards

Postby sje » Dec Sat 01, 2012 9:18 am

Search for "inland ps/2 wired keyboard". I recently bought two of these and they work with the Micro 8800.
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby Corey986 » Dec Mon 03, 2012 7:01 am

The issue with USB keyboards using a ps/2 adapter is that they need to actually support the ps/2 protocol and speed. The little dongle adapter just re-wires the end. So your usb keyboard has to be made for the adapter. Newer keyboards typically don't bother.

There are real adapter boxes that change the USB protocol to ps/2. They are expensive about $100 in the states. Companies like Black Box make them because in a data center on a crash cart you might have a keyboard outlet for ps/2 or usb on a machine. Typicaly I see a keyboard switching box that uses ps/2 hooked up to a whole bunch of machines with dongles that convert to usb or leave it as ps/2 that run to the back of the systems. I think most high end switching boxes are still PS2.

Cheers,
Corey
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby bibrex » Dec Wed 19, 2012 10:17 pm

A couple of PS/2 keyboards, Mini format on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid= ... &_from=R40
Billy

When you've eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby vbriel » Dec Thu 20, 2012 1:34 am

Nice find. These used to be really common. I have 2, one has a built in touch pad I found used at a surplus shop.
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Re: USB keyboards

Postby jac_goudsmit » Jan Wed 16, 2013 8:56 pm

If you can't find one anywhere else, you might try the PS/2 mini keyboard that Parallax sells. Go to parallax.com and search for item number 32351.

Many Propeller designs use the PS/2 keyboard so they're not likely to stop selling these anytime soon.

===Jac
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