Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

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Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby AtariSociety » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:03 pm

Own a Mega STe.... keyboard has several bad keys and although I plan on buying the mylar to maybe fix myself, figuring with the scarcity of Mega keyboards out there, I better find a USB option.

Having not followed those options, what is out there today I can buy to #1, allow a USB keyboard to work on my Atari Mega STe?

#2, if it also works with a mouse, great! Can I use both a USB Mouse and Keyboard at the same time? Guessing if I used a USB hub I can?

#3, If there is a single device that offers this USB connection and also other things... hey I would be cool with ethernet connectivity too... or other things I am not even thinking of.

Let me know what you know. :D

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Atarieterno » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:20 am

ST/fm/e, STacy, Mega ST/e, TT, Falcon, C-Lab MKX... and more music tools.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:49 am

Eiffel is PS/2, not USB.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Atarieterno » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:24 am

joska wrote:Eiffel is PS/2, not USB.


"Eiffel 3 ATARI for 1040 ST, STE, Mega ST, STE, TT.

Eiffel is board for connect keyboard and mouse in PS2. If your mouse use USB connector with adapter PS2 you can connect directly the USB (without green adapter). You can use this interface in external or external. For 1040 STx, Mega STx, TT.
Firmeware 1.1i programmed."

***** I was just thinking about the mouse, not the keyboard *****
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:40 am

Still only PS/2. There are not many USB-devices with PS/2 support these days.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Atarieterno » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:49 am

True, almost all the things we have to buy are scarce, expensive or hard to find these days: PS2, EDO memories, Motorola microprocessors, older chips ...
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Is there actually such a thing.... USB keyboard to Atari?

Maybe I was daydreaming?

How about that NetUSbee product. I see it does ethernet and also has 2 USB ports. Are those USB ports only for PS/2 compatible USB mice also?

Maybe I am better off doing a PS/2 device then. I actually think I have a PS/2 mouse and keyboard laying around.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby czietz » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:27 pm

As far as I know, there is no keyboard driver for the NetUSBee. USB mice will work, though.
We might in the future provide a USB keyboard driver for the Lightning VME USB card we're developing. However, please note that it would still need loading a driver, so for example you cannot abort the TOS memory test with it, because at that point no driver is loaded.

The Eiffel on the other hand will convert from PS/2 to the Atari keyboard protocol, so it'll work without a driver.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:21 pm

czietz wrote:As far as I know, there is no keyboard driver for the NetUSBee. USB mice will work, though.
We might in the future provide a USB keyboard driver for the Lightning VME USB card we're developing. However, please note that it would still need loading a driver, so for example you cannot abort the TOS memory test with it, because at that point no driver is loaded.

The Eiffel on the other hand will convert from PS/2 to the Atari keyboard protocol, so it'll work without a driver.


Is this new Lightning VME you are making just a single USB port or multiple where mouse and keyboard can be connected?

Will it also support USB sticks to read and write to/from?

TJ

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby czietz » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:35 pm

AtariSociety wrote:Is this new Lightning VME you are making just a single USB port or multiple where mouse and keyboard can be connected?

Will it also support USB sticks to read and write to/from?

TJ


Lightning VME has two USB ports but it supports USB hubs for expansion as well USB mass storage such as USB sticks. However, please note that as far as input devices go right now only mice are supported; keyboard support is still on the wish list for the future -- as mentioned in my previous post.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:42 am

AtariSociety wrote:Is there actually such a thing.... USB keyboard to Atari?


CosmosEx. But you need to buy it second-hand, it's currently not in production.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Dew-It » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:30 pm

There's one currently on ebay.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:38 pm

A Raspberry Pi Zero and some coding would also do. You don't need any external circuitry except for two resistors to connect the Pi to the IKBD port.
I believe someone was working on such a solution, but I don't know if anything was finished.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby nobox » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:53 pm

I was the one working on this solution, and yes it works. But currently only one way - keyboard is to sending to atari . Some Games and other stuff like gfa basic wont work because they want to send informations to the keyboard processor. That way still isnt implemented.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Foxie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:01 pm

There do exist inexpensive USB to PS/2 adapters which you could use with a PS/2 to Atari converter. But it should also be very easy to find used PS/2 mice and keyboards. IBM compatible stuff is so cheap and widely available, but also complete garbage.

A potential problem with replacing the Atari keyboard: you lose support for uploaded keyboard firmware. I don't know how many programs do this, certainly not many. The most likely use for uploaded keyboard firmware is in games and especially demos.

I'm sure I've seen someone selling a device which used a USB MCU to convert a USB mouse to the Atari. The Raspberry Pi is a more interesting solution because it would be possible to completely emulate the keyboard processor.

Is it not possible to install the CosmosEx code on the Raspberry Pi and use that, without owning an actual CosmosEx? I imagine the CosmosEx doesn't need any extra hardware for the mouse/keyboard part except some latchup/ESD clamps.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:30 pm

Foxie wrote:There do exist inexpensive USB to PS/2 adapters which you could use with a PS/2 to Atari converter.


Do you have an example of a USB->PS/2 adapter that actually translates from USB to PS/2?

Foxie wrote:A potential problem with replacing the Atari keyboard: you lose support for uploaded keyboard firmware. I don't know how many programs do this, certainly not many. The most likely use for uploaded keyboard firmware is in games and especially demos.


This is a very small problem. A much bigger problem is the fact that USB keyboards does not have the proper layout for Ataris. I've been using PC keyboards with my Ataris on and off since 1995 but still prefer the original. Better layout and better looks :)
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Foxie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:00 pm

joska wrote:Do you have an example of a USB->PS/2 adapter that actually translates from USB to PS/2?


Looks like I was mistaken about their availability. I found one link to a StarTech device which did the translation, but it's a broken link now. It's going the other way - PS/2 to USB - which is well provided for with Chinese products.

It's strange there aren't more devices. It's such a technically simple thing to do.

joska wrote:A much bigger problem is the fact that USB keyboards does not have the proper layout for Ataris. I've been using PC keyboards with my Ataris on and off since 1995 but still prefer the original. Better layout and better looks :)


Me too. Luckily, I still have my Mega ST keyboard in fully working condition. I prefer the look of the Mega STE/TT keyboard, but I hear the action isn't as good.

Any idea if it's feasible to fit a MegaST keyboard mechanism into a standard 1040ST? I love the look of the 1040, but hate the action.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby joska » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:31 pm

Foxie wrote:Me too. Luckily, I still have my Mega ST keyboard in fully working condition. I prefer the look of the Mega STE/TT keyboard, but I hear the action isn't as good.


On the contrary. There is very little difference in feel between the Mega and ST keyboards. The TT/MSTE keyboard is way better than both.

Foxie wrote:Any idea if it's feasible to fit a MegaST keyboard mechanism into a standard 1040ST? I love the look of the 1040, but hate the action.


I have an ST keyboard inside a Mega ST keyboard case so it should be possible :) It would require some work though, since the Mega keyboard PCB does not have the mouse/joystick ports in the correct location for an STF case.
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Foxie » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:50 pm

joska wrote:On the contrary. There is very little difference in feel between the Mega and ST keyboards. The TT/MSTE keyboard is way better than both.


That's strange, my Mega ST keyboard is definitely miles better than the 1040ST keyboard! I think it has mechanical keyswitches for each key rather than a spongey membrane. The 1040ST is like typing on a slice of cake! The MegaST's keys don't click like the Amiga or IBM Model M, but they have a smooth non-spongey travel and a firm bottoming out.

I would like a clicky ST keyboard, but I think that would be exceedingly difficult. I suppose I could make a PCB and solder Cherry keyswitches to it. But then I'm not sure if the ST keycaps will clip onto the keyswitches. Is there a standard footprint for keycap to keyswitch interfaces I wonder?

What's really needed is for a company to provide new ST keycaps and perhaps even a new ST case using injection moulding. Someone did it for the Amiga: http://a1200.net

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Bikerbob » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:05 pm

mega ST is mechanical, it is the best .. all hi end current keyboards are mechanical. The mega STE is a membrain keyboard, it has good feel, I own two an English and a German, which I use on a US ROM and therefore get the US key responses. So I got some keyboard cap stickers and replaced the tops on the keys that are different, which are only the numbers and the punctuation.

The cosmos ex or micro are too popular to remain out of production for long. there are negotiations going on for the rights to build it. It will happen soon.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Fujiyama » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:34 am

I'm hoping something comes out of this thread where I contacted the developer of an Amiga USB-HID keyboard interface (SUM USB adapter). So far he's received the Atari keyboard scancodes which he's been looking into. It's been a while so I've contacted him again to hear how it's coming along.

Meanwhile I just looked up his website and found the Rys MkII adapter. It basically says it's an Amiga interface for USB mice, keypads and joysticks, but in its list of features it also says USB keyboards (USB-HID and USB-PS/2)!
In addition to that I found (at the bottom of the page) downloads for a variety of platforms including the Atari ST! Could this be what we've been waiting for? Here (AmigaStoreEU) I found more info where it says :

Native USB HID controller for mice, joysticks or pads. Compatible with Amiga, AtariST and Commodore C64. Built-in USB stack which enables USB HID devices support without the need for installing additional software drivers. The first adapter that lets you connect real USB devices, not only peripherals with the rare "USB to PS/2" specification.


In the feature list it says "Ready for use with Atari ST (requires additional adapters)". Strangely there's no mention of USB keyboards there, so I'm wondering if there was a typo in the first link and it's only for USB mice and joysticks...
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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby troed » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:57 pm

Foxie wrote:I'm sure I've seen someone selling a device which used a USB MCU to convert a USB mouse to the Atari.


Gossuin has a Smallymouse2 adapter. I've bought a few and within power limits (borderline using just the mouse port) they work well with the USB mice I've thrown at them.

(Same link as posted earlier)

http://www.gossuin.be/index.php/shop

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Foxie » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:19 pm

troed wrote:Gossuin has a Smallymouse2 adapter. I've bought a few and within power limits (borderline using just the mouse port) they work well with the USB mice I've thrown at them.


Do you know what the current limit for the mouse port is? It appears Atari didn't fuse the 1040ST, and I can't see a series resistor on the schematic. The MegaSTE appears to have a 0.5A fuse, so I'm guessing you might be able to draw 0.3-0.4A?

I would hope the 1040's PSU would go into current limiting if you shorted the mouse port. Otherwise you might set fire to the mouse cable.

Commodore used either a fuse on the mouse port, or a 4.7 ohm resistor depending on the model. That limits the amount of current you can draw to about 75mA if you want to stay within USB specs.

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby troed » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:27 pm

I have a vague memory that it's limited to 100mA, and the SmallyMouse2 needs some for itself so the mouse cannot use too much. I actually have a problem where the (wired) mouse I'm using suddenly doesn't register button presses (but movement works) on my Falcon for a while and then comes back. I think I haven't had that issue on an 1040STFM.

But I'm not sure where I read this ...

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Re: Current purchasable USB Keyboard to Mega STe options

Postby Fujiyama » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:10 pm

No word from the designer of those Amiga USB adapters yet (I asked if he could look into adapting one of them for the Atari ST), but......

Is anyone here knowledgeable about how the Amiga keyboard and mouse interfaces work (along with the software) and can determine if it's just a matter of rewriting the software to make it Atari compatible, or if the systems are completely different from each other?

The Amiga USB interfaces I've found are:

Can someone make sense of all this? Is there a future for USB keyboards and mice (not just USB compatible PS/2 stuff, but the real thing) for our platform?
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