[NTLK] newt keyboard USB adapter

Morgan Aldridge morgant at makkintosshu.com
Fri Sep 14 14:51:40 EDT 2012

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 8:06 AM, joe kallo <quietglow at gmail.com> wrote:
> So it turns out there is a serial to usb app for android:
> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=slickdevlabs.apps.usb2serialdemo&hl=en
> I have no idea if something can be done with that to give the rest of the
> device the output from the keyboard, but it seems worth exploring.
> That said, my goal was to end up using an original 2X00 case that holds the
> keyboard. At this point, it would also have to hold a keyspan adapter as
> well as a microusb/usb OTG adapter. That's starting to sound like a whole
> lot of stuff to squeeze into the case (not to mention that it looks a
> little cobbled. I wonder if I could splice a mini-usb onto a newton
> keyboard cable. The keyspan adapter itself had no firmware (i.e. it
> depended all on software) right? If so, the physical device was essentially
> just acting as a splice anyway.

The Keyspan USB-to-Serial adapters do have circuitry in them (probably
a somewhat generic serial to USB chip and such) so it's not just a
splice. The best you could do is hack the Keyspan USB-to-Serial
adapter to have the Newton keyboard's serial cable direct attached to
it as well as the mini-USB cable. It would save you some space, but
you'd still need some software on the Android device to translate the
serial data from the Newton keyboard into recognizable keyboard input.

It sounds like the arduino option might be better for your end goal as
you can make a small board which has a mini DIN-8 for plugging the
Newton into, does all the translation from the Newton's keyboard
protocol to USB HID, and provides a mini-USB port/cable which can plug
directly into your Android device. Naturally, this is not the easier
solution, but it'd be nicer, more compact, and require no drivers.


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