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  • Custom keyboard - easily done?

    I gutted a MailStation display and removed the keyboard from it, thinking it would be nice to use with a carputer due to its low-profile and compact design. The only thing is, I need to figure out a way to convert the keyboard to PS/2 (talking about the data interface, not Playstation 2) from whatever interface it currently is.. has anyone here made a PS/2 keyboard from scratch before and do you know what components are required to conform to PS/2 standards? The keyboard has a circuit board already, just have to figure out the pinouts and such I suppose...
    Current:
    2011 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon | 20" KMC Rockstars | 35" Nitto Mud Grapplers | Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper | Kicker KX350.4 amp

  • #2
    there are a few threads already started about this just search the input devices section Theres a thread around here about a guy making a keyboard from calculators I remember plus theres a guy with a dodge ram I believe his name is cummins something that used a keyboard to make buttons to control winamp and his gps

    ohh yeah and it can be easy if you like tracing circuts and sodering

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    • #3
      Any news about this?
      1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe
      My Car My CarPC

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      • #4
        Hey Guys: I spent a lot of time monkeying around with this custom keyboard stuff, and after many hours or research and tearing stuff apart, I came to one conclusion:

        It takes a lot more time and effort than it's worth. Just spend a few bucks and buy a keyboard that you like. Heck, the Zippy EL-610 that is lighted and really small is only $30.
        So far:
        M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

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        • #5
          Ended up buying the Zippy EL-610 although it is bigger than the keyboard I was trying to integrate... I think it should work fine for my purposes though...
          Current:
          2011 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon | 20" KMC Rockstars | 35" Nitto Mud Grapplers | Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper | Kicker KX350.4 amp

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          • #6
            I'm still interested in figuring out how to do this though... you know, for ****s and giggles... any suggestions? I'm checking through the input section now..
            Current:
            2011 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon | 20" KMC Rockstars | 35" Nitto Mud Grapplers | Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper | Kicker KX350.4 amp

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            • #7
              i'm gonna try makin a custom keyboard, but not in the same sense you are i guess. i'm doin mine from scratch w/ a pic microcontroller and a xilinx PLD onboard so that i can control every aspect of the equalizer in winamp w/ 3 buttons...i've got the xilinx vhdl to work, i just gotta make some time and write a ps/2 protocol in the pic. that shouldn't be too bad though. ya i'm sure this doesn't help @ all, but like someone else said, its a heck of a lot easier to just go and buy the keyboard ur lookin for. also, i wouldn't have the faintest clue how u would go about gettin the mail station keyboard workin w/ a normal ps/2 keyboard. if for some reason its workin off some other protocol, then u'll hafta reprogram the onboard microcontroller....in assembly :O hehe
              National Geode 233 MMX, Homemade 5V/12V DC-DC Converter, 6.5" TFT LCD w/ Touchscreen, Motorola Oncore GT+ GPS w/ Routis, Netgear 802.11 w/ External Antenna, IBM Travelstar 10gig HD, Homemade Serial Infrared receiver, Homemade Small Serial Trackball

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              • #8
                will the USB keyboard made by logitech for the playstation 2 work with a PC?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 99bravada
                  I'm still interested in figuring out how to do this though... you know, for ****s and giggles... any suggestions? I'm checking through the input section now..
                  When I was looking at this, here's what I found. Maybe it'll save you some searching.

                  I wanted a really small keyboard, so I played with the idea of using one out of a laptop. The problem there was the controller chip for the keyboard is integrated in the motherboard of the laptop, not in the keyboard itself. So you would have to find which chip it is, and then figure out the wiring.

                  I tore apart a couple standard PS2 keyboards, hoping to find some consistency, but no luck. It seems that keyboard makers like to use all kinds of different chips for controllers. I was hoping to be able to wire a laptop keyboard to a controller from a normal keyboard. Then I noticed that almost all of the keyboards I had torn apart had different layouts for the keys' wiring. Hence the different chips, I guess.

                  I tried to contact Mitsumi to ask if they used the same controller in any of their keyboards, but I couldn't get anywhere with them. All they kept asking was what was I going to use it for and how many per month would I be ordering. I guess they were thinking they'd custom design/build it or adapt an existing unit for my needs. When I told them I wasn't interested in quantity, they stopped talking to me.

                  It seemed to me that you need three matching things to make it work: 1) controller 2) key-layout circuit (membrane) 3) wiring diagram to connect the membrane/controller/PS2 or USB connector. I couldn't get 3 that matched without using all three from one keyboard - which defeated the purpose.

                  Hope that helps.
                  So far:
                  M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tom2112
                    ....It seemed to me that you need three matching things to make it work: 1) controller 2) key-layout circuit (membrane) 3) wiring diagram to connect the membrane/controller/PS2 or USB connector.....
                    acually all you need is a layout and controller with a matching number of rows and collumbs (the key lay-out circuit) and since most keyboards have a 8x16 matrix it shouldnt be hard to find, you may even be able to get away with non matching depending on the controller, of course when you hook this up to the computer some/all of the keys will be wrong(ie. push "E" and get an "I") what you then have to do is use some software to re-map the keyboard so the keys correspond to the right letters/numbers/etc

                    check this page out.

                    BTW you can pick up ( if you live in canada) keyboards like that one at princess auto for 4.99

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                    • #11
                      Beley, it sounds like you know a lot more about those things than me. I was trying to avoid remapping the keyboard too. But now that I think about it, it wouldn't be too bad. Still, I'm happy with the $30 Zippy. Does that make me lazy, or efficient?
                      So far:
                      M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Walleye
                        will the USB keyboard made by logitech for the playstation 2 work with a PC?
                        Yes

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                        • #13
                          all this has helped me out a lot... another thing about the Mailstation keyboard is that it uses a 5x15 matrix... kinda weird, eh? Guess I'll check around for a controller that supports that type of matrix.
                          Current:
                          2011 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon | 20" KMC Rockstars | 35" Nitto Mud Grapplers | Rugged Ridge XHD Front Bumper | Kicker KX350.4 amp

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                          • #14
                            The zippy have an onboard lighting... that is kinda usefull in your car.
                            -Mars

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                            • #15
                              here's another good keyboard, although it's not lighted. This was what I was originally planning on using for my upcomming system http://shop.store.yahoo.com/pfuca-store/

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