Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

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NightBreeze
undertow
Posts: 25

Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#1 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:29 am

Hi,

so... I accidentally bought a French Dreamcast keyboard on eBay and my first thought was to disassemble it and look at the circuitry if changing the language / region would be an easy fix. I did that but didn't find anything immediately obvious, except maybe one spot with 4 bridge-locations (3 jumpers connected) connected to 4 other bridge locations (1 resistor connected).

So today I was looking at the Maple Bus 1.0 Peripheral Hardware Specifications for the keyboards, and indeed it looks like all keyboards share the same physical key placement (i.e. elastic PCBs), so the key code translation is not done by moving the physical keys around, instead it's done either on the keyboard PCB or the Dreamcast itself.

Now my question to you, before I start experimenting with moving jumpers around. Has anyone attempted this before? And would anyone be willing to disassemble their (US, UK, Spain, Italy, ...) keyboard and photograph the PCB?

I didn't take pictures when I first opened it, sorry, but I'll do it again during the weekend and post pics. Haven't really found photos of DC Keyboard internals anywhere.

EDIT: Problem solved! See my comment #13 in this thread to see how.
Last edited by NightBreeze on Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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poopidoop
Doom
Posts: 189

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#2 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:16 am

i guess i just assumed they all had english function. even the JP one has english and japanese letters on the keys.

NightBreeze
undertow
Posts: 25

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#3 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:21 pm

Yeah, no such luck with the french keyboard, whilst you can type english perfectly fine, some keys are in the wrong place (uses AZERTY layout).

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mazonemayu
Agent Provocateur
Posts: 3917

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#4 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:32 pm

What the hell are you on about? Language? Region? It’s a DC keyboard, it shows whatever key you press, on the screen, no matter what region DC you hook it up to...
We are SEGA generation.

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Anthony817
Shark Patrol
Posts: 2785

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#5 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:50 pm

I agree with maz, it should still work lol. French and English and most other Western European languages are all using Latin alphabet, so what is the problem? You press the key it should work, simple as that. I guess you just don't like the AZERTY layout is all right?
Image

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poopidoop
Doom
Posts: 189

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#6 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:24 pm

NightBreeze wrote:Yeah, no such luck with the french keyboard, whilst you can type english perfectly fine, some keys are in the wrong place (uses AZERTY layout).



oh i see what youre saying. im gonna go with it would be far easier to just sell that one and get a keyboard with a normal layout.

https://segaretro.org/File:DCKeyboard_DC_FR.jpg

NightBreeze
undertow
Posts: 25

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#7 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:41 pm

mazonemayu wrote:What the hell are you on about? Language? Region? It’s a DC keyboard, it shows whatever key you press, on the screen, no matter what region DC you hook it up to...


The technical specification calls it "Keyboard Language", but I guess calling it "keyboard layout" would've been more clear. Problem is it's AZERTY, not QWERTY, so some keys are in the wrong place (for a QWERTY typist, anyway).

Anthony817 wrote:I agree with maz, it should still work lol. French and English and most other Western European languages are all using Latin alphabet, so what is the problem? You press the key it should work, simple as that. I guess you just don't like the AZERTY layout is all right?


Yes, you hit the nail on the head! As I don't really look at keyboards while I type, I'm not looking to wire the AZERTY layout into my brain :lol:.

poopidoop wrote:oh i see what youre saying. im gonna go with it would be far easier to just sell that one and get a keyboard with a normal layout.

https://segaretro.org/File:DCKeyboard_DC_FR.jpg


True, but where's the fun and adventure in that :D? I also think, for me, trying to sell it would be more pain than opening it up and tinkering a little, hehe.

fafadou
fire
Posts: 82

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#8 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:58 pm

The AZERTY keyboard is a problem "tipping of the dead"...

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Anthony817
Shark Patrol
Posts: 2785

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#9 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:16 pm

Well more power to you if you have the skills and know how to pull something like this off! Maybe you can redo some traces or something? This way you can swap the correct keys around?
Image

247
MicroMidget
Posts: 444

Re: Changing the Dreamcast Keyboard Language

Post#10 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:54 am

I have bought a french keyboard too, seller didn't know it was french or so he said back then...
The keyboard is a really hit and miss, on european games i have the azerty layout, on usa ones i have the qwerty one, and this is very tedious, more than that, the azerty layout is a real pain (guess french can say the same about qwerty xD ). Lots of times is even a pain to look for symbols because they change from eu to jap to usa and i can never remember where are they (and they are often needed in italian)


Other than that i can say at last it still works better than a pad to write and at least it do the job online...

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