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Thread: Kaypro II - Yes! A telephone cable works fine for the keyboard!

  1. #1

    Default Kaypro II - Yes! A telephone cable works fine for the keyboard!

    Iíve seen conflicting answers to this, but I just received my Kaypro II today, and went to my local Goodwill and grabbed a regular old telephone handset cable, and it works perfectly!

    So please, donít spend lots of time making or looking for an original cable, itís no different than a telephone cable.

    Iím so excited to have a Kaypro! Iíve wanted one since entering this hobby l, and I finally have one! Iím having a blast with it so far! CP/M is brand-new territory for me, and Iím excited to learn all about it!

  2. #2
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    Are you positive that it's no different? Just because it works doesn't mean that it's the same.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Are you positive that it's no different? Just because it works doesn't mean that it's the same.
    Every key works, the speaker works, I can’t find anything that doesn’t work. Can’t imagine that happening if it was wired differently.

  4. #4

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    Typically, handset cables are thinner wire so you might experience some reliability issues. I first used a handset cable, and did start to see reliability issues so I built one out of sturdier phone cable and crimped handset plugs on it. It was not neatly coiled, but I had grown tired of the coiled cord never doing what I wanted anyway. Constant stretching probably led to the failure of the original cable.
    - Doug

  5. #5

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    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VDp3wR4zxak

    Hereís a video of my fresh-from-Goodwill cable working perfectly.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by durgadas311 View Post
    Typically, handset cables are thinner wire so you might experience some reliability issues. I first used a handset cable, and did start to see reliability issues so I built one out of sturdier phone cable and crimped handset plugs on it. It was not neatly coiled, but I had grown tired of the coiled cord never doing what I wanted anyway. Constant stretching probably led to the failure of the original cable.
    Oh, I’m positive that a newer handset cable is most certainly not built to the quality of the original, but it’s working perfectly fine!

    I’m sure results will vary from cable to cable, but I don’t think it’s going to hurt the Kaypro, since it’s obviously wired the same, or the keyboard more than likely wouldn’t be functioning so well.

    Now the early Macs are very different; I have heard many times of telephone cables damaging those, but I have yet to see someone blow their Kaypro up with a telephone cable.

  7. #7

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    It's not about damage, but you'll probably experience unreliable operation - if you use the Kaypro enough. Back when I had to replace the keyboard cable, it was my primary computer. I soon became intolerant of the occasional wrong character being typed.
    - Doug

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by durgadas311 View Post
    It's not about damage, but you'll probably experience unreliable operation - if you use the Kaypro enough. Back when I had to replace the keyboard cable, it was my primary computer. I soon became intolerant of the occasional wrong character being typed.
    Well, I saw one person selling homemade cables on eBay saying that a telephone cable was not the same, and you could damage your Kaypro if you used one.

  9. #9

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    Well, a lot of things get said on the internet... oops, that applies to me, too.

    The schematic shows the Kaypro keyboard serial port using TTL drivers (not RS-232 level), so that means it is a lot easier to damage (and also a lot more susceptible to transmission errors). Telephone handset cords are straight-through, while telephone line cords are reversed. But, telephone line cords have a larger plug and won't fit. If you wire your own, you definitely have to make sure you do not reverse it. But, as long as you wire it correctly you could use #12 house wire if you wanted - that won't damage the circuit (electrically). Using too small of wire means less current and more voltage drop, but that is not going to damage the circuitry - just make it less reliable.
    - Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    Now the early Macs are very different; I have heard many times of telephone cables damaging those
    That's because Apple *did* make the Mac's keyboard cable wiring "flipped" end-to-end compared to a telephone handset cord.

    (I wonder if it might have been an inadvertent mistake, like someone flipping the numbering on a schematic and nobody catching it before they were rolling off the lines but, who knows, maybe it was a purely petty expression of the dark proprietary evil lurking in the company's collective heart. With Apple either is roughly equally likely.)

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