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Thread: Compaq Deskpro keyboard information needed.

  1. #1

    Default Compaq Deskpro keyboard information needed.

    My Compaq Deskpro 8086 uses a XT compatible keyboard, my question is when did Compaq go to a AT compatible keyboard.

    With the Deskpro 286 or 386 or later?

    The reason is I am putting a new 486 motherboard in my 8086 Deskpro.

    I am looking for a Compaq AT compatible keyboard that has the original style Compaq Deskpro badge.

    I could build or buy a XT to AT keyboard converter that would let me use my original keyboard and I have found both on the net, but I would really like the easiest and that is just get a AT compatible keyboard but I HAVE to have the original style badge and two color keyboard.

    Like this, this one has a newer badge but looks to be real close in size to the original one and I do have a spare badge that I could swap.



    Or this:





    Thanks for any info !!
    Last edited by Klee; March 16th, 2020 at 08:02 PM.

  2. #2

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    They did upgrade the keyboard. I believe there was an AT/286 style keyboard for a short time before going with the standard M layout, the Portable II used that layout. To be honest, the newer keyboard isn't my favorite. It's a little light and the key action isn't very good. But the good news is that it's backwards compatible with the Deskpro 8086:



    and usually easier to find than the original Deskpro keyboard (but you already have that). I think the second image you posted is the European model. Lighter in color to conform to German laws on office equipment.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info!

    I'm not worried about working with the 8086 only working with the 486 board and have the close to the same color scheme as the original keyboard.

    Just want it to work and match the case and monitor.


    The picture you posted is the look that I am looking for, will it work with a newer 486 class motherboard?
    Last edited by Klee; March 17th, 2020 at 04:22 PM.

  4. #4

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    If they arenít compatible, will it hurt anything trying an XT keyboard on an AT or vice versa? Iíve got one I can try on my XT and AT. (My deskpro isnít functional at the moment).

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klee View Post
    Thanks for the info!

    I'm not worried about working with the 8086 only working with the 486 board and have the close to the same color scheme as the original keyboard.

    Just want it to work and match the case and monitor.


    The picture you posted is the look that I am looking for, will it work with a newer 486 class motherboard?
    Yep. The cable it usually comes with is the larger DIN interface which should match your 486 MB nicely, but check. I hooked one up to my 486 MB but it isn't booting yet.

  6. #6

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    Mine uses a standard IBM looking SDL cable. I couldn’t find an AT style cable so I grabbed a couple of PS/2 style cables, but the compaq cables are awful and the insulation is falling off of them, even though they appear unused.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by resman View Post
    Yep. The cable it usually comes with is the larger DIN interface which should match your 486 MB nicely, but check. I hooked one up to my 486 MB but it isn't booting yet.
    The end on my original deskpro keyboard is a larger five pin din connector, its the same as all the other Xt or At style keyboards that I have. I have a Tandon that will work on either XT or AT because it has a built in switch to select which pc it will be plugged into. My original Deskpro 8086 keyboard will physically plug into the 486 mobo but wont work since its compatable with an ibm-pc or xt.


    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    If they aren’t compatible, will it hurt anything trying an XT keyboard on an AT or vice versa? I’ve got one I can try on my XT and AT. (My deskpro isn’t functional at the moment).
    They will plug in but are not electrically compatible, wont damage anything they just do not interchange.


    But I can defiantly use one of the keyboards that I already have even a ps/2 keyboard with a ps/2 to AT adapter and that does work. The keyboard is not a huge priority right now just something I will get when I find the right one.
    Last edited by Klee; March 17th, 2020 at 07:52 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    Mine uses a standard IBM looking SDL cable. I couldnít find an AT style cable so I grabbed a couple of PS/2 style cables, but the compaq cables are awful and the insulation is falling off of them, even though they appear unused.
    I don't know what supplier Compaq switched to for their keyboard cables, but they're awful. My original Deskpro and Portable cables are doing fine, and my 386/20e with the Enhanced II keyboard and newer are also fine. The only cable on the in-between keyboards that isn't shedding has IBM stamped on the DIN connector. I've tried using that spray-on rubber stuff. It slows down the shedding for a little bit, then *that* dries up and starts shedding. It would be nice to find a solution that didn't involve completely replacing the cable, but I haven't found it.

  9. #9

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    So I tried my compaq “enhanced keyboard” on an IBM 5160 and 5170 and it worked on both, so it must be auto switching. I was a little worried at first because I got a 39 301 error, but I looked it up and that just means a key is stuck. I guess I need to take it apart and see if it’s foil and foam and if it’s dying. I’m not excited. I already did my portable.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I actually just managed to snag a Compaq Enhanced keyboard off Ebay for a good price for the day that I actually find a Deskpro 386 to buy. The pictures show the same kind of flaking degradation on the cable insulation. At least I now know that it's a common occurrence. It seems a new SDL to AT cable will be required at some point.

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