Author Topic: Connect PS/2 hardware...  (Read 879 times)

Mathias

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Connect PS/2 hardware...
« on: August 06, 2019, 11:08:35 pm »
... to a x86 from before the PS/2 era and also to a machine from the USB age... for instance via a PCI card.

I've seen such cards on ebay and amazon.. but they all communicate via USB chip on that card... and therefore cannot be used for DOS or Warp3.

So.. question is, is there such a thing? :o

ivan

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 11:45:46 pm »
Hi Mathias,

Are you looking for something like the items shown in the attachment or do you need to be able to attach a PS/2 to the old 5 pin DIN socket?  If the latter and you are handy with a soldering iron I can supply you with the necessary instructions to make your own adapter leads.

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 01:45:37 am »
but they all communicate via USB chip on that card... and therefore cannot be used for DOS or Warp3.

If you use the USB hardware built into a motherboard you can use USB keyboards and mice with DOS and older OS/2 version by enabling the USB legacy option in the BIOS (Called USB emulation in most Dell BIOSes), that option makes USB HID devices appear as PS/2 devices to operating systems that have no USB drivers, in addition to that there actually exist free USB and USB HID drivers for DOS, and I am fairly certain that I got USB 1 & 2 working on my Warp Server 4 (Same codebase as Warp 3).

PS/2 <> USB adaptors are a bit hit and miss because of different signalling, some are sadly device specific.

Mathias

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2019, 09:15:46 am »
Hi Ivan! : )

Nono, I'd like to connect PS/2 devices to a 486 (utilizing PCI) as well as later machines, that still have PCI.
486er usually have no PS/2 port, and also machines of today only have one (at best) PS/2 port, rather none. - The idea is to expand their input capabilities with a PCI card that comes with a keyboard controller and the usual two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, as PS/2 input devices are still easy to order and cheap. The DIN keyboards and serial mice starting to get rare and expensive (due to retro mania ebay sellers), and also looking quite used after all these years. In comparisation.. getting a brand new PS/2 device is much more satisfying to use, even on old hardware. Atleast for me. ;>
So.. I either look for a PCI card to connect PS/2 devices for OS/2 and DOS, OR an adapter to connect PS/2 mice on serial ports.
For keyboards, I do have a PS/2 --> DIN adapter.

But as IBM made fun of the adapteritis in the old IBM advertise, 20 years ago... "With the IBM Business Adapter you can get each device running on our hardware.." ; )
A clean and nice PCI card would be better than 2 more adapters at the back of the machine, imo.

There is a company in the US, selling such PS/2 to serial adapters [Vetra]. But that thing has two disadvantages: 1) expensive to buy (price of such a thing) and to order (import costs to DE), and 2) another adapter flying around at the back of the machine..

Shortly I saw this card on Amazon: [click], which COULD be the solution, BUT as I heard and read about it... it comes with USB emulation, which is why you need a driver to operate the card... meaning it won't work with DOS and OS/2. Too bad :/
Could be so cewl.. a PCI card with two PS/2 ports, just right for keyboard and mouse, plug onto the mainboard, turn on and type/point with the PS/2 devices.

Also I have seen a similar PCI card on Amazon, that ONLY has the PS/2 ports... but this one ALSO comes with USB emulation, which is why it also won't work like plug n Play in old machines with the "wrong" operating systems. This one also had the info in the description "won't work with DOS".

Mathias

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 09:22:20 am »
Hi Olafur!

Sadly the machine has no USB onboard yet. It's a 486.
Newer machines can make use of USB legacy support and co for keyboard and mouse usage in non-USB operating systems, yup.
But still, would be nice to operate without adapters, just a PCI card to expand the possibilities of devices (which are missing on the mainboard).
Such a card would be nice to enable 486 AND new PCs (both without PS/2 ports). And since PS/2 input devices are cheap these days, even brand new ones, it would be nice if we could somehow connect them to PS/2-less mainboards.

André Heldoorn

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2019, 09:28:30 am »
and also to a machine from the USB age...

So.. question is, is there such a thing? :o

Sure. Port replicator or docking station, like: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_Advanced_Dock.

André Heldoorn

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2019, 09:34:52 am »
since PS/2 input devices are cheap these days, even brand new ones, it would be nice if we could somehow connect them to PS/2-less mainboards.

An ebay hardware-buying mood. What's nice about expensive hardware, required to use cheap hardware?

W.r.t. modern hardware yoiu may be talking about a PS/2-connectorless mainboard.

Mathias

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 09:58:38 am »
André, I am not using a ThinkPad, so in which way could that docking station be useful..


> What's nice about expensive hardware, required to use cheap hardware?

Like I wrote, and I am repeating myself here, old input hardware is often messy and overly used. Sometimes even to an extend that one does not want to touch them anymore. New input hardware has the charm that nobody has ever used them, and therefore have better haptics and delivers better user experience.. for me.

Also.. why expensive? If that PCI card would have worked for that purpose it'll be 12-20 EUR. That's not expensive.
Of course it's (as usual) price versus the sensation of using a device. If it is worth 20 EUR to you, to use a brand new keyboard on an old machine, then why not? ;D

Ian Manners

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2019, 01:29:00 pm »
I've seen laptop 'docking' stations that are a cylinder with a USB3 lead that plugs into your laptop, and the cylinder part has PS/2 sockets for keyboard and mouse, VGA, Serial, NIC port and extra USB ports on it.

Thought about looking for one to see if I could use my Model K/M keyboards on PC's that do not have PS/2 sockets.
Cheers
Ian B Manners

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 01:56:41 pm »
Hi Olafur!

Sadly the machine has no USB onboard yet. It's a 486.
http://bretjohnson.us/

Ian Manners

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 03:22:31 pm »
The above post was in response to André's post, I know USB ISA, and PCI cards are still out their on ebay and remembered there were USB drivers for DOS (see Olafur's post above) but have not looked for where they were, I also remember someone had IBM's USB drivers working with Warp3 but I'm not sure of which ones they were.

Unfortunately any solution is likely to cost though eBay can make it cheaper.

The only computers that I would use a card with PS/2 type sockets, would need to be for a modern bus, I think any company looking at making something like that would likely not release a ISA or PCI version :(  Would be nice though.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 03:26:39 pm by Ian Manners »
Cheers
Ian B Manners

ivan

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2019, 03:30:02 pm »
Hi Mathias,

I think you will find that most of the PCI cards with PS/2 ports are some kind of USB to PS/2 adapters, I don't remember seeing one that was just a keyboard/mouse emulator, in fact I wonder if one would run off the PCI bus without a driver.

There are Din to PS/2 adapters available (see arrachment1).  There are also Serial to PS/2 adapters but they generally require a PS/2/serial mouse, thar is one that has the necessary circuitry to detect if it is plugged into a PS/2 or Serial port and supply the correct signals (see attachment2).   

Mathias

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2019, 07:01:48 pm »
Ivan, yup, first one works fine here. The PS/2 to serial adapters (your attached pic2) only work with combo mice, which know both mouse protocols. - And on top, it is said that the serial bus does not deliver enough juice to power optical PS/2 mice.. which I have tried also without luck.


Ian, yep too bad. There would be a market for such cards, I suppose. Even if it is quite small.. ; )
Infact I have seen PCI cards with 2x USB and 2x PS/2, another card had 2x PS/2 only (PCI) and a third one was PCIEx1 with 2x USB and 2x PS/2. - But .. as you said, based on USB.

I could go for such a PCI card, and then find out if the DOS USB driver would work, but that would also mean, the operating system needs to be already in place... so the driver is loaded and working. (If at all.)


Olafur, GREAT info! Didn't know there is a USB driver for DOS! I will try this one. : )


In a DOS forum I have found a "local" guy in DE who builds such converter adapter boards (not PCI though, but simply adapting from PS/2 to serial, injecting the protocol and necessary power (6V I think it was)). Not yet available to buy, but his BETA results look pretty interesting! - Might be better than importing such a thing for ~ 130 EUR from the US.. ; ) - He said when tests are complete, he's going to sell finished boards like this in a shop. *__*


André Heldoorn

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2019, 09:19:30 pm »
André, I am not using a ThinkPad, so in which way could that docking station be useful..

> What's nice about expensive hardware, required to use cheap hardware?


You may have overlooked that my "like" refers to a random example which answered an open qiestion, and I couldn't care less about whatever you're not using. And you've failed to make clear how other people have to interpret your rather personal definition of "cheap". But thank you for repeating yourself.

Mathias

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Re: Connect PS/2 hardware...
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2019, 10:44:22 pm »
Well.. thinking of it for a moment.. can a notebook make use of PCI cards? ; )

Sorry Andre, wasn't meant as offense. I should be more precise.