IBM XT 5160 Keyboard issues

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sun Dec 18 02:48:57 CST 2016

>> Alright, thanks for the info.  I think I'll start off with something in
>> the "cheap crap" category and see if i can find something better down the
>> line.  Now that i know what to look for it probably won't take long to get
>> one that is of good quality.
On Sun, 18 Dec 2016, Eric Smith wrote:
> After that AT (5170) hit the market, most of the clone keyboards that were
> introduced either had a switch to select between XT and AT interface, or
> did auto-switching.  As XTs faded from common use, the clone keyboards
> dropped that feature.

Which brings up:
How to tell whether a given keyboard is suitable for XT
It will have a 5 pin DIN (NOT mini-DIN) connector.
It will almost always be 83 key, but there were exceptions.
It will almost never have lights, but there were exceptions.
If it has an XT/AT switch, then it is OK!

If you find an 83 key keyboard, with 5 pin DIN and no lights nor switches, 
then it could be XT, or it could be AT, with no external indication.
Which leaves part number, or opening it to check circuitry.
Should be possible to power it, and monitor the signals that it puts out?

You could try to make a microprocessor based adapter, . . . 
30 years ago, people were trying to make adapters to use XT keyboards on 
AT.  Some of that information is still floating around.

Once "everybody" had upgraded to AT, most XT keyboards were dumpstered.
35 years ago, you could buy a keyboard to build a PC for $300.
So, maybe the eBay prices aren't so ridiculous?

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