Keyboard Interface problem

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Chr$
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Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Chr$ » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:30 pm

Hello, this is a long shot as it related to an add-on board for which I can find no info whatsoever!

Basically, my custom QL beast that I acquired recently has this keyboard connector connected to the ROM port:

re-tast keyboard Int.jpg


It has an AT (I assume it's AT and not XT because among the paperwork I got with the beast, there was a receipt for this k/b adapter and it's listed as AT) socket on it, on the other side on the board in the bottom left, and when I plug a keyboard into it (it's a ps/2 keyboard with an AT DIN5 adapter) and power up the system all 3 of the lights on the k/b illuminate briefly. The QL does its thing and I get the normal F1/F2 choice screen.

But then no response from either F1 or F2. I've tried 2 different keyboards and 3 different ps/2 to AT adapters.

The keyboard interface is German and called a 'Re-Tast V1.1'. The copyright initials are JM (Jochen Merz I suspect) and UR. The grey wire to the left, above where it says 'COM' is soldered to B3 on the expansion port (which is D1).

Anyone got any ideas about what I can try? There are 3x 3 pin jumpers on the board but I've left those how I found them, because obviously it was working in this state originally. I wonder if all my PS/2 to AT adapters are junk. It's annoying that I can't get past the F1/F2 to explore this very modded machine.

And as it's Christmas Eve-Eve. Merry Christmas to anyone reading this and thanks for the support on the forum during 2019.


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tofro
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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby tofro » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:52 pm

Hi Chris,

this is an ABC-Keyboard Interface. The UR initials stand for Ulrich Rosowski, I believe. Manual is here.

I used to have one years ago and I am almost sure it wants to see an XT type keyboard (and the above manual seems to confirm that).

Merry Christmas!
Tobias


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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby QLvsJAGUAR » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:57 pm

This is the so called ABC Electronic/Gigasoft Keyboard Interface. I no longer have ne at hand, so cannot really help.

There are some pictures of other such units available, maybe you see differences which can help you.
https://wiki.qlforum.co.uk/doku.php?id=qlwiki:keyboards
http://sinclairql.net/pic/ under Expansions

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Chr$
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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Chr$ » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:09 pm

Thanks Tobias and Urs!

So the UR stands for Uli Rosowski! Well that explains that then, and in the manual it only refers to XT keyboards, so it looks like I'll have to find an XT keyboard.... which doesn't seem all that easy. That's annoying, I was hoping to have this up and going before Christmas, because I will be forced to sit around and eat with people for a few days ;)

I would just connect an original keyboard membrane for testing, but one connector is missing on the m/b and it's a bloody big tangle of cables, drives and things inside, so would require quite a bit of time to solder a new connector on.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:29 pm

Some early AT keyboards had a switch to select XT mode. Of course that won’t help if all you have are PS/2 keyboards...

If you search the ‘net you will find that there are three keyboard protocols for the five pin DIN system. It should also be possible to use a microcontroller to carry out a conversion.

Mark


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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby tofro » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:33 pm

Chr$ wrote:Thanks Tobias and Urs!
I would just connect an original keyboard membrane for testing, but one connector is missing on the m/b and it's a bloody big tangle of cables, drives and things inside, so would require quite a bit of time to solder a new connector on.


Be aware that when the interface is plugged in and the internal ROMs removed (as they should be), the original keyboard will not work.

Tobias


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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Chr$ » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:42 pm

tofro wrote:
Chr$ wrote:Thanks Tobias and Urs!
I would just connect an original keyboard membrane for testing, but one connector is missing on the m/b and it's a bloody big tangle of cables, drives and things inside, so would require quite a bit of time to solder a new connector on.


Be aware that when the interface is plugged in and the internal ROMs removed (as they should be), the original keyboard will not work.

Tobias

Yes, read that, but it's going to be easier to find a solution for the XT interface. It really is a tangle in there. I will eventually re-new everything, but at this stage I'm just getting it going to see if it all works (especially the 20mb Seagate HDD which sounds like a helicopter).

Just found an AT to XT adapter from a seller in Bulgaria, so that looks like the best option.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Ruptor » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:14 am

Here is an XT to AT & PS2 adapter if you want to build one.
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... -converter
XT keyboards are just too old for me to ever have been involved with them. It might be worth taking a very close look at your interface board for cracked solder joints and squashed components that might be shorting out looking at your picture. The yellow capacitor wire is almost touching another pad and the ROM slot PCB sticking up looks like it might have cracked solder joints perhaps due to holding the weight of the main board. Also give the board a once over for dry solder joints since it looks hand soldered and not that consistent.
Happy Christmas!


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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Chr$ » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:48 am

Ruptor wrote:Here is an XT to AT & PS2 adapter if you want to build one.
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... -converter
XT keyboards are just too old for me to ever have been involved with them. It might be worth taking a very close look at your interface board for cracked solder joints and squashed components that might be shorting out looking at your picture. The yellow capacitor wire is almost touching another pad and the ROM slot PCB sticking up looks like it might have cracked solder joints perhaps due to holding the weight of the main board. Also give the board a once over for dry solder joints since it looks hand soldered and not that consistent.
Happy Christmas!

I bought an XT/AT adapter, saves time and part sourcing. And yes, it certainly won't hurt to re-solder all the joints on that board.
Happy Christmas.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Re: Keyboard Interface problem

Postby Chr$ » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:30 pm

Here's another question regarding the ROM situation with the ABC Electronic/Gigasoft Keyboard Interface....

There is no ROM at all on my mainboard as it's now a custom jobbie and is on the Keyboard interface.

There is a space on said keyboard interface for another ROM. I'd like to add Minerva to the system, but I believe that the installed k/b interface ROM, as it provides for the XT keyboard, is rather essential and am I right in assuming that even if I did add Minerva to the empty space on the k/b interface, that they wouldn't get along (because the custom k/b ROM is the main and only ROM), i.e. I can't run both!? When I do a 'Print ver$' I get the result 3.11, which corresponds with the label on the k/b ROM.

I'd like to add Minerva and have the better keyboard at the same time.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.

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