Making retro Atari 65XE as USB-keyboard for a modern computer. And it will leave the opportunity to use this Atari in native mode. Arduino Leonardo is used for connect Atari's keyboard to USB. With UNIX this keyboard will works without any restrictions. With Windows it is need to switch on some USB-mouse at BIOS startup for boot with this keyboard. For Apple or others will need a some corrections within Arduino program for keys order correction.
There are no other reasons besides nostalgia.
Step 1: Only 34 Soldering Points Is Need to Make
This Atari 65XE is near 30 years old. And he works. For add one more function for him - USB-keyboard - is needed only Arduino Leonardo, not a lot of wires, USB-cable. No DC-adapter of Atari will need for this function.
Only 34 soldering points is need to make. Because pitch of contacts on slots of Atari's keyboard and on Arduino is 2.54 mm, the process of soldering is easy.
Step 2: Place Arduino Under the Case & Mark Some New Keys
After soldering wires from Arduino to J8 connector of Atari, Arduino can be placed at any cozi position under the case. USB-cable need to be connect to Arduino and let out from Atari's case. Now possible to use this Atari like regular USB-keyboard.
Not all keys of retro Atari is correspond to keys of modern PC-keyboard. Some keys of Atari will be with 2 functions to make all PC's comands. It is possible to make some differents layots within Arduino sketch. Within layot of Arduido sketch thats here, mainly keys of Atari corresponded to PC-keys, but this ones are need to be noted (tabled on the picture here).
Step 3: Flash Arduino Sketch Via USB
Flash Arduino Leonardo is easy via USB. So, download:
- Arduino sketch that need to flash to Arduino Leonard within Arduino ID
- Keypad v.3.1.1 Arduino library, optional*
- Keyboard v.1.0.2 Arduino library, optional*
* - because here all ICs of Atari is stayed in his places (that makes possibility of Atari to work in native mode) when Arduino scanning keyboard's matrix, time to time some random signals is appears from a chips. Mainly them affects keys "Pause" and "Control" as tested. Some protection from this signals is maked within Arduino sketch and was tested. But if libraries "keyboard" and "keypad", that is developed independent will change incompatible, some weirds can ocured. For this case here fixed for download the versions of libraries that was tested with Arduino sketch. This libraries will be need only if Arduino sketch will no wirk with actual libraries.
In addition to USB-keyboard usage it remains possible to enable this Atari in the native mode. But, of course, not at the same time when he are connected via USB to a PC like a keyboard.