[rescue] using type 4 keyboards on usb?

Charles Monett camonett at woh.rr.com
Thu Aug 27 22:09:58 CDT 2009

der Mouse wrote:
>> is there a converter which i could use to convert from the sun din
>> connector to usb and attach the other type 4s to the non-sun
>> machines?
> Possibly.  It wouldn't surprise me if someone made a protocol
> converter.  However, all you need is a level shifter (and, depending
> onthe shifter, maybe maybe an inverter) to use a Sun keyboard on a
> serial port; they are simple stock serial lines, except with TTL
> voltage levels instead of RS-232 voltage levels, so even if you can't
> find a suitable canned converter product, it isn't hard for someone who
> isn't afraid of minor electronics to build a converter that will let
> you stick a Sun keyboard of that era on a serial port.  I've done it,
> and as I recall an ICL232 and two inverters (7404, 74HCT04, transistors
> and resistors, whatever) is enough.
> Whether that's of any use to you, of course, depends on what you want
> to use the keyboard for.  It won't help if you want to completely
> replace the stock keyboard, but if X is all you care about, it may do
> just fine.
> It does need a serial port, but those I do know are available for USB.
Wouldnt something like what FTDI makes (their 6pin TTL->RS232->USB 
dongle) work in this case?
I'd try it, but I've got a 3v FTDI dongle and the Type 5 keyboard I have 
looks to be 5v if the specs are to be believed.

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