December 7, 2012 AT 5:30 pm

Hack! USB NeXT Keyboard with an Arduino Micro @arduino #arduino #NeXT

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Hack! USB NeXT Keyboard with an Arduino Micro @arduino #arduino #NeXT.

Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware:, pre PS/2 and definately pre-USB. That means you can’t just plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port (even though it looks similar). In fact, I have no idea what the protocol or pinout is named, so we’ll just call it “non-ADB NeXT Keyboard”

There is no existing adapter for sale, and no code out there for getting these working, so we spent a few days and with a little research we got it working perfectly using an Arduino Micro as the go between. Now this lovely black deck works like any other USB keyboard. Sure it weighs more than our Macbook, but its worth it!


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  1. “ReAD MoRE!”

    Hehehe… I see what you did there 😉

  2. The PS/2 is from 1987. Also the PS/2 is just a different connector for the PC/AT keyboard which is from 1984 (I have one of these. The PC/AT Model F is a wonderful keyboard). The NeXT is from 1988 which is later than both (though defininetly before USB).

  3. Just awesome. Hate to say it but you beat me to it.
    Well with that done of to work on usb to NeXT interface.
    Super impressed as this is a project that has been lurking in the NeXT community for years…

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