Two dead LK201 keyboards

Tomasz Rola rtomek at
Fri Dec 27 14:23:36 CST 2019

On Fri, Dec 27, 2019 at 02:38:33PM -0500, Paul Koning via cctalk wrote:
> > On Dec 27, 2019, at 1:46 PM, Peter Coghlan via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> > 
> > Paul Koning wrote:
> >> ...
> >> I'm considering building a PC keyboard LK201 emulation, should be a fairly
> >> simple bit of Arduino code. 
> > 
> > Supplies of good non-USB PC keyboards are probably beginning to get harder
> > to find now too...
> True.  It could use either kind of keyboard.  Also, USB to mini-DIN
> adapters are still sold ($5 in the current L-Com catalog).  That
> seems like a cheaper solution than a USB Host shield.

It should work in theory. In practice, I have bought me some

  - Genesis Thor 300 TKL Blue - the cheapest mech I could find and my
  first mech, BTW

  - Genesis Rhod 110 - so called "gaming keyboard"

Both are usb keyboards. I would like to use them as ps/2, including
going through two adapters in serial (usb->ps/2, ps/2->usb, and this
stuck into usb port of my desktop). Why so strangely, well, when I
connect keyboard, I would like it to behave like a keyboard, not some
kind of a hub. So serially connected adaoters are perhaps the cheapest
way I can enforce my way.

Back to subject. It appears that Thor does not implelement ps/2 on
itself, which means I could not connect it as ps/2 keyboard. Rhod
implements, so when connected to the same adapter(s) it showed up in
my logs as a proper kb. Of course, when I plug Thor straight into usb
of my desktop, it shows up in the logs, too. But this is not how I
want to boot my computer.

In a future, I would expect keyboards to drop ps/2 part of their
personality, in which case cheap adapters will not help. What would be
required, I think, is something with full usb host on one end and din
plug on the other, with software translating between the two. Cheap
usb kbds are probably on the other side already, while "gamer" kbds I
would expect to hold on for a bit longer. Quite a few players are
naysayers and claim usb kbds are too slow to play, so they only can
play on ps/2 kbds, connected to ps/2 socket. Thanks God for first
person shooters, but this will only last as long as there are gaming
'puters with ps/2 onboard.

So, now a good question is, are there any usb->ps/2 adapters which
have usb host on them? Sure, they will cost more than simple electric
switch kind of adapter, but if not very costly then I might prefer
those to building one myself (which would take me a loooong time,
given current experience).

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at             **

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