A cheap NMS-1160 61 keys keyboard for your NMS-1205 module.

By gflorez

Supporter (15)

gflorez's picture

27-03-2018, 12:17

Recently I got one of these huge cartridges to play with. The software inside does all the weird things that are said on its wiki section, but surprisingly it is not so bad from my music-illiterated point of view.

It can be controlled by the keyboard cursors, but better with a mouse, because making clicks with the two buttons one increases and other decreases the parameters.

I am a totally lego on music, but I have always been attracted by musical instruments, and this module came to me without its NMS-1160 keyboard companion. Searching for one on Ebay was unsuccessful or prohibitive, just like other similar keyboards for MSX machines. Excessive money for a simple hollow keyboard.

Then, I have made one using this crap toy keyboard from Ebay.

It has 61 tinny keys, just the same number as the piano size NMS-1160 keyboard, but on the other side it measures much less on the desktop. It is only intended to give keyboard functionality to the Music Module.

You will also need some other cheap materials:

50-60 cm of 20 leads strip cable.
1 female 20 pin IDC connector.
8 1n4148 diodes

Put the toy piano on your desktop, as if you would like to play it. From now on don't turn it laterally, only vertically, then left and right sides will be on their side during all the process. Turn it upside down vertically.

Take apart the toy piano, it has a lot of screws on the bottom side. Once open, discard all but the keyboard PCB. It has two flexible cables of eight leads each one that need to be removed from the PCB. You must unscrew the keyboard PCB from the upper case halve to unsolder the cables.

The left header is input, and the right header output. Solder a diode on every 8 holes at the left header, the diode black strip towards the solder point.

Now peel the 8 first leads from the flat cable you have bought, starting from the coloured first one, usually red.

On both headers, lets assign 7 at the left pin and 0 to the right pin. First solder the left header, at the other side of the diodes:

Header pin / Strip Cable lead
-----------------------------------
0 / 3
1 / 1(red)
2 / 2
3 / 6
4 / 8
5 / 5
6 / 7
7 / 4

Now peel other 8 leads from the strip cable, consecutive to the 8 first ones. Observe, the first one is number 9.

Solder the right header following this table:

Header pin / Strip Cable lead
-----------------------------------
0 / 9
1 / 10
2 / 11
3 / 12
4 / 13
5 / 14
6 / 15
7 / 16

Observe, there are still four leads free on the strip(numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20), leave them un-soldered. They aren't used by the Philips module.

Now close carefully the toy keyboard with all its screws, leaving the other extreme of the strip cable between the two half cases, at the right side.

Now, with the aid of a workshop vice, clamp the IDC connector on the strip cable, with the little triangle pointing to the 1 lead(red).

Now it is time to try if it works. Remember, connect before turning the machine on. The IDC connector has a guide, so no confusion plugging it. You can find a paper blocking the module connector, just remove it.

By default the module always takes over the system if the ESC key is not pressed. It starts playing one of the demo rifts.

You must press STOP at the computer keyboard and then click at the keyboard icon at the right. Click again at "KEYBOARD OFF" at the left. Now you must read "KEYBOARD ON". Try the toy keyboard. If all has been made as explained, all the keys will sound.

There is a difference with the original keyboard, we have put only one diode every eight keys. On the original there is a diode by every key. This is to assure that there isn't a false return playing a song with all ten fingers. But this crap toy keyboard is intended for playing with two fingers as much.... Only to not lose one of the module functionalities.

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