Non-ADB keyboard to PS2/USB? How?

Started by stevebez, November 02, 2011, 03:51:54 am

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stevebez

I recently made the mistake of touching my non-adb keyboard for more than a second, and now all other keyboards seem like garbage.  Is there any way to connect this thing to a modern computer, so my typing fingers can be happy?  If so, how?

bkmoore

I don't think there are any off-the-shelf solutions for hooking a non-ADB NeXT Keyboard to a USB port. You might be able to find an ADB-to-USB adaptor from the late '90s though and use an ADB NeXT Keyboard. Another possible solution is this keyboard: http://www.daskeyboard.com/. It is a modern keyboard made up of individual mechanical keys and has a similar look and feel to the original NeXT Keyboard. I've never tried one, so I cannot say how good it is though. If they offered one in a German Macintosh layout, I would have gotten one by now.

Brian

stevebez

I found this -http://m0115.web.fc2.com/ in another thread, but I can't seem to find any more information about it.  I'm half tempted to find an electronically dead Next keyboard, and a small USB keyboard, and hack the two together.  Has anyone had a non-ADB keyboard open before?  I'm wondering how much room is in there.  I'm thinking an ADB keyboard is not going to give me what I want.

itomato

ADB keyboards are a different animal.  The switches are different, the plastic feels different, the layout is slightly different.

I just scored an ADB keyboard (thanks gtnicol) to use with this project:
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:14290

Uses a Teensy and his custom firmware https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/tree/master/adb_usb



I just can't find an iMate, and I refuse to pay $129 for one on eBay.  :roll:

I wish the NonADB converter on that site was for sale - looks so clean!
-itomato

gtnicol

I could make a non-ADB->PS/2 converter pretty easily at this point. If there is some interest, I'll work one up... FWIW I like the old keyboards enough that I'd probably use one myself. I could probably do a non-ADB->USB too, using the higher-end PIC.

I have actually been working on the opposite: a PS/2 mouse+keyboard to the NeXT. I've been using a PIC16f88 but the timing constraints make programming it a real PITA... to the point that I actually wrote a compiler and a tiny VM for the PIC that emulates concurrent processes, just to make the programming easier.

Then I looked at the PIC18, PIC24, PIC32 (MIPS!), Propeller, and XMOS. For the kind of thing I want to do, the Propeller and XMOS are a lot more natural. I have the development kits for them, but haven't had enough time to really work on it.

nextchef

Quote from: "gtnicol"I could make a non-ADB->PS/2 converter pretty easily at this point. If there is some interest, I'll work one up... FWIW I like the old keyboards enough that I'd probably use one myself. I could probably do a non-ADB->USB too, using the higher-end PIC.


Any estimate on what such adapters would cost, as I am intersted in both options.

nextchef

Quote from: "itomato"I just can't find an iMate, and I refuse to pay $129 for one on eBay.


FWIW, there is a guy on ebay selling NIB Griffin iMates for 25 USD, with shipping.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320864119142

gtnicol

I think an adapter would probably be in the $30 region, though that's just a ballpark estimate. I'm going to start working on the coding for the NeXT -> PS/2... in some ways it'll be a lot easier than going the other way because the device drives the clock on the PS/2.

flowerking

Alexander Kurz did a lot of keyboard converters. I have converter for Sun 5 to PS2, which works very well. He hasn't developed a NeXT converter, but maybe you can use some informations from his webpage: http://www.kbdbabel.org/

dai_vernon

I would absolutely love a non ADB -> USB adapter.  I emailed that guy expressing my interest.  How complicated do you think it would be to make?

gtnicol

PS/2 is easier than USB, but either way, it's not too complex with a reasonable MCU... the smaller PIC processors are good enough for PS/2, but not for USB, but there are a bunch of more effective MCU's out there now anyway.

I picked up a teensy to play with... if we have both ADB and non-ADB on a single chip, it seems like it might be a win.

dai_vernon

Well, I'd imagine that you'd make a NeXT -> PS/2 connecter and then just use a standard PS/2 to USB dongle afterwards.  There's no sense in reinventing the wheel and it's not like the keyboards would have usb ports to daisy chain anyway.

memson

Late to the game, but Adafriut just published this guide on how to make exactly this for reasonably cheap:

http://learn.adafruit.com/usb-next-keyboard-with-arduino-micro/overview

This is for non-ADB too.