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Thread: Tandy 1000 SX Keyboard options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Tandy 1000 SX Keyboard options

    Hi, im not here often. I think my last posts were over a year ago.
    I got a new toy, i traded an SGI Indy and bunch of Commodore Vic 20 stuff for a Tandy 1000SX and its matching monitor. All is working well, it boots to msdos from a 20mb hdd, has 640k of ram, nothing else special but its in clean working order.

    But it did not come with a keyboard.
    From what ive learned about the tandy 1000 keyboards this is probably a topic thats been discussed many times before.
    tl;dr - how do i get a keyboard to work with this thing

    The problem is "tandy mode", the keyboard protocol for the tandy keyboards is much faster than AT, XT or PS/2. Physical connectivity is also a problem as they use an 8 pin din connector for some ungodly reason but adapters can be made.
    But i do not know how to replicate tandy mode.

    So my options are:
    -Buy a tandy mode compatible keyboard and make an adapter (ie northgate omnikey, like the first google result)
    -Buy an actual tandy 1000 8 pin din keyboard for triple digits

    However i was wondering if there are other ways to do this. Are there ISA cards with ps/2 slots on them? Would that even work form boot without a driver loaded?

    Could i replace board components and straight up put a ps/2 port on the motherboard?
    That idea im actually the most interested in, as thats something i have the components for and doesnt cost me anything. But then what do i need to change downstream...

    Anyway, heres a picture.
    https://i.imgur.com/EJWX3oH.jpg

    Let me know if you have any information to solve this issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
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    Default

    There are no ISA cards that can add a PS/2 keyboard.

    Wouldn't it be much faster and easier to just get a Tandy keyboard?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    There are no ISA cards that can add a PS/2 keyboard.
    Are there PCI cards to do this?
    PM me if you're looking for 3½" or 5¼" floppy disks. EMail “ ” For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #4

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    I was going to build a PS/2 keyboard -> Tandy adapter once I got a working machine, as the SX service manual has a lot of detail on keyboard signalling (timing and scan codes). There are probably other adapters already floating around, though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Marietta, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Are there PCI cards to do this?
    No. I'm fairly sure PCI does not allow access to the required I/O ports and interrupt either. Even if they did, they would need to add BIOS support, since a machine without PS/2 hardware would probably omit BIOS code too.

    Now, there are some PCI USB cards that have PS/2 ports on them. But those are completely and totally useless garbage, as they will not work in DOS or OSes that don't support that USB chip. Plus, that won't get anything more than what an external USB<>PS/2 converter would give you.

    ~ Pentium 1 era AT form boards often had a header to attach a PS/2 backplate, usually for mouse support. But that is a different story as nothing other than a plug is involved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat safety switch View Post
    There are probably other adapters already floating around, though.
    I've found a reference re:kbdbabel for an adapter going the other way, IE, Tandy keyboard to PS/2, but surprisingly it doesn't seem like anyone has yet bothered to do what the OP needs. It's an odd omission considering how many other (in some cases fairly obscure) ancient computers have working adapters. If eBay prices for Tandy 1000s are any kind of an indication it may be prime time to get it done.

  7. #7

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    This may be a sin to say on the Tandy forum, but I’d gladly trade my 1000 keyboard for an adaptor that would allow me to hookup something like an IBM model F or M.

  8. #8

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    MisterX was working on an adapter;

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...-1000-keyboard

  9. #9

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    Making an adapter has been kicked around a number of times, but nothing has yet come out of it. Seems like it ought to be do-able with an Arduino or similar microcontroller...but I don't know enough about how to program something like that to give it a try...

    Wesley

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyfurr View Post
    Making an adapter has been kicked around a number of times, but nothing has yet come out of it. Seems like it ought to be do-able with an Arduino or similar microcontroller...but I don't know enough about how to program something like that to give it a try...

    Wesley
    I have a couple of 1000 SX Keyboards here. May need cleaned and retro brighted but they work. They WILL NOT be sold ebay prices here on this forum. I like the you make an offer and we will discuss method as with every thing else I sell.

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