Conversion service - C.ITOH CIT324 Keyboard

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snacksthecat
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10 Jun 2018, 14:32

Hi DT,
I have this C.ITOH keyboard from a CIT324 video display terminal. Presumably it is a cousin to the SM-101 but with a completely different connector/controller/protocol. I've racked my brain trying to convert this keyboard to USB over the course of the past year but, alas, I'm not much further than when I started.
Spoiler:
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Well to be fair, I was able to convert it by simply replacing the controller with a teensy [1] but I'm much more interested in leaving it stock and converting it at the protocol level.

I believe I've taken this project as far as I'm personally capable. I've even gone so far as to try and order the original terminal that it came with.

I've documented my attempts to convert this keyboard natively in a workshop thread [2]. There might be some good pieces of information in there so I'd encourage you to take a look if this is something that you're interested in.

Now I'd like to reach out to the community and ask for help.

Here are the parameters of the deal I'm proposing:
  • I'm looking for someone on the forum who thinks they can convert this keyboard
  • I will send you the board and cover postage both ways
  • Please return the board to me in the end (I will be very sad if someone decides to steal it)
  • If you're successful, I'll pay you $50 to tell me how you did it
  • You will also receive a token gift to commemorate your accomplishment
  • Let's say a maximum of 6 months
  • I'm located in the US but I'm also quite desperate to know the answer so I'm not opposed to shipping internationally so please don't let geographic distance get in the way of our joint success
  • Please do not make fun of me if it turns out to be super obvious/easy (I'm just trying to learn and have fun)
I really have no clue if anyone will be interested in my challenge. I'll leave this thread open for about a week and see who reaches out.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have in this thread and I'll do my best to provide some answers.

Thanks for reading and take care!

[1] keyboards-f2/c-itoh-alps-buckling-sprin ... 18133.html
[2] workshop-f7/c-itoh-cit324-324e-alps-buc ... 18769.html

User avatar
pizza_is_a_lie

10 Jun 2018, 23:39

I don't wanna sound stupid but won't an RJ45 to USB converter do it?

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

11 Jun 2018, 02:21

Oh man, I wish it was so simple. I've had three keyboards with RJ11 connectors and each had a different pinout, spoke a different protocol, and required different voltages.

orihalcon

11 Jun 2018, 03:06

Easiest way to go would be to just replace the controller, though I'll admit I'm not an expert on figuring matrixes on membranes without looking at them. See second and third thoughts on how to figure that out.

It's too bad the thing uses more than 8 rows, otherwise you could use either an Xwhatsit (which wouldn't require figuring out the matrix) or just plug a model M controller into it and then use a Soarer's Converter plus HID listen to figure out what each key's scan code is and then remap accordingly.

....On second thought, Xwhatsit controller would tell you which rows and columns are intersecting because it shows you visually and you could test half the rows at a time since you only have a max of 8, you just don't have enough rows to actually use it in the end. So that might be the way to go. Use an Xwhatsit to figure out the membrane layout, then use something like Soarer's Controller or TMK Controller on a Teensy 2++ which would have enough pins.

....On third thought, See this post here: https://blog.lmorchard.com/2016/02/21/m ... ontroller/

From the above, apparently TMK has a matrix debug mode which will tell you which row/column is being pressed and that's how you can determine the matrix and then use your same setup you used to determine the matrix to then use as the controller. Still needs a Teensy 2++ for your number of pins I think though.

Engicoder

11 Jun 2018, 04:00

PM sent

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

17 Jun 2018, 16:16

Engicoder has stepped up to the plate. Anyone else interested in the challenge?

Last call!
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User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

06 Dec 2018, 02:32

edit: I oopsed and posed this in the wrong thread. Moved here:

workshop-f7/c-itoh-cit324-324e-alps-buc ... ml#p431232

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