Model M conversion options


04 Jan 2021, 11:04

I have a Model M that I've cleaned up and am using which a cheap PS/2 to USB convertor. The problem is, the keyboard locks up from time to time and i really want to use this as my daily driver.

I've just come to the conclusion that i will have to build my own convertor... I have 2 options that i can see.

1. ps/2 to USB convertor (soarers, TMK)
2. Model M USB conversion (soarers, tmk)

I'm however very unsure what the benefit is of option 2 vs option 1. If there are no benefits, i might as well go with option 1 and keep everything as original as possible. Heck, apart from the Teensy, i already have a ps2 connector to use.

Would anyone be able to chime in and give me some pointers on why i would want to go with option 2?

p.s. I've literally looked everywhere, but couldn't really find anything usefull on this topic.

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04 Jan 2021, 18:27

I have never had any problems with cheap active adapters like this, but some people have. ... SwMmBV3Jqr


04 Jan 2021, 21:55

That's exactly the one i have. Doesn't give enough power to my keyboard. After an hour or so the keyboard locks up. Connected to a ps/2 port (in a computer) everything is fine, so it's definitely the adapter.

In any case, is there a difference using a adapter or just replacing the controller altogether?


04 Jan 2021, 22:03

If you want to, you could replace the membrane and controller with ones from Unicomp to convert it entirely to USB. This would require a bolt mod though, which can be tedious at best.

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04 Jan 2021, 22:31

In terms of performance ad reliability, there shouldn't be any difference provided the keyboard's original cable is still in good shape. As such, I usually go with option one since it means the converter is portable, easily serviced/troubleshooted and can be used for other keyboards you may have now or in the future. As a rule of thumb for myself, I only internally convert things that are not AT-based such as most Model Fs.

In a AT-based context, I would only recommend option two if the original cable itself is damaged or you want to use an artisan USB cable. Otherwise, I don't think this option is necessary.


05 Jan 2021, 09:23

Happy to hear that i can just go with a ps/2 adapter rather than a conversion kit. I was hoping this was ok, but really did want to check if there wasn't any advantage to a conversion.

on a side note, I did consider a bluetooth conversion, but bluetooth has always been unreliable for me. Witha KVM that would have been even a worse nightmare. A logitech unified receiver conversion would be nice, but i don't think there have been any guides on that.

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