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Old 31 March 2018, 10:16   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Brisbane/Australia
Posts: 21
A600 USB Adapter

This post is to announce my freshly uploaded A600 USB Adapter PCB and associated firmware which is based on QMK (a firmware embraced by quite a few keyboard enthusiasts)

My board is based on the Teensy++ 2.0 which has plenty of I/O Pins (one for each of the 30 pins on the A600 Keyboard FPC and still some left over) and has a smaller footprint than the Keyrah v2

Besides wanting an excuse to make something, this is what it brings to the party:
  • Firmware that people can modify should they have the urge to do so
  • An FPC connector that has a ribbon lock
  • Supports the Case LEDs as Power/Numlock/Scrolllock
  • A relatively smaller footprint than the Keyrah (that could still be optimised but is good enough for me anyway)
  • No Gamepad support (though I imagine someone could change that if they desire - my application is to connect to a Raspberry Pi and I think I'll connect the Joysticks to the GPIO pins on the Pi)
The first point is probably important for those with international keyboards that want to change things up a bit. I have a UK Keyboard (however I treated the layout as if it was a US one) I took advantage of using the two "Blank" keys as modifiers to enable additional layers - one to enable the keys that are missing on the A600 that other amigas or emulators tend to expect (Keypad Keys and F11/F12) while the other enables the "Multimedia keys" in particular Volume Control.

Pictures of the PCB: Github PCB Images Directory
Pictures of the Keyboard Layout: Github Keyboard Layout Images Directory
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Old 31 March 2018, 13:28   #2
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,899
Very cool, a must for anyone who want to build Raspberry pi, MiSTer, NUC or whatever into an A600 case

Please consider an A1200 version too, for those of us who want to build modern boards into our (brand new) A1200 and soon A500 cases (as well as most A2000, A3000, A4000, CDTV, CD32 keyboard cases, where A1200/A500 keyboards fit - your PCB looks small enough to replace the regular controller PCB in those!)

Oh, and regarding layout - yes, I want my Norwegian layout to work as normal as possible, but I would love to configure the key I have least use for - the capslock - as a "mode switcher", so that when caps is lit, the layout can contain all the "missing" keys (F1 becomes F11, F2 becomes F12, numeric keys available like on laptops etc). CAPS could still be available by pressing both shifts for example, or "double tapping" a shift key.

Last edited by kolla; 31 March 2018 at 13:35.
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Old 31 March 2018, 15:56   #3
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Thanks for the kind words kolla,

I think it should be straight forward to adapt for an A1200 as there are additional pins available that can be routed (assuming a 32Pin FPC connector can be sourced) - it would also require some updates to the key matrix I suspect (not having an A1200 I haven't put the investigation in here but the code and PCB are online for people to poke about with, and as this is a relatively simple design, a web based tool was used to make the PCB in the first place)

Regarding your plans with the Norweigian layout and in particular changing between layers - this is something QMK should give you a good foundation to play with - you should be able to use my design as a base and adapt it to your needs. The thing about double tapping a shift key could probably be achieved using a "Tap Dance"

Before touching any code, you can think about how you want the layout for each of the layers can look by using the awesome online editor at http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/

You could even start with my three layer layout as a starting point for yours.

The Teensy is pretty good for rapid development for this kind of application - provided you can get to the program button when you want to load in a new firmware, you can keep the keyboard plugged in and test almost immediately.
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