Use a USB keyboard and mouse with a non-ADB NeXT

Started by drakar, February 12, 2018, 04:54:01 pm

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drakar

Now you can use a USB keyboard and mouse on your non-ADB NeXT!

There's only 100mA of power available from the NeXT so you need USB peripherals that don't use much. Standard keyboards only use around 10-20mA. Ones with tons of LEDs or complex macro functionality use more.

Optical mice can use quite a bit (~65mA or more), but I've had good luck with wireless ones as the receiver uses a tiny amount of power. My old Logitech wireless mouse works great. Mouse movement is very different between the two protocols so it doesn't feel exactly the same, but it's close.

Right now it supports standard, separate keyboards and mice. Hubs or composite (2-in-1) devices won't work. Future firmware (upgraded via thumb drive) could support them.

A 5-pin cable connects it to the soundbox or monitor - you can modify a 6-pin PS/2 cable or I have them available pre-made.


Available now at https://drakware.com


Rob Blessin Black Hole

Hello Drak: Cool Stuff , I placed an order.  best regards Rob Blessin
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93

barcher174

Here's a thought. Maybe you could put a micrUSB power connector on the device so people could use a USB hub to get around the power limitations?

drakar

I didn't think of that, I could add it for version 2. For this one I was just focused on one connection from the NeXT with no external pieces to worry about.

barcher174

I forgot to say it before, but excellent work! I could see this being really useful for KVM setups.

barcher174

Another thought I had. With an external power source could you also set the Next power button to be a key or key combination instead of a physical button?

drakar

Yep, if the USB part was powered up you could watch for a key and then signal the system to turn on.

Rob Blessin Black Hole

Hello Drak and  Brian:  Would it be possible in V2 to have the additional power supplied by a bios / watch battery  as less cords to plug in? Best regards Rob
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93

drakar

A battery might work but it would have to be bigger than a coin cell to keep everything running for any amount of time. I'd like to keep the cables to a minimum too.

All good feedback though! I'll see what I can come up with.

Rob Blessin Black Hole

Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93