Help with MCL Micronorth Co Ltd

amouse

10 Sep 2019, 14:47

Hi Guys,

I came across and old MCL Micronorth Co Ltd from work. It seems to be an ALPS Switch and has chip called P8049AH 8832.
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I bought an AT to PS2 and a PS2 to USB converter. The keyboard was able to power on (the LEDs turned on) but none of the keyboard strokes was registering. I changed the registry on windows which was recommended for older keyboards to run on newer Windows 10 but still the same problem.

Would you guys have any advice regarding the following:

1. Could it because it is an AX and the converter I got was for an AT keyboard? Could I convert this to a USB?
2. Would it be possible to reuse the PCB and upgrade the IC? or would it be easier to hand wire? or buy a PCB?
3. Is there a way to diagnose the keyboard for what might be wrong with it? and from there determine the next steps( repair pcb or reuse switch or replace IC,or etc...)

My goal is to use the keyboard and learn about the process of building my mechanical keyboards.

Thank you for any advice you can give.

Amouse

Anakey

10 Sep 2019, 15:19

1) If the PS2 to USB converter that you got is not described as being active then it will not be converting the AT protocol to USB therefore that is probably why you are getting no keys registering.
2) If 1 does not work, then it is technically possible to replace the controller IC with a Teensy which will then work through USB, however this involves first mapping out the matrix and programming the controller. Alternatively you can indeed desolder the switches, get rid of the pcb and then handwire but again that involves programming the controller. Unfortunately there are very few options for buying a full size layout pcb in alps layout.
3) definitely try a different adaptor search for one that specifically states it is active and therefore has some circuitry rather then just connecting wires.

andrewjoy

10 Sep 2019, 15:31

As was stated above make sure your converter is an active one.

This one looks to be a new design https://www.lindy.co.uk/cables-adapters ... ble-p11390 but i have used the older style lindy one and never had an issue, even with two high powered devices ( L-Trac and Model M) connected.

amouse

11 Sep 2019, 09:56

Thanks guys . Is there a way to test if the keys are properly working. For example testing each individual key to see if key is firing an signal?or would I need to remove the switch? And then rest them that way?

Anakey

11 Sep 2019, 11:16

if you have a multimeter that has a continuity setting then all you would need to do is place the probes on the two switch legs at the solder points and then press the switch. If the meter beeps then the switch is working fine. You can do this without desoldering from the pcb.

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