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Thread: Macintosh DE-9 mice send quadrature signals - should be easy to use on a PC?? Or not?

  1. #1

    Default Macintosh DE-9 mice send quadrature signals - should be easy to use on a PC?? Or not?

    How hard is it to configure/modify the pinout on an old Macintosh mouse with DE-9 connector, to work on a PC with a serial port? Impossible, barely possible, hard, easy?

    Note: I would NOT modify the mouse itself, don't worry - I would make an adapter box, if such thing is doable.

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    Anything is doable with money time and effort. I'd imagine this would be a pointless exercise because it only has one button.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    Anything is doable with money time and effort. I'd imagine this would be a pointless exercise because it only has one button.
    There is a lot of things we do in the Vintage Computer community that would be characterized as pointless by most "normal" people, but we still do them.
    Thanks anyway for your feedback. I still hope to receive a few slightly more technical replies in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Fartalot View Post
    There is a lot of things we do in the Vintage Computer community that would be characterized as pointless by most "normal" people, but we still do them.
    Thanks anyway for your feedback. I still hope to receive a few slightly more technical replies in this thread.
    I wrote a detailed reply but then lost it with an accidental close-tab

    you might want to have a look at

    http://www.pa0qy.nl/pdf/AN519.PDF

    and maybe

    http://www.epanorama.net/documents/pc/mouse.html

    I think "because I can" is a great reason, especially in something like this where old hardware won't be damaged and will go on to be enjoyed again. Good luck!

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    I don't have any advice on how to make a converter, but I can tell you from experience not to plug in a serial mouse into a Mac DE-9 mouse port, instantly kills the machine.

    Back when I was 11 or 12, I got a Macintosh Plus from a second hand store and it came with a PC serial mouse taped to it in addition to the weird phone jack connector keyboard. Me not knowing any better when I got it home, I powered the machine up to see if it worked (which it did) and I went to plug the mouse in, something inside immediately went bang and the monitor turned off. It started making rapid a "huphuphuphup" sound and never worked again. It's obvious now why a PC serial mouse was taped to the Mac, but it wasn't obvious to 11-12 year old me.

    I learned the lesson that day that not every connector that looks like it will fit will work and to triple check compatibility before blindly plugging things in.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherhacker View Post
    I wrote a detailed reply but then lost it with an accidental close-tab

    you might want to have a look at

    http://www.pa0qy.nl/pdf/AN519.PDF

    and maybe

    http://www.epanorama.net/documents/pc/mouse.html

    I think "because I can" is a great reason, especially in something like this where old hardware won't be damaged and will go on to be enjoyed again. Good luck!
    Thank you. I am sorry your text was all deleted. I'll have a look at those links when I get home - much appreciated!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Fartalot View Post
    Thank you. I am sorry your text was all deleted. I'll have a look at those links when I get home - much appreciated!
    Eh, no need to be sorry, my carelessness was my fault. I think I just typed that to excuse not writing proper explanation. Mostly I wrote about thinking that it might be very high effort to do it with early-PC-era-parts unless you could find a chip from a PC mouse that already did the job (and get the datasheet for it), but that small microcontrollers ought to make it not too bad a problem, especially as many of them come with a TTL serial port that can be converted to RS-232 with only one extra part.

    Not sure how electronics-experienced you are, I'm only middling myself. Do you have a favourite microcontroller already?

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    I can't help but wonder, would it be easier to connect this mouse to a bus mouse card, rather than a serial port?

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    Bus mouse cards are poorly documented adding a second level of fun to the process. I think one of the early bus mouse companies used a Mac compatible mouse but I can't find a reference to it in quick searching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherhacker View Post
    you might want to have a look at

    http://www.pa0qy.nl/pdf/AN519.PDF
    Wow, that's pretty much the whole enchilada right there, even including the voltage conversion circuitry.

    I do agree only having one button might be a bummer, but if it's just for shock value it certainly might be an interesting project. (If you had a Commodore or Atari ST mouse it'd be a somewhat more practical proposition.) You could probably do it with any number of small MCUs if the PIC family doesn't float your boat, although anything much more powerful will probably need its own power supply instead of vampire-ing off the RS-232's port handshaking lines.

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