Re: [midatlanticretro] FYI: surplus ALPS [ASCII] mechanical keyboards available
Mr Ian Primus wrote:
--- On Fri, 5/7/10, Dan Roganti <ragooman@...> wrote:
The ascii is in brackets as there's no encoder circuit provided,
I bought several of those a couple years back. They're not ASCII at all, they are simple unencoded matrix keyboards.
I'm sure that what my first sentence mentions already :)
That didn't stop me from using them, but they're not ASCII. They were originally intended for a Zenith ZTX terminal - a self-contained terminal/keyboard that plugs into a video monitor.
Back when we building the first home microcomputers, the next logical step was to take these and make an ASCII encoder circuit. That's the reason for the brackets. For the average hobbyist, it beats having to spend the big $$$ for a terminal back then when most of your money went into memory cards [S-100]
For what it's worth, they're really great keyboards. I hacked one to be USB and I use it daily. Speaking of ASCII, I could really use another ASCII (encoded) keyboard...
This is the project that we built back in the 70's when we were homebrewing our own systems at home. It's a very minimal design.
Popular Electronics 1974, ASCII Keyboard and Encoder
Shortly thereafter, we had better designs using less parts.
BTW, aside from the leftover ascii keyboards that I have here, I'm not the only that has been looking for more of these, I've noticed others that posted elsewhere looking for this, so why hasn't anyone else have the courtesy to share something like this to the group in the first place ?