Embedding ACR1252U into keyboard

I did this project once using a Parallax RFID reader for my book, but after a while I figured it was time to do it again with my daily driver Microsoft Natural keyboad. Luckily I have several spares so I converted one of those.

This project uses exactly 2 very old pieces of tech with 2 new pieces of tech to achieve Nirvana.

Videos (photos below)


  • Looks like a lot of space in there for stuff. Cool!

  • I jumped ahead because I didn’t think to post about this project until I was half way through. Basically I’ve placed the soldered a test USB head cable to the USB hub board as well as the PC/SC reader and the PS/2 keyboard adapter (after cutting off their USB ends).

  • Here is the ACR1252U board with all unnecessary PCB area trimmed off with a Dremel tool.

  • The RadioShack model PS/2 adapter I bought, probably in 1995, so I could use the Microsoft Natural keyboard with USB devices. Computers were just starting to abandon the DB9 serial ports, DB25 parallel ports, and PS/2 port standards in favor of USB only peripherals.

  • Here is the USB mini hub board in all it’s glory. It really is quite impressive… it’s a 4 port hub that’s super small.

  • Things are getting hot glued in place. I replaced the short USB test cable on the hub with a color matched USB cable I’ve also had kicking around since the late 90’s. Finally happy to be able to put it to good use in this project.

  • This threw me… the PS/2 cable color scheme is exactly the same as USB - red, black, green, white… but VCC is black, GND is red… like wtf!?

  • Almost final assembly… used telco wire connectors to bridge the PS/2 ends of the keyboard and adapter together. Hot glued those down but forgot to take a picture because I was too excited to test.