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Full Version: External Keyboards For Sl5500
OESF Portables Forum > Everything Else > Archived Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > Sharp Zaurus > 5x00 General discussions
Wouldn't it be great if you could just plug your desktop keyboard at work into your Z, instead of having to lug an extra keyboard along in your pack?

Has anyone had any luck with external keyboards for the sl5500, that were not specifically designed for the Zaurus, and not IR? If you had luck, on what ROM?

I tried getting a ps2 keyboard to work via Sharp's serial port at the bottom of my sl5500, and failed with a number of drivers. The best I could do was get the ps2 keyboard's lights to flash on when I sent a break, and I couldn't get any signals from the keyboard to be recognized by my console.

The keyboard was an Adesso ACK-595 from, which I chose because of it's small, solid design, and was advertized to be a "plug-N-play" standard Windows95 and Windows98 compatible keyboard.

I attached it to my serial port using the
serial-to-ps2 adapter cable from (it may not be listed on their site but they still have them). The serialio people said the cable worked fine for attachingbarcode scanners to zaurii using their "Serial Magic" product, but that does not necessarily mean theserial I/O port can also work for a ps2 keyboard on ROM 2.38.

I do know that power was getting to the keyboard, as when I hit ctrl-C on my sl5500's built-in keyboard, all the lights on the since-returned Adesso did flash on briefly.

My hunch is that the Z just didn't send enough power out the serial port, although how did the lights flashing on at all if that was the problem? Was there maybe a surge when I shut down the connection?

Has anyone seen any standard keyboards that require less than 5 volts?

Too bad the IPAQ serial-port keyboards won't plug into the sl5500. Has anyone seen any adapter cables to make that possible?

I know people have had luck on other Zaurus models with the Ratoc host controller, but has anyone succeeded in getting it to work on an sl5500?

I would rather not to go USB if I can avoid it as a CF host controller would complicate using my CF dialup modem, which I use off and on all day, but it still would be useful to know others' experience with host controllers and USB keyboards on the sl5500.

Any help I can get with this would be greatly appreciated.

Micro Innovations sold a folding keyboard which works with Palm computers as well as the Zaurus SL-5500 through the infrared interface. The keyboard uses its own AAA battery. The model number is MP-0118.
QUOTE(qx773 @ Jan 8 2007, 12:52 AM)
Micro Innovations sold a folding keyboard which works with Palm computers as well as the Zaurus SL-5500 through the infrared interface.  The keyboard uses its own AAA battery.  The model number is MP-0118.

Thanks, I do know about those. I may look to see if they have any keyboards that are NOT infrared.

Anyone succeed with any hard-wired keyboards?

I used a folding keyboard from ManMachine ( for a while but the driver interfered with screen rotation so I switched to the Targus IR keyboard (which I find just as cool as can be although it uses up the battery pretty quick so I like to use it where I can be plugged in).
Thanks, Bob. Did you try the Man+Machine keyboard with more than one rotation app? I've seen three out there for the Z, and if screen rotation doesn't work, I'd be pretty unhappy.

Also, did you try it on ROM 2.38, or just 3.10?

I'd still prefer a solid keyboard, not one that's IR nor a membrane one. And yes, after all this time, this is still an unresolved issue for me.

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