Is it possible to swap a Mini USB with Micro USB?

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cookie

17 May 2016, 11:58

Hello friends,

Because we have quite some talented electronic engineers here, I'd like to ask if it is possible to swap a Mini USB (Type-b) connector with a Micro USB (Micro b)?

Why that you may ask.
Ordering Mini USB cables became more and more difficult (especially If you'd like to have a pretty one) and a lot other devices (smartphones/tablets) use them. Even PFU has started to fit Micro USB into their latest HHKB Pro BT.
Very nice braided Micro USB cords are highly available everywhere for a very good price.

I've found this little schematic here and so far It seems easy:

Image

But before committing myself to demolish my HHKB controller, I'd like to hear some thoughts :)
Last edited by cookie on 17 May 2016, 12:39, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
flabbergast

17 May 2016, 12:07

The PCB footprints are different (size-wise, you can see them superimposed here. Of course there are different mounting options, but the 5 important pins have different spacing. But at least the signal positions are the same.)

User avatar
cookie

17 May 2016, 12:38

Ohh noes :(

Is there some way to add those anyway? Something like a Micro USB connector with Mini USB pins?
The PCB you've posted is compatible to both connectors right? Of do I read it wrong?

Thanks for your answer!

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Vertigo

24 May 2016, 14:05

If you have space where to to mount this, you can add micro usb to your board with little breakout board like this https://www.adafruit.com/products/1833

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Muirium
µ

24 May 2016, 14:32

Technically "sure, no problem!"

Esthetically "holy shit dude, who fucked your HHKB?"

What I want is a drop in replacement controller for the HHKB with:
  • USB C socket at just the right place to match the case's socket hole.
  • Bluetooth, with internal battery packs that are charged when plugged into USB.
  • Battery life of 100 hours or so of active use between USB charges.
  • USB can be just for charging. Bluetooth is much more appealing to me than wired use.
  • Either no USB hub at all, or a disable switch that allows the HHKB to be used with power draw critical hosts like the iPad.
  • Programmability would be nice but not at all essential with the HHKB. The perfect keyboard!
I'll just sit here and wait for the unicorn to come find me…

Matt_

24 May 2016, 15:56

Muirium wrote: I'll just sit here and wait for the unicorn to come find me…
I'd rather open a thread in the workshop and call for people to come and contribute, like how matt3o did for the Elf controller. Surely a BT HHKB controller would be a little more complex, but I'm sure the project would gather interest.

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Muirium
µ

24 May 2016, 16:17

Nah. People will just point me to Hasu's HHKB BT controller. Which isn't what I'm looking for. Especially the impractically poor battery life.

Matt_

24 May 2016, 16:31

Just make sure they're aware of that BT controller's abysmal battery life. You're not the only one who complained about that anyway. There are perfectly good reasons to want another BT controller for the HHKB, but it won't appear magically if someone who wants it doesn't give the first impulse :)

Moz had something cooking regarding BT, battery charging and other related stuff for his TS65 project, flabbergast seems to know how to optimize a MCU's power draw... they seem pretty busy right now but I'm sure they could contribute once they are done with the Elf board. I'd be happy to help too, although my abilities are much more limited (I can design a PCB from a schematic, piece a design together from existing stuff but I lack the in-depth knowledge that allows good designers to fine-tune their work).

mohitgarg

24 May 2016, 18:07

My findings were and in-sync with hasu's controller, you can't get worthwhile battery with two controllers, one for scanning matrix and one for BT communication. At least the AVR chips aren't optimised for this, even at 8Mhz, 3.3V, you'll get only half decent battery. BT enabled ARM based solutions would be the way to go for power efficient solution. Maybe if flabbergast is up for it (Since he has the expertise when it comes to ARM devices) we can explore the option of a BT enabled universal controller with LiPo charging, and that can easily be adapted for the HHKB or other solutions.

Matt_

24 May 2016, 18:15

Thanks for your input! Yes, using two chips is probably not the best idea. For instance kile used a single chip that did everything in his wireless version of PJE's OneHand: workshop-f7/onehand-20-keyboard-t6617-180.html

The nRF51822 chip (low power wireless, Cortex M0 core) could be an interesting option.

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Muirium
µ

24 May 2016, 18:41

I'll point out here that I bought one of Kile's boards. The absence of Bluetooth hurt even more than I thought it would. I tried, but I had to give up on it entirely; dongles are just as bad as wires for me. Worse, given all the baggage of wireless operation with none of the benefit.

The beauty of Bluetooth is its built into all my stuff. So if a wireless board ain't Bluetooth, I ain't interested.

Matt_

24 May 2016, 18:52

Indeed. That's why I suggested the nRF51822, which has Bluetooth, unlike the nRF24LE1 used by kile ;)

Anyway, that was just a suggestion after a quick search, I guess we'll give it more thought once you create a thread for this new BT controller :D

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Muirium
µ

24 May 2016, 20:30

Hmm. Maybe.

I vaguely remember Hasu or someone explain to me some troublesome detail, which of course I've forgotten, about the way the HHKB splits its sense pad PCB (IBM speak: the main one with the capsense pads) and a daughter board. I need to sit down at home (preferably with my HHKB in hand) and do some digging around to rediscover it. I assume I'd suggested something about simply replacing the daughter board with our own design, and somehow that was Bad News. I hope it's not because Topre put the bloody USB controller on the main PCB. That would make it as unfriendly to Bluetoothing as the Realforce and NovaTouch.

See, I don't like to ask for the actually inpossible. Rather the merely challenging!

User avatar
cookie

26 May 2016, 12:31

Muirium wrote: Esthetically "holy shit dude, who fucked your HHKB?"
I've done so much to my HHKBs so that this little change won't matter at all!
Type-C very appealing though but I guess this connector is not compatible with the current PCB at all, I'd need a extra PCB put before the stock controller so that input can be handled by it... Too much for me right now.
Vertigo wrote: If you have space where to to mount this, you can add micro usb to your board with little breakout board like this https://www.adafruit.com/products/1833
This seems like an idea! I will definitely check that out, I'd love to have a Micro USB connector with a mini USB footprint though :)


Fun that HHKB threads, no matter what's about, end up with the desire for bluetooth and that the new HHKB looks shit and that hasus mod leaks battery life :D

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Muirium
µ

26 May 2016, 12:56

Because there's so little wrong with the HHKB besides that fucking USB dingus, there's not much more to whine about!

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

26 May 2016, 13:48

Kinda reminds me of that Noppoo Nano 75 S with a lightning socket ... that didn't support any lightning cable except for the flimsy crap cable the keyboard came with. That keyboard needed a socket rework.

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flabbergast

26 May 2016, 16:29

Ah, sorry Cookie, this thread slipped through my Spy feed.

Unfortunately I haven't seen any micro sockets with mini footprint... It may be possible to create a custom super-thin PCB which would carry the micro USB and solder to the mini footprint ... but I think that for practical purposes it is better to get one of those Sparkfun/Adafruit/Chinese-knockoff micro USB breakouts, mount it somewhere, and route the wires to the original mini footprint pads.

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macmakkara

27 May 2016, 07:16

Muirium wrote: Hmm. Maybe.

I vaguely remember Hasu or someone explain to me some troublesome detail, which of course I've forgotten, about the way the HHKB splits its sense pad PCB (IBM speak: the main one with the capsense pads) and a daughter board. I need to sit down at home (preferably with my HHKB in hand) and do some digging around to rediscover it. I assume I'd suggested something about simply replacing the daughter board with our own design, and somehow that was Bad News. I hope it's not because Topre put the bloody USB controller on the main PCB. That would make it as unfriendly to Bluetoothing as the Realforce and NovaTouch.

See, I don't like to ask for the actually inpossible. Rather the merely challenging!
If i remember correctly HHKB splits pcbs between capsense and all its sensing components on main pcb and usb+microcontroller on other. Thats why you could replace hhkb controller with teensy or other similar chips.

User avatar
cookie

07 Jun 2016, 16:55

flabbergast wrote: Ah, sorry Cookie, this thread slipped through my Spy feed.

Unfortunately I haven't seen any micro sockets with mini footprint... It may be possible to create a custom super-thin PCB which would carry the micro USB and solder to the mini footprint ... but I think that for practical purposes it is better to get one of those Sparkfun/Adafruit/Chinese-knockoff micro USB breakouts, mount it somewhere, and route the wires to the original mini footprint pads.

That is probably what I am going to try :D

DMA

08 Jun 2016, 07:51

Hehe. USB type C client is not actually that hard to make.
To convert an existing USB 2.0 device to USB Type-C, the designer can short the two CC pins, add one Pull-Down resistor and route the USB D+/D- signals to both positions on the USB Type-C receptacle. No other changes are required. The device waits for Vbus to be valid, enables its D+ Pull-Up resistor (for a Full Speed or High Speed product), chirps (if a High Speed device) and USB enumeration occurs as normal.
So basically one resistor and a socket is all it takes to convert USB 2.0 device to USB-C. Breakout board will be quite cheap to make.
500mA only though, so that 2.5Ah battery will charge in years. Years, Carl! And it has to be the last device in the chain.

And lo! Someone even makes them already.

As for the combo device - USB part can go to deep sleep when not connected. Won't risk to say "turned off - you can put a diode into +5V between the parts so it can power the BT+controller part but not vice versa" - not sure both parts survive. But kitprog seems to fare well with this setup.

USB-C devkit is a bit pricey though. Damn you, new technologies! Also PSoC creator doesn't support it yet, though they promise it. In December 2015, no less :) There also bound to be other vendors who make USB-C MCUs/SoCs. Otherwise how all those smartphones have USB-C ports?

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atlas3686

19 Jul 2016, 11:01

Along the same line of thinking, anyone know if there are any magnetic solutions that work with mini B? Something like this http://www.wsken.net/productsinfo.asp?id=40

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richfiles

22 Jul 2016, 04:42

That wsken page has some of the fanciest "Engrish" I have ever encountered...
Who knew you could make misplaced commas and broken syntax stutter off the tongue so elegantly! Bravo! :roll: :lol:

It does look like a really nice product though. On my keyboard, I ended up sticking with Mini-USB for the cable, but used a salvaged Apple MagSafe connector for a magnetically attachable number pad meant to allow me to expand my modified 75%.

xpiolx

11 Sep 2017, 19:49

I manage to change Mini B receptacle with Micro B from old card reader and from my PS3 controller too.

joric

03 Oct 2017, 14:37

I've replaced miniusb on hasu controller with microusb, works fine. Footprint is about the same.

Image

Image

Regarding type-c there's a project https://github.com/manisteinn/usb-type-c-hhkb

Image

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Type-C is the future (and it always will be! 24-pin connector seems a bit overkill). I got a reversible microusb cable it works just fine https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Ugreen- ... 50227.html
Last edited by joric on 04 Oct 2017, 03:04, edited 6 times in total.

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Phenix
-p

03 Oct 2017, 17:35

I have 2 of those wsken cables - they are awesome. magnetism is strong enough so that it doesnt falls off while slight movement

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