Poor keyboard

Discuss the CreatiVision hardware: models, revisions, fixing, hacking and modding.
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carlsson
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Poor keyboard

Post by carlsson » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:07 pm

Tonight for the first time I unpacked my creatiVision that I bought six months ago, as I've intended to bring it to a retro computing meet this coming weekend. It took a while to figure out how start games (after pressing RESET once, thank you).

After a while I toggled the Multicart to Basic mode, to test the built-in keyboard. To may dismay, only a couple of the keys are working. Upon closer inspection, one or two pins in the leftmost controller port were bent so I've tried to straighten them as much as possible.

At the moment the following keys work:

1 7 8 9 0 :
H J K L ;
N M , . / SPACE

CNT'L seems to work too, but not SHIFT.

Is it likely the controllers need to be cleaned, or would the problem be located elsewhere? While the keyboard isn't cruicial for most games, it would be nice if it was fully working.

Alternatively I may leave the creatiVision at home and bring my Laser 2001 instead. The keyboard based programs don't run at all on that one (well, they boot up but no control) but the joystick ones are fine. I don't have time to do any major cleaning right now anyway, just looking for suggestions for the future.
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MADrigal
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by MADrigal » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:44 pm

Hello,

I also experienced similar problems on 50% of the creatiVision's I tested.

You have to open the joystick by removing the 4 screws, and then clean the connector where the wires are located. Eventually you can add a small piece of paper inbetween connector/screws/PCB in order to have the connector and PCB closer one to the other.
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carlsson
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by carlsson » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:58 pm

Now I have disassembled the controller and tried to clean it, including the plastic strips that lie on top of the connector. No progress, only 1 and CNT'L seem to work on that half.

Does nobody have a PS/2 keyboard adapter instead? ;-)
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carlsson
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by carlsson » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:33 pm

Now I have tried the Moving-Key Keyboard and all keys work as they should, so I'm certain the fault lies within one of my two hand controllers. I will have to investigate in the future. If anyone has a working set of hand controllers (only left hand really needed), we could trade or something.
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MADrigal
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by MADrigal » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:59 pm

unfortunately i have an additional keyboard, but it's right and non-working too. i bought it as a replacement, but unluckily it doesn't work properly.

by the way, fixing yours should be very easy, try cleaning it a little more, or watch carefully in case any contact seems broken.

ps. left-right joysticks can be swapped on creativision mk-1 (your model), so you should at least try swaping it and checking whether keyboard and/or joystick works! ;)
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carlsson
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by carlsson » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:02 am

Yes, I briefly tried swapping them which let me enter a few letters in Basic: T and some more. It did absolutely not work in such way that every key from the right hand controller generated a character when used as a left hand controller. However, as the MK keyboard does work 100%, I know the issue is in the hand controller.

I'll disassemble it again and see if I find some more points to clean. The plastic layers directly underneath the touch pads, perhaps they should be taken apart and cleaned too, or is the fault most likely in the edge connector where the layers loosely fit?

In any case, a PS/2 adaptor would be a really neat hack. Or for that matter, if an old keyboard from another computer could be reused - e.g. Commodore keyboards are a plenty and last forever. Are the schematics and pinouts for the controller ports available somewhere? I think you pointed me before to a half-hidden source of creatiVision documents not on the main page. It could be a nice winter project, in addition to all the other handfulls of projects I have initiated or are waiting to be initiated. You know, now when I own a cassette storage module it isn't as important anymore to hack my own tape recorder interface. ;-)
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MADrigal
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by MADrigal » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 am

carlsson wrote:I'll disassemble it again and see if I find some more points to clean. The plastic layers directly underneath the touch pads, perhaps they should be taken apart and cleaned too, or is the fault most likely in the edge connector where the layers loosely fit?
Well I believe that the problem resides in the edge connector. I suggest you to type keys with the joystick open, and try putting the connector in various positions. This way, you probably will see that more keys work than now.
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carlsson
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by carlsson » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:59 pm

carlsson wrote:T and some more
For reference, I plugged the right side controller in the left port:

Y = D, H = 6, J = 5, K = T, L = V, SPACE = C

None of the other keys function while connected this way, but all work when the right hand controller is connected to its own port.

Now I have taken apart the left controller and found that the plastic traces were full of oxidation? I soaked it soap water, scrubbed with a sponge and reassembled it. Still I can't get all keys to work, but at least I have 1 2 Q W E R A S which is a slight improvement from only "1" before.

Update: Err.. had.. the extra keys stopped working shortly thereafter. Even worse, I managed to break down and left. :(
Last edited by carlsson on Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MADrigal
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by MADrigal » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:12 pm

keep on cleaning, and make sure that the contacts in the edge connector are well placed. :)
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TBCTBC
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Re: Poor keyboard

Post by TBCTBC » Tue May 14, 2013 2:18 pm

I'm not sure if the keyboard a bought from you carlsson is the one you had problems with here, but I fixed the left side now. I replaced the cable. On the right one the keys: Y,U,I,O,P and return doesn't work. I'll try to replace that cable too.

It was really strange though, I thought the CV was broken, because I couldn't get anything other than a space when shorting the inputs directly on the PCB. But when I put everything together again, it worked.
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