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View Full Version : Odd question. Is it possible to use a PC Serial Mouse on Mac?



Chromedome45
November 12th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Title sums it up. Can a PC 9 pin serial mouse be used with a Mac? Just wondering

tomasont
November 12th, 2011, 05:55 PM
No, AFAIK.

RWallmow
November 12th, 2011, 07:57 PM
No, never seen a PC serial to Mac converter. I have seen PS/2 to Mac converters, Belkin made one, they sold them in conjunction with their KVMs to allow Macs to be used alongside PCs. Not REAL common, but if you keep an eye out on ebay and other places they do pop up.

EDIT: Manual for Belkin F1D080 (http://cache-www.belkin.com/support/dl/f1d080.pdf)

Chuck(G)
November 12th, 2011, 09:29 PM
Given the abundance and cheapness of modern microcontrollers, it wouldn't be difficult to build one, buy why?

Chromedome45
November 13th, 2011, 04:48 AM
I was just curious if anyone had tried it before.

Compgeke
November 13th, 2011, 10:54 AM
Well, I've got a couple old Macintosh clones with PS/2 ports actually. I've never been able to get them to work however.

tomasont
November 13th, 2011, 03:34 PM
I guess I'm just too literal. I wasn't even thinking about a converter. I assumed you were wanting to install a serial mouse directly into the DB9 mouse port on a 68000 era Mac.

Chuck(G)
November 13th, 2011, 03:37 PM
I guess I'm just too literal. I wasn't even thinking about a converter. I assumed you were wanting to install a serial mouse directly into the DB9 mouse port on a 68000 era Mac.

It would certainly be possible. All you'd have to do is insert a serial mouse driver interface into the MacOS source code...

Oh, right... :(

Chromedome45
November 13th, 2011, 06:22 PM
compgeke: you may be thinking of the ADB ports. Kinda look like PS/2.

RWallmow
November 13th, 2011, 06:55 PM
compgeke: you may be thinking of the ADB ports. Kinda look like PS/2.
He's actually right, there are a few Mac Clones with PS/2 ports, I know at one point I had a power-computing clone that had them, don't recall ever trying them though, I had ADB keyboards and mice.

Compgeke
November 14th, 2011, 09:06 AM
The ones I've got with PS/2 ports are a Mactell XB203/MT and a PowerComputing Power Center Pro 240.

I've always figured they were missing an extension that is never to be found, that or they were designed to work with BeOS since Power Computing sent a BeOS disk with their computers.

olePigeon
November 15th, 2011, 08:42 AM
User gubbish (http://68kmla.org/forums/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4707) over at 68k MLA sells a fully assembled ADB-PS2 adapter for $15, or 2 for $25. I bought a couple, they work great.

RWallmow
November 15th, 2011, 09:08 AM
User gubbish (http://68kmla.org/forums/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4707) over at 68k MLA sells a fully assembled ADB-PS2 adapter for $15, or 2 for $25. I bought a couple, they work great.
Does his adapter do Mouse & Keyboard, or JUST Mouse? I am curious because I have seen other sites selling ones that only convert mice, but not keyboards.

Chromedome45
November 15th, 2011, 09:10 AM
I stand corrceted about the PS/2 on Mac's Didn't know clones may have used them.

RWallmow
November 15th, 2011, 09:24 AM
I stand corrceted about the PS/2 on Mac's Didn't know clones may have used them.
The Mac clones weren't around for very long, so I wouldn't exactly call it common knowledge or anything that some had PS/2. Only reason I knew is that I had a Power-Computing clone at one point and I remember it having ports labeled PS2 Mouse and Keyboard, I never used those ports though, It had a power-computing branded ADB mouse and keyboard. Kind of wish I had kept that computer, but I sold it and bought a beige G3 (which I still have now).

EverythingIBM
November 21st, 2011, 01:15 PM
The Mac clones weren't around for very long, so I wouldn't exactly call it common knowledge or anything that some had PS/2. Only reason I knew is that I had a Power-Computing clone at one point and I remember it having ports labeled PS2 Mouse and Keyboard, I never used those ports though, It had a power-computing branded ADB mouse and keyboard. Kind of wish I had kept that computer, but I sold it and bought a beige G3 (which I still have now).

Apple was always very sensitive about mac clones; didn't they actively hound mac-clone manufacturers?

Grrr, my school threw out loads of beige G3s and other stuff. Kinda wish I took some of it (floppy disk purposes).

RWallmow
November 21st, 2011, 01:23 PM
Apple was always very sensitive about mac clones; didn't they actively hound mac-clone manufacturers?
I don't know about "hounding" but I know they had pretty strict licensing terms, and rather large royalties (to the point of more or less pricing most clone makers out of the market).


Grrr, my school threw out loads of beige G3s and other stuff. Kinda wish I took some of it (floppy disk purposes).
The beige G3 is the newest machine that still supports reading/writing 800k floppies (under OS9 and older), so they make GREAT machines for disk imaging, plus they have ethernet built in and can take more RAM and larger hard disks than OS9 could ever need (and if you don't need the floppy drive, you can even run OSX on them).

geoffm3
December 1st, 2011, 12:03 PM
I don't know about "hounding" but I know they had pretty strict licensing terms, and rather large royalties (to the point of more or less pricing most clone makers out of the market).


The beige G3 is the newest machine that still supports reading/writing 800k floppies (under OS9 and older), so they make GREAT machines for disk imaging, plus they have ethernet built in and can take more RAM and larger hard disks than OS9 could ever need (and if you don't need the floppy drive, you can even run OSX on them).

Aside from the PPC based systems from PowerComputing and the like, IIRC all the earlier Mac "clones" were essentially repackaged Mac mobos either in laptop cases or some generic tower style case. The two or three real clones I remember prior to real licensing required you to "borrow" some ROMs from a real mac to run (not unlike the Mac emulators on the ST and Amiga).

olePigeon
December 1st, 2011, 12:11 PM
Does his adapter do Mouse & Keyboard, or JUST Mouse? I am curious because I have seen other sites selling ones that only convert mice, but not keyboards.
Not sure. I could hook them up and see.

RWallmow
December 1st, 2011, 12:16 PM
Aside from the PPC based systems from PowerComputing and the like, IIRC all the earlier Mac "clones" were essentially repackaged Mac mobos either in laptop cases or some generic tower style case. The two or three real clones I remember prior to real licensing required you to "borrow" some ROMs from a real mac to run (not unlike the Mac emulators on the ST and Amiga).
Yeah, I was talking, authorized clones, there were the EARLY, unlicensed clones that required illegal copied, or borrowed (making the original Mac unusable) ROM chips, like the "Outbound" which borrowed Mac Plus roms, to basically make a Mac Plus laptop, which wasn't all bad back then since it predated Apples own "mac portable", so it was the only way to have a mac laptop back in the day.

RWallmow
December 1st, 2011, 12:19 PM
Not sure. I could hook them up and see.
I would be curious to know, I would probably be in for one or two of those if they did both.

olePigeon
December 2nd, 2011, 08:45 PM
Shucks, it's unidirectional. I can use a Mac mouse and keyboard on a PC, but not the other way around. Sorry.

I'd recommend contacting him anyway, maybe it's an easy solution and he can make you an adapter.

RWallmow
December 3rd, 2011, 05:57 AM
Shucks, it's unidirectional. I can use a Mac mouse and keyboard on a PC, but not the other way around. Sorry.

I'd recommend contacting him anyway, maybe it's an easy solution and he can make you an adapter.
I just wanted to know if it worked on keyboards as well as mice on a Mac, I don't need it to do Mac KB/Mouse on a PC. So thats all good.

RickNel
January 23rd, 2013, 09:38 PM
It would certainly be possible. All you'd have to do is insert a serial mouse driver interface into the MacOS source code...

Oh, right... :(

I know this thread is a year old, but it quickly went off topic and I'd like to bring it back to Compgeke's original question, because I've just (foolishly?) adopted a Mac 512 that has no mouse. They are becoming extinct, where I live.

Looking at the pinout for early Mac mouse up to the Plus, it seems that this is a unidirectional parallel port, not serial. There are separate pins for X+, X-, Y+, Y-, button switch, 5vdc and grounds. In other words, it looks more like a joystick port than a serial mouse port. No handshaking to worry about. A physical adapter shouldn't be too much of a challenge if that is so. But the Mac mouse signals are unlikely to be variable analog levels (as in analog joystick), so more likely are pulses generated in the mouse. If we were lucky, they might turn out to be simple analog pulses from the switches on the rotary axis wheels inside the mouse. Then the main issue would be finding 8-core flex that was light enough to be practical - I don't fancy using a mouse attached to a Cat 5 cable!

I don't have one of these old mice to examine - does anyone know how they worked? At the worst, a fairly simple circuit to convert analog joystick levels to pulses could be put on an external DB9-DB9 adapter board, using the 5volts from the port. Say a 555 and some pullup/pulldown resistors?

Rick

tingo
January 24th, 2013, 08:31 AM
The Mac mouse: http://old.pinouts.ru/Inputs/MacMouse_pinout.shtml
kinda looks like the Amiga mouse: http://old.pinouts.ru/Inputs/AmigaMouseJoy_pinout.shtml
or the Atari mouse: http://old.pinouts.ru/Inputs/AtariMouseJoy_pinout.shtml
but I'm not sure if it helps you at all.

RickNel
January 24th, 2013, 12:42 PM
Thanks - I have the pinouts.

My question is what kind of signals does the Mac mouse port require, so an adapter can be reverse-engineered. TTL pulse would be simplest to emulate. Modulation of some sort of carrier would be more complex. A look inside a Mac mouse should reveal that. I have an ADB mouse, but that is quite different, being a serial bus.

I've now found this document (home.earthlink.net/~gamba2/images/plus_analog.PDF) that suggests a typical PC "bus mouse" can be used on the original Mac port, with a few pin re-assignments - so I'll look into that.

Rick

geoffm3
January 24th, 2013, 12:56 PM
Thanks - I have the pinouts.

My question is what kind of signals does the Mac mouse port require, so an adapter can be reverse-engineered. TTL pulse would be simplest to emulate. Modulation of some sort of carrier would be more complex. A look inside a Mac mouse should reveal that. I have an ADB mouse, but that is quite different, being a serial bus.

I've now found this document (home.earthlink.net/~gamba2/images/plus_analog.PDF) that suggests a typical PC "bus mouse" can be used on the original Mac port, with a few pin re-assignments - so I'll look into that.

Rick

I vote for repinning an Amiga mouse.

olePigeon
January 24th, 2013, 04:47 PM
If you stumble upon a Mac clone such as the Motorola Starmax, those used PS/2.

RickNel
January 24th, 2013, 06:54 PM
I vote for repinning an Amiga mouse.

Sure, if you have one. No doubt easier to find than a PC bus mouse, but a quick look at ebay suggests prices around the same as the original Mac mouse itself - if not higher because there are more Amiga fans after them than masochists struggling with compact Macs.:?

geoffm3
January 25th, 2013, 04:35 AM
Sure, if you have one. No doubt easier to find than a PC bus mouse, but a quick look at ebay suggests prices around the same as the original Mac mouse itself - if not higher because there are more Amiga fans after them than masochists struggling with compact Macs.:?

Lol. Okay I understand now. Amiga prices are rather ridiculous. I found a couple of mice on softhut for $16 and $19... But I'm sure shipping might be something to contend with.

RWallmow
January 25th, 2013, 09:39 AM
All the Apple II mice should also work on the Mac 128 through Mac Plus, so you should be able to use a M0100, A2M4015, A2M4035, A2M2070 all interchangeably (functionally anyways, they do vary in style and color a tiny bit), even a Lisa A9M0050 mouse should work, but I am guessing those command rather high prices for originals.

Searching a few of those models on ebay, I did find some half decent priced mice, not pocket change, but decent enough I wouldn't try to re-invent the wheel rigging up a mouse.

Now if someone wanted to build a converter to use bog standard USB mice and keyboards on the Early Mac's, sure that would be worth reinventing the wheel to use a nice laser mouse on a 128k ;-)

RickNel
January 25th, 2013, 12:29 PM
Now if someone wanted to build a converter to use bog standard USB mice and keyboards on the Early Mac's, sure that would be worth reinventing the wheel to use a nice laser mouse on a 128k ;-)

Well I don't plan to be that "someone" just now but, hypothetically, I'd reckon that most of the work has already been done in other USB<->parallel adapter software that lives in microcontrollers of some type. A C programmer could knock one up using linux toolkits on a Raspberry Pi which has built-in USB and parallel ports. Seems odd to use a whole "computer" for such a trivial task, but it would probably cost less and end up neater than building from scratch. Could probably use the same Pi to throw in an IDE adapter to the Mac floppy port, for good measure.

Rick

RickNel
January 27th, 2013, 09:31 PM
I came across a post on 68kmla.org where a guy has built a PS/2 > Compact Mac mouse adapter, and has made the design available for download. Uses one ATtiny84 AVR and little else. Looks very neat.

Description at http://giferrari.net/blog/?p=159

Rick

Arcady
January 28th, 2013, 03:23 PM
That's pretty cool. I think everyone probably has some old ps/2 mice laying around somewhere.

tingo
January 31st, 2013, 01:49 PM
Neat. I wonder if this is easily transferable for Amiga mice?

RWallmow
January 31st, 2013, 03:50 PM
Well I don't plan to be that "someone" just now but, hypothetically, I'd reckon that most of the work has already been done in other USB<->parallel adapter software that lives in microcontrollers of some type. A C programmer could knock one up using linux toolkits on a Raspberry Pi which has built-in USB and parallel ports. Seems odd to use a whole "computer" for such a trivial task, but it would probably cost less and end up neater than building from scratch. Could probably use the same Pi to throw in an IDE adapter to the Mac floppy port, for good measure.

Rick

You are probably right on that, with all the hype around the Raspberry Pi, I have sure thought about buying one to see what I could make it do, though the thought of adapting it to do things on vintage PCs hadnt crossed my mind. I had been thinking more like making my clothes dryer run on linux or other such odd projects ;-)


I came across a post on 68kmla.org where a guy has built a PS/2 > Compact Mac mouse adapter, and has made the design available for download. Uses one ATtiny84 AVR and little else. Looks very neat.

Description at http://giferrari.net/blog/?p=159

Rick

That's a pretty cool little adapter they have built there


Neat. I wonder if this is easily transferable for Amiga mice?

If they are both just basic X/Y pulses like Rick suggested they might be earlier (I really have no idea, I never really looked into it since I have a spare M0100), I would think the same adapter right above might be modified to do the same for a PS2 on Amiga.