Use your MSX as an USB keyboard

Use your MSX as an USB keyboard

by konamiman on 15-07-2021, 20:59
Topic: Hardware

We have seen in the past adapters designed to use external keyboards on MSX computers... but what about the other way around? Konamiman has just released a project that allows you to use your MSX as an USB keyboard for another computer, provided that you have a Rookie Drive cartridge.

Unfortunately it was not possible to implement a fully HID compliant device on the MSX side due to esoteric technical problems. Thus the software on the MSX side implements its own protocol, the other computer must run Windows, and you need to install a virtual HID driver and have a small server program running on it; so while in the end the result is not as practical as it should be, at least it's a fun thing to experiment with.

Be sure to read carefully the instructions if you want to give it a try, since you'll need to slightly tweak the USB cable you use to connect your Rookie Drive and the other computer (a must!), and you'll be able to customize the MSX to HID key mappings to your taste by creating a keyboard mappings file (a simple text file) or modifying one of the supplied example files. Also you don't need to flash your Rookie Drive with a new ROM, since the software on the MSX side is provided as a BIN file that can be BLOADed from BASIC (and also as a bootable ROM if that's what you prefer).

Relevant link: Rookie Drive in device mode project
Relevant link: Video showing a Turbo-R being used as a keyboard on a PC

Comments (5)

By ray2day

Paladin (752)

ray2day's picture

16-07-2021, 08:22

Cool Cool Nice work!

By sdsnatcher73

Enlighted (4288)

sdsnatcher73's picture

16-07-2021, 17:34

Would it be possible to add PS/2 protocol? Then we could also use an MSX as keyboard for OCM like machines…

By konamiman

Paragon (1211)

konamiman's picture

16-07-2021, 20:32

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

Would it be possible to add PS/2 protocol? Then we could also use an MSX as keyboard for OCM like machines…

I don't think the CH376 supports the PS/2 protocol. I guess an external USB to PS/2 converter would be the solution in this case.

By gdx

Enlighted (6429)

gdx's picture

17-07-2021, 10:25

Wouldn't the Raspberry PI 400 be a better solution to replace an MSX keyboard by making an adapter to the corresponding MSX? It does not occupy any slot. It shouldn't be very complicated to do and does not occupy slot.

By Samor

Prophet (2220)

Samor's picture

24-07-2021, 19:15

You should be able to use a ps/2 keyboard on ocm with rookie drive as usb keyboard on pc then, I guess... Murdoch