An IoT adapter to enable connection of PS/2 & Bluetooth keyboards/mice to many types of retro host computers (ie. Sharp MZ/X, NEC, Amstrad).Designed by engineers@work in United Kingdom
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The seller may be offering an improved version or it may be hanging out on the beach, enjoying the retired life.
Overview The SharpKey is an IoT Multi-HID (Human Interface Device - Keyboard/Mouse) to Multi-Host Interface with on-board web configuration and Over The Air update facilities. It enables more modern …Read More…
The SharpKey is an IoT Multi-HID (Human Interface Device - Keyboard/Mouse) to Multi-Host Interface with on-board web configuration and Over The Air update facilities. It enables more modern keyboard and mice devices to be used with vintage computers where these devices are no longer obtainable or working.
The device is plug and play, it automatically detects connected input and host device types, self-configures, ready for instant on useability. Bluetooth devices require an extra pairing procedure but once paired operate exactly as wired equivalents.
The SharpKey currently supports:
|Input Devices||Host Computers|
|PS/2 Keyboards||Sharp X1||Sharp MZ-5600*|
|PS/2 Mice||Sharp X68000||Sharp MZ-6500*|
|PS/2 KVM Switch||Sharp MZ-2500||NEC PC-9801|
|Bluetooth HID||Sharp MZ-2800||Amstrad PCW 8XXX/9XXX*|
Following on from the successful mz25key interface, the SharpKey advances the design in terms of hardware and software to provide an all in one expandable solution to interfacing keyboards and mice to venerable Sharp, NEC and Amstrad PCW computers.
The mz25key supported adding a PS/2 keyboard to a Sharp MZ-2500 or MZ-2800 computer whereas the SharpKey is more versatile in connecting a PS/2 keyboard/mouse or Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (one input device at any one time except in bluetooth mode both BT Keyboard and Mouse can connect simultaneously to an X68000 via one cable as the X68000 supports both via its keyboard input port) to the keyboard or mouse input of a Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, Sharp MZ-2500, Sharp MZ-2800, Sharp MZ-5600, Sharp MZ-6500, NEC PC-9801 or Amstrad PCW 8XXX/9XXX. Using interchangeable wires, one or two SharpKey devices can be rapidly switched between different consoles without requiring a computer reboot. Alternatively, a SharpKey on each keyboard and mouse input allows the use of a KVM switch to access and control multiple vintage computers via one keyboard/mouse/screen.
Design files (kicad, schematic, pcb) and pre-built firmware images can be found on Github
Cables are ordered as a kit of parts or fully assembled and tested. Assembled cables are expensive due to time required for manual assembly, so if your handy with a soldering iron, best to order the kit of parts.
The MZ-2800 interface requires not only a cable but also a change of D-Sub socket in the main console including the motherboard PCB header, please see details - this requires hands on update to the console, desoldering a cable header from the main pcb and soldering in a new header, removal of the existing keyboard socket (2 screws) and installation of the new keyboard socket (2 screws).
The designs for the SharpKey are freely available on github for non-commercial purposes should you wish to source the parts and build the adapter yourself.
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