New (old) Keyboard Design

Keyboard Layout

Keyboard Layout

Here is the current state of my new parallel ASCII keyboard layout. It is setup to use Cherry key switches and the encoder is a 40 pin AVR micro controller. I plan on making the encoder/controller key mapping configurable through the keyboard itself. It should work nicely as an Apple II/IIplus replacement keyboard, an Apple 1 keyboard, or a more generic ASCII parallel keyboard. The strobe will be configurable as a pulse with configurable duration, requiring an ack, or simply follows state of keypresses. The later mode will only keep strobe active and data output valid while a key is pressed. Like Wendell Sander’s design, the power light doubles as a caps lock key. Note that I plan on making the power/caps lock light configurable to indicate general power/health or caps lock status.

Due to making configuration through keypresses, most of the solder jumper locations will go away, but I might need to leave the reset option in the layout. I still have a lot of work to do around the micro-controller section plus a lot of design verification. I also intend to retro-ize the traces to make them look more like a hand laid layout that could have been done back in the 70’s.

In keeping with the original Datanetics rev D., upon which this is based, I may leave out the silk screen layer on the final PCB.

4 Responses to “New (old) Keyboard Design”

  1. Len Bayles says:


    This is AWESOME!!! I’ll take two!


  2. Ralph Hyre says:

    Looks good. I’d love to put one in an external case, does Hammond or another vendor make one?

  3. I am just starting to rebuild my stash of Apple ][, ][+, //e and //gs and compatible (clones). Most seem to have keyboard issues. I’d love to get a few of yours to use as ‘troubleshooting aids’ and for use on my test bench. Please let me know if /when you have these for sale, or if you know of a generic USB keyboard to Apple ][ adapter. I will start on the latter but truly hope I hear back before I get too far down that road.

    Apple][ Forever,

  4. Mike says:

    I’m sold out of PS/2 adapters, but thing there are alternative versions on the market. I haven’t tried it, but here is one example: