Zenith Z-150 "Beige Label" Build Help

User avatar
hellothere

29 Aug 2021, 01:11

TL;DR: please give me the pinout on the PCB side for a Zenith Z-150 AT or sell me a cable!

===============

I have an AT version. That's the one that has the "beige" logo, model 100-1860. It has a cut cable and I just spent a few hours trying to get a standard Soarer's Converter to work. No luck.

* I have a bit of cable left inside the Zenith's case, so I know the cable colors were (north to south) black, red, white, green, and yellow. There's an extra black cable ... in the cable, itself, for grounding on the PCB.
* The Zenith colors don't follow the IBM DIN-5, which has black for VCC, red for data, white for ground, and yellow for clock.
* The Zenith is supposed to have an extra line for Reset. I think it's the Zenith's green cable. Soarer's Converter uses pin 7 on the Pro Micro for that. Didn't work for me.
* I did check to make sure my Soarer's Converters worked on other keyboards.

Oddly, there's a bunch of info here and on the web about the black label -- i.e. XT version -- of the Z-150.
Last edited by hellothere on 22 Oct 2021, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Polecat

29 Aug 2021, 01:40

This isn't the whole story, but there is some relevant info on Orihalcon's ebay listings. The black badge Z-150 is the XT version, and works with this (internal) version of the Soarers:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/283536375388

The listing says it won't work with the white badge (AT) version of the Z-150. This apparently isn't just an XT/AT protocol difference. More info here on the DIN5 (external version) listing:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/302711725609

That one also says it won't work on the white badge Z-150.

From this and other posts there's apparently a protocol or timing difference on the white badge Z-150 that makes it incompatible. It's not an XT keyboard, so it won't be a reset thing.

edit: recent thread with more helpful info:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25160

nave

29 Aug 2021, 02:04

I'm unable to help but I thought it is important to note that not all white badge Zenith Z-150s use the AT protocol. The one I recently got working uses the XT protocol and I used Hasu's IBM PC converter to get it running.

User avatar
raoulduke-esq

29 Aug 2021, 03:22

nave wrote:
29 Aug 2021, 02:04
I'm unable to help but I thought it is important to note that not all white badge Zenith Z-150s use the AT protocol. The one I recently got working uses the XT protocol and I used Hasu's IBM PC converter to get it running.
100% recommend Hasu’s ibmpc_usb firmware for this. Hasu is still in the community so it’s still supported. He recently added support for the 5576-001 to this project.

User avatar
zrrion

29 Aug 2021, 05:01

+1 for ibmpc_usb. If that's been rolled into QMK then go for the QMK version if you want. I'm using the ibmpc_usb RN and haven't had any issues with it so far.

User avatar
hellothere

29 Aug 2021, 19:13

I saw viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25160 and tried the firmware on my Soarer's. Bricked the Soarer's. I happened to have another Pro Micro. Also bricked that.

I'll shoot Hasu a PM later. Still, if there's anyone out there with a Z-150 cable or who can tell me the pinouts on the PCB side, please do post!

User avatar
TNT

01 Sep 2021, 22:03

hellothere wrote:
29 Aug 2021, 19:13
I saw viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25160 and tried the firmware on my Soarer's. Bricked the Soarer's. I happened to have another Pro Micro. Also bricked that.

I'll shoot Hasu a PM later. Still, if there's anyone out there with a Z-150 cable or who can tell me the pinouts on the PCB side, please do post!
You could ask doomsday_device, afaik he got a Z-150 AT

User avatar
hellothere

01 Sep 2021, 22:53

Just did! Thanks!

User avatar
Polecat

02 Sep 2021, 06:15

Since you have a cut cable perhaps the wire colors shown here match up to what's left of yours?

viewtopic.php?t=12972

Not sure if those colors are for a Zenith or something else, so at least confirm the + and - power connections before powering it up so you don't fry the board.

SK-8K

03 Sep 2021, 02:02

Find a power capacitor on the board, you'll likely find VCC and GND there.

User avatar
hellothere

03 Sep 2021, 19:37

Polecat wrote:
02 Sep 2021, 06:15
Since you have a cut cable perhaps the wire colors shown here match up to what's left of yours?

viewtopic.php?t=12972

Not sure if those colors are for a Zenith or something else, so at least confirm the + and - power connections before powering it up so you don't fry the board.
I'll give it a shot. There's no brown wire, but if I can eliminate the other cables, that might work!
SK-8K wrote:
03 Sep 2021, 02:02
Find a power capacitor on the board, you'll likely find VCC and GND there.
My electronics knowledge is limited. Those are the tall, cylindrical ones, right? I happen to have a PCB for an OmniKey on my desk (you mean you don't????) and I see only one of those, which is pretty near to the keyboard cable connector.

SK-8K

03 Sep 2021, 23:58

Yes, that's it. Measure one side to the ground plane (such as a wire that connects to the mounting plate) and you'll have your GND. The other side of the capacitor will be VCC.

SK-8K

03 Sep 2021, 23:59

Once you eliminated those two all you'll have left is the data lines which most likely won't kill the board if they are reversed.

User avatar
doomsday_device

04 Sep 2021, 17:53

posting here too in case someone wants to add a thought
thanks kelvinhall with the help, my multimeter is crap.

you still have to guess clock/data
also please check pcb revision before taking any action.
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User avatar
hellothere

17 Oct 2021, 04:54

So as I don't take over someone else's thread, I'll post in here. I just threw up a bunch of data in viewtopic.php?f=7&t=26414&p=494747.

1. Thanks to doomsday_device and kelvinhall for the above pics. Very, very helpful. I still haven't built a converter yet, but it's on my list!
2. I do have the same model PCB. The "Assembled in USA [number]" has a different number, but I'd assume that what's stamped on the KB is more authoritative than a sticker. Hopefully.

I did play around with a multimeter today. Keyboard cable pins 3 through 5, as pictured on the above PCB, have continuity to pins on both the 40 pin NEC microcontroller and the 14 pin Texas Instruments chip. Pins 1 and 2 only have continuity to the TI chip. I don't know if that means anything.

It does look like I may have to wire in a couple resistors, per viewtopic.php?t=12972.

User avatar
hellothere

23 Oct 2021, 00:37

It lives! It lives!

I've only gotten to the part of basic functionality, but I wanted to write down stuff before I forget.

Materials
Z-150 Beige Label
Teensy 2.0
Two 1k Ohm resistors
Mini USB to USB A male cable to connect the Teensy to the computer. The Teensy 2.0 uses mini. Pro Micro uses ... micro.

You want to limit how often you unplug the USB cable from the Teensy or you'll have a broken Teensy in your near future.

Program Teensy
Customize and download a Hex file from here.
Get the Teensy loader app.
Connect Teensy to computer.
Launch app.
Press the button on the Teensy, as per what you see on screen.
Go to File > Open HEX file. Browse to and open your HEX file.
Click on the Program icon (looks like a down arrow). It doesn't take long to program.
Click the Reboot icon (it's to the right of the Program icon). I don't know if this is required, but it works for me.

Wire Teensy
a. I'm also going to use colors so I can remember.
b. I used Dupont jumper wires, but I cut off the male ends and used bare copper wire. I couldn't fit both the resistor wire and a Dupont male connector into the holes on the Teensy. The female Dupont end fits the pins on the PCB extremely well, though.

These instructions are mostly directly from Hasu. If I've got a wire or name screwed up, it's my fault, not Hasu's.

The two Teensy 2.0s I bought had a card that shows where the pin assignments on the Teensy are. There's a copy on the Teensy website. These names are printed on the Teensy, itself, but they're in really small print.

VCC - Yellow. Northeast corner, next to the USB connector.
VCC - Two 1k Ohm resistors. Just solder in one side of each resistor. We'll solder in the other side in a bit. I also used the Northeast corner VCC.
GND - Green. Northwest corner.
Reset PB7 - White. Note that this is NOT the pin on the Teensy marked "RST."
Data PD0 - Red.
Clock PD1 - Black.

You need to solder in the other side of one resistor to Data and the other side of the other resistor to Clock.

Disconnect the Teensy from your computer.

Wire up the Zenith
Wire the female Dupont ends to the pins on the keyboard PCB. This is "Key cap side up." Or, "Tan side up, green side down." Or, "Hey! I can see the beeper!" I'm going north to south or top to bottom.

Clock - Black cable.
Data - Red cable.
Reset - White cable.
GND (ground) - Green cable.
VCC - Yellow cable.

Reconnect your USB cable to your computer. It took mine a couple seconds to think and flash all the lights a couple times. Then it worked fine.

=============

Again, I have basic functionality. I'll do some more testing to see if I can make anything easier or betterer.

Please don't ask me for support. I know a little bit about electronics, but just a little bit :D.
Please do ask if you need something clarified.
Yes, I'll try adding pics in a bit.

User avatar
hasu

23 Oct 2021, 06:51

Glad to hear my firmware works for your keyboard.
Z-150 AT is still required improvemnt in TMK firmware and your help would be appreciated.

Can you try hid_listen to share its debug prints here?
https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/wiki#hid_listen

I like to see what hid_listen shows when procedure below.

1. Run hid_listen command
2. Connect Z-150 AT with converter
3. Plugin the converter into USB port
4. Press A,S and D key
5. Press CapsLock and NumLock key

User avatar
hellothere

23 Oct 2021, 18:59

Sure. I'll give that a shot!

I also did more testing and all the keys work, as-is. So do the beeper and all lock lights. The only thing that's off a bit is the Sys Req and Print Scr/* key on the numeric keypad: the Sys Req key does Print Screen and Print Scr/* just does *. That's something I'm probably not even going to bother with fixing.

User avatar
hellothere

23 Oct 2021, 19:34

Spoiler:
just_after_plugged_in.png
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Spoiler:
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Spoiler:
CAPS_LOCK.png
CAPS_LOCK.png (49.21 KiB) Viewed 685 times
Spoiler:
NumLock.png
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Spoiler:
ASDF_Together.png
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Spoiler:
NumLock_and_CapsLock_together.png
NumLock_and_CapsLock_together.png (43.13 KiB) Viewed 685 times
This KB isn't going anywhere for a while, so if there's something else you want me to test or retest, RSVP.

User avatar
hasu

24 Oct 2021, 15:45

Thank you for the test.
The converter seems to have problem occasionally when the converter sends command to the keyboard.
'R R R R ...' means error and retry of command.

I changed timings of signal handling.
Can you try this firmware with pressing CapsLock and NumLock key?

https://gist.githubusercontent.com/tmk/ ... _debug.hex


hellothere wrote:
23 Oct 2021, 18:59
Sure. I'll give that a shot!

I also did more testing and all the keys work, as-is. So do the beeper and all lock lights. The only thing that's off a bit is the Sys Req and Print Scr/* key on the numeric keypad: the Sys Req key does Print Screen and Print Scr/* just does *. That's something I'm probably not even going to bother with fixing.
For Sysreq and Keypad* key that is expected behaviour for TMK converter. I will try to explain its background on this wiki entry.
https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/wik ... rical-keys

User avatar
hellothere

24 Oct 2021, 19:19

hasu wrote:
24 Oct 2021, 15:45
Can you try this firmware with pressing CapsLock and NumLock key?
Definitely. Give me a bit of time. Oddly, Sundays are busy for me.
hasu wrote:For Sysreq and Keypad* key that is expected behaviour for TMK converter.
It doesn't bother me at all. I think the choice of Print Screen for the "Sysreq" key works fine. Additionally, the shape of the Sysreq key is a good way to remind you that it's not really part of the numeric keypad and * definitely is.

User avatar
TNT

24 Oct 2021, 19:33

Very nice, you finally got it working! :D

User avatar
hellothere

24 Oct 2021, 20:03

Yup! I've got to make a nicer looking converter, though. I've got a couple breadboards and things on order. Then we'll see if I like the Z-150 more than my SteelSeries Apex Pro.

@hasu, installing the firmware you attached above caused the keyboard to act like a random key was held down. I reinstalled the HEX file I made from the keyboard layout website and that worked fine. I tried to reinstall your new HEX again and I the key repeat problem reappeared.

User avatar
hasu

25 Oct 2021, 02:16

Updated the firmware files. End line charactor of the last line seemed to be wrong.

https://gist.githubusercontent.com/tmk/ ... _debug.hex

Output of hid_listen would be always helpful for debug even if the converter goes bad.

User avatar
hellothere

26 Oct 2021, 00:31

Same behavior as last time. I had to detach the KB cable to get it to stop. I don't remember with the last HEX, but this time, the lock lights wouldn't light up. Again, going back to the original firmware made everything work again.
Spoiler:
together - Copy.png
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num_lock - Copy.PNG
num_lock - Copy.PNG (48.17 KiB) Viewed 513 times
caps_lock - Copy.PNG
caps_lock - Copy.PNG (59.2 KiB) Viewed 513 times

User avatar
TNT

26 Oct 2021, 00:41

hellothere wrote:
24 Oct 2021, 20:03
Yup! I've got to make a nicer looking converter, though.
Be sure to post photos if you make it happen! Always excited to see with what designs people come up with for their converters.

User avatar
hasu

26 Oct 2021, 19:16

It seems that the keyboard doesn't accept ID command(0xF2).

Can you try this firmware then with pressing CapsLock key 10-20 times quickly?

https://gist.githubusercontent.com/tmk/ ... _debug.hex

Pasting debug log in text form like below is enough, intead of screenshot.

Thanks,

Code: Select all

TMK:96e722/LUFA:d6a7df

USB configured.

Loop start.
I476 A3477 wFF rFA
3480 PRT:10 ISR:FE90 rAA W3828 wF2 rFA rAB r83 R4334
ID:AB83(AT) S4335 wED rFA w02 rFA L4341 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 rF0 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA

User avatar
hellothere

26 Oct 2021, 21:57

I'll give it a shot.

Is there a switch for hid_listen to output to a file or something? If so, what's the switch?

User avatar
hasu

27 Oct 2021, 03:31

No swith option for hid_listen command.
I think you can copy text in the Commnad Prompt.
https://www.maketecheasier.com/enable-c ... windows10/
https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/how- ... rompt-copy

User avatar
hellothere

27 Oct 2021, 20:56

Very nice.

Code: Select all

C:\>hid_listen_2.exe
Waiting for device:.........
Listening:

TMK:96e722/LUFA:d6a7df

USB configured.

Loop start.
I304
395 PRT:11 ISR:6A90 rAA A3305 wFF rFA rAA W3544 R4045
ID:FFFD(AT_Z150) S4045 wED rFA w02 rFA L4051 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w02 rFA rF0 r58 r58 wED rFA w06 rFA rF0 r58
Lock lights are working. No "held down" keys. I'll check it in https://www.keyboardtester.com/tester.html.

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