Trysts with a "Legacy" keyboard

Everybody loves mechanical keyboards! Ah! the satisfaction of the “click” on each keypress is indeed alluring. Sorry for sounding more poetic than needed, but, I guess, you get the drag.

In my quest for finding a good, in-house keyboard for the Raspberry Pi * (RPi); I dug into my electronics junk and got hold of my old TVS Gold mechanical keyboard.

TVS Gold Mechanical Keyboard

It might not mean anything to the techies of today, but in our times, early 2000s, it was the keyboard to have. There were of course plenty of soft-touch keyboards (Samsung and the likes), but TVS Gold stood out as being the most reliable, robust and pleasant keyboard to have.

As much as I would have liked to use it, I was taken aback by the discovery that it has a 6-pin serial port interface. That came as a rude shock because I was so looking forward to use it with the RPi. Some googling got me a very discouraging responses like “get a new keyboard man!” from various forums.

However, I have decided not to give up that easily! Various forums and sites also led me to believe, that the biggest bottleneck (pardon the paradox), in using such legacy keyboards via a USB interface is the amount of power they draw. Since I have been (had to be) obsessed with externally powered USB devices (USB hubs), I have decided to give a shot to the probability of powering this keyboard externally.

So, expect a follow-up post soon on how it goes. I so so want to get this working!

* I got my Raspberry Pi a few weeks back and have been mostly involved in finding low-cost solutions to various interfaces for it.

Update: Unfortunately, even with external power supply (5.5V@0.5A), I could not get the keyboard to work with Pi. Once in a while it responds, but, in no way can it be called usable. Damn!