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joenspa

Newton Keyboard Pinout?

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I found a Newton keyboard in a thrift store today. Except for the grease pen they used to write the price on it ($2.50) it looks great. Almost brand new. I'm wondering if anyone has the pin out for this thing. Thinking about making an adapter to use with my computer or iPad. A bit of Google searching turned up nothing.

Thanks.

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that keyboard uses a standard serial interface for it's output. it's unknown to me what the speed of the interface would be but 1200-9600 baud would my guess. use the Apple Serial port pins as the guide for hooking it up to something. if you have a USB serial port connector for you Mac and a terminal program you could figure out the speed using the "auto detect" feature that most of them have. most PC's still have a serial port that will help you without needing a bender. if auto detect doesn't work just change the baud rate from 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200 etc and press aaaabbbbbcccc on the Newton keyboard until you see aaaabbbbcccc on your screen.

 

you will very likely have to build the cable. but those parts are easily found at DigiKey or Jameco. the keyboard will use a DIN-8 and you'll need a DB-9 to hook it to a serial port.

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This thing has a 10 pin rectangular connector not the circular serial type. I haven't seen this connector before and I mess with audio and data connectors a lot.

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all the connectors I have seen look just like the keyboard in this picture set.

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all the connectors I have seen look just like the keyboard in this picture set.

Interesting. My keyboard looks exactly like the one pictured except the connector on the end of the cable. It appears molded on and original. Looks like I have a mystery on my hands.

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the last Newtons had a new connector for serial / LocalTalk / other IO. it was on all EOL Newton (2000, 2100 and eMate) and looked like this.

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the last Newtons had a new connector for serial / LocalTalk / other IO. it was on all EOL Newton (2000, 2100 and eMate) and looked like this.

It's not that one either but I do have new clues.

Like I said it says Newton on the front and everything looks new and original. Except for a sticker on the back. The sticker is from Shier Systems & Software. They are out of California and apparently did a lot of Palm work. Long story short this look like a keyboard that was very well modified for what they are calling "palmtop". Now that I know it's not completely original I'm more likely to open it up and see what I can do with it.

Thanks for the help.

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this keyboard would be pretty useful for lots of DIY projects. practically every PIC supports serial so it would be trivial to make work.

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