Commodore PC10-III – Part 2 – XT Keyboard

So, last time we got to the point where I could boot the machine, with beeps and a decent quality screen output. But I only have a PS2 to 5-pin AT/XT connection cable. I tried that and indeed I can move the boot sequence on further as it prompts for a key press, but cant type in any text, only junk!

Annoying, since I was able to get to DOS 3.20 but with the set clock could not get any further! Right, time to look on eBay for an XT keyboard… Holy smoke! They are NOT cheap!

Ok time for a re-think. Going to dig out my PIC programmer and built a convertor. There are a few designed on the Internet, the one I used as this:

It is quite an easy circuit to follow but does require a PIC programmer.

Urgh! What a mess! Did not have the right resistor values so had to combine some together and that old plugboard is REALLY old… Well it checks out electrically and no shorts so lets give it a try.

I can boot fine, set the clock and wow! It all works!

Here is the proof of that:

Ouch! The ghost got me!

I’m really happy! Its not taken that much effort to get to this point and I’m really impressed about the build quality of this machine. It really is a tank but I love the fact it is narrow compared to other IBM XT machines. It is the shame I don’t have the original keyboard but I do have a nice old Compaq one that is nice and clicky and you can use it to bang nails in if you need! It is SO heavy.

I really need to make a nicer one at some point… Soon… But I suspect it might take a little while as I tackle other jobs… That fan noise is getting really annoying… Not to mention the yellowed front case and metal sides… Yeah and a replacement hard drive would be nice… Jobs job jobs!

Stay tuned for more…

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