PS2 keyboard port problem



I am having a problem with a very simple wedge type (legacy) device
and a new computer with XP Professional.

The wedge device is a :cuecat barcode scanner, circa 2000 or so. I've
used these devices nearly constantly and there is no doubt that the
device itself is 100 percent functional. The device has a male and
female ps2 connector, and is inserted between the keyboard and the
computer. It puts out serial data just like the keyboard does when it
decodes a proper barcode input. It is equipped with an analog switch
that allows the keyboard data to pass through it EXCEPT for the few
milliseconds it needs to send the serial data from a scanned barcode
to the ps2 port. During this short interval, no keyboard data is
allowed through the :cuecat.....not a problem as one can't type and
run the barcode scanner simultaneously::>

My old system has a 1 GHz P3 processor and win 98. The performance
there was unstoppable-nothing I could do would prevent the kb or the
:cuecat from working. I could (for instance) run the kb in to the USB
port (it had a usb plug also) and the :cuecat would continue putting
out data even though it was the only thing plugged into the ps2 port.

The :cuecats work even in old dos systems, and are have been adapted
to work in palm, linux and Mac systems as well. The principle of
operation is simple and no software drivers are needed.

There are pictures and descriptions of the :cuecat at:

My problem is on the new XP (PRO) system. I'm not sure whether
motherboard (power management on the ps2 port) or whether the
Microsoft kb software is the issue, or whether it an an XP problem.

The new Microsoft kb (on the new computer) has a USB connector and can
plug into the ps2 port with a usb to ps2 adapter supplied with the
kb-so hooking up the :cuecat is no different than it was on the old
system except the usb to ps2 adapter has to be used.

When I hook up the kb via the usb connector, the driver loads in a few
seconds, and off it goes-kb works perfectly. The :cuecat SHOULD work
when it is plugged into the ps2 port, but it does not. If I open the
:cuecat up, I can see the :cuecats output being sent to the ps2 port
and the :cuecat is receiving 5 volts power from the ps2 port just
fine. But, nothing appears on the screen when a barcode is swiped.

So, it's like the ps2 port is asleep and ignoring the :cuecats output.

If unplug the :cuecat and move the Microsoft kb to the ps2 port (using
the supplied adapter), the kb does not work either! Even if I try to
detect new hardware manually, the kb is never detected...even though
it appears to be getting normal power from the ps2 port.

I suspected the microsoft kb software might be an issue, so I
uninstalled it and rebooted-same results. I concluded that the
Microsoft kb software wasn't interfering with the ps2 ports operation.

The only way to make the kb function is to plug it back into the usb
port again.

So, it's like my ps2 port is dead, except it isn't. Could this be a
motherboard power management issue (an MSI motherboard purchased new
just a few weeks ago) or does XP need a special wake up signal from
the hardware (that win 98 doesn't need)?

XP is up to date, the motherboard has the latest bios revision,
checked just a few days ago.

The microsoft kb is the Microsoft Digital Keyboard 1.0, MS part #
X800152-150, Product ID 76198-545-4971653-10549.

I do not find troubleshooting info on microsoft website for the
microsoft kb's, and a search of the KB for 'wedge' turned up nothing.




This website leads me to believe you need some kind of software. Looks like Readerware is a kind of
software that will work with it.

Also, did you go to "human interface devices" when trying to install the new
hardware (ie, the cuecat)? This from the Readerware pdf linked to the page
referenced above:
"No special drivers are required by the CueCat. Both the USB and PS/2
versions should be recognized automatically by your system. The USB device
driver is provided by the operating system, barcode readers are Human
Interface Devices or HID. They use the same driver as USB keyboards and

I'm just shooting in the dark here. Radio Shack gave me one years ago, but
then the whole enterprise collapsed before I ever had the chance to plug it

One more question: You're not using X64 Windows, are you? That could be a
compatibility issue as well.


I'm not sure of the root cause of the problem, though it sounds like either
the USB to PS2 adaptor might be defective or the motherboard PS2 port. If
possible, I would try using a real PS2 keyboard as the first step in
narrowing the issue. It might at least help by ruling out a problem with
the motherboard. Also, there may be a BIOS setting to enable legacy support
for a USB keyboard. Disabling that, if present, might be of use BUT I would
make sure a straight PS2 keyboard works first, as you could get locked of
out BIOS access otherwise after changing this.
(FWIW, I set up a few XP machines for a client using a similar kind of bar
code scanner, with a standard PS2 keyboard with no problems.)

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