Micronorth Keyboard

coolrainbow20

07 Nov 2020, 19:37

I recently bought a vintage keyboard. More information and photos here: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyb ... ntage_boy/

coolrainbow20

26 Nov 2020, 18:58

Can someone here help me in getting this to work with usb?

I heard that it might be possible to use a converter called "Soarer's converter" using some kind of teensy controller.
But since I don't know the pinout I can't know for sure. Is there a way to determine the pinout? Maybe I can even make my own converter to learn some soldering skills, since I have easy access to a teensy at an online store that exists in my home country.

kelvinhall05

26 Nov 2020, 19:23

coolrainbow20 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 18:58
Can someone here help me in getting this to work with usb?

I heard that it might be possible to use a converter called "Soarer's converter" using some kind of teensy controller.
But since I don't know the pinout I can't know for sure. Is there a way to determine the pinout? Maybe I can even make my own converter to learn some soldering skills, since I have easy access to a teensy at an online store that exists in my home country.
If it speaks XT or AT, the pinout will be standard. You can always look inside at the PCB. Takes two seconds to find where each pin goes.

coolrainbow20

26 Nov 2020, 20:27

kelvinhall05 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 19:23
coolrainbow20 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 18:58
Can someone here help me in getting this to work with usb?

I heard that it might be possible to use a converter called "Soarer's converter" using some kind of teensy controller.
But since I don't know the pinout I can't know for sure. Is there a way to determine the pinout? Maybe I can even make my own converter to learn some soldering skills, since I have easy access to a teensy at an online store that exists in my home country.
If it speaks XT or AT, the pinout will be standard. You can always look inside at the PCB. Takes two seconds to find where each pin goes.
How do you know what each wire/pin does?
Do the colors of the wires tell you something.
In the link I've provided there is another link that shows some pics of the board and even some of the pcb inside, showing the cable pins.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TXZFrl ... sp=sharing
The big green and big black cable is for ground I think, because it's connected to the metal mounting plate.
The other ones aren't known to me.
Also the 6th wire (yellow) that is on the far right doesn't seem to be connected.

kelvinhall05

26 Nov 2020, 22:12

coolrainbow20 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 20:27
kelvinhall05 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 19:23
coolrainbow20 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 18:58
Can someone here help me in getting this to work with usb?

I heard that it might be possible to use a converter called "Soarer's converter" using some kind of teensy controller.
But since I don't know the pinout I can't know for sure. Is there a way to determine the pinout? Maybe I can even make my own converter to learn some soldering skills, since I have easy access to a teensy at an online store that exists in my home country.
If it speaks XT or AT, the pinout will be standard. You can always look inside at the PCB. Takes two seconds to find where each pin goes.
How do you know what each wire/pin does?
Do the colors of the wires tell you something.
In the link I've provided there is another link that shows some pics of the board and even some of the pcb inside, showing the cable pins.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TXZFrl ... sp=sharing
The big green and big black cable is for ground I think, because it's connected to the metal mounting plate.
The other ones aren't known to me.
Also the 6th wire (yellow) that is on the far right doesn't seem to be connected.
Again, the pinout is probably standard (connector-side), but here on the PCB you would follow the traces and see where they go. VCC and ground are easy to figure out, if it has a reset line (likely will, as it is probably XT) it'll go to reset on the controller, and clock and data will go to IO pins on the controller (no way to differentiate those, but they can safely be swapped, just won't work one way).

Rayndalf

27 Nov 2020, 00:12

It looks like a Model F XT clone with Cherry keycaps (so it probably uses Cherry black switches and a Cherry PCB as well).

Something like this should work.
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=103648.0
If you convert it internally all you'd need is a pro micro and a cable.

User avatar
Polecat

27 Nov 2020, 01:38

coolrainbow20 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 20:27

How do you know what each wire/pin does?
Do the colors of the wires tell you something.
In the link I've provided there is another link that shows some pics of the board and even some of the pcb inside, showing the cable pins.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TXZFrl ... sp=sharing
The big green and big black cable is for ground I think, because it's connected to the metal mounting plate.
The other ones aren't known to me.
Also the 6th wire (yellow) that is on the far right doesn't seem to be connected.
Is that the original cable? The reason I ask is that it has a 6 pin header plug pushed onto a 5 pin connector, with the yellow wire not used. And the ground/shield wire is spliced with a screw and nut. Four wires (plus ground/shield) is enough for an XT clone keyboard with no reset, but it seems unlikely it was made that way originally. You should not plug it in, to a computer or a converter, until you confirm that the +5 volt and ground connections are correct, because doing so could kill the controller or other components or the computer or converter itself. Hopefully that hasn't happened already. The wire colors mean nothing unless you have an identical cable to compare to from a known keyboard. There is no "standard" for that. You'll need an ohmmeter to trace out the pinout of the cable. On the PC board side you'll need to identify the Vcc (+5 volt) and ground pins on the controller IC and which pins on the header they are connected to, then follow them through the cable to see if they go to the correct pins on the DIN connector. The XT DIN5 pinout is attached
Attachments
xtatpinout.jpg
xtatpinout.jpg (24.02 KiB) Viewed 271 times

User avatar
hellothere

27 Nov 2020, 02:29

kelvinhall05 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 22:12
Again, the pinout is probably standard (connector-side), but here on the PCB you would follow the traces and see where they go. VCC and ground are easy to figure out, if it has a reset line (likely will, as it is probably XT) it'll go to reset on the controller, and clock and data will go to IO pins on the controller (no way to differentiate those, but they can safely be swapped, just won't work one way).
I finally have a multimeter and I figured out how to determine GND -- well, I was able to at least once. I still have no idea how you determine VCC.

There's a "light" version of the instructions for Hasu's converter at http://octobrain.net/blog/howto-revive- ... board.html. I was playing around with that a bit today. There's a "light" version of how to build a Soarer's Converter at viewtopic.php?t=19035. That might be your best bet if you're talking "probably XT protocol." Hey, I was able to follow the instructions. I also added some new links in that thread, so if you need to buy stuff, it's just a click away.

If you just want to buy a Soarer's Converter and hope for the best, you can just search ebay for them. The only difference between the ones on ebay and the ones you make yourself is that the ebay ones look nicer.

kelvinhall05

27 Nov 2020, 02:53

hellothere wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 02:29
kelvinhall05 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 22:12
Again, the pinout is probably standard (connector-side), but here on the PCB you would follow the traces and see where they go. VCC and ground are easy to figure out, if it has a reset line (likely will, as it is probably XT) it'll go to reset on the controller, and clock and data will go to IO pins on the controller (no way to differentiate those, but they can safely be swapped, just won't work one way).
I finally have a multimeter and I figured out how to determine GND -- well, I was able to at least once. I still have no idea how you determine VCC.

There's a "light" version of the instructions for Hasu's converter at http://octobrain.net/blog/howto-revive- ... board.html. I was playing around with that a bit today. There's a "light" version of how to build a Soarer's Converter at viewtopic.php?t=19035. That might be your best bet if you're talking "probably XT protocol." Hey, I was able to follow the instructions. I also added some new links in that thread, so if you need to buy stuff, it's just a click away.

If you just want to buy a Soarer's Converter and hope for the best, you can just search ebay for them. The only difference between the ones on ebay and the ones you make yourself is that the ebay ones look nicer.
VCC goes to VCC on any of the chips on the board, will also have caps between it and ground, and will likely be the only other thick trace on the board (depending on what keyboard you have).

User avatar
hellothere

27 Nov 2020, 03:14

kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 02:53
VCC goes to VCC on any of the chips on the board ...
So ... to determine VCC, you'd have to know where VCC is. Hellothere has encountered an error. Please reboot your Hellothere.
It will also have caps between it and ground, and will likely be the only other thick trace on the board (depending on what keyboard you have).
THAT'S what I've been looking for! Thanks very much!

Thing #1: As mentioned, I finally got a multimeter and I was able to determine where ground was. However, I didn't need to do that. Using the "thick trace" as a guide, I looked at the trace that goes from pin #6 on my board. It goes directly to a screw hole and that's it. That's a ground.

Thing #2: the PCB has all of 5 caps on it. There's one "thick trace" that goes from a pin and touches two caps. That's pin #1. VCC!

Now, I need to figure out what all the other pins do. If you've got any pointers, please share!

kelvinhall05

27 Nov 2020, 03:17

hellothere wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 03:14
kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 02:53
VCC goes to VCC on any of the chips on the board ...
So ... to determine VCC, you'd have to know where VCC is. Hellothere has encountered an error. Please reboot your Hellothere.
It will also have caps between it and ground, and will likely be the only other thick trace on the board (depending on what keyboard you have).
THAT'S what I've been looking for! Thanks very much!

Thing #1: As mentioned, I finally got a multimeter and I was able to determine where ground was. However, I didn't need to do that. Using the "thick trace" as a guide, I looked at the trace that goes from pin #6 on my board. It goes directly to a screw hole and that's it. That's a ground.

Thing #2: the PCB has all of 5 caps on it. There's one "thick trace" that goes from a pin and touches two caps. That's pin #1. VCC!

Now, I need to figure out what all the other pins do. If you've got any pointers, please share!
You check the datasheets for the chips, but it's almost always one of the corner pins. If you can figure out where ground is, you can usually guess VCC.

Can you please send pics of the PCB and all the chips on it, preferably marking their orientation on the side with the traces on it.

EDIT: If it has a reset line, it'll go to reset on the largest chip. Again, check datasheet. Clock and data will go to IO pins. No way of knowing which is which without guessing and testing both possiblities.

coolrainbow20

Yesterday, 22:37

Thanks for all the answers!

I will upload some detailed photos of the pcb soon.

User avatar
hellothere

Today, 16:47

kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 03:17
hellothere wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 03:14
kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 02:53
VCC goes to VCC on any of the chips on the board ...
So ... to determine VCC, you'd have to know where VCC is. Hellothere has encountered an error. Please reboot your Hellothere.
It will also have caps between it and ground, and will likely be the only other thick trace on the board (depending on what keyboard you have).
THAT'S what I've been looking for! Thanks very much!

Thing #1: As mentioned, I finally got a multimeter and I was able to determine where ground was. However, I didn't need to do that. Using the "thick trace" as a guide, I looked at the trace that goes from pin #6 on my board. It goes directly to a screw hole and that's it. That's a ground.

Thing #2: the PCB has all of 5 caps on it. There's one "thick trace" that goes from a pin and touches two caps. That's pin #1. VCC!

Now, I need to figure out what all the other pins do. If you've got any pointers, please share!
You check the datasheets for the chips, but it's almost always one of the corner pins. If you can figure out where ground is, you can usually guess VCC.

Can you please send pics of the PCB and all the chips on it, preferably marking their orientation on the side with the traces on it.

EDIT: If it has a reset line, it'll go to reset on the largest chip. Again, check datasheet. Clock and data will go to IO pins. No way of knowing which is which without guessing and testing both possiblities.
I'm not meaning to hijack the thread, but here's my PCB. It's very minimalistic. Thanks for looking!
Spoiler:
IMG_1290 (2).JPG
IMG_1290 (2).JPG (1.49 MiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1290 (2).JPG
IMG_1290 (2).JPG (1.49 MiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1289 (2).JPG
IMG_1289 (2).JPG (1.28 MiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1288 (2).JPG
IMG_1288 (2).JPG (1.32 MiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1287 (2).JPG
IMG_1287 (2).JPG (1012.38 KiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1286 (2).JPG
IMG_1286 (2).JPG (1.04 MiB) Viewed 94 times
IMG_1285 (2).JPG
IMG_1285 (2).JPG (1.14 MiB) Viewed 94 times

kelvinhall05

Today, 18:44

hellothere wrote:
Today, 16:47
kelvinhall05 wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 03:17
hellothere wrote:
27 Nov 2020, 03:14

So ... to determine VCC, you'd have to know where VCC is. Hellothere has encountered an error. Please reboot your Hellothere.


THAT'S what I've been looking for! Thanks very much!

Thing #1: As mentioned, I finally got a multimeter and I was able to determine where ground was. However, I didn't need to do that. Using the "thick trace" as a guide, I looked at the trace that goes from pin #6 on my board. It goes directly to a screw hole and that's it. That's a ground.

Thing #2: the PCB has all of 5 caps on it. There's one "thick trace" that goes from a pin and touches two caps. That's pin #1. VCC!

Now, I need to figure out what all the other pins do. If you've got any pointers, please share!
You check the datasheets for the chips, but it's almost always one of the corner pins. If you can figure out where ground is, you can usually guess VCC.

Can you please send pics of the PCB and all the chips on it, preferably marking their orientation on the side with the traces on it.

EDIT: If it has a reset line, it'll go to reset on the largest chip. Again, check datasheet. Clock and data will go to IO pins. No way of knowing which is which without guessing and testing both possiblities.
I'm not meaning to hijack the thread, but here's my PCB. It's very minimalistic. Thanks for looking!
Spoiler:
IMG_1290 (2).JPG
IMG_1290 (2).JPG
IMG_1289 (2).JPG
IMG_1288 (2).JPG
IMG_1287 (2).JPG
IMG_1286 (2).JPG
IMG_1285 (2).JPG
On the connector, pins 1 and 6 are ground, 5 is VCC, and 2-4 appear to all be tied together. I'm guessing this thing speaks some sort of fucked-up serial protocol or something, I dunno. What board is this PCB from?

User avatar
hellothere

Today, 19:40

First, thanks for the response!

Second, this is my Cumulus yellow Alps terminal keyboard I bought from redmaus. I haven't been able to find another like it.
Spoiler:
2020-11-29_11h36_51.png
2020-11-29_11h36_51.png (710.78 KiB) Viewed 51 times

kelvinhall05

Today, 20:41

hellothere wrote:
Today, 19:40
First, thanks for the response!

Second, this is my Cumulus yellow Alps terminal keyboard I bought from redmaus. I haven't been able to find another like it.
Spoiler:
2020-11-29_11h36_51.png
Honestly I'd just map the matrix unless you have the tools and experience to reverse engineer what is, again, probably some fucked serial protocol.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”