View Full Version : Is there a way to use a keyboard thru serial port ?

April 2nd, 2017, 07:37 PM
Hello everyone,

Some years ago, I was given a Tandy 1000 SX w/o the keyboard. I just got an i/o card and with ctty I am now finally using it with the serial port. I've just finished installing a zip drive to have more that 2 360k drives but I still have a problem. Since I use ctty com1, I don't have a keyboard in graphic mode, since ctty redirects the screen and the keyboard, not one or the other, all I can do is use text mode or mouse only apps (in graphic mode). Sadly, I don't have the money to spend on either a Tandy keyboard nor a converter. I have read that some tsr can make it possible to use the serial terminal as a "real" keyboard, but I can't find any. I could only find a program that can show a virtual keyboard on the screen but it needs an ega display, which my Tandy doesn't have.

Do you have any idea on how I can redirect the serial port as a real keyboard or a tsr that do that or any thing else ?

Thank you in advance.

April 3rd, 2017, 12:20 AM
You could probably use an Arduino or Pic Chip to fake the original keyboard. Cost < $10 plus time to write code.
There is a library here for an AT keyboard


April 3rd, 2017, 05:35 AM
Thank you, but as I sayed, I don't have the money to buy either the keyboard or a converter. I am looking at some sort of tsr.

April 7th, 2017, 10:34 PM
You could certainly write a TSR to take serial port input and push it into the keyboard buffer in the same way the BIOS keyboard handler does, but it would probably still only work in plain DOS and simple games. Most games read the keyboard controller directly, bypassing any TSR or other driver.

I suspect the only way to get this working with games is to save up for a keyboard or parts to build your own converter. I'm unfamiliar with the Tandy - do they have a custom keyboard interface or will standard XT keyboards work?

April 8th, 2017, 06:35 AM
They have a non standard keyboard. So the xt and at keyboards won't work.

April 8th, 2017, 07:39 AM
Thank you, but as I sayed, I don't have the money to buy either the keyboard or a converter. I am looking at some sort of tsr.

Maybe something here will work for you:




April 8th, 2017, 04:20 PM
Thank you, I will be trying this later or tomorrow ^^

April 10th, 2017, 09:02 AM
Update : I have tested the first link and it works, for the most part. Some programs don't work (yes I know why, no need to explain please) but I can do much more than I could already do ^^