Genovation ControlPad 5809 Programmable Keypad

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Compgeke

07 Jun 2019, 17:55

Content Warning: Very Dirty

Anyway, onwards. I picked up a lot of 5 of these from the local surplus sale figuring they'd be fun. The legends are certainly interesting, they look to have come from the local 911 phone system that we recently upgraded.

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On the back we have the model number, ControlPad 5809. This model number doesn't bring anything up really, but I have a good feeling it's a rebadged ControlPad 683, just with some OEM keycaps. Shot them a message so I'll see if I get anything back.

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The cable on this particular one has seen better days. It's a Y cable with a passthrough for your regular keyboard.
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But anyway, that's all fun and all, but this is Deskthority we don't care about no boring keypads. What's special about it? Well, it's MX Blacks! It's a 4x6 matrix of all MX Blacks. The 2U keys are just covering two switches for extra firmness.
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The PCB doesn't have diodes for NKRO but that's not a big deal, I mean, it's a keypad I'm not doing 360noscopes on it.
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The keycaps are just printed nothing special. They are holding up very very well though for being used daily in a 911 phone system. Possible UV printing similar to what IBM used on Thinkpads?
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So Genovation ControlPads are supposed to be programmable, what's making this one tick? Turns out to have a Cypress CY7C63743-PXC keyboard controller and a 24LC64 I2C EEPROM. Rather than some of the small programmable things I've opened, it's a dedicated chip for this purpose. Also supports USB and PS/2 and can autoswitch between them without needing jumpers or different pins. In theory I could hack up a USB cable for these.
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As for that keyboard/mouse switch? Not 100% sure what it does. Possibly allows it to work on the mouse PS/2 port instead but I haven't tried.
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Finally, one last cool feature. The housing has a cutout and a plug to allow you to change the cable to exit either side of the case. That's a pretty nice feature for cable management.
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Findecanor

07 Jun 2019, 20:03

I've had a 683 that I sold years ago. I don't remember the switch on the back but maybe it was there.
When I went to a Nasa exhibition, I spotted a whole bunch of these in a training cockpit for the Space Shuttle, but I've never seen them in any official picture of the real thing or simulator.

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