Dear modders: TX keyboard help

Discussion in 'Palm' started by Mi An, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    I almost wish I'd just bought a T3 and done a battery upgrade. I'm a little shocked that I've been completely unable to find a wired keyboard for the TX, palm's new solution is the IR board, others have IR and BT. What I want is to be able to use the old m5xx series keyboard with the older Palm universal connector with my (yet to arrive) TX. Is it even possible to hack a adapter for them? Even one that isn't pretty?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If it is possible, how would I find out the functions of any given connection point? Is there some previous information posted somewhere by others who hacked palm devices? I have plenty of spare parts, and I'm willing to buy new ones. It's a lot of trouble to go thru just to avoid using wireless, but dangit, sometimes you gotta draw the line--this far, and no farther. I don't want a wireless, battery sucking, half-folding potential lagmaster! I want my trusty accordian fold ole friend. We've been through a lot together.
     
  2. DragonHunter

    DragonHunter Bow, bow, bow, bow

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    Search for "Palm pinouts" and you should come up with something. Oh, wait, still in my history folder....Here ... I'm on a similar quest with my GPS at the moment....

    On the other hand, my ThinkOutside IR wireless KB is compact, no lag and I rather like it.
     
  3. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    Ah, Thank you!

    I haven't found a comprable description of the TX's pin system, but your pinout search has yielded some results, such as that someone previously bridged the 10 pin to the 16 pin. I've also registered with the plugged-in program, they may have more up-to-date info on TX post-registration.

    Good luck with your GPS. TO might be okay, but I rather loathe the idea of a 4-line keyboard. I use my palm as a laptop replacement for notes in class, and portability isn't my primary concern--though the accordian fold on my current model keeps it pretty small.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    The multi-connector pinout is provided in the palm developers guide, availible for download after registration. Now for the hard part. I actually have to read it. :(
     
  5. DragonHunter

    DragonHunter Bow, bow, bow, bow

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    Yes, if I had realized it was a 4-row keyboard I might have kept looking....but it's alright.....keeps those fingers nimble doing the gymnastics to access the numbers.;)
     
  6. Donx

    Donx Mobile Deity

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    The Palm Universal Keyboard actually works quite well. It is a five row keyboard and the batteries last a good long time in the keyboard and the TX doesn't use much power either. I got a used one off ebay for about $14.
     
  7. Mi An

    Mi An Untethered

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    The following are the pins that the UC (universal connector) palm keyboard pictured above has on it. Each is followed by a possible corresponding MC (multi-connector) pin. At the bottom, view excerpts from the Palm Dev Guide (for MC) and the from the pinout link above (for UC). More will come later. Comments, suggestions, or anything else is welcome.

    14 RTS out
    Request to send: hardware flow control handshake signal
    connects to U11 pin-16, drives 3K ohms to +-5volts
    (when not active the transciever pin is in tristate)

    13 CTS in
    clear to send: hardware flow control handshake signal
    connects to U11 pin 14. Load resistance 3K - 7K
    (when not active the transciever pin is in tristate)

    I'm thinking there will be no comprable pin for these two flow control pins. Either this is handled in conjunction with other fuctions, or it is completely superfluous with the more up-to-date MC.

    12 DETECT
    Peripheral atach/detach detection
    a peripheral must tie this pin to Pin-7

    also unsure. A section in the PDG states that MC peripheral detection involves use of TX or RX. The section describes it in more detail, more later.

    Regarding ADAPTER_ID

    10 RXD
    Reveive Data: from peripheral to handheld
    Connects to U11 pin-13 Load resistance 3K-7K ohms
    (when not active the transceiver pin is in tristate)

    corresponds to MC pin 11 (RXD)?

    9 VOUT
    Regulated voltage out: 3.3 V+-0.2 at 100mA
    From VCC U12 Note that it is the responsibility of the peripheral attachment to manage the following: never draw more than 100mA (exceeding this may damage the Palm handheld), drawing 100mA continously significantly shortens the handheld's working time, and do not draw current while the Palm handheld is in a low battery condition.

    corresponds to MC 13 (POWER_OUT)?

    8 ID
    (see photo for description)
    corresponds to MC 2 (Adpapter_ID)?

    7 SG
    Signal ground (internally connected to pin-1) no clue. Corresponds to MC 16 (AGND)? Or possibly both 4 and 18?

    Under shielding, Palm Dev Guide says
    "On all peripheral devices, the shield pins 4 and 18 should be grounded with any available shielding system ground. For example, on a USB cable these pins should be connected to USB cable outer shield, which in turn connects to the shield on the USB connector at the other end of the cable.

    Where no external shielded ground is available peripherals should connect pins 4 and 18 to the peripherals system ground.

    5 HS_IRQ
    wakes handheld. The Hotsync button momentarilly connects this pin to pin-9. Produces a hotsync interrupt notification in the Palm OS 4.0 for applications to use to detect the presence of their peripheral. Load resistance range 104,500-115,500 ohms

    corresponds to MC 12 (HOTSYNC)?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    I feel your pain. I, too, wanted a direct connect keyboard for the T|X. I really liked the Belkin G700 I had from eBay for $1.00 with $7.95 shipping. That thing's worked like a charm and had a really wizard foldout solution (sides pull out and the middle raises up).

    But I gave up and gave in and picked up an older Palm Wireless Keyboard (actually a Think Outside). It works very well, no lag, and the keyboard batteries should last as long as a TV remote. Of course, it taxes my T|X batteries using the IR port, but it's not too bad.

    Thanks for posting the pinouts for the T|X. I'm planning on making a microphone out of a spare sync cable plug. It'll just be the plug with a small mic installed wear the sync cord used to be -- just clip it on to use it, take it off when not. Not quite as intrusive as installing on internally.
     
  9. amadams

    amadams Mobile Evangelist

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    Any luck with that GPS DragonHunter? I'm assuming its one of the models that plugs into an M-5XX series Palm. I have the NAVMAN GPS unit and would like to use it with my TX.
     
  10. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    Sorry for hijacking the thread with this replay about GPS conversions, but I imagine converter a keyboard or GPS sled would be very similar.

    Anyway, if your GPS is a mouse type GPS (with a cable), a lot of times you can simply buy an adapter. I have a Holux GM-210 receiver (which was rebadged to be a "Palm In-Car GPS"). It has PS2 style connector on it that allows for you to replace the business end with anything from a regular USB plug to a MultiConnector to the Palm Universal Connector, etc. I bought it with the Universal Connector on it, but purchased a MultiConnector adapter from www.Semsons.com (it's only listed for the Treo 650 and T|5, but they have the same type of plug).

    If your GPS is sled type device that clips on to the back of the Palm, you may be able to convert it through canibalizing a MultiConnector cradle or even just a sync cable. The Gomadic connectors are rather modular and you may be able to use the MultiConnector parts to directly replace the Universal Connector parts. I'd love to give you a direct link to the Gomadic connectors, but for some reason that specific Brighthand thread will not open for me right now.
     
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