XT Zenith Z-150 converter?

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16 Dec 2018, 20:07

As we have discussed here Soarer's converter is not completely compatible to XT keyboard protocol, it works with many of XT keyboards while it doesn't with some of them including Zenith this Z-150 XT and a few rearely boards unfortunately. TMK XT firmware is implemented carefully in conformity with design intention of original IBM XT keyboard protocol to support virtually all of existent XT keyboards, I hope so at least.

TMK XT keyboard converter thread:

For people who intrerested in detail of the protocol this wiki page would be helpful.
https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/wik ... d-Protocol

1. TMK doesn't use the LED at this point and I don't know about Soarer's.
2. I think it should work if you upload the firmware and connect correctly. Wire connections are compatible to Soarer's converter and you can upload Soarer's firmware to test you wiring, it should 'kind of' work as you described.
3. edit keymap file and compile.
4. yes. Just upload it depding on dev boards. Consult with the board's manual/tutorial you can find it easily with web search.
5. maybe. But I won't do that for a while. You can learn how to build firmware yourself.

I beleive someone more helpful to you comes in.

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16 Dec 2018, 21:12

@Hasu, thanks for replying. As I said in the edits to my post:

I used the PS/2-USB Converter rev. 1 on the Hasu TMK Editor site to generate a modified hex file. I substituted the actual key functions rather than the spatial location of the keys. I uploaded the new hex file into my Teensy 2.0 setup, and it worked! I now seem to have a correctly functioning Z-150 keyboard with my HHKB-ish layout.

However, when I tried this with a Pro Micro using QMK Toolbox, it didn't work. QMK Toolbox showed that the flash was successful, but I could not get any response from the keyboard.

I might try this with a new Pro Micro. On the other hand, because it works with a Teensy 2.0, I may go ahead and make the converter with the Teensy. However, I need to do more typing tests first to be sure that there are no more missed or repeated key presses.


I am typing this on a Zenith Z-150 100-1886 Black Label XT-type keyboard using a Teensy 2.0 and a customized hex file generated using Hasu's online TMK editor. I used the PS/2 to USB rev.1 as a template and revised Hasu's latest XT hex file using the functional definition of the keys rather than their spatial location on the keyboard. I used the teensy.exe program in Windows to upload the hex files to the Teensy 2.0. I tried it out using a breadboard prototype with and without a 1kOhm pull-up resistor between Clock and Vcc and between Data and Vcc. The converter worked both ways, so I decided to simplify and wire it up without the resistors.

I have now done typing tests, and thus far, all the former problems have disappeared. No more unwanted key presses or missed key presses. In addition, the Right Shift no longer intermittently behaves as if it were the Caps Lock key.

Again, I have tried this using a Pro Micro Orihalcon internal converter that had been flashed with Soarer's converter. I used qmk_toolbox.exe to reflash the Pro Micro. The software indicated that the reflash was successful, but I cannot get any response from the keyboard. I think that the apparent discrepancy between the Teensy and the Pro Micro might be due to the different pin assignments.At some point, I might try revising the configuration file, but for the time being, I am going to use the Teensy with the teensy.exe loader software.

More's the pity, because the qmk_toolbox mades reflashing the Pro Micro very easy. You check the Auto-flash box so that it automatically loads the hex file when you reset the Pro Micro by shorting the reset and ground pins. With other software, after shorting the pins, you have 7 or 8 seconds to upload the hex file before it exits from upload mode.

BTW, I have been using Switch Hitter software, a free download from the EliteKeyboards site, as an alternative to hid_listen. This gives you a nice graphical display of the keyboard with each key lighting up as it registers. If chattering is detected, the key lights up in a different color. Switch Hitter is a Windows program, but I found that it runs in Linux with Wine -- the only things that don't work in Linux are the lock-light indicators.

Switch_Hitter Software
SwitchHitter1.PNG (61.36 KiB) Viewed 583 times
I am very glad to have gotten a Teensy/Hasu Z-150 converter to work flawlessly. I wish I had discovered this sooner, because I had written off previous Z-150 boards as having bad switches, when the problem might have been the Pro Micro/Soarer converter.

Many thanks to Hasu for his converters, TMK editor, and helpful advice. Thanks also to several others who have posted helpful information on DT, GH, and Github. Much appreciated!!!

If anyone here has a solution to getting the xt_hasu converter working with a Pro Micro on the Zenith Z-150, please let us know.


26 Apr 2019, 05:30

I am so confused, is there a way to get the beige label to work with an adapter?

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26 Apr 2019, 05:48

zodo wrote:
26 Apr 2019, 05:30
I am so confused, is there a way to get the beige label to work with an adapter?
Beige label should run standard AT/PS2 protocol, so any ps/2 to USB converter should work given you also have a passive at to ps/2 cable.


12 Jul 2019, 08:05

Hiya fellas.,
I made my own converter based on Teensy 2.0 plus Soarer Converter. It works as it should on my both Z-150 Black Label boards but there seems to be a problem with it. Every time i turn off / sleep my computer and turn it back on the keyboard is starting dropping keystrokes and all. Unplugging the USB connector from the computer and plug it back on does the trick but is so damn annoying.

I have tried several hex files so far.
Does anyone know the fix? Thanks in advance.


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20 Jan 2020, 06:41

For those who are still struggling, Attached is a working firmware for a pro micro.
pins are the same except for the RESET pin. This firmware is configured for pin A1 as the reset pin (the middle cable)
(20.56 KiB) Downloaded 9 times

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