Transkey Projects Page

TransKey Keyboard Interface


TransKey (TK1), a small microprocessor based keyboard interface board, connects an IBM type keyboard to your Atari 8-bit system. TK is mounted inside your 400/800/XL/XE computer and the original keyboard retains full functionality whether the IBM keyboard is connected or not. With the recent 2.4 upgrade ROM, you can now enter macros (key sequences) from the keyboard. The ZRAM option ($13 extra) will retain those macros in memory even while your system is not powered. The basic solder-in (14 total solder connections) version of TK is $47.00, while a version with a PoKey piggy-back board is $10.00 more and reduces your work to four solder connections. TK is manufactured by DataQue Products, Post Office Box 134, Ontario, OH 44862 (USA).





Chip List

6520 in U1
2732 in U2
DS1220Y or 6116 in U3
6504 in U4
555 in U5
LS32 in U6
LS14 in U7.

No programmable logic is used.


This is the Transkey that came out in the mid 1990. It allow you to use a IBM style Keyboard with your Atari. It has a microprocessor, 2k of sram, 2k or rom and a pia chip. This was a big break through. this along with a composite to vga adapter means you can attach your Atari to your ibm switch box and switch it just like the pc. I have made a copy of my blank board just incase you want to make your own transkey. The rom is in my e-prom down load section.




 Congratulations on your purchase of the TransKey Keyboard Interface, I hope you find it as useful as I do. This new version of the TransKey Operating System has PLENTY of extra goodies, including much better emulation of the stock Atari keyboard functions.

 An even better version is in the works, which will provide for User writable macro strings, directly copied from the IBM keystrokes. This will be offered in both Volatile Memory (data is lost on powering down) and Non-Volatile Memory Versions. Don't worry, you're already on the mailing list, and will be automatically notified when this revision is complete.  Now let's take a look at what has been changed or added since Version 1.2 was released.

 SCROLL_LOCK When pressed alone, and depending on it's current mode (see below), will send out either CTRL-1's or CTRL-S/CTRL-Q (XON/XOFF).

 CTRL-SCROLL LOCK will still do a BREAK function.

 CTRL-SHIFT-SCROLL_LOCK This sets the type of pause mode you desire to have the SCROLL LOCK key initiate. The default mode is to send CTRL-1's, but when toggled, it will send XON/XOFF characters instead (used while communicating with BBS's). This is a toggle function, and when used, will alternate between the two modes.

 CONSOLE_KEY-ARROW_KEY If Start (F9), Select (F10), or Option (F11 or ALT) are pressed with an arrow key, the same results will occur as if done on the normal ATARI keyboard (very useful for ATARIWRITER or any other software that needs to see the normal character on the arrow keys).

 CTRL-ARROW_KEYS As above, will produce the normal unSHIFTED/unCTRL'ed

 ATARI character for these keys, but without a CONSOLE keypress. If NUMLOCK is active, the CTRL-ARROW action will still be sent from the number pad arrows (same as v1.2).

 SHIFT-ARROW_KEYS Will produce the same character as the Shifted Arrow on the ATARI keyboard, independent of whether NUMLOCK is active or not.

TILDE_KEY This was used as an extra ESCAPE key in v1.2, but now it will function as the INVERSE key (formally CTRL-F6). When Shifted, it will send the CAROT (^) symbol (*SEE NOTE BELOW).  

 BRACES (SHIFTED [ and ]) Open Brace sends CTRL-A, Closed Brace sends CTRL-D. (*NOTE: These are normally non-supported characters on the ATARI, but with these special character sends, and when using the PD Program BOBTERM in either ASCII or VT-52 MODES, the ASCII equivalents will be sent.)

 CTRL-CAPS This was a missing command on v1.2, it is now supported.  

 CONSOLE_KEY-INSERT Will now send the Greater Than (>) symbol. (When used with OPTION in ATARIWRITER, will indicate input for Form Printing.)  

 CTRL-F5-DELETE Should do a HELP-RESET, used as a COLDRESET by a couple of replacement O.S.'s including ULTRA SPEED PLUS from Computer Software Services.  

 SHIFT-ESCAPE-DELETE Yet another type of COLDRESET command supported by some systems.  

 CTRL-CONSOLE_KEY-DELETE Will do a reset with whatever Console Key(s) are being pressed. The CTRL-ALT (CTRL-OPTION) BASIC disabling feature indicated in the v1.2 Manual, only works with some Program Disks and is no different than the same combination on the ATARI keyboard in this respect.  

 CTRL-SHIFT-5_(on_NUMPAD) Brings Pin#1 of J3 (on the TransKey P.C. Board) LOW and when released, this pin will return HIGH. This can be used with C.S.S.'s Black Box Interface to give you a keyboard controlled way to enter the MONITOR (wire from pin#1 of J3, designated by a SQUARE Solder Pad, to the center terminal of the MONITOR pushbutton switch).  

 CTRL-PRINT_SCRN (CTRL-* on_NUMPAD) Brings Pin#2 of J3 LOW and when released, this pin will return HIGH. This can be used with the Black BOX to give you a keyboard controlled PRINT SCREEN option (wire to center terminal of the PRINT SCREEN pushbutton switch).  

 CTRL-F6 This no longer has any function in this current version, but will be used for activating a Recall Buffer in the next revision.  

 KEY_ROLL-OVER_BUFFERING This will cure the "DROPPING CHARACTER" bug that existed in versions 1.0-1.2. This has been fine-tuned recently, and should provide for error free typing.  

 KEYBOARD_INITIALIZATION The initialization routines have been improved considerably, with better keyboard compatibility in mind. It is no longer necessary to hold down a key on power-up with a Mitsumi keyboard for proper initialization to occur. Many more keyboards should now work reliably with TransKey.  

 SPECIAL_NOTES_ON_RESETS If a keyboard is talking to TransKey as an 'AT' Type keyboard, then on any RESET the SCROLL LOCK light will be turned OFF, the CAPS LOCK light will be turned ON, and the NUMLOCK will remain the same as before the RESET occurred. If the keyboard is in "PC' mode, then all the lights will be turned OFF and all flags will be reset accordingly (this is the best I can do, since a 'PC' keyboard pretty much controls it's own lights). Following a 'PC' reset, pushing CAPS LOCK twice will reinitialize the action of the light to the action of the key.  

 ALTERING_THE_EPROM_MACROS Due to the many changes (and some oversight), the MACRO INDEX and MACRO TABLE locations are not where the v1.2 Manual shows them to be. The following is their new location.

  INDEX TABLE ONE $175C-$1763

 INDEX TABLE TWO $1764-$176B


 (Actual space extends to $186B)


 (Actual space extends to $197C)

  Since each Macro Table can be expanded up to the full 256 character capacity without moving any of the other O.S. code, there is no longer any need of dealing with the vectors associated with these tables or for IRQ and RESET. All that is required, is to simply put in your new Macro Strings (8 per Table) and then update the pointers in the Index Table to point to the beginning of each individual Macro. On the next revision I intend to add two more pre-defined tables and simplify the method of changing these Eprom Macros. There will also be some RAM based Macro tables as well, which won't require re-burning the Eprom.  

 CONSOLE_KEY_CONNECTIONS In order for the Arrow keys to work properly, the START,SELECT,OPTION connections to GTIA must be made. If you experience erratic action from the Arrow keys and the characters (_),(=),(+),(*) are being produced without holding down any other key, then check to see if the GTIA connections are secure. If you have either an XL or XE computer, you can type BYE <RETURN> from BASIC, and then use the built-in keyboard diagnostics to confirm the proper operation of the Console keys.








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