IBM XT 5160 Keyboard issues

Todd Goodman tsg at
Sun Dec 18 09:00:28 CST 2016

I have AT2XTKBD bare boards available for $5 each that were designed at forums with the help of our very own Chuck Guzis.


* Fred Cisin <cisin at> [161218 03:49]:
> >> 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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