XT -> PS/2 -> USB adapters?

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XT -> PS/2 -> USB adapters?

I have an older IBM XT keyboard in fantastic shape, and I just *love* the clicky feel of the keys, I'd like to use it with PS/2 and, hopefully, USB enabled PCs (maybe macs?). From what I read on the web, it doesn't use the AT data signal, or something; it uses the XT kind of data signal. Would something like this, labeled as an "AT/XT to PS/2 converter" work? If it did, would a PS/2 -> USB converter attached to that work?

Thanks! Smile

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The AT/XT to PS2 converter wo

The AT/XT to PS2 converter would probably work, if that is indeed what your keyboard is.
I've had zero success using both an AT-PS2 converter and then a PS2-USB converter on the same keyboard.

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I bet it will

I have used an XT keyboard (with an adapter) on my USB Mac with a cheapy USB -> PS/2 from the rat shack.

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I think it depends on the fle

I think it depends on the flexability of the PS/2 -> USB adapter, as to whether it will pickup the signals. Mine seems to do it just fine

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xt keyboards

I've had the same desire several times, and googled extensively on each occasion. The really really old school Type F IBM XT board (the metal bottomed, just ten F-key version) is a beast unto itself. The keycodes are completely not like the later versions, and requires an active adapter to read the XT signals and spit out AT keycodes. I found such an adapter (at a pretty darn expensive price of $100) googling around. It's on my Christmas list, but I reckon I'm going to have to wait until I can learn to program PIC microcontrollers.

A slightly newer version, although still nice and clicky (but not as much as the Type F) is the Type M IBM keyboard. I found one at Goodwill a long time ago, and it doesn't even need the big DIN to ps/2 adapter. I see no reason why that won't work with a ps/2 to usb adapter- though I haven't tried it.

If you want the uber-clicky really old IBM XT feel- you are going to have to spend some money. That link you posted is just for a big DIN to ps/2 passive adapter, and will only work with AT style keyboards with big DIN connectors. Their ad copy is a little misleading. I'd try to find a Type M board...

my $0.02-
mike

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Yeah, I saw that $100 XT -> A

Yeah, I saw that $100 XT -> AT adapter, and they really make it sound like the only way to do it is with one of those devices, and they are the only ones that sell them. Though, I used to have an AT -> PS/2 converter, I guess it can't hurt to give it a shot, if I can find it.

I've also looked at the IBM Model Ms, and they don't appeal to me near as much as this one does. I think mine is a Model F XT.

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it's expensive.

I hear ya. It's really expensive. I asked the guy if they'd provide a kit of something, since what you are paying for is the code in that embedded controller. No dice.

If you truly have a Type F board- which is the one with the 10 F keys along the left, the keycodes and signals are nothing a machine expecting an AT-style board is going to do anything with. Do be careful- in my younger days I ruined a motherboard putting a Type F board in an AT keyboard port. Here's a good discussion of the protocols (and one of the first things that I'd refer to if I was making a protocol adapter):

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/jmcm/www/info/key2.txt

The Type M isn't really that bad Wink I'm going to put a protocol adapter on my humongous list of things that'll probably not get done, despite the fact that I agree with you- I like the Type F better!

mike

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Type M keyboard

I'm a big fan of the type M. I've had success with them and the usb -> ps/2 adapter. Great keyboard. Dad worked, and still does for ibm. Good times.

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The Apple Extended Keyboard a

The Apple Extended Keyboard and AEK-II have similar feels, and will work with a USB-ADB adapter. They're also a lot easier to find.

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I own an Apple Extended II, a

I own an Apple Extended II, and it feels *nothing* like the XT Model F. It is very mushy, while the XT is very clicky.

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John has it right

The Apple Extended Keyboards, while great, are nothing like the IBM keyboards. I dare say that the Type M (I haven't encountered a model F in a long long time, but have used tons of type M's) is a far superior keyboard.

For quieter keyboards, the Apple extended keyboards are nice, considering that both the AEK I and AEK II have Alps innards. There's just a feeling about those old IBM keyboards that is hard to replicate. The fact that those keyboards are more solidly built than most cars are today is the big reason why they are so loved.

Some things may come and go, but an older IBM keyboard, like an old rear wheel drive Volvo, will last forever while feeling nice and substantial.

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Indeed

I agree. It's actually taking some getting used to working on a Type M again, as I kinda forgot what a little resistance and key travel feels like. I was in high school when I first started programming (Turbo Pascal 3), and our lab was full of 2 floppy XT's with ye old Type F boards. I typed a ton on those things, and you get a nice rhythm going. Plus a whole lab of those boards clicking along sounds like a steam powered calculator Smile

I'm pretty sure they'll last forever. I'm looking forward to the day I have enough time to interface the darn thing to my daily use machines. Meanwhile, I'm gonna have to be content with my Goodwill sourced M!

mike

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Haha, i know exacty what you mean

Ive used that type of IBM Keyboard, but the real winner is the Zenith (ill look at the model umber later) keyboards from the 70s. oh my, they make such a nice clickitty-clack sound, and provide so much tactile feedback. i love the things. They are awfull heavy too. Hehe, this has made me want to find an adapter for it Smile

//wthww

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Circa. 1987

My dell Keyboard (Circa '87) weighs more than my friend's iBook G4 14" I love the thing. It's so nice to type with. I only found one keyboard that comes close to it, and it's a Rat Shack $14 special USB Keyboard. I use it with my G3 now. Before that, the PC and the G3 had to fight over which machine got the keyboard.

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john8520 wrote:I have an

john8520 wrote:
I have an older IBM XT keyboard in fantastic shape, and I just *love* the clicky feel of the keys, I'd like to use it with PS/2 and, hopefully, USB enabled PCs (maybe macs?). From what I read on the web, it doesn't use the AT data signal, or something; it uses the XT kind of data signal. Would something like this, labeled as an "AT/XT to PS/2 converter" work? If it did, would a PS/2 -> USB converter attached to that work?

Thanks! Smile

I love the both my old IBM Model F and Model M keyboards! They're very durable and I like the clicky feel. I made a XT/AT to USB Converter that you might be interested. It uses Soarer's Converter firmware which has nice features like NKRO, MACROS, layers, on-the-fly-configuration, etc.. I also sell the terminal RJ45 to usb converter which also for old IBM keyboards.

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