Installing Keyboard Replacement Hardware
Connect a PC-Keyboard to your ATARI 800xl, 130xe!

Your ILS KRH is 100% Warranty against defects in the KRH hardware ONLY for 120 Days from the date you receive it. Acts of God are not covered, which includes LIGHTNING, and other storms, spilling any type of liquids in your computer.  I Warranty the KRH PCB, Cabling and PIC firmware. This Warranty does not cover any soldering or de-soldering you have done to your Atari Computer during the course of installation of the KRH board. If you blow up your KRHs PIC by installing it backwards. Should you have a problem with your KRH I want you to ship the entire Atari computer, (Minus Power Supply) to me so I can figure out what has happened. I will then Fix or Replace the KRH for just the shipping cost to and from me. If you have any questions about the KRH leave an e-mail to

How to install your Keyboard Replacement Hardware inside the Atari.

Good soldering skills are required for this hardware upgrade. If you do not have professional soldering equipment and skills find someone who does. The Atari computer has traces that do not like a lot of heat. Never use de-soldering wick on an Atari Mother Board. We have included 60/40 solder in the KRH package. Too much heat will lift traces and leave you with a mess that was your working computer. Do not use silver solder on your Atari Computer. If you have an Atari computer that is all in sockets this upgrade is a very simple thing to do. If you can not find someone who can install this contact ILS via E-Mail (realdos @ the fee for installing a KRH is $35.00 Dollars plus shipping to and from ILS. You can see the tools I use. The Link to My tools.

What is in the Kit!

·        KRH Circuit Board.

·        Length of 60/40 Solder

·        40 Pin Machine Pin Socket

·        Keyboard Connector

·        Start, Select, Option, and Reset Connector

Please Note: That your 40 pin machine pin socket is already connected to the interconnect on the KRH board

 Prepping the Atari Computer for the KRH.

The first step is very important and if I need to explain why you should not try this. DISCONNECT THE POWER! Please install the KRH into a working Atari Computer. Each KRH board has been tested and work’s 100% before we ship them. First step is to remove the screws from the underside of your Atari Computer and set them aside for later. Remove your mother board and set it aside. Locate your Pokey chip C012294B-01. The next step will depend on your Atari computer. If your Pokey chip C012294B-01 is in a socket pull the pokey C012294B-01 and install it into the KRH Board. If your Pokey is soldered to the Atari Mother Board you will have to de-solder the Pokey chip. (Use care removing the Pokey Chip from the XE Mother Boards) Then Solder the Machine Pin Socket we provide with the 60/40 solder to the location you pulled the Pokey out of. Now clean up any pins on the pokey that still have solder on them. Then Plug your pokey chip into the 40 pin Socket on the KRH Board. Place your Atari Mother Board back into the case. Now find a location you want to mount your Keyboard Socket to, Mark the case and Remove your mother board and set it aside. Now Drill your case for your keyboard connector between the PBI and SIO Port. You will find there is a spot in the 130xe, 65xe, and 800xl it will fit nicely. Now reinsert your Atari Motherboard back into the bottom half of your case. Here is a Picture of the KRH Board and what each connector does. The next picture gives you the information on each pin that comes out of the KRH.


·        START           Right side from R134           Green Wire

·        SELECT        Right side from R135           White Wire

·        OPTION         Right side from R136           Black Wire

·        RESET          Right side from C200           Red Wire

Picture of an Atari 130xe and locations of Start, Select, Option

Picture of an Atari 800xl and locations of Start, Select, Option

·        START           Left side from R134  Green Wire

·        SELECT        Left side from R135  White Wire

·        OPTION         Left side from R136  Black Wire

·        RESET          Left side from L14     Red Wire

Now the location where RESET is solder can look different that is why I put the two different pictures in this document so you could find the location easy.

Now with great care insert your KRH Board interconnects into the Pokey Socket you installed.


 Now insert your Pokey Chip into the 40 pin socket on the KRH Board. It should look like this:


Now you are ready to Hook up your AT Keyboard connector and Start Select Option Reset connector to the KRH Board. The Next step is to test it. Reconnect your power, Video and your AT Keyboard. Turn your computer on. As soon as your computer boots then press any key on your AT Keyboard as well as Your Atari Keyboard. The Atari keyboard should work as well.

Now remember we have tested every one of these so if it does not work something you have done is the cause. But here are something you can check.

·        KRH Board is installed correctly into the Pokey Slot.

·        Has your Pokey seated in the KRH Board (None of the pins have folded up)

·        Check to make sure you have Soldered all the pins correctly in the Pokey Slot.

·        E-Mail ILS for Help (realdos @



Some Info on the KRH

KRH is a small interface PCB to connect the ATARI 800xl, 130xe, and 65xe with every common PC-AT-keyboard (also Windows 95 keyboards). The old ATARI keyboard will be useable the same time. The KRH interface and the DIN connector / or PS2 connector are build inside the ATARI. It’s simple to build in because there is only a small soldering work to do. The interface is plugged into the Pokey. The Pokey is then plugged into the KRH board; therefore the connection is very solid. KRH is 99% software compatible cause it is simply parallel switched to the old keyboard. The POKEY chip will not be able to detect differences in the signals. The compact layout allows putting the interface direct into the pokey socket (size. 38.35x56.38mm).


PC-MF2-standardkeyboard (English Version, keys 42 and 45 added on German layout)

The PC-keyboard layout is mostly identical with the printed symbols on the keys with the German / English (American) keyboard. The English layout is mostly common with the original ATARI layout, maybe some German PC users prefer their layout.

Key Numbers with several language functions: 3,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,22,27,28,40,41,42,45,46,53,54,55.

Here are the special function keys:


PC key




Shift+Home Clear Screen
~ Clear Screen


ATARI (1200er) F1 key* , also SHIFT / CTRL


ATARI (1200er) F2 key* , also SHIFT / CTRL


ATARI (1200er) F3 key* , also SHIFT / CTRL


ATARI (1200er) F4 key* , also SHIFT / CTRL


















Sending macro 1


Sending macro 2


Sending macro 3


Sending macro 4


Recording macro 1 (max. 15 keystrokes)


Recording macro 2 (max. 15 keystrokes)


Recording macro 3 (max. 15 keystrokes)


Recording macro 4 (max. 15 keystrokes)


Sending KRH Version number 


Sending fixed macro


Switching between German and English keyboard layout (stays after power off)


Stop macro recording 

* There are some ATARI models which have keys F1...F4. These keys are supported from the ATARI OS (also 800/130er OS!) and have following functions:


Cursor up


Cursor down


Cursor left


Cursor right


Goto top of screen (HOME)


Goto end of line


Goto start of line


Goto bottom of screen


Switches’ off keyboard until pressing CTRL-F1 (Attention trap!!!)


Switches off screen until pressing any key


Toggles keyboard click


Toggles charter set (graphic / international)


Software compatibility

Like I said above, KRH is 99% software compatible, because the ATARI is not able to detect differences to the original keyboard. Here are some differences (the 1 percent):

* If it comes to a ghosting effect (the keyboard controller detects keys that are not stroked) through pressing more than two keys at the same time, the keys they are first scanned (in matrix order!) are guilty. This can be read in the technical documents for the keyboards.

Another interesting effect is occurring when two keys are pressed very quickly. The ATARI-OS is not able to detect 2 several keys in 100ms. Now with a new keyboard you can press the keys quicker, therefore it can be that some strokes are ignored. (For instance LDA > LA or STA > SA). Now KRH software caches 2 keystrokes, so this effect will be reduced.

Hooking Up a Stereo Pokey Board and KRH

There are two ways to do this:

·   You can just plug the Stereo Board into the KRH board where the Pokey chips goes.

·   Contact ILS and have them build you a KRH with wires that can be soldered to the underside of your Atari Mother board. What we would send you is a KRH without the 40 pin interconnect.



Installing KRH when you have wires soldered to the PIA Chip in the Atari 130xe.


There are two ways to do this:

Here is a KRH that has had a second 40 pin socket added to the interconnects.



Technical info’s

The KRH is a single chip processor system with a PIC processor with 64 byte internal EEPROM. The hardware is mostly the standard application for the PIC processor. The PIC is receiving the serial AT keyboard codes, interpreting it and simulates a keystroke in the ATARI keyboard matrix. The SHIFT and CONTROL keys are 1:1 software connected. The supply current is typical 20mA and the PC keyboard needs 70mA-160mA, and its no problem for the ATARI power supply.


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