TransKey-II PS/2 Keyboard Adapter
A new generation of PS/2 keyboard adapters incorporating simultaneous dual keyboard capability. Now with 3 models to choose from: TK-II-XEGS sporting dual PS/2 connectors, TK-II-XEGS-S with a single 'Y' PS/2 connector (includes mounting points for internal solder-in option), and the TK-II-PiggyBack version with it's standard dual PS/2 connector interface board (intended for internal installation only).
No matter which one you pick --- all three keyboard adapters possess the same feature set and capabilities, with the only real difference being the way in which the board is meant to be installed.
When first developed, an attempt was made to add mouse driven arrow-key support in concert with the keyboard interface. Due to unsatisfactory performance, it was abandoned as of firmware revision 1.6F. You may still see remnants of this earlier mouse support in some of the images on this site and in some of the documentation, as well as postings at the AtariAge Forums. Most likely mouse support of this type will not be coming back.
Technical Info & PCB/Firmware Files: TK-II Design Page
TK-II in Development Discussions: AtariAge Forums
The TK-II FAMILY
Latest Features in Firmware Version 1.8
In 1990 we saw the first original TransKey (IBM XT/AT keyboard -to- Atari 8-Bit interface board) arrive on the scene. It was developed by a company called Micro Solutions based in Northern California, which was owned and operated by Michael St. Pierre (that's me). For its time, it was a very capable device based around a 6504 CPU, and a small handful of support chips. In its later iterations, it was able to store user key macros in non-volatile memory, and had its own macro command language allowing for variable pauses and a few other parameters to be inserted during the macro recording process.
Towards the end of 1991 Transkey was sold to Dataque, who continued manufacturing and supporting the product for several more years, and then it eventually faded away into obscurity, with used ones now being in high demand.
And although the company name has changed from Micro Solutions to Mytek Controls, I am still the same guy that loved to tinker on his Atari computer so many long years ago.
After playing around with a new microcontroller chip called the PIC in the mid 90's, it silently became my goal in life to one day resurrect Transkey from the ashes utilizing one of these new chips. The PIC's were so powerful and contained all the components (RAM,ROM, latched I/O) that used to take multiple chips to accomplish. I figured that this would allow for a single chip solution, and boy was I ever right!
- Michael St. Pierre
By day: Owner of Mytek Controls, ultra-cold refrigeration system design
By night: Creator of interesting Atari bits
My mission is about sharing, and learning, and not driven by the need to always make money. So all the design files (PCB Gerbers, schematics, and firmware) will be made available to the community from this website so that anyone with some basic electronic assembly skill can produce their own working Atari upgrades.
TK-II KEYBOARD ACTIONS
All keyboard LEDs work, with Caps Lock properly indicating upper case mode (when TK-II Caps Mode is enabled), and Num Lock showing the active (non-shifted) state of the number keypad. The Scroll Lock LED shows if Insert Mode is active (steady state ON). For programs that require the normal Non-Controlled Arrow keys, ALT+A will toggle the NAV key arrows between Normal and Controlled (defaults to CTRL+Arrows on power-up). And using ALT+Arrows will give an accelerated movement as the cursor zooms across the screen, think of this as the Turbo mode. CTRL+ALT+F4 toggles alternative key maps 1-4 (1=US, 2=DE, 3=UK, 4=A8/ISO). And let's not forget that 'ALT' is key to playing back macros, either hard-coded (Run, List, New, ect.) or the ones that you record into function keys F5-F12.
Utilize literally hundreds of early industry standard keyboards and/or numeric keypads, giving you total freedom of choice.
TK-II translates the PS/2 protocol into the POKEY keyboard controller's language while being 100% transparent to the system OS.
Easy Plug 'n' Play
Simple no-solder installation in most all of the Atari 8-Bit series computers, yielding full use of both the stock Atari and PS/2 keyboards.