Author Topic: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?  (Read 1006 times)

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Offline Maledicted

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I tried every guide I could find, most of which were the same registry tweak, and I can't get ps/2 keyboards to work at all on at least two Windows 10 systems, one of which is old enough to have separate mouse and keyboard ps/2 ports. I thought I had ps/2 devices working, but I recently did a reinstall. It may even have only been my main work Windows 7 system I had it working natively on. I tried that specifically because this Z-150, while all of the posts I can find on it says that it is AT, it doesn't work with a Soarer's converter. I'm tearing my hair out on this one a little bit.

Do a lot of you use Windows 10 with ps/2 keyboards?

It seems that even in Linux, with the same distro (but maybe different versions, I haven't checked), on different computers, it seems like it may work perfectly or may not. On this HP 8300 SFF, it works perfectly, and I'm using it to type this this moment. In Linux Mint, on an old Dell XPS 630, it seems to (mostly) function if I hit Caps Lock enough to satisfy the keyboard gods, but hitting any of the lock keys again seems to break function. On my trusty old gaming rig with something like an Asrock Z77 Extreme 3 motherboard, not even an F AT would work (I did check BIOS settings, and it didn't work even in the BIOS).

Is this normal behavior for these boards? I believe I read on Deskthority at one point that the protocol is not exactly the same as a normal AT board, but it seems odd to me that it would work through a ps/2 port in Linux ... on certain computers, but not at all with Soarer's firmware.

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 19:16:56 »
I use PS2 boards and several different converters was on my windows 10 machine (soarer, hasu, Blue cube) without issue. Not sure what it would be.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:01:01 »
I use PS2 boards and several different converters was on my windows 10 machine (soarer, hasu, Blue cube) without issue. Not sure what it would be.

Have you disabled updates entirely, or run the latest version of Windows 10? Have you used a white label Z-150 directly through ps/2 with the same computer, or a Soarer's converter? I tried two, one with the pull-up resistors, one without. Both have the extra reset wire, but I doubt that would hurt anything. I even tried a few flavors of TMK.

Here's the best part: It worked perfectly on my very first desktop computer running good old Windows XP, once I jury rigged one of the pins on the IDE connector for the hard drive (yeah, IDE). I managed to break it trying to reconnect the ribbon cable. I guess I'm out of practice with those. I used it for 5 minutes, without any network connection, and I already miss XP all over again. Now on the HP 8300, running Windows 10, without any changes to the registry (I verified that the relevant flag in the "start" value in the proper registry subkey was still 3, not 1), it works perfectly.

I think I have pretty thoroughly determined that it is definitely not a hardware problem with the keyboard now, in light of that. You would think that it would also work perfectly on the XPS 630 as well though, since that system is from like 2008-2009. This 8300 needs some updates. I may install them and see if it breaks function, or if it may seriously be up to however ps/2 is implemented on the motherboards.
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:04:37 by Maledicted »

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:04:15 »
I use the converter without pull ups.  Running the latest version of w10

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:07:22 »
I use the converter without pull ups.  Running the latest version of w10

With a white/beige label Zenith Z-150? My converters work with all of my other XT/AT boards, just not this one. Have you got a reset wire soldered in? I was only asking about Windows version in the case of direct connection to a ps/2 port on the board.

Offline kokokoy

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:35:37 »
it seems to (mostly) function if I hit Caps Lock enough to satisfy the keyboard gods, but hitting any of the lock keys again seems to break function

This is the thread in DT but no solution for a converter on the white label (soarer, hasu, etc.) -> https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12972&start=90

Also, when I used mine before on win10 as long I don't use the capslock or scroll lock, it will work fine. Pressing that will just hung/lock the board and be buzzing.

What I did is just traced the matrix and wired a "teensy" from aliexpress inside the board running qmk.

Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:35:39 »
THAT CAR JUST SPAWNED OUT OF NOWHERE

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 20:46:06 »
it seems to (mostly) function if I hit Caps Lock enough to satisfy the keyboard gods, but hitting any of the lock keys again seems to break function

This is the thread in DT but no solution for a converter on the white label (soarer, hasu, etc.) -> https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12972&start=90

Also, when I used mine before on win10 as long I don't use the capslock or scroll lock, it will work fine. Pressing that will just hung/lock the board and be buzzing.

What I did is just traced the matrix and wired a "teensy" from aliexpress inside the board running qmk.

I read/saw your entire build log. That's officially the sexiest Zenith keyboard I have ever seen. It seems you beat me to the whole keyboard case-mounted aviator connector idea. I have done that on a TG3 cop keyboard, and a Corsair K65 in the past month or so.

That seems similar to the problem that I had with mine, in Linux, on the XPS 630. On this HP 8300, literally all of the lock keys work normally. I have 100% function in Windows 10 with this keyboard, unmodified. I haven't even touched the registry. It blows my mind then, that it is completely dead in the water with Soarer's and Hasu's firmwares. With one of Hasu's newer, alternative, test firmwares I think I got it to spit out nonsense, but that's it.

All I can think now is that some motherboards must have better, or worse, support for AT-like protocols?

THAT CAR JUST SPAWNED OUT OF NOWHERE

What? lol. Reminds me of GTA or something, especially on console, where you could literally drive much faster than objects may even render, so you would slam into things that were invisible sometimes.

Offline kokokoy

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 21:01:13 »
Thanks man.

on the XPS 630

Hey brother. I'm still on xps 730 just case though.  ;D

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 21:13:49 »
Thanks man.


Of course, you obviously put a lot of time and love into that old Zenith. I would prefer to leave mine unmodified, unless something related to the controller is literally irrecoverably damaged. Maybe Hasu will even get it working with his firmware at some point.

(That's a low-key volunteer offer for testing, if you're reading this Hasu)

on the XPS 630

Hey brother. I'm still on xps 730 just case though.  ;D

I absolutely love the XPS 700 series chassis. It must seriously be the most beautiful computer ever designed. I have a few 710/720s that I plan to use to ATX mod for my next gaming rig, and I have an original (... upgraded to a hexa-core Xeon) 730x. That beast was keeping pace with my current rig, with an old i7 3770, in Starcraft 2. I was going to build a new system in a 630 chassis ... of which I also have too many, but the options/space for additional cooling mods (outside of water cooling, which I abhor) left a little too much to be desired.

Those 730s have a LOT of potential. I can only imagine what awesome mods you did to the chassis with the work you put into that Z-150.

Offline kokokoy

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 22:24:56 »
Agree on how beautiful it is. I was looking for a monitor back then and went in a Dell retail shop came out in debt.

Wow! You have them all! And the 710's front panel is to die for.

Before all these keyboard business happened it reached this point; close to 7 years ago I think. Kept the case as much as it is just had the frame powder coated (removing those glued frames on the side panel was PITA), made the other panel removal by just using some neodymium magnets and bled with those techflex sleeve.

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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 08 February 2020, 23:11:06 »
Agree on how beautiful it is. I was looking for a monitor back then and went in a Dell retail shop came out in debt.

Wow! You have them all! And the 710's front panel is to die for.

Before all these keyboard business happened it reached this point; close to 7 years ago I think. Kept the case as much as it is just had the frame powder coated (removing those glued frames on the side panel was PITA), made the other panel removal by just using some neodymium magnets and bled with those techflex sleeve.

Ha, yeah, retail prices were nuts. I picked most of mine up at electronics recyclers, on on auction websites, in the last year or two. I agree completely.

Those things don't need flashy changes, the lines themselves make them all wonderful. Yeah ... I haven't tried to remove those brackets on any yet. I figured maybe a few days soak in goo gone, maybe even naptha. Neodymium magnets, huh? I would be curious to see how that works. It is a good idea. Did you reinforce the inner framework at all then? I'm pretty sure that one side panel gives the case most of its rigidity.

I know a guy, who also loves these cases, who was literally just talking about possibly using those sleeves to route cables. I'm sure he would love to see that. That radiator almost looks like it was made for the chassis. Great build you've got there.

I don't know that it would take a whole lot of work to mod a 710/720 front bezel onto yours, though if I remember right, the way they attach is somewhat different. If you ever want to swap the bezels, I could at least get pictures of both for comparison.

I plan to cut a window, put the door either on gas pistons, put oldschool metal latches on top, or cut down the original latch mechanism (which would most easily let me swap to another side panel with no window), wire the original leds into a modern RGB controller, add more (of course) cut holes in the top and bottom for 200mm fans, put louvered vents over the holes, attach the 200mm fans to the smaller holes (since I can't find louvered vents in that size) with duct reducers or something, polish the whole case to a mirror finish, then either get it hot dip anodized and dyed black or hit it with some aluma black and clear coat. I believe I have one red trim set and 2 black, so I could swap between them.

You know what you need to match the case? An undyed Corsair K65 or K70.  ;)


Back on topic, even after running the update troubleshooter, Windows 10 refuses to update on this HP 8300. Since I am lazy, and tired, and amused by the thought of it, I'm going to chalk that one up to the Z-150 being sentient and refusing to lose functionality, for tonight.
« Last Edit: Sat, 08 February 2020, 23:16:34 by Maledicted »

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 12 February 2020, 17:00:01 »
Alright. I have tried literally every single active adapter on Amazon that had reasonably fast shipping and actual reviews. They all ended up having the same hardware inside, and do not work with the beige label Z-150. Has anybody found one that does?

Offline Lbibass

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 07:44:32 »
Alright. I have tried literally every single active adapter on Amazon that had reasonably fast shipping and actual reviews. They all ended up having the same hardware inside, and do not work with the beige label Z-150. Has anybody found one that does?


Have you tried Hasu's PS/2 to USB converter? Also, I think you may need to connect the reset pin on Z150. It's a kinda strange variant of the PS/2 protocol.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Zenith Z-150 beige/white label, rounded pcb, only functions in Linux?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 07:54:52 »
Alright. I have tried literally every single active adapter on Amazon that had reasonably fast shipping and actual reviews. They all ended up having the same hardware inside, and do not work with the beige label Z-150. Has anybody found one that does?


Have you tried Hasu's PS/2 to USB converter? Also, I think you may need to connect the reset pin on Z150. It's a kinda strange variant of the PS/2 protocol.

I have. Hasu supports the black badge Z-150. I don't know that he's looked at the white/beige badge at all. I did try both Hasu's and Soarer's firmwares to no avail, both with pull-up resistors and the reset wire, and without. The Beige label Z-150 is actually closer to the AT protocol, so I'm thinking that the reset wire is superfluous.

The weird part is that it works with (some) desktop motherboards that have ps2 ports. I tried with at least 4 different systems. It had 100% function with the native ps2 port on an HP 8300 SFF system, both in Linux Mint and Windows 10. It also had 100% function in an old 2005-ish vintage Compaq running Windows XP. Otherwise, the best I would get is the alphanumeric keys (might) function if you mash the caps lock key enough and do some voodoo rituals. If you pressed any of the lock keys again, it would cease to function again. The same seemed to be the case with the cheap usb adapters.
« Last Edit: Thu, 20 February 2020, 09:56:00 by Maledicted »