General Category > Amstrad CPC hardware

Keyboard Injection extension

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krusty_benediction:
Hello,

I'd like to know if it is technically possible and if yes if an hardware tech would agree to investigate on a keyboard event injector for CPC. More explanations follow:


Interface:
 - plugged on a PC compatible machine through USB connector
 - plugged as a sandwich between the CPC keybord socket in the motherboard and the plastic like wires of the keyboard or any other solution which easy to plug with no soldering

Purpose:
 - the extension is able to send keyboard and joystick event to the CPC thanks to commands send from a PC application (press a key, release a key)
 - (optional but of great interest) the extension is able to send to the PC the keyboard events (key has just been pressed, key has just been released is probably better than key is pressed)
 - (optional, with less interest) the extension can have itself another extension allowing to plug an USB keayboard and replace the original one (can be of interest for broken keyboard, or cpc towers)

Idea of usage:
 - lazy crossdeveloper:
    - (with hxcfloppy emulator usb) with one command on the PC side, the software is build, its dsk is sned on the HXC USB floppy emulator, the keys to launch it on the real CPC are automatically pressed
    - (with a romcard) with one command on the PC side, the software is build, the keys to load its sna are automatically typed
    - when the product is launch, the extension can also be used to interact with it as for any testing graphical ui tool
    -  with albireo it is even possible to automatically reset the CPC before
 - gamer:
   - (optional scenario) keys events could be registered in order to see a replay games later (if there is nothing random)
   - a suit of keys can  be sent at a specific moment (writtent by someone else) in a game where the player is able to go further
   - probably something else, no idea what a gamer do ;)
 - demoparty organiser
   - (with hxcfloppy USB emulator, and albireo) a PC software executes a (random or not) demos playlist. Albireo serves to reset the CPC, floppy emulator to serve the images, keyboard injector to type the launch command, and manage the interractions when needed (press space, cheat part selection). This can be used as well for projecting stuff during the party and for projecting the production sent for the contests


I think I would love to have such thing for the "lazy crossdeveloper" scenario; if someone thinks he could do the hardware work, I would be happy to help with the software side.

PulkoMandy:
There was the clavcard by Ram7 to connect a PS/2 keyboard to the CPC. It appears to have completely disappeared from the web however, and the hardware is obsolete now.

gerald:
For a external keyboard, there is my PS2CPC which should handle USB keyboard with the appropriate PS2 to USB pinout adaptor. However it might not work with modern wireless ones that do not support PS2 mode any more.

The remote control should not be a big deal, except for the connection if you want it to be solderless. The only way is to have it as an external extension for watching the PPI access (keyboard line selection) and a connection to the joystick port for driving the keyboard row.



krusty_benediction:

--- Quote from: gerald on 22:46, 06 March 17 ---
The remote control should not be a big deal, except for the connection if you want it to be solderless. The only way is to have it as an external extension for watching the PPI access (keyboard line selection) and a connection to the joystick port for driving the keyboard row.

--- End quote ---


So if I translate well, it is impossible to have something like that ?

 keyboard => extension => CPC motherboard
                          ^
                          ||
                           v
                  USB on IBM PC
                     

gerald:

--- Quote from: krusty_benediction on 17:28, 07 March 17 ---
So if I translate well, it is impossible to have something like that ?

 keyboard => extension => CPC motherboard
                          ^
                          ||
                           v
                  USB on IBM PC
                   

--- End quote ---
I see two issues with that:
1- It will be difficult to make a ribbon connector to plug into the CPC connector
2- There is little space between the connector and the keyboard, most of it is needed so the cable is not pried and damaged.

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