Author Topic: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide  (Read 16264 times)

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Online fohat.digs

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Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« on: Thu, 29 May 2014, 21:00:13 »
There have been discussions involving building outboard boxes to house Soarer-style Teenies with sockets.

Soarer himself has demonstrated a couple, which were extremely tiny and amazing, so I continue to bow to his precision. Mine, in comparison, are pretty heavy-handed.

I have built them with pigtails, which are quite easy to use. Taking Soarer’s suggestion, I used a female AT-style socket, and bought or fabricated a set of secondary pigtail adapters to get from “X” to male AT.

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The most obvious other configuration would be an all-in-one box that would accept whatever cable was native to the keyboard. I selected 4:

(1)   AT  (aka 180 degree DIN)
(2)   PS/2 (aka 6-pin mini-DIN)
(3)   IBM old-style terminal (aka 240 degree DIN)
(4)   RJ-45 (misnomer for 8P8C with 4 pins active)

Because I could not easily find what I wanted except on the internet, and because I am basically cheap, I ordered these sockets from China and resigned myself to waiting the 3+ weeks that usually takes. I was not in a hurry, and they ended up costing only a couple of dollars each.

I had very bad luck with project boxes. I ordered 3 and 2 were inappropriate and the other never arrived, so I went to Home Depot and bought a cheap plastic residential junction box and plain cover. If the garish blue and white theme bothers you, get a proper project box, like I will try to do for my next one.

Beyond that, you need your Teensy (or cheaper equivalent), an enclosure large enough to handle the mess, a mini-USB cable, and various wires (and pull-up resistors, if you want them). You will do yourself a large favor if you wire everything consistently, so that, in the end, you simply gather up the 5 yellow wires and put them together (matching shrink tubing makes it even sweeter!).

I will post the wiring pin-outs here, again, just for convenience. Otherwise, the pictures should be pretty much self-explanatory.

edit - I forgot this from Soarer's excellent documentation:

Wiring Info
Code:
Conn.         Teensy
GND -------- GND
Vcc/+5V ---  Vcc
Data -------  PD0
Clock ------  PD1


Good luck – this is the easiest project that I have posted!

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« Last Edit: Fri, 06 June 2014, 07:50:02 by fohat.digs »
The great question is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, our land, our water?
Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of America.
— Richard M Nixon 1970

What a strange creature man is that he fouls his own nest.
— Richard M Nixon 1971

Offline dorkvader

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 29 May 2014, 21:10:03 »
I can't wait for the full guide and will probably edit this with my findings on the few I've made once it's up.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 06 June 2014, 07:09:31 »
Loving that blue junction box!! Thanks for writing this up. Photos help a lot.

Offline Krogenar

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 06 June 2014, 08:27:21 »
Thanks for this fohat -- another great writeup! These should be made into PDF guides and archived away, in case the photo-hosting for the images ever drops off.
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Offline phoenix1234

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 08 June 2014, 03:46:59 »
Thank you for this guide. Definitely, this DIY is very interesting for anyone who wants to create all-in-one solution for their vintage keyboards. Besides, would you please update the box specification (HxWxD).
I like linear switches

Online fohat.digs

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 08 June 2014, 09:26:21 »
There are a lot of variables, and many people would take it as a challenge to make it as small as possible. You can cram wire pretty tight (as long as you are careful not to short anything) but with several "back ends" of sockets competing for space you need some air. Using a Teensy without pins and no breadboard will take up half the volume of the mounted one.

My smallest enclosure, the black one with only a female AT jack, measures:

3" x 2" x 1" (8cm x 5cm x 2cm)

And the largest, the blue and white one made from an electrician's junction box, is:

3.5" x 2.5" x 1.25" (10cm x 8cm x 2.5cm)

There are many "plastic project boxes" shown for sale on ebay, often very cheap. I buy a lot of stuff from China off ebay, and it usually takes 2-3 weeks, but is sometimes faster. For some reason, project boxes often take a month or 2, and I have been cheated more than once. Rarely have I had problems with other items, but these seem problematic.

Drilling holes and cutting notches is sometimes a challenge, think through where the wires will enter and leave before you decide. Remember that the mini end of the USB cable is enlarged.

« Last Edit: Sun, 08 June 2014, 09:29:48 by fohat.digs »
The great question is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, our land, our water?
Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of America.
— Richard M Nixon 1970

What a strange creature man is that he fouls his own nest.
— Richard M Nixon 1971

Offline alh84001

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 13 January 2017, 09:22:15 »
Necro, as this got referenced over on DT. I was planning on doing something similar, but using tmk and different protocols. By default x68k, NEXT, PS/2 all use different pins, and I planned on moving the ADB from PD0 to some other pin. Then, it's a matter of combining matrix_scan functions in matrix.c for different converters, and maybe I could get all of these functioning simultaneously - I don't know if there would be enough power to actually do so.

Online fohat.digs

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Re: Teensy Soarer - Outboard Converter Box Guide
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 14 January 2018, 09:01:35 »

By default x68k, NEXT, PS/2 all use different pins, and I planned on moving the ADB from PD0 to some other pin.

My understanding is that ADB is altogether different and would require re-programmming the Teensy in addition to working out the wire connections.
The great question is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, our land, our water?
Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of America.
— Richard M Nixon 1970

What a strange creature man is that he fouls his own nest.
— Richard M Nixon 1971