Wednesday 9 December 2015

Day 9 - PIC20 - VIC20 USB keyboard with Pi2

This is day 9 of the Advent Calendar of USB keyboards. Today, a VIC20* USB keyboard with integrated Raspberry Pi. a PIC20 ?
I have done quite a few Commodore 64's like this, but not a VIC20 before. No reason why not, it's basically the same, just different cutouts on the case to deal with. The Pi B+ having the connectors aligned introduced some new options to the layout. I used to have the Pi in the centre and extend the appropriate ports and have an USB hub mounted on the side, but this worked out a simpler arrangement. This one is the Pi 2.
The standard USB keyboard controller is mounted on the base next to the Pi. The Pi has one dual USB port removed and replaced with a single USB port, so the USB keyboard controller can be wired in directly to the Pi. There is a power connector on there, wired to the power input of the Pi. I normally have a 5V regulator on there and a 12V input, but this one was 5V input.
The HDMI is extended to the side of the cartridge port, I'm still yet to find a suitable right angled HDMI connector to extend the HDMI to the side of the Pi.
The power LED on the VIC20 is replaced with a tricolour one to show the keyboard mapping mode. This is connected to the USB keyboard controller. Green is mapped for normal use, red is reverse of the Vice emulator mapping for use with that.
The mode switch pokes out of the rear of the case to change the keyboard mapping mode.
You can order an VIC20 USB keyboard from my Etsy store, request a custom order if you want one with a Pi in.

New builds of this would probably be quite different with the new USB keyboard /  joystick / DC-DC board I'm working on the for VIC20 and Commodore 64. More on those later.

Tune in tomorrow to open another window on the Advent Calendar of USB keyboards.

*Yes, I know it says VC20, but everyone knows it's really a VIC20.

2023 Update

USB Keyboard Controller Kits are available from my Sell My Retro store: