IBM Model M BT-USB controller conversion kits

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snoopy

21 Feb 2018, 18:33

Connecting a SSK via bluetooth to my iphone would be very interesting. I might be interested in one :mrgreen:

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snoopy

26 Feb 2018, 19:50

Ordered one. Really looking forward to it. 8-)

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Dingster

26 Feb 2018, 20:39

snoopy wrote: Ordered one. Really looking forward to it. 8-)
Post a video of it working with an iphone please :lol:

mind_prepared

07 Mar 2018, 19:31

Dingster wrote:
snoopy wrote: Ordered one. Really looking forward to it. 8-)
Post a video of it working with an iphone please :lol:
well, snoopy is not gonna report back anytime soon, unfortunately his controller board got brutalized by some manic-depressive psycho postal worker. :( Honestly, it had never occured to me that this kind of thing could happen in Germany. Apparently I was wrong. I'll ask him to post a picture of the broken controller board so that we can share the grief. :(

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snoopy

22 Mar 2018, 20:36

Ever connected a SSK via bluetooth to an iPhone? This is so wrong,... but feels so good... :mrgreen:
ssk_bt1.jpeg
(Cable is only plugged in cause my battery was empty)


Will write a proper review and maybe do a typing video soon. If you're struggling to buy one of these controllers... BUY ONE!

User avatar
Dingster

22 Mar 2018, 20:39

snoopy wrote: Ever connected a SSK via bluetooth to an iPhone? This is so wrong,... but feels so good... :mrgreen:
ssk_bt1.jpeg
(Cable is only plugged in cause my battery was empty)


Will write a proper review and maybe do a typing video soon. If you're struggling to buy one of these controllers... BUY ONE!
You are doing gods work haha. Please make a video :D (in public too haha)

invisiblefly

26 Mar 2018, 00:49

can you guys help confirm that
this is the link that has new BT4 and works for both SSK and standard?
I want to get one!
https://www.ebay.com/itm/152924247783

mind_prepared

26 Mar 2018, 12:26

invisiblefly wrote: can you guys help confirm that
this is the link that has new BT4 and works for both SSK and standard?
I want to get one!
https://www.ebay.com/itm/152924247783
yes, that's it. I keep relisting the item, so, unfortunately, the id gets changed everytime I relist it.
I'd prefer if you contact me directly though no need to shove more money down greedy Ebay's throat for nothing. =)

mind_prepared

17 Apr 2018, 00:34

is there a way to merge this thread and the other one for the M122 controller? If there is, threads will be merged at some point in the near future...

I'm currently working on stepping up my DIY PCB manufacturing game, so if you've placed an order, hang tight.

mind_prepared

04 Jun 2018, 23:45

hey guys, I'm making another batch right now (12 PCBs), mainly for the people who've pre-ordered one and have been waiting for forever, and for the people who've signaled their interest in a replacement controller for their M122. Let me know if you're interested.

mind_prepared

11 Jul 2018, 20:49

time to bump this thread again... just letting you guys know, this project is alive and well. I hope more people will post about their experience in the near future. =)

mind_prepared

11 Jul 2018, 20:51

ah, and btw, I'm looking for a proxy to buy replacement parts from Unicomp. I need Model M space bars, most of all!

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

11 Jul 2018, 21:56

I can proxy from Unicomp if it's someone in the US you are needing.

mind_prepared

12 Jul 2018, 13:07

Blaise170 wrote: I can proxy from Unicomp if it's someone in the US you are needing.
Thanks but I suppose I will need someone who's not running a business and willing to state the total shipment value à la Chinoise... I suppose you're unable to accomodate me in that respect, right?

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Blaise170
ALPS キーボード

12 Jul 2018, 15:09

Actually, I'll PM you.

mind_prepared

27 Aug 2018, 16:09

I've finished making another run of controller boards and can still take about 10 additional orders at this point, so let me know if you're interested.

I thought some people might care about this sort of thing so I've uploaded a short clip of a laser session. After coating the boards with Mechanic brand UV curable solder mask (I use a stencil and a squeegee to apply a very thin and even layer) I use a CO2 laser machine to remove the solder mask from the solder pads. Even though my methods are pretty DIY and not very precise, the overall quality of the results is pretty amazing. The video is not of good quality but it will give you the basic idea.

harmur

30 Sep 2018, 03:12

mind_prepared wrote: hey guys, I'm making another batch right now (12 PCBs), mainly for the people who've pre-ordered one and have been waiting for forever, and for the people who've signaled their interest in a replacement controller for their M122. Let me know if you're interested.
Hi..., do you accept Bitcoin?

mind_prepared

30 Sep 2018, 12:15

harmur wrote: Hi..., do you accept Bitcoin?
heh, why, you tryin to launder drug money or sumptin? Nah, sorry, no Bitcoin, I don't even know what that is. ;) By the by, actually, good ol' bank transfer used to be the payment method of choice in Germany until recently (and still is for safe transactions between German bank accounts). Bitcoin sounds like there's not gonna be any kind of buyer protection since it's not run by a company that offers payment services, so if you can do without buyer protection why not just use PayPal or bank transfer?

hoschi

15 Oct 2018, 21:56

Hi
I have the standard keyboard with the hybrid controller and a 2000mah battery.
It works like a charm with:
- Windows 10 1809 (tested Bluetooth and USB)
- Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) (tested Bluetooth and USB)
- Android 7.1.2 and 8.1 (tested Bluetooth)

twasa

16 Oct 2018, 19:34

I am really so impressed by this work. I couldn't imagine a blue tooth model M, but this makes it a breeze. It is obvious that a lot of time was spent developing this replacement board. I just hope enough people find it worth their while to support this. I am equally impressed by the candidness of the seller and the time spent on replying to this thread and questions from buyers. Great work.

Mechaniker

20 Oct 2018, 22:17

@mind_prepared:
Any chance to get a complete bundle, i only saw the basic kit (pcb) on eBay.
I'm looking for:
  • 16+8+4 version
    1200 mAh Lipo
    USB-B-›USB-A cable
    Replacement LED daughterboard
    BT-USB-bridge/BT-USB HID Proxy
Would be happy to get an offer to convert by Keyboard, build by Lexmarl.
Please include shipping with insurance, like DHL packet.

Thank you & nice weekend, Mechaniker

ijdod

20 Oct 2018, 22:50

I'm a bit of a noob regarding customizing keyboard output and macro's, so bear with me; would it be possible to use the macro feature to essentially bind a key combination or something like that to a specific scan code? More specifically, to be able to use the WIndows key functionality with a Model M?

I'd imagine it working something like binding RCTRL-RALT to the Winkey output, so RCTRL-RALT + L would be the same as Win + L (Lock Console)

mind_prepared

21 Oct 2018, 03:24

ijdod wrote: would it be possible to use the macro feature to essentially bind a key combination or something like that to a specific scan code?
Yes. All the macro function does is sending a key report stored in the EEPROM. A macro can be recorded on the fly, or, alternatively, you can edit a pre-defined macro file and just add the keys to be included in the key report and then upload the macro table with the CLI.
More specifically, to be able to use the WIndows key functionality with a Model M? I'd imagine it working something like binding RCTRL-RALT to the Winkey output, so RCTRL-RALT + L would be the same as Win + L (Lock Console)
That's something entirely different. What you have in mind is called 'chording' which is pretty much the opposite or, if you will, complement of defining macro keys. With a macro, one key press generates multiple key codes to be sent concurrently while with chording, multiple concurrent key presses, a 'chord' so to speak (as on a piano), generate only one key code. I hadn't given a thought to sophisticated stuff like macros and chording in the beginning because I didn't (and still don't) like the idea of competing in any way with the real pros (TMK etc), but I may look into it at some later point, thanks for the suggestion.

tillheilmann

09 Dec 2018, 19:02

TL;DR This is a great product: a flawlessly working, no-hassle drop-in replacement for your original IBM Model M controller at a very reasonable price.

The other day, I got a custom made controller from Jörn for my Model M and I wanted to share the experience. I opened the case of the keyboard, took out the original controller, put the new one in, closed the case and was done. It was that simple.

I had used an active PS/2-USB converter beforehand. But time and again, the keyboard would stop working or start generating special characters instead of the regular alphanumerics and I had to unplug the cable and plug it in again to 'reset' the converter. Finally, I had enough and decided to replace the controller with Jörn’s kit.

Communication with Jörn was fast and easy: Since I do not need or want a Bluetooth connection, I asked him whether he could make a version of his board that only supports USB. He could and he did – and leaving out the Bluetooth components and battery shaved a couple of Euros off the bill. Nice.

Jörn’s controller fits perfectly. I did not have to make any modifications to the case as the board slides right into place. (If I ever feel like putting the original controller back in, I can do so easily.) To reduce the mechanical strain on the USB connector, I am probably going to attach the board to the case with adhesive pads but this does not seem to be strictly necessary.

Jörn has asked me what improvements could be made to the kit. Honestly, I cannot think of anything. But I would have to add that I do not even use most of the controller’s impressive functionality (Bluetooth and programmability). I am happy to simply plug in a USB cable and be done with it. The instructions provided by Jörn are very detailed. But really, since there is no Bluetooth connectivity on my board, I did not have to read any of it to get the controller up and running. The USB connection just works "out of the box".

As an aside: Because my machine is a Mac and my Model M is a German 1391403 with additional Mac keycaps bought from Unicomp, I use Karabiner Elements to remap some keys (right Option to right Command, swap "non_us_backslash" with "grave_accent_and_tilde" and so on) and to make the function keys serve double duty as media keys.

I would also like to say something about the cost of the controller as it has been the subject of some discussion here. I see it like this: I spent around 40 Euros for the keyboard itself on Ebay (and I think this was a good deal considering the condition of the piece), 35 dollars on Mac keycaps and a new spacebar from Unicomp (including international shipping), about 10 Euros for a 7/32" nut driver and some more Euros for high quality bolts and nuts (for the bolt mod). Of course, I also put in a considerable amount of time to disassemble, clean and bolt mod the keyboard. Without Jörn’s controller, one needs to add another 10 Euros, or so, for a PS/2-USB converter – which, as in my case, might not work. In relation to that, spending some 75 Euros (again: I got it a bit cheaper because no Bluetooth) for a "clean" and rock solid solution was an excellent deal for me. I think many Model M owners (most?) spend a significant amount of time and money to get their keyboards just right. Investing in this very capable controller seems a no brainer to me.

I got the board as a Christmas present for myself. And now I have a properly working Model M with no stupid, unreliable PS/2-USB converter sitting on my desk and no more unplugging/replugging of cables. Yay!

mind_prepared

09 Dec 2018, 21:49

tillheilmann wrote: TL;DR I had used an active PS/2-USB converter beforehand. But time and again, the keyboard would stop working or start generating special characters instead of the regular alphanumerics and I had to unplug the cable and plug it in again to 'reset' the converter. ... And now I have a properly working Model M with no stupid, unreliable PS/2-USB converter sitting on my desk and no more unplugging/replugging of cables. Yay!
hm, that's peculiar, I wonder why the PS/2-USB converter you were using was behaving like that. I hope my controller is not prone to similar glitches. Has anyone experienced random glitches with a run-of-the-mill PS/2-USB adapter?

tillheilmann

10 Dec 2018, 08:49

The culprit was/is a Renkforce USB-PS/2 converter like this one here: https://www.amazon.de/Renkforce-Tastatu ... 0107XOVA4/.

mind_prepared

31 Jan 2019, 21:08

the rumors about the death of this project have been greatly exaggerated... just letting you guys know, this project is alive and well and I'm still making controller boards for anyone interested.

give up a hand for matt3o for recovering the lost threads! Yay!

mtemmerm

12 Mar 2019, 11:58

darkcruix wrote:
27 Jan 2018, 22:45
Hi Michael (mtemmerm),

I have seen your F-Key paper printout (?). Mine is super ugly and I wanted to ask, if yo have a file available that you could share?

Thx,

Roland
Hi Roland, I'm so sorry I just now read this :/. Haven't been on this forum in more than a year, only reason I came back today was because I'm cleaning up my file server and came across those paper printouts, and was wondering if this topic was still alive - happy to see it is :). I've attached the files here, they open in LibreOffice Draw.

Typing this from... My Model M with Jörn's original controller in it ;).
Attachments
IBM Model M Function Keys Template v2.odg
(211.13 KiB) Downloaded 23 times
IBM Model M Function Keys Template.odg
(223.6 KiB) Downloaded 21 times

mind_prepared

03 Apr 2019, 11:38

Just a short update: finally, fellow member arakula has released a Windows binary of the (soon to be cross-platform) GUI he's been working on for quite some time now. If you would like to check it out, I've created a new thread in the Workshop section so that we can start testing and fixing bugs and glitches (if there are any), here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=21469

mind_prepared

22 May 2019, 13:27

hey guys, just letting you know, I've just received another batch of PCBs from the fabhouse, ready to process new orders again.

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