[vcf-midatlantic] OT: Modern keyboard question
fraveydank at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 22:59:53 EST 2018
Interesting feedback. It’s been many years since I looked up the price of iMates... when I got mine, they were out of production but still only $20 on eBay. Sorry to see they’re so expensive now.
In any case, the ADB protocol isn’t overly difficult to implement with a microcontroller; after all, it was designed to be implemented on a 6800-series micro at 1 MHz (granted, that one wasn’t doing much else). There are a load of app notes from Microchip detailing some implementation specifics, many of which are portable. I’d be happy to point anyone interested at the various resources available.
On Nov 26, 2018, at 13:44, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>> I'm also more of an Alps fan; my daily [desktop keybord] is an Apple Extended Keyboard II through an iMate ADB->USB adaptor.
> Since I sell ADB keyboards, this phrase caught my eye. Let's see what such adapters are about, these days. I presume 1) none are in current commercial production but 2) there's some hobby projects old and new about it. And I found I was likely right.
> "ADB to USB Connector Adapter" on that auction site, shows Griffin imate, AlphaSmart as apparently old brands, resale price $70-$100+; and maybe "Wombat" as some hobby class product at $59-$79.
> A Web search seems to zero in on a hobby project apparently called "tmk". Further searching and hopping about the Web, reveals some person calling themself "tmk", in Japan. There's some kind of code to run on microcontroller chips like Atmel AVR and Cortex-M; on some kind of hardware design (not physically complicated, interfaces and a MPU chip I imagine). The trail I was able to find amounts to:
> Without a lecture from an old-guy; it's mostly a club around someone's microcontroller board for specific purposes. You have to join the conversation to figure out what you get, how to make it useful, see what's available now. All code is on github. The "sales" page seems to be an updated post in a keyboard discussion group (geekhack). More information is in various discussions.
> I don't think much of this kind of hobby-product-support, to be honest. I understand, this is how such things are done today.
> And of course - I may be wrong about "tmk" being a particularly popular old keyboard to USB solution. All I did was search the web cold, and see what Google came up with first. I'm not "in the club", so I know nothing. Maybe someone in that club, or another club, can reference other work.
> This is marginally within vintage-computing: this is about reuse of vintage tech. That's a fact: I sell ADB keyboards for current use, or disassembly, all the time.
> Otherwise I posted here what I found, to save my other know-nothing friends some of the time I spent on this subject this afternoon. Hope this is informative.
> Herb "click-clack" Johnson
> Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
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