What is it?
This is a kit which will allow you to convert a (preferably non-functional) Commodore Amiga 500 or Commodore Amiga 500+ into a USB keyboard which can be used just like any other USB keyboard. It also includes two joystick ports which allow you to use standard 9 pin Commodore / Atari style joysticks as USB joysticks (for joysticks only, they do not support the Amiga mouse), and two audio jacks to connect to provide rear audio output from a Raspberry Pi or other single board computer.
Why did you make it?
I have made many USB keyboard kits for many different vintage computers. These were built at the request of A500 owners who wanted to reuse the case and keyboard from a broken machine, either as a plain USB keyboard or to install a Raspberry Pi or similar.
What makes it special?
This is a plug in and go kit, designed specifically for the A500. No special drivers and need to do any remapping in software, the keyboard will be detected as a standard USB keyboard in Windows, OS X, Linux, and any tablets or phones which allow you to connect a standard USB keyboard. The joysticks will appear as two separate USB game controllers with a 4-way directional stick and up to three buttons. Amiga mice are not supported, only joysticks.
What is included?
The kit includes the USB keyboard controller, fixings, a USB lead and a 3.5mm jack plug to jack plug lead.
What is not included?
The kit does not include an Amiga case or keyboard, you need to provide those yourself, and please try to start with a broken one if possible. The Joysticks, Raspberry Pi computers and 3D printed mounting kit shown in some of the photos are not included.
How is the keyboard mapped?
Almost all the keys map directly to keys on a standard PC keyboard. The Amiga only has function keys 1-10, so the / key on the keypad has been mapped as F12 (which is useful for Amiga emulators).
The top right keyboard LEDs are mapped as power and numlock. Some software can be configured to flash numlock as a disk activity indicator. The caps lock LED works as normal.
The keyboard mapping is designed for standard UK or US keyboards, however, the Amiga keyboard was as far as I know, common across all regions. The only changes were to the keycaps, so the mapping should work in other languages if the matching keyboard language is selected in the operating system.
How are the joystick ports mapped?
The joysticks appear as two game controllers with an X and Y axis and three buttons. The pinout matches that used on many home computers and games consoles in the 1980s (excluding the Atari 7800 and the Spectrum +2 which do not follow this standard).
1 = Up
2 = Down
3 = Left
4 = Right
5 = Fire 3 (not usually connected)
6 = Fire 1 (the normal fire button)
7 = 5V
8 = GND
9 = Fire 2 (not usually connected)
A bug in recent versions of Windows causes both joystick ports to be labelled as 'Joystick 1', although the order they are displayed in is correct. Linux based systems identify the ports correctly.
Just to clarify
These adapters allow you to use a real Commodore Amiga 500 or 500+ keyboard and a pair of vintage joysticks on a modern PC, they do not work in reverse to allow a modern keyboard or game controllers to be used on a vintage computer system.
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