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grshaw

Posted Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:11 am

I've been working on an Amiga keyboard for some months. It's time to share it. :D
v1_5_finalTest.JPG
There are plenty of people building replica Amigas nowadays, myself included. I wanted to be able to build a replica Amiga keyboard too. Not so easy to do, because the Amiga keyboard layout is quite different from keyboards available now.

The goals of the project are:

  • Use standard PC keyboard parts, case + keycaps - no need for Group Buys
  • Allow the use of the WASD keycap printing service for Amiga specific keycaps
  • Through Hole Soldering only - no SMD soldering
  • No original A2000 keyboard parts required
  • All electronic components are still available to buy
  • Use an Arduino micro-controller
  • Use Cherry MX type switches
  • Use QMK firmware ( with Amiga specific code added )
  • Multiple QMK keymaps supported for regional key variations
  • Plugs in to an A2000 or A3000 using the 5 pin Din connector
I started off with a broken Amiga Cherry Keyboard. I had to disassemble that in order to get it to work. That set me down the road of try to fully understand how it worked and to recreate something similar but using components that you can still by from Electronics shops today.

Here is the new keyboard next to it's older brother - and the inspiration for the project:
v1_4_familyPortrait.JPG
I designed a PCB for the project using Kicad.
v1_5_pcb.JPG
The PCB is designed to fit a mounting plate and case both from WASD.
V1_5_inBottomCase.JPG
v1_5_withTopCaseOn.JPG
The firmware for the keyboard is based upon QMK. The default mode of operation for QMK is to send keycodes to a PC over USB. However, QMK is customisable and so I modified it so that it sends the keycodes required by the Amiga on the two data lines ( KDAT + KCLK ).

If anyone else is interested in building this keyboard, then all of the details are in the GitHub Project:
https://github.com/grahamshaw1972/a2000Serotina

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BloodyCactus
Lexington VA
Website

Posted Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:35 pm

very cool!! The only thing all my keyboards must have is ability to swap caps lock with ctrl. does this have a dipswitch for that or software ability?

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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Mon Nov 01, 2021 2:50 pm

That is awesome!

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dalek

Posted Mon Nov 01, 2021 5:07 pm

Legend! That looks awesome and provides a really nice available alternative :)

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Heywood

Posted Mon Nov 01, 2021 11:14 pm

BloodyCactus wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:35 pm
very cool!! The only thing all my keyboards must have is ability to swap caps lock with ctrl. does this have a dipswitch for that or software ability?
One of the cool things about QMK Firmware is that you can do this very easily. Even the "Non" Labelled keys could be used to change modes (layers) - this is something that I slapped together for an A600 keyboard https://github.com/thinghacker/qmk_firm ... s/amiga600 to make my own version of a Keyrah which at the time was used with a Raspberry Pi within the A600 case - this thing is quite cool though, I'm kind of wanting to do one in black for a CDTV or CD32..

User avatar
grshaw

Posted Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:47 am

Thanks guys. I really appreciate it. :D

As for swapping Caps Lock and Ctrl. There is no hardware switch for this. However, as Heywood says, you could definitely do this in the QMK firmware.

And Heywood - yes - a black version for CDTV would be cool and should work. WASD also sell a black plastic case as well as the white one. You would need to update the Inkscape files so they are white on black. If you decide to do it, please keep me posted. I'd be happy to approve a PR adding the CDTV files. As for the CD32 - I think this would also work. However, you would need to build a different cable because the CD32 using a mini 5 pin DIN IIRC? Should still be easy to do though. Same for the A4000 I would say.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:44 am

This is SO cool, grshaw. Hats off to you and the work you've done and shared. I think this keyboard would be absolutely perfect for folks trying to use the Checkmate Stephen Jones cases, too.

If someone wanted to follow your lead and attempt to create a keyboard for the A1K, would that even be possible? Do you know if a keyboard case is out there that would fit in the "garage?"

Congrats again! :boing:

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nonarkitten

Posted Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:58 am

intric8 wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:44 am
This is SO cool, grshaw. Hats off to you and the work you've done and shared. I think this keyboard would be absolutely perfect for folks trying to use the Checkmate Stephen Jones cases, too.

If someone wanted to follow your lead and attempt to create a keyboard for the A1K, would that even be possible? Do you know if a keyboard case is out there that would fit in the "garage?"

Congrats again! :boing:
An 1800-Style keyboard should be the right size; would just have to be careful not to make it too thick. Not sure who could make 1800 keycaps or if one of the WASD patterns are close enough.

User avatar
grshaw

Posted Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:13 am

@intric8 - Thanks. :D I have been really blown away by the positive reception to this project. It means so much to me. :D

As for the A1000 idea. Yes. A similar approach would probably work. I think that the A1000 has the same signals, i.e. +5V, GND, KDAT + KCLK. It would just need a different cable I think. The tricky part would likely be getting the keyboard to fit into the keyboard garage underneath. What are the dimensions of the keyboard garage? WASD do an 80% keyboard kit that would probably fit from the width perspective:
https://www.wasdkeyboards.com/wasd-v3-8 ... y-kit.html

Not sure about the height though. How much clearance is there vertically? The height of the A2000 keyboard is 39 mm. I would expect the 80% keyboard would be the same. So would need 40mm just to be on the safe side.

Also - no Numpad, so would be no good for "Eye Of The Beholder" :D

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BloodyCactus
Lexington VA
Website

Posted Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:38 am

grshaw wrote:
Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:13 am
The tricky part would likely be getting the keyboard to fit into the keyboard garage underneath. What are the dimensions of the keyboard garage?
The A1K keyboard was originally 16" x 6.25" x 1+3/8" in size.





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