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Thread: Laptop keyboard to the PS2 port....

  1. #1
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    Laptop keyboard to the PS2 port....

    I recently spoted a laptop keybaord, $3, in a local electronics store with the same exact color patterns as the interior of my car. I looked around for some old posts regarding the use of a laptop keyboard on a desktop system, and found some discouraging info...

    Several people said something to this effect... A laptop keyboard panel has pinouts that are going to be different for each keyboard. The pins, noramally 15-30, are their own custom maping of the key (i think it's called a matrix), and therefore will not work with many (if any) other keyboard controllers. If you can get the keyboard connected to the controller, a TSR must be used to remap the keys as they come into the computer, to compensate for the different matrix maping. This is a pain, and not really worth it.

    I post this for 2 reasons...

    1.) Has anyone found a way aroudn this, or a way to better deal with the problem? Somesort of laptop keyboard adapter maybe?

    2.) I have a gateway multifunction kaybard, that I would like to rip open and use the multifunction keys (email, internet, stop, play, etc... stuff for another post). Would it be possible to use the keyboards controller, connect the laptop keyboard as described above, and then remap the keys in winxp? I have some programming skill, but i do not really know where to start with a TSR that remaps keys. Also, if i can write or get such a program, i would like to use to to help input the multifunction keys.

    Anyone, please let me know if you have any idea somewhat related to this crazy idea.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    An adapter should be easy enough to build. Who knows though, you might just get lucky and not even need one. For only $3 I would buy it and see where you end up.
    I think I would go with a hardware adapter rather than a software solution. What if you need to use the keyboard in dos, or to make a change in the bios? A hardware solution would always be active.
    Another thought..... Is the laptop keybaord being sold as an internal replacement keyboard for a laptop, or as an external? If it is a replacement then you will have to do what you are planning, if it is an external keybaord, then it already has the electronics inside it to just plug it into a computer. (laptop or desktop)
    A 97 Dodge Ram pickup with a 14" LCD running at 1024x768. A Dell desktop PII 400, 128MB Ram, 8GB & 20GB Drives, TV tuner, Cd Burner, Garmin legend GPS, Mappoint 2002, win98, and winamp.
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  3. #3
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    The keyboard is pulled from an old laptop, so it does not have any electronics built in.

    As to the idea of no modifications needed, I, in my infinite optimism, do not feel that is at all possible. I know there are 80+ keys on the keyboard. And I know that there are far less connectors coming out of the panel. (This is how i understand prior posts on this topic...) Therefore, the connections inside the panel for each key have their own unique combination of shorting the wires on the outside.

    For example...

    There are 80+ keys. Each key has a pad underneath, which when pressed connects 2 wires. Those two wires allow the incoming current to pass through to the output pin. Now, it is not a good idea to have 80, or even 160 wires, going in and out of the panel. So, instead each key has 2 wires that it sends current through. When looking from the outside, we see a 15 pin connector, and each key will 'light up' 2 of the 15 connectors. Which 2 keys is the question. The electronics of a keyborad controller, residing on the laptop motherboard, takes the different combinations of 2 live wires, and translates them into which key you pressed. This is why laptop keyboards are not easy to install to a ps2 port.

    A hardware option is possible, but i think i would have to rewire the entire keyboard. Then again, maybe not. Who knows.

    Any one else have ideas???
    System in the works:
    Celeron 850 or PIII 933, SB Live! Value into a stock 4 channel amp, ATI vid, 10.4" sharp LCD w/ allen's controller, Elo SW touchscreen overlay and controller, GPS, TV tuner, FW DVD drive, 4 port serial card, and some other stuff....

    Loads of ideas.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Actually what I was saying about getting lucky and not having to make any modifications.....
    I was talking about taking a desktop keyboard apart and comparing the "matrix" of the desktop keyboard to the laptop keyboard.
    With an external keyboard there is a small circuit board inside it, and you might get lucky in that the 15 pin connection might be the same for both keyboards. If that is the case then just plug the laptop keyboard matrix into the external keyboard electronic circuit board.
    Ya know what I mean?
    I doubt you will be lucky, but it sure would be nice.
    A 97 Dodge Ram pickup with a 14" LCD running at 1024x768. A Dell desktop PII 400, 128MB Ram, 8GB & 20GB Drives, TV tuner, Cd Burner, Garmin legend GPS, Mappoint 2002, win98, and winamp.
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  5. #5
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    Does anyone made this mod??

    Has anyone converted a laptop keyboard to ps2 or usb?

  6. #6
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    Wowwwwwwww, for your search skill.
    I don't think any of those guys are still around to answer your question.
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  7. #7
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    Hi,
    laptop keyboards are JUST switching matrixes. There are rows and columns, you can find the matching pairs (with a resistance of some - eg. 50 - Ohms)
    There are very OLD (386,486) notebooks, where the keyboard has controller. In that case you win.

    A normal PC keyboard is the same inside. It also works with columns and rows. The plus is an in-build controller, that produces the RAW code that sent to the computer (at press and release) and the computer decides about the interpretation.

    Good news: it is not impossible
    Bad news: it needs a lot of boring measurement and particularly those flatribbon cables are hardly solderable. Strongly recommended to de-solder the connector from the mainboard of the laptop. I think not all the keys will work.

  8. #8
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    Hello,

    I am also very interested in connecting laptop keyboard to desktop PC or to any computer either via PS2 connection or USB.

    It is true that different keyboards have totally different matrix layout. Usually new laptop keyboards have 24 pin connector and it's size is almost the same on all of the keyboards. With 24 pin connection there can be 300 different ways of connecting pins with each other, like 1-2, 1-3 , 1-4... 1-24, 2-3, 2-4, 2-5, ...2-24, and till 23-24.

    It is possible to connect laptop contact layers to PS-2 keyboard controller, but keys will not match probably. If just signal would be generated when key pressed, that it is possible to remap key location with free program keytweak http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/

    I didn't try it yet cause I am interested in this project just first day. Is someone can connect laptop keyboard connection to desctop keyboard controller and will get results please reply to this forum.

    Regards,
    Ed

  9. #9
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    http://www.grynx.com/projects/conver...ptop-keyboard/

    check out that site, it gives directions on how to do what you want using the keytweak program also. Basically you need to get a controller card from an old keyboard (usb/ps/2 and map the keys from the laptop keybaord to it.

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