USB to PS/2 adapter that is compatible with MS 4000 keyboard


C

chris_k

I really like the Microsoft 4000 keyboard, but can't use it on my
older computer because the BIOS doesn't support USB keyboards.

I've used other USB keyboards on this PC without any problems using a
simple USB to ps/2 adapter. The MS 4000 keyboard doesn't work with
these adapters, as has been confirmed by Microsoft previously on
usenet and elsewhere.

Are there any adapters out there that are compatible with this
keyboard? I'm guessing that I need a "smart" adapter that does some
sort of extra translating that a regular adapter doesn't. Does such a
device exist?

Thanks.
 
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C

chris_k

Sounds right to me, the only adapters I've ever seen or heard af are
basically just glorafied gender changers.
If you do find a solution please let me know tho!
Thanks
Rob
www.Computer-Info.co.uk


I managed to find this adapter:

http://www.usbgear.net/item_294.html

It costs $45, so I'm thinking that it might be more than a glorified
gender changer. The price tag is kind of hard to swallow considering
that the keyboard cost me $30.

Can you buy it first and tell me if it works? :)
 
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C

chris_k

Thats doing the opposite of what you want to do, supporting
PS/2 keyboards on systems that only have USB.

You're right, now that I take a second look at it. The written
description is confusing: "USB to ps/2+serial" It should read
"ps/2+serial to USB"

Anyway, I ended up ordering this device:

http://www.clickykeyboards.com/index.cfm/fa/items.main/parentcat/11298/subcatid/0/id/124184

It's doing the translating opposite of what I want and I'll need to
change the gender on both ends. I'm hoping that it's a 2-way
translator, not just 1-way. I'll report back if it works.
 
R

Rod Speed

You're right, now that I take a second look at it. The written description
is confusing: "USB to ps/2+serial" It should read "ps/2+serial to USB"

That has the same problem, cancel the order.
It's doing the translating opposite of what I want

No it isnt.
and I'll need to change the gender on both ends.
I'm hoping that it's a 2-way translator, not just 1-way.

It isnt.
I'll report back if it works.

It wont.
 
N

Noozer

chris_k said:
Do you know where I can buy what I need?

If not, do you know how to build what I need?

Stupid question... but why not add a USB port to the computer? It would be
more useful and most likely less expensive.

If your keyboard won't work with a USB/PS2 adapter there isn't much you can
do about it. The keyboard needs to be designed to work that way.
 
C

chris_k

Stupid question... but why not add a USB port to the computer? It would be
more useful and most likely less expensive.

It's a laptop. The bios has no support for USB keyboards. Plus I'm
using DOS.

Don't laugh.
If your keyboard won't work with a USB/PS2 adapter there isn't much you can
do about it. The keyboard needs to be designed to work that way.

I'm trying to make it work. Are you saying that it's impossible for 5
electrical engineers and a million dollars to come up with a converter
that I'm looking for?

(....hmm, maybe I should outsource to India and get it done for $20.)
 
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C

CBFalconer

chris_k said:
.... snip ...

It's a laptop. The bios has no support for USB keyboards. Plus I'm
using DOS.

Don't laugh.


I'm trying to make it work. Are you saying that it's impossible
for 5 electrical engineers and a million dollars to come up with
a converter that I'm looking for?

(....hmm, maybe I should outsource to India and get it done for $20.)

Why not just use a PS2 keyboard? I consider USB kbds silly.

--
<http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt>

"A man who is right every time is not likely to do very much."
-- Francis Crick, co-discover of DNA
"There is nothing more amazing than stupidity in action."
-- Thomas Matthews
 
K

kony

It's a laptop. The bios has no support for USB keyboards. Plus I'm
using DOS.

Don't laugh.

There's nothing wrong with using DOS, plenty of (businesses
for example with proprietary apps) people do but they choose
a keyboard that works with the ports they have.

If you only need the sloped ergonomic design then either get
a newer Logitech that can use both port types, or an older
Logitech or MS Natural that is similarly ergonomic.

ebay is one source, another that often sells old OEM stock
as "refurbs" (but are really new product in many cases, I
can't say for certain about any particular item) is
http://www.justdeals.com , don't know what they have at
the moment. Other options are to just pick another ergo
keyboard like:

Logitech Office Comfort

Logitech Cordless Comfort

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro (think it's PS2, too,
but not certain of it)

Microsoft Natural Elite
Microsoft Natural Pro
Microsoft Natural Multimedia

Inland Ergonomic Keyboard

I'm trying to make it work. Are you saying that it's impossible for 5
electrical engineers and a million dollars to come up with a converter
that I'm looking for?

(....hmm, maybe I should outsource to India and get it done for $20.)

Not impossible, you'd just have to fund the whole thing
yourself since nobody else is creating a perception of
demand for it. It'd be a different story if there weren't
any PS2 keyboards one could buy but there are.
 
P

Paul

chris_k said:
It's a laptop. The bios has no support for USB keyboards. Plus I'm
using DOS.

Don't laugh.


I'm trying to make it work. Are you saying that it's impossible for 5
electrical engineers and a million dollars to come up with a converter
that I'm looking for?

(....hmm, maybe I should outsource to India and get it done for $20.)

There are chips with the facilities to interface to both.

http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProducts.htm#Vinculum

The chip listed on that page, the VNC1L, is a microcontroller
with USB (either master or slave capable) and legacy PS/2 ports
(clock and data). The tough part is writing the firmware.

Paul
 
R

Rob

Should be easy enough to create your own, from the electrical point of view
a PS2 port and USB port are much the same, they are both also a serial
communications media.

The problem would be finding a chip that already has all the USB speed auto
negotiation and signalling parameters pre-programmed, (USB works more like
a network rather than an expansion bus). You would then need to do your own
firmware to monitor the output of the keyboard and has this onto the
pre-programmed part of the chip. I'm sure with a bit of searching this chips
must be able to be sourced rather cheaply (look at all the unbranded USB
devices that come out of china).

Certainly sounds like it could be a fun project!

Rob

www.Computer-Info.co.uk
 
R

Rob

I've just done a little research and this can actually be done extremely
easy with a PIC16C74 microcontroller, I've found a couple of examples of
people converting games console controller, keyboards and other devices
either to USB or PS2 with this chip.

Drop me an email if you need any further help!

Rob

www.Computer-Info.co.uk
 
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R

Rob

I've just done a little research and this can actually be done extremely
easy with a PIC16C74 microcontroller, I've found a couple of examples of
people converting games console controller, keyboards and other devices
either to USB or PS2 with this chip.

Drop me an email if you need any further help!

Rob

www.Computer-Info.co.uk
 
R

Rod Speed

It's a laptop.

You can still add USB to those, via a card. Not cheap tho,
it would make a lot more sense to replace the keyboard
with one that can work on USB and PS/2 out of the box.
The bios has no support for USB keyboards. Plus I'm using DOS.
Don't laugh.

OK, I'll cry |-)
I'm trying to make it work. Are you saying that it's impossible for 5 electrical
engineers and a million dollars to come up with a converter that I'm looking for?

No, its not impossible, its just a lot more practical to replace that
keyboard with one that can work on USB and PS/2 out of the box.
(....hmm, maybe I should outsource to India and get it done for $20.)

Still would be a lot more practical to replace that keyboard
with one that can work on USB and PS/2 out of the box.
 
R

Rod Speed

Do you know where I can buy what I need?

I'm not aware of anywhere, but then I havent looked that hard either.

The problem appears to be that MS was stupid enough to design
that keyboard so that it can only work on USB ports, but I havent
even researched that carefully either, thats just my superficial reaction.
If not, do you know how to build what I need?

If my theory is correct, you wont be able to do that.

The best approach would be to buy another keyboard that has been
properly designed so it works on both USB and PS/2 out of the box.
 
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C

chris_k

Should be easy enough to create your own, from the electrical point of view
a PS2 port and USB port are much the same, they are both also a serial
communications media.

The problem would be finding a chip that already has all the USB speed auto
negotiation and signalling parameters pre-programmed, (USB works more like
a network rather than an expansion bus). You would then need to do your own
firmware to monitor the output of the keyboard and has this onto the
pre-programmed part of the chip. I'm sure with a bit of searching this chips
must be able to be sourced rather cheaply (look at all the unbranded USB
devices that come out of china).

Certainly sounds like it could be a fun project!

Rob


First to answer the question of why I insist on using this particular
keyboard instead of another one:

Because it's the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used and
because I do a lot of writing. I can type all day long on this thing
without getting any pain in my wrists. It's got a *downward* slope
(opposite of previous MS ergonomic keyboards). Try it and there's no
going back.


Rob:

Yes, it could certainly be a fun project. But for me the learning
curve would require just way too much time. If you get things working
with the PIC16C74 microcontroller, please let me know.

I'll buy you something from your Amazon wishlist if you can come up
with a solution. :) Yeah, it's not much, but better than nothing.
Who knows, maybe you can then sell the damn things (or at least the
instructions on how to build one yourself) and make a fortune in the
process.
 

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