External keyboard on Sony F1XV MSX 2+

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By aclband1t

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07-10-2018, 17:05

New MSX owner here, trying to get this one back among the living. It's a Sony F1XV MSX 2+.

Two problems (dead floppy drive and dead keyboard keys), but I'd like to start with the keyboard.

On my keyboard, the keys 'a' and 'F3' were dead.

Let me start with advice: the "CircuitWriter" pen will eat through your MSX keyboard membrane, so that shouldn't be your first choice for fixing broken traces. Thus, I'm much worse-off than when I started, since lots more keys are dead now. On the plus side: F3 works now, so...

I spoke with Paulo Maluf on Facebook about a replacement membrane, but he won't be producing another round until early next year, he said. I'd like to use my MSX in the meantime. All the information I can find about keyboard interfaces, though, seems to be over a decade old.

* Is the "LP Keyboard Interface" still the best choice to connect an external keyboard to my device? Is there something newer?
* Is the "LP Keyboard interface" still available? The website looks quite old, and I'm not sure if this is still A Thing. It's also not in English, and Google Translate isn't doing a great job to get me a good description.

Thanks in advance, folks!

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By Meits

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Meits's picture

07-10-2018, 20:03

While you're at it, please check the daughterboard (HIC) underneath your diskdrive. That's a notorious mainboardkiller. The capacitors on it are of the dangerous type.
I do have an XV, and a LP keyboard interface and a very compatible PS/2 keyboard. I'll have a check tonight how well the combination works.
Leonardo's site looks badly maintained, has looked like that for as long as I know. I am not aware of him not being in business anymore, so if you want anything from his site, you should send him an email Wink

By PAC

Guardian (5112)

PAC's picture

07-10-2018, 21:30

aclband1t wrote:

Let me start with advice: the "CircuitWriter" pen will eat through your MSX keyboard membrane, so that shouldn't be your first choice for fixing broken traces. Thus, I'm much worse-off than when I started, since lots more keys are dead now. On the plus side: F3 works now, so...

I'm sorry about that, difficult to understand being a product for this.. In that case the only thing that comes to my mind is (if membrane is still repairable), try to repair the tracks with copper foil with conductive adhesive. There are severals models on the market with different sizes and cut it to the desired dimension.

By aclband1t

Rookie (24)

aclband1t's picture

07-10-2018, 23:40

There are actually posts on here in Japanese about some conductive paint, which seems to be something completely different than the pen, and that works well.

The pen likely works well on 'hard' circuit boards, but that thin membrane couldn't take it.

By aclband1t

Rookie (24)

aclband1t's picture

07-10-2018, 23:41

Meits wrote:

While you're at it, please check the daughterboard (HIC) underneath your diskdrive. That's a notorious mainboardkiller. The capacitors on it are of the dangerous type.
I do have an XV, and a LP keyboard interface and a very compatible PS/2 keyboard. I'll have a check tonight how well the combination works.
Leonardo's site looks badly maintained, has looked like that for as long as I know. I am not aware of him not being in business anymore, so if you want anything from his site, you should send him an email Wink

Okay, I definitely will. Thanks! It actually seems like he's got updated versions more recently -- just didn't gather that from the web page.

By aclband1t

Rookie (24)

aclband1t's picture

10-10-2018, 00:41

I've ordered a keyboard interface. Will definitely post back once it's here with results. Thanks for the guidance!

Next up, The Floppy Drive!

By Meits

Scribe (5373)

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10-10-2018, 03:20

Do keep in mind that (unless he changed it) cartridges come without case.

By aclband1t

Rookie (24)

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10-10-2018, 15:10

Meits wrote:

Do keep in mind that (unless he changed it) cartridges come without case.

I did know that. I assumed I could use it sans case, then order one once I'm sure it works like I want it to. If not, I'll have to order one sooner instead of later.

By Meits

Scribe (5373)

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10-10-2018, 18:46

By the way... I was still gonna test it for you...

Edit:
One thing you have to keep in mind. If you're using a European keyboard on this Japanese computer, almost everything, except for the letters and the digits, will be positioned on a different position than your European keyboard suggests. You'll be having the Japanese key layout. Might be confusing in the beginning.

By aclband1t

Rookie (24)

aclband1t's picture

10-10-2018, 20:52

Meits wrote:

By the way... I was still gonna test it for you...

Edit:
One thing you have to keep in mind. If you're using a European keyboard on this Japanese computer, almost everything, except for the letters and the digits, will be positioned on a different position than your European keyboard suggests. You'll be having the Japanese key layout. Might be confusing in the beginning.

Ah, wonderful! Thanks!

I did ask in my e-mail to lpadial if it was compatible, so I was no longer concerned (which is why I didn't wait for your test result).

But it's good that it definitely works.

I already assumed that many non-alphanumeric keys would be re-positioned, since MSX has keys that don't exist on regular keyboards, and vice-versa. I plan to re-label keys as necessary.

EDIT: since you've got yours in a nice cartridge case, do you have a recommendation?

By Meits

Scribe (5373)

Meits's picture

10-10-2018, 21:52

The cartridge I've around it is the same one as used by MegaFlashROMSCC+SD. You could ask if he wants to sell you an empty case. As far as I remember he has the equipment/resources/connections/whatever to manufacture cases.
If you get one of those, be sure to cut a few millimeters off the pins connecting both halves to each other. Otherwise it's quite hard to close the case but next to impossible to open it (for whatever reason).

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