Simulate old AT keyboard

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Simulate old AT keyboard

Hi all

 

This is not related to Apple hardware but I hope the great knowledge of this forum can help anyways!

 

I have an old 386 computer - it's actually a cinema sound processor, which happened to be based on an intel 386 system - that I would like to control. That is done by plugging an old AT keyboard on the motherboard. I really do not want to invest in a keyboard, it's just for fun and anyways the keyboard would only serve to navigate through a couple of menus - I think I will need the ESC, 1,2,3 and enter keys! :)

 

I was wondering if anybody knows a way to simulate an AT-Type keyboard using an Arduino or a Raspberry pi or anything. Right now I can only find instructions on how to simulate an USB keyboard via a Raspberry Pi.

 

Any help appreciated!

 

Thanks

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It would be far easier to get

It would be far easier to get a PS/2 to AT adapter (they are passive and cheap) and just use a PS/2 keyboard.

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Absolutely. It's just that I

Absolutely. It's just that I do not really want to spend anything on this and I already have Pi's and Arduino's. By the time I got the keyboard and the adaptor I'm sure it's going to be £15-20 and if I could save that, it would be great! :) 

 

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There are many Arduino

There are many Arduino libraries out there for bit-banging the AT/PS2 protocol on a GPIO pin.  Most of them are focused on reading an attached keyboard rather than having the arduino act as a PS/2 keyboard itself.  The interface is bidirectional and basically symmetrical, but the protocol is *not* symmetrical.

 

https://dkudrow.blogspot.com/2013/08/ps2-keyboard-emulation-with-arduino-uno.html

 

https://playground.arduino.cc/ComponentLib/Ps2mouse/

 

But, having gone down this road before, I can assure you that once you are into it for the cost of the connectors, stripboard, passives and glue logic, you'll have spent way more than you would have on a $5 AT-PS/2 adapter and a $5 PS/2 keyboard.  If you just wanna do it for fun, I am totally on board with that, but trust me, you're not going to save any money doing this.

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Lee - thanks a lot! I have to

Lee - thanks a lot!

 

I have to say that I have been looking for AT keyboards online - and they seem to cost quite a lot. I never thought of finding a cheap PS/2 keyboard to be honest. Besides money, it's also a matter of space: this is more of a fun project which I will be using twice a year if I'm in a good mood and I'd hate to have a chunky and long PS2 keyboard sticking out of a box gathering dust :) 

 

That said, I think I already have all the components I need - I think I'll just need a DIN plug. I'll take a look at those libraries, many many thanks!

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I have to agree here. You

I have to agree with Lee, here. You canna save money by building this on your own. You will spend more, and end up with a higher quality device (perhaps), but that is a cheap price IMO. Vintage computing is a costly hobby, and really, in the end, nothing will have the same feel as a proper mechanical KB from the era, so even if you make an adapter, you will still desire a mechanical KB, which in the end negates any savings. 

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Timelord If this keyboard was

Timelord

 

If this keyboard was being used as a full keyboard to, say, use a computer, type commands etc then I would agree.

But the purpose of this keyboard is to press ESC (to go back one menu) and then 3 (to go into option 3). This is it! :) No feeling involved, it's really to access that hidden feature and nothing more. 

 

Anyways, I understand your point, which is very valid. I'll let you know how it goes!

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