The KB-2971 Keyboard

The KB-2971 Keyboard

It all started by cleaning out a server room and coming across the old keyboard, the Acer KB-2971. I plugged in the PS2 port on my Dell desktop and started typing on it, and oddly it was actually really nice to type on. Like really nice, its a rubber membrane keyboard and really I can't remember a keyboard type as this does..

It's not mechanical but a rubber membrane type, but it has the feel of a mechanical and the sound of a mechanical.

As a SysAdmin, I used this at my previous job for the space of a year. Connected using the PS2 port and paired with a Logitech MX3. The best part was its colour, it was the old school Beige. It was also a head-turner, with many people asking about it.

I find myself now talking about it as I mentioned at the beginning it was a rabbit hole. Out of curiosity, I pulled apart the old keyboard to see what the inner keyboard circuit looked like, and wondered how hard it would be to convert to USB and maybe add some additional accessories to it.

It's a fairly simple setup. The keys, the keyboard shell, the rubber membrane and the ink stamped sheet.

Looking over the circuit, I couldn't really see how I could adapt this to be configured to read USB.

So I wondered if this keyboard ever got a USB version? Oh yes, it did! So there is the two model version of this. The KB-2971 and the KU-2971. So I need to get my hands on one of these.

This is where things went a little crazy. This keyboard was rebranded by multiple different brands. In my hunt to obtain the USB version, I came across brands like Acer, Chicony, Depo, eMachine, Fellowes, Solidus, Targus and Toshiba.

As you can see depending on the variants if you have a KB you have the PS2 port, if you have the KU you have the USB port.

So I went on the hunt to search for a USB variant that matched my layout but was USB. So jumped on eBay and found one in Australia.

This literally was the only one I could find. So the plan is to hopefully pull this one apart to find out that it's the same layout, and transplant the guts into my loverly beige one, but also I want to add an additional USB port to allow me to add a fingerprint USB to the top of the keyboard.

I have used the Kensington VeriMark IT USB fingerprint scanner now for quite some time and it has been an awesome bit of kit to have, but how good would it be to add it to the top of the keyboard where the LED lights are.

So that's basically the plan at this stage, I will be doing part 2 of this crazy story, and hopefully, everything goes together.