ISO: Keyboard/mouse for MIPS RC2030 workstation

Josh Dersch derschjo at
Sun May 15 22:18:52 CDT 2016

I disassembled the RC2030 to get at the motherboard and spent some time 
probing.  This is a multi-layer board, quite thick, so tracing things 
down has proven difficult.  Two of the three extra pins on the DIN 
connector for the keyboard are connected to a 74LS240, one as an input, 
one as an output; these pass through the 74LS240 and are routed through 
a pair of jumpers.  Past this point I'm having a heck of a time figuring 
out what they're connected to -- it's nothing obvious like the serial 
controller.  The third pin appears to be +5V.

I also found this note in the MIPS PROM Monitor Reference 

"keyboard: Determines the type of keyboard used: MIPS (default) for the 
UNIX-style keyboard and AT for the AT-style keyboard (2030 and RC3x30). 
Default is AT for 4000 systems."

So it looks like there are a couple of different keyboard types; it's 
possible that the UNIX-style keyboard uses all 8 pins, though that seems 

Another interesting note regarding the "console" variable when set to 
"a" (though perhaps not applicable at all to the RC2030:

" Enables all console devices. Do not use this value on a Rx3x30 system 
with a mouse attached to tty(0)."

tty(0) is one of two serial ports on the rear.  That would seem to 
indicate a serial mouse -- I don't know whether the note about RX3x30 
systems means there was no serial option on the RC2030, or that this 
option simply wouldn't cause an issue with a serial mouse on the RC2030.

I suppose the easiest way to solve this would be to find an old Logitech 
mouse and just try it.  I need to get the X software packages loaded on 
this thing first...

- Josh

On 5/15/16 5:40 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
> On 5/15/16 5:16 PM, Al Kossow wrote:
>> Is there still an os on the disk?
> Yes, a kind listmember had archived the QIC install media for MIPS 
> RISC/OS, I installed from that.  When I got the machine, the system 
> disk was dead, and could not be coaxed back to life.
>> The MAME guys might be interested in simulating it if you dump
>> the roms and the hd. It wasn't obvious from the picture in the
>> picture if the V50 had an eprom as well. I'm gussing the intel
>> 40 pin part by the keyboard is an 8031?
> I can double-check this week and dump the ROMs.  I'll also look at the 
> extra pins on the keyboard.  I'll note that the jack is labeled just 
> "KEYBOARD."  There is nothing labeled "Mouse" anywhere on this thing...
> - Josh
>> On 5/15/16 5:13 PM, Al Kossow wrote:
>>> On 5/15/16 3:01 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
>>>> And it works perfectly.  So, it's a
>>>> "standard" AT keyboard, but be careful which one you choose :).
>>> What are the pinouts off the 8-pin connector?
>>> I'm guessing the mouse uses the other pins.
>>> Digging on the web, this has been asked with no replies for at least
>>> 10 years.

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