Our company have a lot of keyboard for desktop which have ps2 port at the rear. But I am using a notebook which only has usb port. I heard that not every keyboard can be converted to usb plug. Are both the type of converter and keyboard very important to determine whether one can convert a ps2 plug to usb plug?

  • It is cheaper (or better) to buy a usb keyboard then get a converter. It is not recommended. you can get today a decent USB Keyboard for about $10-$20. while USB to PS2 costs about $20. Please don't waste your time and money! – Miro co Oct 13 '11 at 6:31
  • It is that costly? I didn't know that. I am just thinking while there are free keyboard in office, all I need is a simple converter? – lamwaiman1988 Oct 13 '11 at 6:46
  • Here's a thought... TRY IT! If it doesn't work, it won't work. Nothing will be harmed by this, but you can save HOURS of detective work and asking by TRYing it. You've obviously got everything, the keyboard, the USB adapter (it's purple, right? The green ones are for mice, and definitely won't work). – lornix Oct 13 '11 at 22:53
  • no, I don't have a converter now. – lamwaiman1988 Oct 13 '11 at 23:40

There's two types of converters - active and passive. You use a passive converter if the keyboard supports USB and its just a matter of electrical conversion, else you use an active one .

Most reasonably modern (say in the last 10 years) keyboards SHOULD work with a passive converter, since they are designed to support both protocols.

I'd suggest trying a passive one first, then looking at an active one - geekhack has a periodically updated guide on active ps/2 to USB converters

EDIT: Since they are down...

The 'go to' active converter people recommend seems to be a generic model referred to as the blue cube

enter image description here

Other than the obvious (its blue, and a cube), they use a specific chip made by cypress and generally work.

  • I think you're providing a too large timeframa with 15 years. Remember, USB has only been around for 17 years if you count versions lower than 1.0 and it hasn't been very popular for more than 10 years. In fact the brand new keyboard I got 15 years ago still had DIN-5 port from PC/AT. – AndrejaKo Oct 13 '11 at 7:23
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    the only system i have had with a DIN5 port was an xt clone. granted the 15 year timeframe was long - 10 might be more accurate – Journeyman Geek Oct 13 '11 at 8:59
  • The shape of the plug is less important than the capabilities of the keyboard microprocessor, AndrejaKo. It's whether the microprocessor can speak both protocols that matters. After all, it's the same 4 actual signal lines (PWR, GND, D-/DATA, D+/CLK) in the 5-pin PC/AT plug, the 6-pin PS/2 plug, and the 4-pin USB plug. The keyboard microprocessor picks the communications protocol used on them, either by reading strap pins or by autodetection at power on. A post-USB-manufactured keyboard may well have a dual-protocol microprocessor even if it has an old plug. – JdeBP Oct 16 '11 at 10:50
  • well, that and the firmware in the microprocessor in question. Also, some PS/2 keyboards don't handle even active USB conversion well - to the point where there's guides to what various active USB converters will work with what – Journeyman Geek Oct 16 '11 at 11:26
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    (Ping @Power-Inside for the above comment ;-)) – Arjan Dec 26 '12 at 8:53

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