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May 3, 2017 AT 9:32 am

IBM Model M Keyboard Upgraded with Teensy++, USB Controller, Remapped Keys

This is an oldie (last year) but goodie, and there are never enough keyboard posts to digest! Les ‘deusx’ Orchard modified his IBM Model M (circa mid-to-late 1980s) with the aid of membrane mapping done by others, a lighter-and-pen tool (true story), and some firmware, among other tips and tricks. All in all a good read – and if you’re thinking of modifying your Model M be sure to acquire that nut driver now before you really need it!

IBM Model M keyboard with USB controller

TL;DR: I wired up a Teensy 2.0++ to an IBM Model M keyboard, which gave it a USB interface and custom firmware that can remap keys and do other interesting things.

Teensy 2.0++ USB replacement controller for IBM Model M keyboard

This was a pretty fun project, and a bit of a step up from the PS/2 converter I just built. I learned a bit about the innards of this keyboard, and I’ve got some decent next steps to pursue in the future. All of this feels like it’s giving me some good foundational know-how for when I finally get all the parts together to try building my own DIY keyboard from the ground up.

Also we’re looking forward to that full DIY keyboard build!

Read more.


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Teensy++ (AT90USB1286 USB dev board) + header – AT90USB1286: The Teensy++ is a complete USB-based microcontoller development system, in a very small footprint! All programming is done via the USB port. No special programmer is needed, only a standard “Mini-B” USB cable and a PC or Macintosh with a USB port. Its the big sister version of the popular Teensy board we carry, this board has tons of FLASH, RAM, pins and more. This is the latest version, 2.0. Read more.


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