Suggesting making keyboard converters?

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Thinkpad4by3
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Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#1 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:48 am

I was thinking making Lenovo KBD to USB converter would be a good idea. The premade ones are insanely expensive and most of us have surplus keyboard(s) just laying around. What do you guys think?

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:08 am

I suggest a modular design, because there exist different keyboard connectors.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#3 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:16 am

What, like a connector for the T4x, one for the T6x-Tx20 , one for the X30x and definetly one for the 600X. Once you have the circuit, getting the case isnt too difficult.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#4 Post by Summilux » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:40 am

Sounds like an interesting idea, I'm subscribing :D
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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:57 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:16 am
What, like a connector for the T4x, one for the T6x-Tx20 , one for the X30x and definetly one for the 600X. Once you have the circuit, getting the case isnt too difficult.
T6x and Tx20 keyboard connectors are different.

X6x and X220 keyboard connectors are the same (I can vouch for this because I plugged an X61 keyboard on an X220 and most keys work); by extension, that includes the Tx10, Tx20, and Tx30.

Either design the board to allow different connectors to be soldered in, or give the microcontroller board an edge connector, which can be mated to adapter boards that have a specific keyboard connector.
Last edited by axur-delmeria on Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#6 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:56 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:16 am
What, like a connector for the T4x, one for the T6x-Tx20 , one for the X30x and definetly one for the 600X. Once you have the circuit, getting the case isnt too difficult.
T6x and Tx20 keyboard connectors are different.

X6x and X220 keyboard connectors are the same (I can vouch for this because I plugged an X61 keyboard on an X220 and most keys work); by extension, that includes the Tx10, Tx20, and Tx30.

Either design the board to allow different connectors to be soldered in, or the give microcontroller board an edge connector, which can be mated to adapter boards that have a specific keyboard connector.
The 570* and T4x are the same except with no power switch.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:03 am

Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

axur-delmeria
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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:08 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:56 am
The 570* and T4x are the same except with no power switch.
Good to hear. I've only seen a 570* once (didn't even get to use it), and the extent of my T4x experience is but a single dead T42 which i revived with an R52 board, and subsequently gifted to a friend.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:39 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:08 pm
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:56 am
The 570* and T4x are the same except with no power switch.
Good to hear. I've only seen a 570* once (didn't even get to use it), and the extent of my T4x experience is but a single dead T42 which i revived with an R52 board, and subsequently gifted to a friend.
I happen to have a BRAND NEW 570E keyboard. The keyboard got damaged around 2002, but about 2 weeks later, the LCD cable died. At that point, a A31 was already ordered and shipped by the time the new keyboard came in so it has just been sitting around.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

axur-delmeria
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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#10 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:45 am

There's http://thinktype.equipment who wants to make a simpler PS/2 version, and there's https://flashandrc.wordpress.com/2015/0 ... ct-ceased/-- the BT version was cancelled, but its schematics as well as the USB version were released.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#11 Post by iwait » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:45 pm

I'm interest in this and did a lot of search online. I was also planned to make one myself but it's too much coding for me. I shared all the working solution below. hope they will help you somehow.

Arduino based keyboard driver
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a- ... h-Arduino/

2nd version from the same guy using another chip
http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Bette ... d-Adapter/

A guy from 51nb made one, look at the pictures if you can't read Chinese
https://forum.51nb.com/forum.php?mod=vi ... id=1534656

bluetooth version from 51nb.com, again, look at the pictures.
https://forum.51nb.com/forum.php?mod=vi ... id=1569569

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#12 Post by Summilux » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:11 am

Your links are interesting iwait, it means the basic design is basically done. It might be enhanced with the addition of further connectors. And with a 3D-printed external chassis.
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X220 4287-CTO

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#13 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:34 am

^ The modular design of the Bluetooth version looks nice, but using flex cables might drive up the cost.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#14 Post by NonesensE » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:00 pm

Another solution is the tmk keyboard firmware with an Atmel microcontroller. El-Sahef used this combination for his 600X core i mods.
Sometimes coming over from the German forum...
X62s 3rd batch, [s]T61[/s] T70 14" 4:3 1st batch

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#15 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:50 pm

NonesensE wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:00 pm
Another solution is the tmk keyboard firmware with an Atmel microcontroller. El-Sahef used this combination for his 600X core i mods.
It's a good starting point, but from what I've read (using Google Translate), the Trackpoint isn't connected to the microcontroller, but feeds directly to the Dell laptop board's internal PS/2 port.
el-sahef did mention that it was possible, since the tmk firmware has support for PS/2 mice (the Trackpoint module is PS/2) but requires a microcontroller board with more I/O pins and memory.
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#16 Post by NonesensE » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:17 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:50 pm
It's a good starting point, but from what I've read (using Google Translate), the Trackpoint isn't connected to the microcontroller, but feeds directly to the Dell laptop board's internal PS/2 port.
el-sahef did mention that it was possible, since the tmk firmware has support for PS/2 mice (the Trackpoint module is PS/2) but requires a microcontroller board with more I/O pins and memory.
Right, he took a shortcut, but adding the trackpoint shouldn't be too hard if you already did the rest. He suggested the AT90USB1287 for this, but I think you can also use the AT90USB1286 which AFAIK just lacks USB OTG host capabilities and is widely available as teensy++ 2.0.
Sometimes coming over from the German forum...
X62s 3rd batch, [s]T61[/s] T70 14" 4:3 1st batch

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#17 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:33 pm

They probably shouldn't bother including the T25-Retro keyboard, which apparently is made by Chickensh!t Chicony.


Just noticed this is my post # 18,000

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:27 am

I hope the design includes an internal USB hub with two free ports, so you can plug in a numeric keypad, flash drive, or heaven forbid, a mouse (!!) :lol:
Daily driver: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M

In reserve: X61 T7500, X60 T2300
In pieces: X60s CS U1300 [board only], two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#19 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:18 am

For those of you who can't wait, I found some USB-wired IBM/Lenovo SK-8845 keyboards with trackpoint on eBay:
They are T4x style and have NO Winblowz key!
US-English without touchpad: http://www.ebay.com/itm/182812687445
US-English with touchpad: http://www.ebay.com/itm/182812747202
UK-English with touchpad: http://www.ebay.com/itm/182812689318
They are all from the same seller (I have no connection with him/her whatsoever).

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Re: Suggesting making keyboard converters?

#20 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:54 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:57 am
T6x and Tx20 keyboard connectors are different.
They are actually the same connector however the Fn key, and by extension all associated functions, don't work. I plugged a T/W500 kb into my first project T520 when I was short a keyboard and wanted to test the machine.
Daily driver: lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
Ultraportable: IBM lenovo X60s
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Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

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