Author Topic: How can I convert a terminal Model M?  (Read 2453 times)

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Offline kelvinhall05

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How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« on: Sun, 20 October 2019, 10:45:06 »
I bought two Model Ms online for really cheap ($30 for the pair) and they appear to be terminal boards ("new line" instead of "enter" as well as other interesting keycaps, which I love lol, and a terminal jack/cable). I was wondering what the cheapest/easiest way would be to convert it to USB or PS/2. I don't have a preference for either as my desktop supports both and that's the only place I see myself using a Model M. I'm in Canada so I'd prefer to be able to buy stuff from ebay.ca or amazon.ca, though if I really have to I can order stuff to a P/O box in the US. How should I go about doing this? I'm comfortable with soldering and whatnot, but I don't have a heat gun or anything, just an iron. Thanks!

tl;dr: What's the cheapest way I can convert a terminal Model M to USB or PS/2? I'm in Canada.

Offline Tactile

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 20 October 2019, 11:03:59 »
Was a cable included? I've had a 102 key model M with key labels for terminals, similar to yours, and it turned out mine was just a PS/2 keyboard. Try that first. You may not need to convert at all.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 20 October 2019, 16:17:12 »
Orihalcon makes very clean and elegant converters but they are pricey (probably $40 approx Canadian) contact him here for an off-ebay price.

You can make one for a less using a Teensy breakout or less than that using a lower board, Pro-Micros seem to be popular.

Look at the thread here in "Making Stuff Together"

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=17458.0
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Offline Snowdog993

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 22 October 2019, 07:52:36 »
You can also swap controllers and put a standard SDL cable instead. As a matter of fact, I am using that keyboard right now.

That thread is around here somewhere.

Offline kelvinhall05

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 08 November 2019, 16:14:19 »
Hey all, sorry for the late reply.


1. The cable is hard-wired into the board and has an RJ45 connector on the end.
2. I'm not dropping $40 on a converter
3. I'm not buying a new controller and swapping it in...at that point I would have a super cheap model m and I could have just bought a "regular" one.

Would something like this work?
https://www.amazon.ca/ATmega32U4-Development-Microcontroller-Leonardo-Bootloader/dp/B07WPCLF8Y/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=ATmega32U4&qid=1573150246&sr=8-4
https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?t=8448

Offline OldIsNew

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 08 November 2019, 21:30:38 »
I use a Monoprice  Cat5e Surface Mount Box ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005E2Y9RY/ ) with a Teensy and Soarer's for my IBM RJ45 terminal boards (removed the white connectors that come with the box and soldered directly to the PCB).   It works well and was simple. I did have to widen the opening in the back of the case to fit the USB plug.



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« Last Edit: Fri, 08 November 2019, 21:37:31 by OldIsNew »

Offline OldIsNew

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 09 November 2019, 23:38:23 »
Oh, BTW, these were some diagrams I found helpful:


229806-0


229807-1

Offline kelvinhall05

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 10 November 2019, 12:25:03 »
Oh, BTW, these were some diagrams I found helpful:


(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

I have all my wiring figured out except for the "PE" pin. Should that just go to ground? Inside the keyboard it's just screwed to the metal backplate.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 11 November 2019, 12:14:31 »
Hey all, sorry for the late reply.
3. I'm not buying a new controller and swapping it in...at that point I would have a super cheap model m and I could have just bought a "regular" one.

This is the best method by far. Seriously.

Offline OldIsNew

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 11 November 2019, 14:19:14 »
I have all my wiring figured out except for the "PE" pin. Should that just go to ground? Inside the keyboard it's just screwed to the metal backplate.

If you're using the Teensy/Soarer's method, you can ignore the PE pin and just wire Vcc, GND, Clock and Data.





Hey all, sorry for the late reply.
3. I'm not buying a new controller and swapping it in...at that point I would have a super cheap model m and I could have just bought a "regular" one.

This is the best method by far. Seriously.

The controller swap is definitely a good method too. I like the Cat5e box because I have several RJ45 terminal M's (both 101/102 and 122) and can use them all with just the one box/Teensy  by flashing the appropriate Soarer's config file.



« Last Edit: Mon, 11 November 2019, 14:24:18 by OldIsNew »

Offline kelvinhall05

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Re: How can I convert a terminal Model M?
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 11 November 2019, 20:04:57 »
I have all my wiring figured out except for the "PE" pin. Should that just go to ground? Inside the keyboard it's just screwed to the metal backplate.

If you're using the Teensy/Soarer's method, you can ignore the PE pin and just wire Vcc, GND, Clock and Data.





Hey all, sorry for the late reply.
3. I'm not buying a new controller and swapping it in...at that point I would have a super cheap model m and I could have just bought a "regular" one.

This is the best method by far. Seriously.

The controller swap is definitely a good method too. I like the Cat5e box because I have several RJ45 terminal M's (both 101/102 and 122) and can use them all with just the one box/Teensy  by flashing the appropriate Soarer's config file.





Eh, I ended up just putting PE on the second ground. It makes me feel better ;)