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TransKey-II in development

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Began installation of TransKey-II in 1200XL.

 

TK-1200XL_close.JPG

Still need to hook-up Start, Select, Option, Reset to J2.

 

TK-1200XL_over.JPG

Overhead View, obviously when the plug for J2 is inserted, it will overlap the RF shield grounding area (no great loss since I'll be using composite video anyway).

 

TK-1200XL_rear.JPG

Rear View showing installed PS/2 connectors for the Mouse and Keyboard.

 

I already did the Bob Woolley video upgrade on this unit, and also removed the video modulator and channel switch as part of it, so it gave me two clear areas in which to mount the connectors. The pre-made PS/2 connectors really worked out nicely, and eliminated a good amount of labor that would have otherwise been required.

 

-Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols
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That is AMAZING!

 

Thank you :)

 

Reality is rapidly approaching. To think it was only 3 months ago that this idea first started to be kicked around, and now we are seeing real hardware come into fruition. Still got some more software development left to do, but I think I am in the home stretch at this point.

 

-Michael

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Hello Michael,

Good news!

 

I have a mini Cherry PS/2 keyboard and USB numpad too

(both was bought exclusevely for Atari long-long time ago ...)

and using them instead real Atari 130XE keyboard with USB->PS/2 adapter is really amazing!

 

Do you have some 130XE installation pictures?

130XE kbd is a pain.

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Very nice.

 

Have you and Bob1200XL talked about getting both your adapter and the XL14 accelerator to fit in the same XL?

 

-Larry

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Hello Michael,

Good news!

 

I have a mini Cherry PS/2 keyboard and USB numpad too

(both was bought exclusevely for Atari long-long time ago ...)

and using them instead real Atari 130XE keyboard with USB->PS/2 adapter is really amazing!

 

Do you have some 130XE installation pictures?

130XE kbd is a pain.

 

No I don't, and probably wont for some time since I do not own a 130XE. However looking at some pictures of the motherboard, I see two options; one is to solder in a 40 pin socket where POKEY is located, or two is to use the XEGS version of TransKey-II facilitated by soldering connections to a D-SUB 15. So although both options will require soldering, option two is the least painful.

 

 

Very nice.

 

Have you and Bob1200XL talked about getting both your adapter and the XL14 accelerator to fit in the same XL?

 

-Larry

 

Yes Bob and I exchanged notes on this last month, hence a second layout was done where I flipped the board overhang 180 degrees to accommodate the XL14 (at least in a 1200XL, not sure about other models).

 

-Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols

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ahhh... where's the rest of it, Dude?

 

The rest of what? Did I forget something :-o

 

Ohh maybe you wanted to see the back side...

 

TransKey-II-XEGS_rear.JPG

 

Not much required to make this work. At least not hardware wise ;)

 

-Michael

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THE XEGS isn't that bad-looking of a box, really. Dye it black, to match a modern external professional kb and mouse and you have a pretty nice unit. Assuming, that theoretically, this would be compatable with the 7800 expansion module, as well? Be nice to use a kb on one of those without canabalizing the XEGS one. ;)

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THE XEGS isn't that bad-looking of a box, really. Dye it black, to match a modern external professional kb and mouse and you have a pretty nice unit. Assuming, that theoretically, this would be compatable with the 7800 expansion module, as well? Be nice to use a kb on one of those without canabalizing the XEGS one. ;)

 

If I understand correctly, the 7800 XM was to come with support for a stock XEGS keyboard, so yes this will work just fine as a replacement.

 

Probably just dying the buttons on a XEGS would make a big difference. Maybe bleach them first and then follow up with a soft gray color.

 

-Michael

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TransKey-II-XEGS

 

TransKey-II-XEGS.JPG

 

TK-XEGS_installed.JPG

 

-Michael

 

 

 

OH.

 

 

MY.

 

G*D!!!!!!!!!!

 

Man o man. If this had been around just two months ago, I would have kept the XEGS. OHMANOHMAN. That is . . . I am speechless. Ever since I first knew about the XEGS and it's detachable keyboard, I have thought of this.

 

This is not to diminish what Steve and others are doing (and have done) but this is <Dinklage "Destiny" voice>AMAZING!</Dinklage "Destiny" voice>

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OH.

 

MY.

 

G*D!!!!!!!!!!

 

Man o man. If this had been around just two months ago, I would have kept the XEGS. OHMANOHMAN. That is . . . I am speechless. Ever since I first knew about the XEGS and it's detachable keyboard, I have thought of this.

 

This is not to diminish what Steve and others are doing (and have done) but this is <Dinklage "Destiny" voice>AMAZING!</Dinklage "Destiny" voice>

 

B&C has XEGS for about $85 (He calls them XEGM because they are minus the light gun and flight simulator). I picked up two of them, and can vouch for them being in like new condition. Link: XE Video Game Machine Orig Atari 64K RAM Computer B GM Not System(NS)

 

-Michael

 

Edit: these are essentially a 65XE minus the expansion port.

Edited by mytekcontrols

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No, I know. It's that I just sold one just like that not more than 2 months ago, so I have to consider that ship sailed (or the CircleOfLife™ where I sell something only to buy it again would continue mercilessly!)

 

Still, I gave it some serious thought!

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No, I know. It's that I just sold one just like that not more than 2 months ago, so I have to consider that ship sailed (or the CircleOfLife™ where I sell something only to buy it again would continue mercilessly!)

 

Still, I gave it some serious thought!

 

Don't feel bad. I gave away a SH_T load of Atari equipment about 12 years ago (1 Black-Box, 3 XF551's, 2 1050's, 2 810's, Bob Puff's XF551 dual drive upgrade, 1 XEGS, 2 800XL's (1 with 256K, and the other with 1Meg), 4 600XL's (all converted to 64K), 1 130XE, 1 800, 3 C1702 Monitors, and boxes filled with game cartridges). And funny thing is, when i started this project I didn't have any Atari stuff what-so-ever and that is the reason I bought the 2 XEGS's.

 

Out of all that, I wish I had kept the Black-Box, one of the monitors, and the custom dual (3.5/5.25) XF551 drive with a built-in +5/+12 switching power supply which had a double din power cord to power an attached computer (made for a very compact no power brick set-up).

 

Oh well, such is life :roll:

 

-Michael

 

Edit: I also gave way all my ST stuff as well (1 520ST, 1 1040ST, 1 each Atari Color and Monochrome monitors, 1 external hard drive). And there were printers as well.

Edited by mytekcontrols

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When are we going to be able to purchase these Transkeys (especially the XEGS version)?

 

Well like I have said many times before, I am simply developing this product, and have no intention of producing any beyond the few prototypes that I recently had made. At the conclusion of this development cycle, it is my intention to upload everything that would be required to duplicate what I will have done to that point. The PCB Gerber files will be available through OSH Park, and the rest of it will be unloaded to my 'Public' DropBox folder with links posted in this forum thread. This will consist of Firmware, ExpressPCB files, Schematics, and possibly an installation doc. Anyone that wishes to, may go ahead and grab on to this for their own production and profit. I will put this out there as public domain with no restrictions or compensation.

 

For me, this was just a personal thing I wanted to do, and have been thinking of doing for quite a few years. It's all FUN for me, and nothing more.

 

-Michael

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Quoting myself...

 

"It's all FUN for me, and nothing more."

 

Actually that's not entirely correct. When I think back on it, I can vividly remember a few not so fun days. For those that program you'll know what I'm talking about when I say that I've had my share of entirely wasted days in the pursuit of trying to get something to respond, to do anything, but instead to have it be as elusive as a mouse. And yes I am specifically talking about the quest to have a mouse work like the cursor movement keys of the Atari. Many a day I couldn't even get a peep (or a squeak ;) ) out of the darn thing. I would move the mouse, and nothing, absolutely nothing would happen. It was much the same when I first got started on the original 1990 TransKey project, trying to talk with the keyboard.

 

If this was just about having FUN, I would have abandoned this latest endeavor long ago. So no, it is not simply for the fun of it that I am doing this. And no it is not about making money. In reality it is a way I can express myself, my abilities, and to challenge myself. But most of all, it is the sharing of this adventure that really makes it FUN. So that is truly why I am doing this, and why I am here. And I thank you all for reading this, and participating in the discussions.

 

If at times I don't respond as quickly, or when I do, I don't seem as happy, those would be the days that the mouse is winning :mad:

 

So what are the present challenges...

  1. FlowCode doesn't produce compact hex code, causing me to exceed the program capacity for a PIC16F88 which was to be the target embedded processor.
  2. Luckily there is an alternative processor available, a PIC16F1847 which has more program space. However it also requires a newer programmer (ordered and on the way).
  3. In the meantime when trying out just a portion of the code in a PIC16F88, I am seeing a potential problem with my POKEY communications routine, which I'm hoping is only processor speed related.
  4. Still need to stitch the keyboard and mouse routines together and have a harmonious outcome (not stepping on each other's toes so to speak). Getting close, but not quite there yet.

Note to item 3: I have been developing the code with a USB development board which has lots of program space and runs at a 40 Mhz clock speed. The PIC16F88's internal clock is only 8 Mhz. Since PIC's work off of a divide-by-4 clock per instruction cycle, the reality is more like 2 Mhz for the 'F88. Luckily the new PIC16F1847 chip has an internal clock speed capability of 32 Mhz.

 

This new PIC chip I'll be using is one of the least expensive parts on this project, being just under $2 in single quantities, and only $1.65 when ordering 10 pieces (MOUSER P/N: 579-PIC16F1847-I/P). Pretty amazing when you look under the hood and see all that it is capable of (Data Sheet).

 

-Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols
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What about using a single PS/2 port and a splitter for the mouse and keyboard?

 

post-6369-0-63341500-1439568630_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by MrFish

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What about using a single PS/2 port and a splitter for the mouse and keyboard?

 

attachicon.gifPS-2 Splitter.jpg

 

 

 

Hi MrFish,

 

If I had designed it with this in mind, and mapped out the connector for the dual input situation, then yes this would have worked. Unfortunately this is not what I did. However with that said, I do think the dual connectors worked out well for the XEGS version while still keeping to a small footprint, and the piggy-back version was able to use off-the-shelf cables with only a minor modification of pin locations in the supplied connector shell. So in the end it's all good. But yes with a little forethought I could have made it work with only one connector which would have only required one mounting hole in the case.

 

Keep in mind, that if someone wishes to create a custom version, I will be providing the ExpressPCB files as part of the completed project.

 

-Michael

 

Edit: If that dual cable was meant to work somehow over a single "standard" PS/2 port, then perhaps it could be done purely through a firmware change, but it would require a lot of rework on the code. I know they also made a dual cable that worked through a special dual PS/2 jack that utilized the two normally unused pins for the 2nd PS/2 channel, so if this cable is like that, then a hardware change would be needed (as in extra traces routed on the PCB).

Edited by mytekcontrols

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Yeah, a little late on the suggestion, but it just occurred to me. It was pretty common on a lot of laptops and 1U servers.

Edited by MrFish

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I'm glad and pensive at the same time...

 

Here in Moscow are many lovers of Spectrum (It was DIY way - and all of them can't forget it!),

many lovers of Mac, (Glam etc.) and ... may be I'm the only slave of Atari 8.

 

(By the way, I can't see any Android or others OS evolution beside of attempts to collect ANY information available!

I even can't understand WHO IS THE SPY? Assange and Snowden or Inet+NSA)

/I know that both. No mean./

 

And I'm glad that there are so many great persons who give us their gifts soft or hard.

Thank you, mytekcontrols!

Thank you ALL!

 

And... Michael, Please, give me the link how your excellent device (XEGS mod) can be connected/wired to Atari 130XE internals (piggybacks I mean).

 

I can't find any picture... I'm not an engineer at all.

 

Best Regards!

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Yeah, a little late on the suggestion, but it just occurred to me. It was pretty common on a lot of laptops and 1U servers.

 

Do you have any info on the wiring of that dual cable and/or a link to the source page where that picture came from? I'm just curious if they are parallel wired, or going to individual pins. It would seem like a conflict if they had parallel PS/2 clock and data lines even though they are open collector (I'll have to check to see if there are any common commands between the mouse and the keyboard).

 

 

And... Michael, Please, give me the link how your excellent device (XEGS mod) can be connected/wired to Atari 130XE internals (piggybacks I mean).

 

I can't find any picture... I'm not an engineer at all.

 

Best Regards!

 

I don't have any pictures on specifically doing this yet, but if you look at the TransKey-II-XEGS schematic, you can see the pin-out of the D-sub 15 female being used, which is labeled with what is suppose to go to where (signal name). Now granted it does not specifically show you where to solder each wire, but the idea would be to mount a D-sub 15 Male connector somewhere in the bottom half of your 130XE case, and then route a wire from each pin on the connector to the appropriate spot on the motherboard that matches the signal name.

 

x_ad210-31_72dpi.jpg

 

220px-DA-15_DSubM.png

Wire Side View

 

 

So to match up those signal names to the POKEY chip, check out this image below (courtesy of Wikipedia).

 

Atari_POKEY.png

We need a total of 8 logic connections to the POKEY chip (K0-K5, KR1, KR2), and two power connections +5VDC (Vcc or Vdd) and GND (Vss). These connections could be made on the bottom side of the motherboard directly to the POKEY socket pins, or there might be connection points on top, possibly routed to resistors (I'm just not sure at this time).

 

 

For connection locations to Start, Select, Option, Reset I refer you to the KRH installation page at: http://www.realdos.net/Install-KRH.html

 

Thanks to Steve Cardin, this will give you a good idea of where these signals can be tapped into on a 130XE.

 

 

-Michael

 

Edit: Be sure that you use a standard D-sub 15 male connector and not the smaller VGA style connector which has 3 rows of pins.

 

I was also just thinking that this would be a cool way to go even on a non-XEGS computer, since you could use one TransKey-II-XEGS to service multiple computers. Who can type on more than one machine at a time? Not me.

Edited by mytekcontrols

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Do you have any info on the wiring of that dual cable and/or a link to the source page where that picture came from? I'm just curious if they are parallel wired, or going to individual pins. It would seem like a conflict if they had parallel PS/2 clock and data lines even though they are open collector (I'll have to check to see if there are any common commands between the mouse and the keyboard).

 

I couldn't find any info on that particularly cable (Startech PS/2 Splitter), but It looks like the common wiring uses pins 2 and 6 (normally not connected) for data and clock respectively, on the mouse. The keyboard is wired normally, and then ground and 5v are shared.

 

Some info here:

PS/2 Mini-Din 6 Pinouts

 

It looks like internally some setups have used the keyboard wired to 2 and 6 instead. I think that's why a lot of the Y-adapters like this aren't colored coded.

 

IBM Thinkpad PS/2 Y-Adapter

Edited by MrFish
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I couldn't find any info on that particularly cable (Startech PS/2 Splitter), but It looks like the common wiring uses pins 2 and 6 (normally not connected) for data and clock respectively, on the mouse. The keyboard is wired normally, and then ground and 5v are shared.

 

Some info here:

PS/2 Mini-Din 6 Pinouts

 

It looks like internally some setups have used the keyboard wired to 2 and 6 instead. I think that's why a lot of the Y-adapters like this aren't colored coded.

 

IBM Thinkpad PS/2 Y-Adapter

 

Yeah that makes a lot more sense. The mouse works entirely different vs a keyboard, and although they do use a similar serial protocol, there would be collision problems if they shared the same clock and data lines. So based on this information, there really is no reason why the piggy-back version couldn't be wired to a single PS/2 port, and then broken out externally with the "Y" cable. It would just take a different harness connected through the J1 header. So good news is no PCB or Firmware changes required.

 

As for the XEGS version, there really wouldn't be any advantage going with a single PS/2 port, especially since the cost would be higher to buy a "Y" cable vs having two PCB connectors as it is now.

 

Thanks for the great info!

 

-Michael

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