Keyboards available for Apple 1/Replica 1

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249

After a long extensive search I've come across a source for brand new ASCII keyboards. I'll post pictures soon. This are the same style that will work on the replica 1 and with a cable change will work with Apple 1's too. If you are interested in a keyboard email me a to get on a list for when they arrive.

Cheers,

Vince

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Joined: Oct 3 2004
Posts: 6
Pics of new keyboard?

Did you have those photos to post yet?

I'm probably going to order a kit soon, and I wanted to see what the ASCII Keyboard looks like.

Do you offer the ASCII keyboard separate from the built up Replica I?

I didn't see it on the pricelist on your website.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
Temp. sold out on keyboards

I'm working on getting more so stay tuned. If you want to know what they look like find a picture of a Franklin Ace 1000 or 1200, these are the keyboards I've found brand new! I hope I can get more.

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Joined: Feb 20 2005
Posts: 18
Did you get anymore yet?

Did you get anymore yet?

—cheese1113

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Joined: Mar 23 2005
Posts: 19
More on keyboard options

The options I see for keyboards on a Replica 1 (or any 6502-based thing) at this point are:

- AT or PS/2 with a PIC
- Parallel ASCII if you can find one
- Serial ASCII and a shift register, if you can find one
- Matrix keyboard and encoder
- USB HID keyboard

The advantage of the AT keyboard is that you probably have a couple laying around, and if you haven't got one, it's like $10, deal with it. The disadvantage is that you need a whole PIC just to decode the brain damaged AT keyboard scancodes and turn them into something useful. And unless you have a keyboard from the time dinosaurs roamed the earth laying about, you're not going to get that classic feel from the cheap membrane keys.

Parallel ASCII is perfect, it's what we want, and there are a number of them out there. Most are horrible layouts though, and it's hard to find one new. You probably can find a junker computer from the stone age which may or may not work and be relatively sure that its keyboard can be salvaged. Those layouts where enter was in some odd place and the keys had unusual mappings are hard to deal with though.

Serial ASCII is almost perfect, just add a shift register and you're set. These are also hard to find new, but many old terminals are basically being tossed because they're decrepit and have long since had some bank software main screen burned in to the tube. I seem to recall a vaguely modern layout WYSE terminal keyboard I rather liked. Unusual keys may spit out odd terminal sequences, but these are easier to decode than the bass-ackwards AT scancodes.

Matrix keyboards. Again, good luck finding them new, but any presumed dead or presumed unneeded 8-bit computer from a bygone era which has a matrix keyboard could probably be outfitted with a pretty simple encoder. Again, layout may be a little weird with the exception of a few machines you probably don't want to gut the keyboard from if they work. A nonworking //c or //e is likely a good choice here, as would be a dead Amiga.

USB keyboards. All the advantages of PS/2 in terms of availability, without the silly scancodes. USB HID is intelligent, one bit per key. Now of course the keys aren't laid out so that you can actually have fully independent pressing of each key, but they hardware at least does encode the matrix and decode it to a bit array. Requires simulating enough of a USB host to access the thing. This one is most interesting to me at the moment, although I may wind up with one of the above options sooner.

Any other thoughts?

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Joined: Mar 9 2005
Posts: 79
Another option is buying key

Another option is buying key switches and key caps to make a new keyboard. It would be expensive, but that's just how these things are. Wink I priced out the parts at around $85. Pretty much the only way you could have a new authentic looking keyboard with things like no caps lock key.

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Joined: Mar 23 2005
Posts: 19
Re: Another option is buying key

logjam wrote:

Another option is buying key switches and key caps to make a new keyboard. It would be expensive, but that's just how these things are. Wink I priced out the parts at around $85. Pretty much the only way you could have a new authentic looking keyboard with things like no caps lock key.

I found a source for cheap keyswitches (relatively speaking of course), but not of a set of keycaps. Problem #2 is that I have no idea if the keys would take a given set of keycaps I would find. Additional problem is that keycaps generally need to be printed and that's a custom jobby most of the time. Unless you can find a set of keys for a whole keyboard at once, you're probably going to pay an awful lot for a custom printing of each keycap. That gets cheap in lots of 1000 per key, but um, is anyone here making 1000 apple 1 keyboards? Wink

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Joined: Mar 9 2005
Posts: 79
Which ones did you find? Y

Which ones did you find?

You can get ones with the cap and then a plastic snap on lid. So you get a stencil set with a bunch of little labels and use the ones you want.

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Joined: Mar 23 2005
Posts: 19
Found some!

I lost the original link I had, but it didn't take long to find some more.. These I know you can get caps for since they're ALPS switches:

http://www.electronicsurplus.com/commerce/ccp74305-dpdt-mom--p-b-keyboard-switch---no-knobs--6-pin-p-sph122a50-2236.htm

They have some generic switches too for $.13 apiece:

http://www.electronicsurplus.com/commerce/ccp74336-n-o--p-b-keyboard-switch-with-tops---100-249-00----3-356-1915.htm

All of the above are under switches -> pushbutton. In fact, just search their site for "keyboard" and go nuts. They seem to have a number of keyboards ready-built for heathkits, and they want to get rid of them. If the key layout is bass-ackwards, you can always just build a new board and reuse the keys and keycaps. If the keys themselves are bass-ackwards, well, I don't know what to tell you--it's a keyboard for $3-4. Wink

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Joined: Mar 23 2005
Posts: 19
Heathkit keyboards

Did anyone order one of these things (either one)? Ohe is for sure a matrix keyboard (two 12 pin ribbon cables), the other I do not know. If someone is getting one of these, I'd like to see pictures of the actual key layout.

For a sane key layout, I'll find an encoder somewhere, yaknow? AVRs are good for these sorts of things.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 5
Franklin Ace keyboards

I have a couple Franklin Ace keyboards I've purchased on ebay, does anyone here have a pinout for the parallel ASCII output on these?
Thanks,
Nathan Trone

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
They are directly Apple II compatible

I know if they are the 1000-1200 series Franklin Ace models they are pin compatible with the Apple II. There is no -12V or RESET signals used. Hope this helps.

Vince

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Joined: May 24 2005
Posts: 41
keyboards + replica

Hi Vince! Do you still have ASCII keyboards for sale? Soon I'll buy a replica 1 kit and I would like to have one of these keyboards... Because I felt envy watchin' your pretty home-made wood cases, and what the hell, I wan't to build one!! Wink

I'm thinking about break & modify a PS/2 keyb and put it into a wood case... but it will not be the same!

regards, Luis

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
Sorry Luis but I don't have a

Sorry Luis but I don't have any more keyboards and I haven't found a source. Unfortunately I don't have time to design an adapter for very common IIe keyboards but maybe somebody else can finish up a design for one Smile. The ps/2 adapter was done for this exact reason, ASCII keyboards are difficult to find. I think a IIe keyboard adapter will still give it that retro feel.

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Joined: Jan 17 2005
Posts: 56
I have an IIe keyboard and am

I have an IIe keyboard and am learning SX/PIC programming but I need some help on the pins and encoding of the keyboard. If I can get that, I would be glad to develop an encoder

cbmeeks

cbmeeks@gmail.com

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Joined: Apr 13 2006
Posts: 39
Wyse 30 Keyboard + Apple 1 Replica

Hi,

I have a Wyse 30 keyboard with a coil cable (looks just like the old coiled phone cables, this one has 4 pins). It is an ASCII keyboard, so I was wondering if it might work with the Replica? What would I need to do to get it to work?

I read today that this keyboard is dependent on the the chips within the terminal, and that the design is proprietary. So far, I haven't found specs on this keyboard and I'm thinking I'm out of luck.

Thanks for any tips.

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http://apple1computer.blogspot.com/

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
Schematics. By ASCII we are r

Schematics. By ASCII we are referring to parallel data, 7 bits and a strobe bit to tell the computer when a keystroke is pressed. 4 lines isn't enough. I have a Wise 150 that has a ASCII keyboard too and I'd like to get a copy of the schematics to see exactly what they mean by ASCII keyboard. Without schematics, it is difficult to check but not impossible. Time to do the research is my biggest problem right now.

Vince

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