keyboard finished!

I finished "restoring" the keyboard yesterday:

here's how i did it:
1. I took apart a crappy PC keyboard that had a PS/2 connection

2. I discarded all but the circuit board the PS/2 cable was connected to

3. Soldered 12" lengths of wire to each contact on the edge of the PS/2 circuit board

4.arranged these wires on an X and Y axis (i grouped the two small groups of wires together) and labled each wire on the Y axis with a letter, and each wire on the X axis with a number.

5. I tested all possible connections between the wires and recorded my findings (different connections cause different "keys" to be pressed" for example, when wire "C" and wire "16" are connected it produces the letter "e", of course I had to have the PS/2 connected to a computer to see these results. I used a USB adaptor and hooked it up to a mac, so i could use this nifty little tool that shows you what keys are being pressed. This is useful for determining keys that don't produce characters (i.e. delete, return, caps lock, command, alt, control). here's how to find this tool:

in system preferences, click on "international"

click the "input menu" tab, and check off "keyboard viewier". also make sure to check off "show input menu in menu bar", it should check itself automatically though.

click on the flag up near the clock, and click "show keyboar viewer"

it may take a second or two to show up, but this cute little keyboard will show up, and as you can see in my screenshot the shift and command keys are depressed because i was pressing them to take a screenshot.

here's my notes from testing the connections

6. Next I had to remove all of the printed circuit paths on the board of the big blue keyboard, because these were totally irelevant to the circuit i was making and would interfere with my wiring. To do this i turned my soldering iron up to 32V and kinda just scratched at the paths untill they peeled off. totally professional.

7. For quick reference I mapped out all of the connections I needed for each key

8. Each key on the blue keyboard is quite literally a switch, soldered directly to the board. Using my map as a reference I made extensions on the wire matrix and soldered all of the necesary connections

that's it! I used this tutorial as a guide.

I'm in the process of buying a G4 Mac Cube to put inside the old beige enclosure. I'm also in the early stages of research & development for the software. I'll be using Pure Data for the audio synthesis (open source!) and possibly Jitter for the video synthesis... unless I can figure out a way to do it with GEM, which is the open source version of Jitter and part of the Pure Data family.



Blogger Arley-Rose said...

I get depressed too when I hold down my shift keys.

February 2, 2007 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Looks great! That's one sexy keyboard. Are you going to keep the alpha-numeric print on the keys? Or will you be modifying them according to the needs of the instrument? An example of what I'm talking about is that you could paint over the keys with colors,etc. Know what I mean?

February 2, 2007 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger ben said...

i thought about that... modifying them would make a lot of sense in terms of making it more like a piano, or any other instrument that has a pattern to it's key arrangement. that would probably make it much easier to just pick up and play. but i think i want to keep it as-is and maintain the fact that it is a computer keyboard and learn to play it within that context.

February 2, 2007 at 8:19 PM  

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