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PICList Thread
'[PIC] PC keyboard'
2003\08\29@071411 by THE NELSONS

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Has anyone done anything with trying to communicate with a computer by
means of the keyboard port.  I wanted to make a custom keyboard  that
was easy to program for different applications.  I have some
disabilities and there are many ways this could help.

Bob

>
>

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2003\08\29@073034 by Michael Davidson

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>Has anyone done anything with trying to communicate with a computer by
>means of the keyboard port.  I wanted to make a custom keyboard  that
>was easy to program for different applications.  I have some
>disabilities and there are many ways this could help.

Check out http://www.beyondlogic.org/keyboard/keybrd.htm

Michael
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2003\08\29@084321 by Alan B. Pearce

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>>Has anyone done anything with trying to communicate with a computer by
>>means of the keyboard port.  I wanted to make a custom keyboard  that
>>was easy to program for different applications.  I have some
>>disabilities and there are many ways this could help.
>
>Check out http://www.beyondlogic.org/keyboard/keybrd.htm

You may also wish to check out Microchip's USB sample code. One of the
examples uses the 16C745 as a PS/2 mouse/keyboard to USB interface. Also
there are examples out on the net, of using an AT/PS/2 k/b with a PIC.

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2003\08\29@135323 by Bob Axtell

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There are several people on the web that have interfaced the IBM PC
Keyboard to PICs and other (perish the thought) processors. Google for it,
using "PC Keyboard Interface" as keywords, or similar. That will get you
started. The rest is up to you.

--Bob

At 06:16 AM 8/29/2003 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--------------
Bob Axtell
PIC Hardware & Firmware Dev
Tucson, AZ
1-512-219-2363

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2003\08\29@142645 by Picdude

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Yes.  I was looking into this for a controller for an automotive MP3 player based on a Mini-ITX motherboard.  At first I thought I'd use a PIC circuit to emulate the PC keyboard protocol, and found lots of info, circuits, protocol explanations, etc for this thru google.

But then I found a new keyboard for $6, which I gutted for the electronics (small module) and wired that to my circuit.  The latter is nice because it was already wired up to the connector, etc.  But you have to follow the traces to see which pairs to connect to for which characters.

From that point, it was a very simple matter of writing the control code using standard C input routines (under Linux).

Cheers,
-Neil.


On Friday 29 August 2003 06:16, THE NELSONS scribbled:
> Has anyone done anything with trying to communicate with a computer by
> means of the keyboard port.  I wanted to make a custom keyboard  that
> was easy to program for different applications.  I have some
> disabilities and there are many ways this could help.
>
> Bob

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2003\08\29@150424 by Josh Koffman

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I've done something similar for another purpose. Did you find that the
wiring of the keys didn't really follow any pattern? I would have
expected it to be a semi-nice grid, but it sure wasn't even close. The
only thing I could think of (which I never got around to checking) was
that it had something to do with the scan codes the controller
generated.

Josh
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Picdude wrote:
> But then I found a new keyboard for $6, which I gutted for the electronics
> (small module) and wired that to my circuit.  The latter is nice because it
> was already wired up to the connector, etc.  But you have to follow the
> traces to see which pairs to connect to for which characters.

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2003\08\29@155537 by Picdude

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Yep.  I remember drawing up a grid and marking the characters in, and stopped when I got about 12 or so characters (all I needed at the time) from 7 or 8 lines.

I later damaged it (broke off one of the edge-connector PCB traces on which I had soldered a solid wire) and it was easy to use the next edge-connector pad, and changed the key chars in the code.  But that's when I tried to find a pattern, but could not.  Don't have it in front of me, but IIRC, there was a basic pattern developing with the digits and F-keys.

FWIW, here are a couple photos of the prototype "head" unit.  It was sized so the final version (on a proper PCB) would directly replace the head unit in my car.  You can see the keyboard controller on the back (with the 3 led's).  I used parallel for the display control, and the keyboard interface for the input/buttons, both of which were funnelled thru an RJ45 connector (since RJ45 cables are low-cost and easy to route over long lengths).  I used an RJ45-to-DB25 adapter (re-wired my own way) on the PC end.  The red display is a 2x20 reverse red crystalfontz unit to match the rest of the dash instruments.  Haven't completed it yet, but the prototype served me very well for many thousands of cross-country miles.

       narwani.org/neil/stuff/mp3-controller-front.jpg
       http://narwani.org/neil/stuff/mp3-controller-back.jpg

Cheers,
-Neil.



On Friday 29 August 2003 14:47, Josh Koffman scribbled:
> I've done something similar for another purpose. Did you find that the
> wiring of the keys didn't really follow any pattern? I would have
> expected it to be a semi-nice grid, but it sure wasn't even close. The
> only thing I could think of (which I never got around to checking) was
> that it had something to do with the scan codes the controller
> generated.
>
> Josh

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2003\08\29@161616 by Alexandre Souza

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> I've done something similar for another purpose. Did you find that the
> wiring of the keys didn't really follow any pattern? I would have
> expected it to be a semi-nice grid, but it sure wasn't even close. The
> only thing I could think of (which I never got around to checking) was
> that it had something to do with the scan codes the controller
> generated.

   The pattern is fairly easy to understand, just grab an old keyboard,
unassemble it and see how it works ;o) But in MY setup, I used first the
buttombox from Leif (http://w1.132.telia.com/~u13205992/buttonbox/) which
can be reprogrammed from a PC (note: You CAN use it without a keyboard
connected, but I wasn't able to reprogram it thru the puter) and later did
my own design with BASCOM and the optional keyboard lib.

   If you are looking to a simple-no-frills-code to just burn an 90S2313
and use your keys, drop me a mail and I can program it in BASCOM and send
you the hex/source


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2003\08\29@225848 by Mike Hord

picon face
>I've done something similar for another purpose. Did you find that the
>wiring of the keys didn't really follow any pattern? I would have
>expected it to be a semi-nice grid, but it sure wasn't even close. The
>only thing I could think of (which I never got around to checking) was
>that it had something to do with the scan codes the controller
>generated.
>
>Josh

Do you happen to know of a resource enumerating those strange
connections?  My laptop has recently developed the habit of being
unable to read some random keys occasionally...g,h,',backspace,
Windows, and one or two others.  Only g and h are close to each
other, and they all stop and start together.  I can only assume it is
a bad connection somewhere, because when it fails under windows,
it fails in the BIOS setting utiltiy as well, which makes me thing it to
be a hardware issue.

Mike H.

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2003\08\30@165625 by kben

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Hi Bob,
I used Tony Kubek's design from the piclist. It is located here,
www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/picboard.htm
The code is nicely commented, and easy to modify. The hardware
interface also worked well. I used a 16 key keypad for my app.
I would substitute a 16F628 or (16F648A ?) for the 16F84.
I think I have a stripped down version of Tony's code that
just has the PC <> PIC, interface part of the code. Let me know
if you want a copy of it.

Good Luck,
         Kevin

>Has anyone done anything with trying to communicate with a computer by
>means of the keyboard port.  I wanted to make a custom keyboard  that
>was easy to program for different applications.  I have some
>disabilities and there are many ways this could help.
>
>Bob

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