Atari 65XE - USB Keyboard

Original author: iot4camper
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A simple modification of the Atari 65XE computer will allow you to use it as a USB keyboard for a modern PC. The ability to work in normal mode is saved. The additional device is made on Arduino Leonardo. On UNIX-like systems, the keyboard starts working immediately. To use Windows, you need to enable USB Legacy Support in the BIOS. When using the keyboard with Apple computers, you will need to adjust the layout in the sketch.

Everything described for nostalgic reasons has been done.

This Atari 65XE is about 30 years old. And it works. To add the function of a USB keyboard to it, the author took an Arduino Leonardo, a few jumpers and a USB cable. When operating in the appropriate mode, the power supply does not need to be connected to a computer.

Connect the Arduino to 17 points on the J8 pad set. The first square is square, the rest are round. Since the pitch of the terminals there and on Arduino is 2.54 mm, it is not necessary to be a "jeweler" for soldering wires.

Arduino | J8
 2      | 19
 3      | 4
 4      | 8
 5      | 9
 6      | 10
 7      | 11
 8      | 17
 9      | 16
 10     | 20
 11     | 13
 12     | 14
 A0     | 12
 A1     | 15
 A2     | 7
 A3     | 18
 A4     | 5
 A5     | 6

Arduino needs to be mounted inside Atari so that the conductors of this board do not come into contact with the metal parts of the computer. USB cable to the outside.

Since the Atari keyboard has fewer keys than the PC keyboard, “chords” are provided in the device’s firmware. They can be changed according to user preferences. By default, they are as follows:

 PC           | Atari
 F1           | Control+Tab+1 или Help
 F2 - F9      | Control+Tab+2 - 9
 F10          | Control+Tab+0
 F11          | Control+Tab+<
 F12          | Control+Tab+>
 ~ (тильда)   | Control+Tab+/
 ` (гравис)   | Control+Tab+Esc
 PgUp         | Control+Tab+стрелка вверх
 PgDn         | Control+Tab+стрелка вниз
 Home         | Control+Tab+стрелка влево
 End          | Control+Tab+стрелка вправо
 Левый Alt    | Клавиша с логотипом Atari
 Левый Ctrl   | Control
 Левый Sfift  | Shift
 Shift+Alt    | Shift+Alt (не Alt+Shift)
 Ctrl+Alt+Del | Никак
 Стрелка      | Control+соотв. стрелка
 влево        |
 (вправо,     |
 вверх,       |
 вниз         |
 Выделение    | Shift+Tab+соотв. стрелка
 текста       |
 (Shift плюс  |
 та или иная  |
 стрелка      |

Atari will work in normal mode if you apply voltage to it from the power supply, or in USB-keyboard mode if you connect it to a computer. You cannot connect both at the same time.

To flash Arduino, you need to download the sketch (free for non-commercial use), as well as the modified libraries Keypad v.3.1.1 and Keyboard v.1.0.2 (both under the GPL). They differ from the same original libraries in that they take into account the presence on the Atari board of microcircuits connected to the keyboard matrix and prevent incorrect reading of the key states, first of all, Control and Pause.

By remaking the sketch, you can likewise add the function of a USB keyboard to almost any retrocomputer.

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