DEC Mouse replacement

Warner Losh imp at
Fri May 4 08:47:42 CDT 2018

On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 7:14 AM, Dave Wade via cctalk <cctalk at>

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> On Behalf Of Bill
> Gunshannon
> > via cctalk
> > Sent: 04 May 2018 12:57
> > To: cctalk at
> > Subject: Re: DEC Mouse replacement
> >
> >
> >
> > On 05/03/2018 09:38 PM, Douglas Taylor via cctalk wrote:
> > > I would like to have a couple more DEC Mice for some Vaxestations I
> > > have, but they seem to be pretty rare.  At present I only have one
> > > mouse and I move it from machine to machine.
> > >
> > > The protocols for the DEC mice and the standard PS/2 mice don't seem
> > > to be that much different.
> > >
> > > Is it possible to use an arduino to translate  PS/2 mouse output and
> > > then send it to the vaxstation so that will it mimic a classic DEC
> mouse?
> > >
> > Anything is possible. :-)  I have often wondered about using a modern PC
> > mouse on a VaxStation 3100 but never got around to trying anything. I
> never
> > thought about the Arduino route.  While it seems like overkill, I would
> bet it
> > would work quite well.
> >
> I have seen lots of similar projects using PIC chips. The smaller chips
> may require assembler coding, but you can get them in small enough form
> factors so that they can be inserted in the cable near the plug, and
> covered in heatshrink..

Back in the day, there were a lot of these sorts of things on the web.

I had (still have) a newton keyboard that I interfaced to my (a) dec
rainbow and (b) Sun 4 workstation. Of course, I did it with special
drivers, not hardware (since I did it just before PICs got cheap and easy).
There were many web site online that had PIC or other uC designs for this.
As well as all the other, non-standard crazy stuff that was in the
marketplace: Sun mice / keyboards, DEC gear, Amiga stuff, VT100 keyboards,
etc. It was quite the scene, in 1994-5 or so...   Last few times I tried to
google it, none of the web sites that came up were still around. I can't
even find my newton keyboard to x11 program...

Oh, wait, I did find this: which shows how
to interface it to an AT...


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