Genovation ControlPad 5809 Programmable Keypad

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07 Jun 2019, 17:55

Content Warning: Very Dirty

Anyway, onwards. I picked up a lot of 5 of these from the local surplus sale figuring they'd be fun. The legends are certainly interesting, they look to have come from the local 911 phone system that we recently upgraded.


On the back we have the model number, ControlPad 5809. This model number doesn't bring anything up really, but I have a good feeling it's a rebadged ControlPad 683, just with some OEM keycaps. Shot them a message so I'll see if I get anything back.


The cable on this particular one has seen better days. It's a Y cable with a passthrough for your regular keyboard.

But anyway, that's all fun and all, but this is Deskthority we don't care about no boring keypads. What's special about it? Well, it's MX Blacks! It's a 4x6 matrix of all MX Blacks. The 2U keys are just covering two switches for extra firmness.

The PCB doesn't have diodes for NKRO but that's not a big deal, I mean, it's a keypad I'm not doing 360noscopes on it.

The keycaps are just printed nothing special. They are holding up very very well though for being used daily in a 911 phone system. Possible UV printing similar to what IBM used on Thinkpads?

So Genovation ControlPads are supposed to be programmable, what's making this one tick? Turns out to have a Cypress CY7C63743-PXC keyboard controller and a 24LC64 I2C EEPROM. Rather than some of the small programmable things I've opened, it's a dedicated chip for this purpose. Also supports USB and PS/2 and can autoswitch between them without needing jumpers or different pins. In theory I could hack up a USB cable for these.

As for that keyboard/mouse switch? Not 100% sure what it does. Possibly allows it to work on the mouse PS/2 port instead but I haven't tried.

Finally, one last cool feature. The housing has a cutout and a plug to allow you to change the cable to exit either side of the case. That's a pretty nice feature for cable management.


07 Jun 2019, 20:03

I've had a 683 that I sold years ago. I don't remember the switch on the back but maybe it was there.
When I went to a Nasa exhibition, I spotted a whole bunch of these in a training cockpit for the Space Shuttle, but I've never seen them in any official picture of the real thing or simulator.


16 Jul 2019, 15:40

Nice keypad. But major human slime under it!

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