Omnikey/Ultra Keyboard

The keyboard is a heavy, wide, desktop-only hulk with clickey keys, Fn keys on the left and across the top, and a bunch of modes only a typist could love. While not as nice as IBM keyboards of the day it was the best thing which was compatible with an Amiga computer (as well as PCs). It was configured using the DIP switches on the back face of the keyboard. Should someone find one in a junkbin and want to use it, here's what you need to know:

There are 3 extra keys in the upper right, as well as a blank "OMNI" key in the center of the arrow key cross.

The [Rate Select] key followed by F1 through F12 select faster and faster repeat rates (up to 125 keystrokes/sec :-), and ESC disables all repetition.

The [Rate Select] key followed by [Shift] + F1 through F12 select longer and longer repeat delays (F1 = 0.2 sec, F2 = 0.25 sec..., F12 = nearly 2 seconds).

The [Rate Select] key followed by [Control] + F1 through F12 select longer and longer debounce delays. This is not normally visible unless you have a slightly failing keyswitch, in which case increasing the delay can fix that, albeit at a slight delay for the keystroke. My N key is slightly bouncy at the default F1 debounce but F3 seems to clear it up without any visible impact.

The [Comma Period Lock] key forces the [<,] and [>.] and [:;] keys to always be [,], [.] and [:] irrespective of whether [Shift] is held down or not.

The upper row of SF keys are normally just [Shift]+[Fn]. The [SF Select] key followed by [Shift], [Ctrl], [Alt] or ESC reprograms them to be [Shift]+[Fn] or [Ctrl]+[Fn] or [Alt]+[Fn] or plain [Fn]. In addition, [SF Select] and the normal (left side) function keys switch the key layout on the fly.
F1 QWERTY
F2 Dvorak standard
F3 Dvorak Left-handed
F4 Dvorak Right-handed

The [Print Screen] key has a safety feature: it must be pressed twice for it to operate.

The little black button on the back face of the keyboard sends CTRL+ALT+DEL, should you find that easier to press than the actual combination.

Truely this keyboard dates from a time when there was innovation in keyboard behavior. The high repeat rates are the best thing. Once you've lived at 75 chars/sec you can never go back to the IBM standard of 30 /sec without feeling you are keyboarding in the slow lane.

Since modern (2014) PC motherboards lack PS/2 ports, and the commercial PS/2-to-USB converters I tried didn't work well, I created one of my own using an Adafruit ATmega32u4 breakout board. If you can work with an Arduino or a bare Atmel chip you should have no trouble using my ps2_kbd_to_usb_adapter code for your own.


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