Thursday 20 July 2017

Commodore Amiga 600 and 1200 USB keyboard kit

I have had few requests for USB keyboard kits for Amiga 600s and 1200s, so here they are.
The A600 and A1200 are very different from the Amiga 500. The A500 had a keyboard controller board on the back of the keyboard, and a serial interface to the mainboard. The Amiga 500 USB keyboard controller I built for that was a lot simpler in hardware terms, but a bit more effort to implement the serial protocol in the microcontroller.
The A600 and A1200 have no keyboard controller, and just a simple membrane connection to the mainboard. These have more connections and a smaller pitch than any of my previous USB keyboard controllers, so I have made a custom board.
The A600 cable is 30 way and the A1200 is 31 way, with a slightly different pinout.
 I found matching 30 way sockets for the A600, but I have not been able to get 31 way sockets, so I have used 32 way sockets for the A1200, just make sure the cable is aligned to the left of the connector.

The board mounts on the back of the keyboard using some self adhesive pillars. The cable on the LED board is not long enough to reach, so I supply a short extension cable.
The power LED is lit whenever the keyboard is plugged in. I have set the floppy and disk activity LEDs to act as scroll lock and num lock. You could drive these from software if you wanted to use them for another purpose.
They keyboard has a built in caps lock LED which shows the current state.
As usual the kit does not include an Amiga or keyboard, you need to provide those yourself, and please try to use a broken one.
The kit does include the USB keyboard controller, the LED cable, mounting pillars and a USB lead, and is available to buy from my Tindie Store.

I also have various single and dual 9 way D to USB joystick adapters that would fit nicely in the A600 or A1200 cases. These allow you to use original 9 way D joysticks (like Zip Stik or Competition Pro etc.) as USB joystick devices, contact me for more info.
Or if you are short of space inside an A600 with a Raspberry Pi and associated items, you can go for a single or dual port USB joystick adapter which sits externally to the case.

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2023 Update

USB Keyboard Controller Kits are available from my Sell My Retro store (LED cables no longer included as no one appeared to use them):