Can I use any ASCII keyboard with an Apple-1?

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Joined: Mar 6 2013
Posts: 7

Folks,

Can I use any ASCII keyboard with an Apple-1?

In the Apple-1 Operating Manual, Wozniak indicates that any ASCII keyboard could be used with his Apple-1.

But in reading the posts in Applefritter and doing some reseach, it seems to me that most people use Datanetics, Amkey, or modified early Apple II keyboards with Apple-1s.

Is there something special on the encoder or to anything else in these keyboards that make them usable with an Apple-1?

If not, then I could use any ASCII-compliant keyboard, such as a TI-99 computer one.

Thanks guys,

rookie2013

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rookie2013

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apple2lives's picture
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Joined: Feb 18 2013
Posts: 36
Re: Can I use any ASCII keyboard with an Apple-1?

I do not remember if the Apple-1 required 8-bit or 7-bit ASCII; but I am willing to place a bet on 7-bit.

The Apple II uses a dumb keyboard. This was probably done to same money. To use an Apple II keyboard; you will need to design hardware that scans the keyboard matrix and then does the ASCII encoding.

Just purchase a parallel ASCII keyboard.

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1063
Re: Can I use any ASCII keyboard with an Apple-1?

Or Mike Willegal makes a great ps/2 to parallel keyboard adapter. Then you can just get a ps/2 keyboard.

apple2lives's picture
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Joined: Feb 18 2013
Posts: 36
Re: Can I use any ASCII keyboard with an Apple-1?

I checked my old note books and found this:

Apple-1
14 - Strobe
5 - B1
4 - B2
3 - B3
2 - B4
6 - B5
7 - B6
8 - B7
9 - Gnd
16 - +5

This means that the Apple-1 uses 7-bit ASCII. You only need to use data-0 to data-6 from the parallel keyboard. The data-7 line is not needed because it applies to extended ASCII.