Fujitsu Proprietary Keyboard Goes PS/2 With A Pico

One of our favorite retro-computing YouTubers, [Clint] from LGR, found himself a very interesting Fujitsu keyboard while thrift store shopping. It was a beautiful unit, but confusing, as this keyboard comes with an 8-pin DIN connector. A 5-pin DIN plug or 6-pin Mini-DIN would be easy to work with, but what was this odd connection? Turns out the Fujitsu N860-2500-T111 came with an Olympus CV-100 Video Processor, which was designed for medical imaging, potentially among other uses. And as often happened with old specialized hardware, the keyboard used a proprietary protocol for sending keystrokes.

[Clint] put out a call for anyone that could help him build an adapter, and [Andy] from Element14 answered the call. But this problem requires more than an adapter, mainly because the Fujitsu doesn’t have key rollover. It’s one key at a time, and that just doesn’t work for the sort of things [Clint] shows off on LGR. So, the electronic guts of the keyboard were removed, to be replaced with a Raspberry Pi Pico, wired directly to the keyboard matrix.

There’s a great tip in there, that you can use the non-stick backing from a printed label to get a really clean flattened hot glue coating. With some wiring and gluing, the Pico fits cleanly into the keyboard case with no external modifications. A simple pigtail adapter is used to physically interface with a PS/2 port. The source is available if you need to pull off a similar hack.

8 thoughts on “Fujitsu Proprietary Keyboard Goes PS/2 With A Pico

  1. Incidentally depending on how old that Olympus contraption was, because I’m quite familiar with them, it would have contained a Compaq MB from a deskpro design, possible an 80386 and a good sized IDE disk drive. Also a pair of boards with a very proprietary hardware set on them. Remember this was before the generation of embedded PC platforms.

    1. the mr. Beast face you mean? is ihas been on my “to avoid” list for youtube for ages, next to titles:
      -starting with numbers
      -containing “next level”, “mind blown”, “amazing”
      -starting with “you”, “this”, “they”
      -stated as questions
      etc, etc…
      please fill in your personal filters.

    2. Watch Veritasium episode on clickbaits – it is amazing how effective this is.

      Suprisingly I avoid clickkng them because it looks like they offer retarded content. But now even some good bloggers start to use “that one trick”.

  2. Repeat after me: hot snot is not the material you should be using for strain relief. Hot snot is for your average art project, not for something you want to last (stick well) a while.

    There is Silastic (silicone rubber), various UV-cured PCB glues, worst case even the UV-cured clear resins, that would do a better job here.

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