Convert a Keyboard From Din to Mini-Din Without an Adapter




So what to do with two keyboards, a soldering iron, and a litle time to waste between CS exams. How about a keyboard cable transplant?
You need:
Two keyboards, one oldie with DIN connector, other newer with mini DIN / PS2 connector
Soldering iron
Solder wick (i hate it but it's all i have for now)
Cutting Plier
Wire Stripping Plier
Phillips Screw Driver
X-Acto Knife
Multimeter or other way to test eletriical continuity
Helping Hands

Step 1: Prepare the Keyboards

Unsrew both keyboards and carefuly pry the borders of the keyboards if needed.

Step 2: Disconecting....

This is the easiest part of all... Simply disconnect the cables from the boards.

Step 3: Preparing the The Donor Cable

This was the step where i adapt the donor cable to the receptor. As you can see the plugs are complety diferent, so the solution is to solder the donor cable directly in the receptor. Take note of the color code. In my case to find which was which, i used the multimeter in continuity test. Google for the plug layout and the rest is easy. In my case the donor cable had the folowing layout:
Black- Ground
Red- +5V
Green- Clock
White- Data
Cut the plug out, strip and tin the wires.

Step 4: Remove Receptor Board Plug

With a soldering iron and the solder wick carefuly dessolder the plug.

Step 5: Solder the Cable and Reassemble the Receptor Keyboard

I think i don need to explain how to do this. It's just soldering the cable to the receptor board. Then reassemble the keyboard and your done! BTW, im using said keyboard th write this.



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    19 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Dose that keyboard say 'Desinged for Windows 95'? Go and buy a new keyboard- I got one for $4.00 new from

    5 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    hey man, some people (me included) really get defensive about their vintage keyboards.
    Please, Dont be hatin


    Reply 3 years ago

    I have an old BTC 53-series keyboard that i use from time to time. It's so noisy yet fun to use.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I actually have a DIN keyboard that I duct taped an adapter on.I'm keeping it for a new machine of mine.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    new keybs don't klicking (sound) when you press them and i like to hear the click of any key.....old time classic school!


    8 years ago on Step 5

    I have a Silitek SK-8802B-1U (If I'm Not misread it), it's very old, it used with 286 PC (or so). can it converted to ps/2? there's a switch to select XT/AT mode in its back.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 5

    Im not sure, but very possibly yes. Try to be as clean as possible as you disconnect the old cable, so you can reverse if it does't work out well. Make sure you are in AT mode when you use the ps/2 connector. Hope I helped you.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    While it does stand to some reason to de-solder the plugs and all that, I would propose a different solution:

    instead of cutting the cable off completely, simply cut the old cable off, and solder the old plug to the new cable (PS/2 cable) according to specs. It's a bit trickier, I agree - but it not only will make the assembly easier in the long run, it will also ensure that in case of failure you have a "fallback" keyboard (the "new" one) to re-connect to.

    And, of course, if you buy a yet another keyboard and would like to connect the cable to that at some point, it should be a chinch as long as the specs don't vary in the cable dept. ;-)

    to glitchmaker: the next instructable I would propose You make - would be "How to mount an external plug to the keyboard case" along with "How to make a universal keyboard cable". Modular design for teh win! :D

    And if You like challenges, try connecting a PS/2 keyboard through USB (it would require on-cable translation (and voltage control) between USB and PS/2, so a microcontroller sounds like a must).

    I would also like to point out that it is possible to have two keyboards connected at the same time to the same cable, as long as they're the same make & model (to ensure no cross-coding between chips). The keyboard in itself lacks sophisticated logic (for example, the keyboard lights for *Lock keys are lit up by the PC system, not the keyboard logic). That way one could possibly have two key sets connected at the same time (say, US-101 and Dvorak? although context-switching on the layout would still be required in the system). I have not tested it thoroughly, though.

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    Thanks for the great ideas. As soon as I get a bit of free time I will try those ideas. Thanks!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    Now that I think about it, there is this one DIY project I would simply love to see - a USB or PS/2 (doesn't matter, but I'd preffer PS/2 I guess) "transcoder", that would take inputs from a normal keyboard (US-101) with a normal mapping, and "re-map on the fly" into something else. Simple substitution of signals.

    Why? Because I use two keyboards at the same time, and one of 'em is Dvorak. I'm tired of context-switching, so I would like to keep it set to my current codepage (standard latin-1 or whatever).

    So - the 'transcoder' would have to replace the code for say, a dot with a "v", etc. (Latin-to-Dvorak). Could You manage to do explain how to build something like this in simple terms? =_=

    Prefferably on an "extension" of some sort, plugged in between the kbd and mobo? :D


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     the "easiest" way would probably be with something like a 'duino. That'd be overkill, but not too bad. You could use a switch-case statement along these lines:

    switch (input){
        case '.':
    /* Everything else in the translation table */

    There may be some other ways, but that would definitely be the easiest.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    so which one are you using? and whats this instructable for, i completly understood HOW to do it im not sure WHAT this is FOR,lol....

    1 reply

    Im using the older keyboard. I done this because the MS keyboard was dead and i liked the older keyboard because it's resistant.


    12 years ago

    I've had to do this hack before. I actually cut the cable outside the keyboard and used a ps2 wire from an old 2 button mouse. I also used an alarm clock with a peice of paper sandwiched between 2 wires between the battery and a contact to make a simple continuity tester. I used pinouts from and had to figure the colors out myself. This is a good way to make it look pretty though. Mine looked like crap. :p