Hi guys! This guide is for absolute beginners and is a step by step guide on creating an internal Soarer's Converter. For reference, here's the end product:
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This adaptor is designed for IBM's Model F but can definitely be re-purposed for other keyboards. It's powered by a Pro Micro (Teensy clone) with 4 Dupont male pins leading out of it allowing you to plug and play into an IBM Model F. It can then be followed by a MicroUSB Cable of your liking.
Please PM me if you have queries. I'm active on geekhack as well.
I also hand make these adaptors on eBay and I ship them worldwide. PM me if you're interested
For the Dupont cables, we just need 4. Alternatively, you could get any wires you want, but it'll make it much harder to plug into the Model F. For the Heat shrink tubing and black tape, it's not necessary, but it'll make things more sturdy and prettier.
Obviously this requires a soldering iron and some other equipment like scissors and a pair of steady hands. This is also written for Windows.
Change the COM5 into the COM Port that shows up on your computer.
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9) If it times out (you have a buffer of about 5s before the Pro Micro resets itself), short the pins again and type in the command again. I personally type the command before hand and press enter when I short the teensy.
10) If the firmware is successfully flashed, you should see this:
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11) Under device manager, there should be no more COM Ports and you should see a Soarer's converter in the devices panel in control panel.
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Yay! You've flashed the firmware successfully!
Now onto the next part, soldering and making the converter:
1) You'll need 4 Dupont male to female cables. I've got 4 and they're about 5 inches long.
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2) I used a plier to bend the male pin into a right angle as it makes soldering much easier.
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3) Now get to soldering! I have a helping hand so I can clamp the cable down on the board and the right angle sticks the pin into the hole.
The pins to solder is: 2, 3, GND and VCC. For GND, there are a few that you could use but I recommend using the one along the side of the VCC.
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4) Snip off any excess solder which might affect soldering:
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5) Solder the rest of the cables!
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6) The end result:
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7) Time to test the Pro Micro! I'm using a Model F XT here:
to find out the pinout. You'll need a multimeter for this. I made a simple diagram to follow:
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It's not the best illustration, so here's a written explanation:
Use a multimeter to figure out which pins of the DIN connector (Model F XT for example) leads to which pin on the actual board connector and use the keyboard pinout documentation as reference. I'll leave the Model F XT and 122 pinouts here:
F 122 Connector view:
C G D
X N V
C - CLOCK
G - GROUND
D - DATA
N - NO PIN
V - VCC
9) Time to wrap the adaptor up! At this point, the adaptor is completely functional so if you wanna stop here and start using, it's done. I'm doing this part to insulate the adaptor. I'll be wrapping it up in insulating black electrical tape followed by heat shrink wrappings.
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10) Electrical tape:
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11) Heat shrink wrapping, you can use any heat source to shrink it:
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12) All done!
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It's done! This section is showing off some pigtails and female USB mounts.
1) Female pigtail:
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2) Mounting the female USB onto the board:
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This is a magnetic microUSB cable I sourced, allowing me to attach and detach magnetically.
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MicroUSB female mounted into a Model F AT.
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Model M50 with a USB-B female mounted into the case.
Also, the Pro Micro is tiny. It's about half the length and less than half the width of a sticky note. If you're old and have bad eyes, like me, you'll really want a magnifying lens. If you don't have one, you should probably get your "Helping Hands" with one.
The guide talks about the "2 & 3" spots on the Pro Micro. These are for "Clock" and "Data." If you connect it to your keyboard incorrectly, the keyboard just won't work. Just swap the wires on your keyboard.
I tested the Pro Micro every time I made any change. A couple of times, I accidentally pulled a cable from the keyboard side. Another time, I found that I put on the electrical tape too tight and that shorted a connection. Just take it slow!
Hi, how would you deal with the lack of grounding for this mod? I have to do an internal converter for my F XT and it just inputs random characters to the pc, someone pointed out the lack of grounding for my F XT but i don't really know how to incorporate that with this mod.