Another MX / Trackpoint project

User avatar
pfoff

31 Jan 2017, 12:08

Hi Guys,
this is my first post here and it will hopefully turn out, that it's also my first mech build/mod?
First, I have to mention how impressed I am of all the competence I found here! Great work wherever I look!
Now, about me and my keyboard problems:
As a coder, I have to use my keyboard a lot. And i do so since a lot of years now. As a first day thinkpad user I am addicted to the trackpoint and I mostly use my keyboard on my lap. So I went mad when I saw mtl's MX13 TKL built. I need to have such a thing! But my crafting abilities are worse than I'd like to, so
I decided to try a simpler approach. I have all types of IBM/Lenovo built trackpoint keyboards here, from older thinkpads to newest gen USB Trackpoint Keyboards. So I took the old SpaceSaver II and disassembled it.
I also have two pretty vintage cherries with clears, which I plan to solder out. Or would somebody like to exchange them for a set of clears or blues?
When I did so, the idea arised of putting a plate into this old and ugly case and build my new keyboard in it. Downside seems to be, that I will have to handwire it... Or does anybody think, I'll find a pcb where I could trill a whole into?
And I'll need a plate to mount the switches additionally(?). Or could I cut the wholes for the switches in the upper plastic part, which feels pretty rigid. But I don't believe it will last and I want to use this keyboard lots of years...
So the challenge is at least big enough....
I give you some fotos to see how the keyboard looks disassembled. No real idea where to go from here...
(Besides the fact, that I will have to clean it! There was an incredible amount of dirt inside this ancient beast...)
SpaceSaver disassembled 2
SpaceSaver disassembled 2
82872981234086207-account_id=1.jpg (246.4 KiB) Viewed 1884 times
SpaceSaver disassembled
SpaceSaver disassembled
7380007360808612609-account_id=1.jpg (393.48 KiB) Viewed 1884 times
I hope somebody can give me some tips or advice. I could not afford to waste to much money or time and I urgently need a good working keyboard, as my last Thinkpad USB Keyboard starts to make trouble again... And it never came close to a mech board anyway...

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

31 Jan 2017, 12:20

if you cut out the protruding part, what is the size of the hole on the plastic case/plate?

User avatar
pfoff

31 Jan 2017, 12:27

For the standard keys approx. 12x14mm. I would need a cherry switch to test...

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

31 Jan 2017, 12:40

okay, so, maybe it's worth trying if you are a little crafty.

basically cut out all the protruding plastic and with a file make 14x14mm holes (be sharp!). do that just for 3-4 keys in the middle and see if it works. You'll need to add some hot glue on the backside to keep the switches tight, but that comes later, first you have to check if they actually fit. If it works check if you can do the same with the stabilizers (that will be tough).

the nicer alternative would be to cut out the plastic plate and replace it with a nicely lasered aluminum plate! I can help you designing if you need.

User avatar
pfoff

01 Feb 2017, 00:00

Yeah, now I know, I will have to go with a lasered alu plate. In the middle where the hole for the trackpoint is, it would break apart... I think I may leave the trackpoint on the base plate(where it is now). Only downside: I will have to use flat MX3.0 Keycaps, or the trackpoint may be to tall...
Help with the design would be greatly appreciated! I think I will have to leave a border of the plastic to be able to fix the alu plate later there. How much space is needed under the switches for the wiring?

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

01 Feb 2017, 00:14

what takes space is the controller, wiring itself --if done right-- doesn't take any more room than the switches themselves.

User avatar
pfoff

01 Feb 2017, 12:16

That sounds good, however I may have found a second way(or i will build two @ once!?-). The USB Spacesaver looks more promising. The wholes for the rubberdome keycaps are much smaller and rounded, so i could try to cut the plastic plate there. Will dissassemble it and have a look. A pitti that the controller/trackpoint on this one does not work anymore.
Do you think I could use the controller of such a keyboard and connect the cherry matrix and the trackpoint to it? That would eliminate driverproblems and minimize effort to finish it!;-) (Laziness, impatience & hubris....)
Attachments
IBM SpaceSaver Trackpoint USB
IBM SpaceSaver Trackpoint USB
DSC_0012.jpg (301.72 KiB) Viewed 1785 times

User avatar
micrex22

01 Feb 2017, 15:20

pfoff wrote: That sounds good, however I may have found a second way(or i will build two @ once!?-). The USB Spacesaver looks more promising. The wholes for the rubberdome keycaps are much smaller and rounded, so i could try to cut the plastic plate there. Will dissassemble it and have a look. A pitti that the controller/trackpoint on this one does not work anymore.
Do you think I could use the controller of such a keyboard and connect the cherry matrix and the trackpoint to it? That would eliminate driverproblems and minimize effort to finish it!;-) (Laziness, impatience & hubris....)
Those spacesavers are not as well known, they're the last model IBM produced. For whatever reason they continued to make SK-8845 up until 2014 (Lenovo at that point didn't make them anymore). I don't know why.

It would probably be easiest to extract the TrackPoint on a working USB unit and then mount its guts into a mechanical keyboard. The downside is that you'll need two USB cables. If it's a synaptics touchstyk, then you simply install the synpatics driver.

Otherwise, get an M13. The only downside is that you lack middle (scroll) click which I use a lot.

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

01 Feb 2017, 15:38


User avatar
Alkhar

01 Feb 2017, 16:22

Ssk g80-1000/1501 with a trackpoint, man that would be cool Oo.

User avatar
pfoff

01 Feb 2017, 17:16

Wow, thanks for the links.
A G80 ssk with trackpoint, yeah!-) That's close to what I want. With a little touch of big blue...
I have had a look at the phantom pcbs, but i guess they wouldn't fit neither case!-(
I'll measure the cases to see if I matt3o can help me designing plates for them!-)
I think I'd go with a ohansi1.25 layout, but an additional Fn key would be great.
And @micrex22: Yes i think about that too, but i wouldn't know how to fit the trackpoint in the cases. Mechanically I am on a n00b level!-(
@matt3o: Do U think it's possible to measure everything for you so we could design a plate? I took a foto, does it help you to see the dimensions?
I have no keycaps, so we should create a design that matches some standard design(are there those?)

User avatar
pfoff

04 Feb 2017, 00:15

It's always a small step, which starts even the longest journey.
I now got 2 very clean swiss layouted g80-3036 with clear switches.
If some of you want one of them(one is almost new), I would sell it or trade it for switches(blue or ergoclears)/keycaps. I may post photos if someone is interested.
I am looking for MX-Board 3.0 style flat keycaps(TKL/US), somebody knows where to get those?
I tried to create a drawing with measures, would this help to create a plate?
Then I would also have to measure the base plate and the places where the screws are. Would it make sense to put the case onto my scanner?
@matt3o: Everything arrived today(very fast) and all stuff looks great
+ Happy Kid around!-)
Attachments
design_ss2.png
design_ss2.png (33.47 KiB) Viewed 1705 times

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

04 Feb 2017, 08:51

yes the drawing helps, you miss some measurements though

User avatar
pfoff

04 Feb 2017, 17:16

Yes and my techie pointed out, they wouldn't be precise, so i will do it improved right now!
And just thinking about moding the old cherry, but how to get it controlled with the trackpoint via usb? The teensy is still on it's way...
I will have to wait two weeks for the teensy...
Ok, we changed plans, I got an defective MX3.0 board, will use it with it's plate after cuttin the number block. Than we'll try to fit it in the case. I plan to control the trackpoint with an arduino micro I have lying around. Then I'd only have to build a little usb hub into the case. So I could connect the whole machine with one cable.
Have to see how stiff the mx3.0 chassis is. Would love to exchange the red stems against the clear ones, but don't want to desolder all the switches, if it isn't necessary....
Does anybody know where to get springs in europe(similar to the red ones). I would love to build me some light ergo clears!-)
And here's something I found in my old labour room, from back in the days, when we wrote 68k assembler all the time!-)
Apple M1242 with numpad and mouse, white alps
Apple M1242 with numpad and mouse, white alps
Apple_Keyboard_M1242.JPG (271.2 KiB) Viewed 1639 times
Think about taking it apart and put a trackpoint in.... Think the apple guys would lynch me then.... There is a lot of red sand/dust on it. I think I will have to read some threads about retro brightening here. Also could have a try if my old SE/30 starts and test if it all still worx!?-)

User avatar
pfoff

08 Feb 2017, 15:49

Ok, we made some steps further.
I now have a MX-Board 3.0 SSK !;-) If somebody is interested I can post photos where we had to bridge the board.
MX3.0 SSK TKL
MX3.0 SSK TKL
DSC_0020.JPG (472.18 KiB) Viewed 1632 times
Now I started my tries with two different trackpoints and the teensy++(got one from a friend!-). I have a working PS/2 Converter with soarers firmware, got that up very easy. But as far as I understand, there is no possibility to include a trackpoint!-( Correct me, if I am wrong). The plan is to connect the trackpoint with the teensy for tests and later with and arduino micro(cheaper..) and integrate an USB Hub and the MX3.0 in the old IBM case, which seems to match well. So the trackpoint buttons would be nicely integrated.
With tmk firmware I don't get far for now. Not even the ps/2 adapter works that way(wiring should be the same as with soarers approach, shouldn't it?).
This is the trackpoint from the SSII Keyboard, seems not to have electronic on it. Would I need to connect some Trackpoint controller to it, or can I use it as is? Mtl s description of the MX13 is somewhat short here!-(
PS2 SpaceSaver II Trackpoint
PS2 SpaceSaver II Trackpoint
DSC_0024.JPG (294.51 KiB) Viewed 1632 times
The other trackpoint is from an USB Spacesaver Keyboard, it's to short I would have to prolongue it, if I want to use it with the mechanical keys... But I could make it work for a test I think.
PS2 SpaceSaver II Trackpoint
PS2 SpaceSaver II Trackpoint
DSC_0024.JPG (294.51 KiB) Viewed 1632 times
Is it possible to use TMKs firmware as PS/2 Converter and also control a trackpoint at once? Did not find hints on that. But that way I could try it with my G80-3000.
I found a lot of hints to hasu's firmware in old threads on GH. Where can I find it? Isn't it TMK after all? a fork? Sorry for the confusion, but that how it looks in my brain after reading lots of threads for hours!-(
Attachments
Trackpoint from USB Thinkpad Keyboard
Trackpoint from USB Thinkpad Keyboard
DSC_0021.JPG (392.26 KiB) Viewed 1632 times

User avatar
Ray

08 Feb 2017, 21:22

TMK can only read in PS/2 from one device, so you can't use it as a PS/2 converter and also read the trackpoint's output. (At least that was the case about a year ago, I don't think it changed since then.)

I don't know what it would take to change that...

User avatar
suka
frobiac

09 Feb 2017, 06:42

I guess you could use the 3 different PS/2 implementations in parallel with TMK. At least the trackpoint works on either of them with selected pins, and I see no compelling reason why the teensy should not be able to handle another device.

User avatar
pfoff

09 Feb 2017, 10:55

Thanks for the infos! I got the TMK stuff working, as PS/2 adapter and OneKeyTest also works. I'll try how it behaves, when I use USART for the trackpoint and INT for the keyboard.
The whole for the trackpoint is now in the MX3.0 Board, I will only have to find a way to fix it there!-) And then I want to continue with an G80 with trackpoint!-) But now we have to finish first project.
Fine, I have tmk working as ps2 converter and adb worked also. But when I try to enable PS2_USE_INT and PS2_USE_USART I can't compile it anymore. I am using the rev2 Makefile and Compilation fails like that:

Code: Select all

Compiling C: ../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c
avr-gcc -c -mmcu=at90usb1286 -gdwarf-2 -DF_CPU=16000000UL -DSUSPEND_MODE_STANDBY -DBOOTLOADER_SIZE=4096 -DPS2_USE_INT -DPS2_USE_USART -DF_USB=16000000UL -DARCH=ARCH_AVR8 -DUSB_DEVICE_ONLY -DUSE_FLASH_DESCRIPTORS -DUSE_STATIC_OPTIONS="(USB_DEVICE_OPT_FULLSPEED | USB_OPT_REG_ENABLED | USB_OPT_AUTO_PLL)" -DFIXED_CONTROL_ENDPOINT_SIZE=8  -DFIXED_NUM_CONFIGURATIONS=1 -DPROTOCOL_LUFA -DBOOTMAGIC_ENABLE -DEXTRAKEY_ENABLE -DCONSOLE_ENABLE -DCOMMAND_ENABLE -DNKRO_ENABLE -DVERSION=0575b3d-dirty -Os -funsigned-char -funsigned-bitfields -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections -fno-inline-small-functions -fpack-struct -fshort-enums -fno-strict-aliasing -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wa,-adhlns=obj_ps2_usb_rev2/protocol/ps2_usart.lst -I. -I../../tmk_core -I../../tmk_core/protocol -I../../tmk_core/protocol/lufa -I../../tmk_core/protocol/lufa/LUFA-git -I../../tmk_core/common -std=gnu99 -include config_rev2.h -MMD -MP -MF .dep/obj_ps2_usb_rev2_protocol_ps2_usart.o.d  ../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c -o obj_ps2_usb_rev2/protocol/ps2_usart.o 
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c: In function ‘ps2_host_init’:
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:70:5: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘PS2_USART_INIT’ [-Wimplicit-function-declaration]
     PS2_USART_INIT();
     ^
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:71:5: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘PS2_USART_RX_INT_ON’ [-Wimplicit-function-declaration]
     PS2_USART_RX_INT_ON();
     ^
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c: In function ‘ps2_host_send’:
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:81:5: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘PS2_USART_OFF’ [-Wimplicit-function-declaration]
     PS2_USART_OFF();
     ^
In file included from ./config_rev2.h:21:0,
                 from <command-line>:0:
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c: In function ‘PS2_USART_RX_VECT’:
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:155:5: warning: ‘PS2_USART_RX_VECT’ appears to be a misspelled signal handler [enabled by default]
 ISR(PS2_USART_RX_VECT)
     ^
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:158:21: error: ‘PS2_USART_ERROR’ undeclared (first use in this function)
     uint8_t error = PS2_USART_ERROR;    // USART error should be read before data
                     ^
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:158:21: note: each undeclared identifier is reported only once for each function it appears in
../../tmk_core/protocol/ps2_usart.c:159:20: error: ‘PS2_USART_RX_DATA’ undeclared (first use in this function)
     uint8_t data = PS2_USART_RX_DATA;
                    ^
../../tmk_core/rules.mk:557: recipe for target 'obj_ps2_usb_rev2/protocol/ps2_usart.o' failed
make: *** [obj_ps2_usb_rev2/protocol/ps2_usart.o] Error 1

Does not look to me, as if it could handle two modes with different I/o Ports.
At least Busywait and Int Mode share the same definitions in config.h. And the makefile does not look, as if it would compile the objs with different settings, but I'll have a closer look tonite(sleeping is overrated!-) Some links, where somebody did it would be helpful!-)


Any hints?

Another problem is that I damaged the platine of the SSII... I have the trackpoint, but no controller to attach it to. Now I wonder, if ican connect the (longer) trackpoint from the SS II to the electronic of a thinkpad trackpoint. Anyone did so/heard of it??? I have lots of trackpoints from thinkpads and later scissor keyboards(which tend to last around a year for me...). But I didn't manage to put the longer sticks onto them...

What a mass of information here and on the project sites... Thanks a lot to you all out there!

User avatar
pfoff

10 Feb 2017, 05:11

And we did it!-))) It's only a mod and no build, but there is more to come I write this on my new SpaceSaver Trackpoint MX13 !;-))
SpaceSaver MX13
SpaceSaver MX13
DSC_0048.JPG (220.49 KiB) Viewed 1564 times
One week with very few sleep, but man that rocks!-)
If someone is interested I can post more info about the build process. When I have slept enough I 'll start an own build, had a lot of fun!;-)

User avatar
Ray

10 Feb 2017, 16:20

pfoff wrote: If someone is interested I can post more info about the build process.
Definatly interested on the hardware and firmware as well.

User avatar
pfoff

10 Feb 2017, 22:48

Ok, here we go, I will try to write the important parts down. After all, this is a recycling project!-))) I have couples of damaged trackpoint boards and the MX-Board was bought realy cheap. We did it as a test and planned to build something own later, but it works so find and is so pretty ugly, I think I am gonna stay with it. And nevertheless build another one with ergoclears.

The ingredients were:
SpaceSaver II for the case (silly idea, bottom looks like helvetian cheese now!-) But for the trackpoint buttons this idea rocked!-)
IBM USB SpaceSaver with Trackpoint for the controller and the trackpoint(so no own firmware is needed)
Old mouse for the button switches.
Cherry MX-Board 3.0
Than add a lot of work and dremel and soldering skills of my dear friend Sami and that's it!-)
I will upload some pictures tomorrow and some explanations, where we did run into problems. If somebody wants to try it, don't hesitate and post here, I will try to explain anything I remember.
Next thing is to prolongue some thinkpad trackpoints, because I have no remaining USB SS Keyboard(damaged one trackpoint when testing...)... Or i try to connect the SS II Trackpoint to a thinkpad trackpoint controller board. If someone has made it, please let me know.
The steps to buld the board, as far as I remember it:
disassemble the SS2 and the USB Trackpoint keyboard(KPH0035). From KPH0035 we need the controller, the trackpoint and the parts which hold it on the plate.
Then cut the SS II case. The bottom will have to be replaced. That is something I'll have to do, but it works fine so far.
The MX-Board 3.0 has to be cutted. This is also the time to drill a whole for the trackpoint. We did it Than we need a lot of bridges, I forgot to take a photo, but I will do, when I take it apart to mount the new cover(still no idea, how to make it).
The trackpoint connection should be soldered, you can take the connector from the platine(i took it from another KPH Board) to connect it. The MX-Board gets connected to the USB port of the controller after soldering a cable on the usb pins of the mx board.
The mouse switches were put on a cutted breadboard. The cables have to be soldered to the right pins then(0-GND, 23-25 for the buttons, if I remember correctly). You can get it from the old matrix, I include it, if anyone wants to hook up his own board to the controller.
Tastatur_belegung.pdf
(28.63 KiB) Downloaded 31 times
Biggest problem is to fit it all in the case and get it closed without damaging a cable or circuit board.
You should have a pretty mechanical Trackpoint Board now. And one of the ugliest ones !-))) But just what I need for my daily work. IBM should have made it like that decades ago!-)
I am planing to integrate a trackpoint and a touchpad in the next build.
tmk firmware works fine with the trackpoint now, will look for a touchpad to see how that integrates.
Thanks to all you guys out there who deliver such great infos and projects to make our builds possible!
Attachments
Trackpoint buttons: switches from an ole mouse on a blank mounted in the SS II Frame
Trackpoint buttons: switches from an ole mouse on a blank mounted in the SS II Frame
tp_buttons.JPG (336.35 KiB) Viewed 1486 times
DSC_0044_.JPG
DSC_0044_.JPG (145.09 KiB) Viewed 1510 times
DSC_0041_.JPG
DSC_0041_.JPG (311.64 KiB) Viewed 1510 times
DSC_0037_.JPG
DSC_0037_.JPG (173.51 KiB) Viewed 1510 times
DSC_0035_.JPG
DSC_0035_.JPG (172.64 KiB) Viewed 1510 times

User avatar
pfoff

01 Mar 2017, 18:53

Ok, round 2!-)
My modded SpaceSaver works like a charm, absolutely great. It's my daily driver now!
But after I knew tmk/qmk firmware now, I must have a custom board. I plan to handwire it, but it will take a lot of time to get the plates, so I will do some testing with a plate sourced from a cheap qpad board. It has cherry blue switches, which I like to keep. But they are moving in their cuttings, after I removed the PCB. The cuts are 14mms and the board is very little less than 1.5mm thick. So it should match, what I planned to order from the cutter. I plan to handwire the board, so there wouldn't be a pcb fixing the keys from there. What Do you guys do? I designed the plate with swillkb case builder. Should I change it, or is this just fine and there is some other trick?
On a second view I notice that the plate is only 1.2mm in the middle. So it is useless, or is there some kind of clip to fix the switches on such a thin plate? Think I should just sit and wait for the cutted plates to arrive...
So long I wonder, if I could connect a trackpoint to a RN42 equipped teensy with tmk on it to get an usb/bluetooth hybrid keyboard, just like a hhkb with trackpoint!? Somebody did this already?

User avatar
pfoff

27 Apr 2017, 22:58

It's getting serious. Today we wired my new custom board. It was first planed to be a recycling project for the plate, we used. But it get too cool, have to finish it!;-))) I hope to find time to hack the firmware. Biggest problem still is the prolongation of the trackpoint. If I could find MX-Board 3.0 keycaps, this would be much easier...
I have to search for the thread, where a guy did it with epoxied screws/threaded sleeves on it. May be the easiest way to go. Any suggestions what glue to use for that kind of stuff?
Attachments
Front with trashy keycaps
Front with trashy keycaps
DSC_6371.JPG (198.81 KiB) Viewed 1370 times
Wiring
Wiring
DSC_6369.JPG (297.76 KiB) Viewed 1370 times

User avatar
alonswartz

24 May 2017, 14:25

pfoff wrote: Biggest problem still is the prolongation of the trackpoint. If I could find MX-Board 3.0 keycaps, this would be much easier... I have to search for the thread, where a guy did it with epoxied screws/threaded sleeves on it. May be the easiest way to go.
I'd recommend trying a labret cheek piercing, worked for me.
pfoff wrote: Any suggestions what glue to use for that kind of stuff?
I used Loctite super glue-3, great stuff.

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