To select a good keyboard for a project like Melba I is no easy task. The style of keyboard sets the look-and-feel of the entire system. At first I intended to use a PS/2 keyboard, with a MiniITX-PCB in a small PC box. That would loose some of the Apple-feel I was after, so I started researching the ADB-port, to connect an old Macintosh keyboard. Maybe a USB-port and a fruity-coloured iMac keyboard with a Pippin-style case in a matching color would be better?
As I dug deeper in my collection of computer pieces I considered
- Chinese wireless apple-knockoff
- Laptop keyboard
All of these would require some sort of microcontroller to adapt to the keyboard interface in Melba I, and I still don't want to use one just like that, especially since USB and Bluetooth would require some pretty beefy one.
Then I found the perfect keyboard in an old treasure chest in the garage. I really don't know where or when I bought it, but I think I've had it since the mid 80s. Manufactured in 1974, it has no less than four keys labled "tape" with some variations.
After some googling, I found that it was from a TI SILENT 700 MODEL 733, and seems to be a good fit for an Apple I-clone. The link also provided details about the pinout on the card edge connectors.
Now I can start designing a suitable box, and start experimenting with the keyboard :)