samedi 10 mars 2012

The Keyboard

As you know, the Apple 1 was sold as a simple motherboard, no screen, no keyboard, no data storage. For the screen, you can use any TV with a video input. The monochrome video signal is compatible with all modern TVs including the latest LCDs (I'll use one little flat LCD TV with a front video input).

For the keyboard the problem is a litte more complicated. But there is a solution for every problem, right? I found one, a tricky one, but it will work! :) The solution is to use an old Apple II keyboard. The pinout of the connector is different but the signal is compatible. All I had to do was to find the keyboard, then I'll make the pinout adaptor.

I found the Apple II keyboard on internet. It's in good condition despite its age (1980) and the decoder board located on the back side is working (I tested it on an Apple II Europlus).

This is a DATANETICS ref 01-0551-0 rev B, Apple part/number 605-4117 (see pics below):

The pinout adapter is easy to make using a prorotype board (to be wired) and following the schematic below:

For information, another Apple 1 enthusiast John Calande did this operation successfully (see John Calande's blog) so this should be easy to perform. To be continued...