Finding a working keyboard for LP PS/2 interface

By megatron-uk

Rookie (17)

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21-06-2020, 17:06

I've recently purchased the LP PS/2 keyboard interface and I'm having a really, really difficult time finding a keyboard that works in any decent way with it. I absolutely have to have a remote keyboard, as I just don't have any desk space to use the MSX in front of me; it's on a shelf, so a remote keyboard (shared with my other PS/2 systems) is a necessity.

On a genuine Japanese PS/2 keyboard (used for a NEC PC-9821) almost all of the keys (apart from a-z,0-9) are in the wrong place.

On a standard UK 101+Windows keyboard, again the keys a-z, 0-9 and some of the punctuation keys are in the right place (but by no means the majority of the latter).

On a Spanish keyboard (the closest I could find to the one used to design/test the interface) again a-z, 0-9 and (some of) the punctuation keys are correct, but a significant majority are not.

In addition, on all keyboards I've tried, I'm short of a number of MSX keys: [, {, ', Yen, <, >, @, \ - this is despite trying every single modifier key and every key on the keyboard. No combination of keys produce those characters.

The biggest problem by far (not that a missing Yen or \ character isn't a problem in trying to change directories...) is that keys that don't appear to have a matching MSX mapping actually cause the cartridge/MSX to lockup. For instance, pressing Page Up, Page Down, Del, Insert, and, on a numeric keypad: Enter, Minus and Divide will cause the system to lock up, and since the cartridge stops the onboard keyboard working, the only way out of this is to power cycle the machine; the reset button won't suffice.

Are there any other LP PS/2 keyboard interface users out there? What keyboards are you using and have you encountered any of these issues?

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By megatron-uk

Rookie (17)

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21-06-2020, 17:12

For info, this is on a Sony FX1DJ, tried both cart slots and there simply doesn't seem to be any way to alter or configure the keyboard interface cartridge; no jumpers, settings or manual/instructions.

By Meits

Scribe (5899)

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21-06-2020, 17:27

The interface does work on a Sony HB-F1XDJ. The issues one can have is that symbols are on the wrong key. There are two ways to deal with that: 1) put new symbols on the keys or 2) live with it. I do the latter with just a few symbols.

If all keys do respond, be "happy" with the keyboard because USB keyboards do not work. Only a handfull of them do work with a ps/2 adapter and not all ps/2 keyboards are recognized.

This one works flawless. It even passes the infamous Gradius test (flying to the left top of the screen while still being able to shoot).

By megatron-uk

Rookie (17)

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21-06-2020, 17:40

Oh, I'm aware the keys will need to be re-labelled - I've been through a very laborious process of testing every single key and recording what it produces (this is annoying when you don't know which keys lock up the cart). This is where I got to with the Spanish keyboard:

https://www.target-earth.net/wiki/lib/exe/detail.php?id=blog...

The black key caps are the keys which lock up the machine, as you can see, there also isn't any matching closing parenthesis, backslash or yen characters (amongst others).

I'll try picking up an RT9443 and see if that improves anything. Can I confirm though: the Yen & backslash characters definitely work?

By Meits

Scribe (5899)

Meits's picture

21-06-2020, 22:09

Yes, when pressing the backslash the yen sign will show on a Sony HB-F1XDJ.
The special characters are a bit over the place for some 50%. But that's better on a european MSX.

By megatron-uk

Rookie (17)

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07-07-2020, 14:54

Well, the RT9443 (specific part number RT9443 V:56TW - a US english layout) arrived (from the US, with international shipping) ....and.... it has the same (or similar) problems:

The backslash key does not generate either '\' or Yen. In fact it does nothing.

There is only a left bracket '(', and no others ')', '[' or ']', '{' or '}'. No angle brackets.

Please, anyone out there with a LP-PCK interface card and a working keyboard, take a picture of the keyboard and the make and model AND your keyboard layout (US or British QWERTY, AZERTY, whatever). This is now 4 PS2 keyboards I've tried and not a single one has been able to replicate the full regular (non-Japanese) character set.

By megatron-uk

Rookie (17)

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07-07-2020, 17:58

Meits, the one you used in your Youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtd99tWRg4o

It has a Euro symbol on the number 5 (like a UK/Euro keyboard), but a hash sign and not a £ on the number 3 (unlike a UK keyboard). I can see no accented characters (unlike most European keyboard layouts). And you have the small return key with backspace above it (like a US keyboard).

My US layout keyboard looks identical apart from the Euro symbol. What keyboard layout is yours?

I've also asked Leonardo if the key scanning logic has changed at all between versions; tracking down a keyboard that will produce (at the very least) a backslash/Yen is getting to be ridiculous (and expensive).