In this guide, you’ll see how to adapt a Tandy 1000 keyboard for use on modern computers using CircuitPython and an Adafruit QT Py RP2040 microcontroller board.
The techniques in this guide may also be helpful in converting other classic keyboards that use a clocked serial protocol. The RP2040’s “pio” peripheral is perfect for this kind of low level I/O task, and even provides a buffer for up to 8 key events so no keypresses get lost.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.