PC Keyboard Interface
The PC Keyboard interface enables you to connect a standard PS/2 style keyboard to your Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K / 48K / 48K+ / 128K+ / +2 (grey model) home computer (NOT compatible with +2A / +2B / +3), to use in place of its own keyboard.
This can make for a much more comfortable typing experience - particularly if you are used to the rubber keyboard mat. The interface will also work with USB keyboards, provided that you have a USB-PS/2 adaptor to enable it to plug into the interface.
The interface is designed with simplicity in mind and plugs into the ZX Spectrum's expansion port.
The interface also contains its own firmware which is the software which interprets the signals from the keyboard - this can be updated at any time from your own ZX Spectrum.
The PC Keyboard Interface will
not work on a ZX Spectrum +2A / +2B / +3.
The PC Keyboard Interface works
perfectly together with these devices:
The built-in keyboard of your ZX Spectrum will be disabled when the PC Keyboard interface is attached. You cannot use the built-in keyboard of the ZX Spectrum and the PC Keyboard Interface at the same time.
to connect the PC Keyboard Interface
Be sure to turn off the power of your ZX Spectrum before connecting the PC Keyboard Interface!
You can have other devices between the ZX Spectrum and the PC Keyboard Interface, provided that they have a through connector.
Or you can use the through
connector of the PC Keyboard Interface to connect other compatible devices.
First of all we have tried to map the keys on the PC keyboard to those on the ZX Spectrum so that all of the alphanumeric characters (with or without SHIFT and CAPS LOCK) match those on the ZX Spectrum as far as possible.
If your PC keyboard has a numeric keypad, it will also work, and behaves as if numlock is enabled.
The next table details how the non-alphanumeric keys on the PC keyboard are mapped to the ZX Spectrum:
Press the Scroll Lock key to switch the keyboard between normal mode and the Sinclair joystick mode. The Scroll Lock led is illuminated to indicate when the keyboard is running in Sinclair joystick mode.
In Sinclair joystick mode, the cursor keys emulate the Sinclair joystick (keys 6,7,8 and 9) and the left ALT key is mapped to the fire-button (the 0 key).
You do not need to press a reset-button or pull out the power lead anymore.
You can assign a macro to one
of the function keys from F5 to F10.
Even better, the macros are stored in flash memory on the interface, and therefore retained whilst the ZX Spectrum is turned off!
To record a macro:
To play the macro (echoing the stored sequence of keypresses), simply press the function key which you assigned. The CAPS LOCK LED will be illuminated so that you know you are in Macro playback mode. PAUSE can be used to pause playback mode - press it again to continue.
NOTE: you can only cancel the
playback mode by pressing CTRL ALT DEL (to force a hard reset) or by powering
down the ZX Spectrum.
Of course this may not be necessary to do yourself.
The flash-utility can be loaded by playing a WAV-file from your PC or laptop, or by loading a TAP-file from an IDE interface, such as the DivIDE Plus.
To be able to update the firmware
you will need to switch the PC Keyboard interface into 'Failsafe Mode',
by powering off your ZX Spectrum, and placing a jumper as shown in this
After powering on again, the Failsafe Mode is indicated by the Scroll Lock led being lit. With the Failsafe Mode enabled, load the flash-utility by e.g. LOAD "". Once the update-utility is loaded, press the ESC key on the PC keyboard to start updating the firmware on the PC Keyboard Interface.
The utility has some protections to avoid the update being corrupted, but even if that should happen, the failsafe mode can still be entered to try the update again, if necessary.
1) When you start up the Spectrum, press ALT+F12 on the keyboard.
The following sequence should
appear on the ZX Spectrum's screen:
This starts a comprehensive
More info can be found on Miguel's website.