PC-Style Elk Stack?

By Oliver Debus

Originally published in EUG #20

I'd like to rejoin EUG.

I am also sending you a leaflet about Kempton. Unfortunately, it's only in German but I can send you an English version next time so that you'll know where I live here.

I am a student so unfortunately don't have much time. However, I want to bring my Electron back into action again. I also have a BBC Master 128 with 80186 Co-processor (1MB RAM) and a 386 PC here in Kempton just in front of me typing this letter. I'd like to put my Electron into a PC case. The trouble is how to make a PC Keyboard interface for it; I don't know the signals produced by an Electron keyboard?

I'd also like to know how to make an interface to connect my Electron to an S-VGA monitor. (I have instructions to convert it to EGA from an old Micro User magazine but not VGA which is quite different, I think.)

Can you ask via the EUG magazine if anyone can help? I remember someone selling an Elk in a PC-style case - even with a hard disk!

Oliver Debus
Kempton, GERMANY

I don't want to put a damper onto your interesting ideas - especially as someone may tell me I'm wrong - but the PC keyboard is interfaced to a PC using a special type of serial interface which isn't on the Electron keyboard since the Electron wasn't designed for it. Now it should, in theory, be perfectly possible to make such an interface for the Electron as the signals produced by it are a simple matrix where, if two pins are connected together, a key is assumed by the main computer board to have been pressed.

SVGA I think needs some timing signals and a number of other signals which would each need to be emulated. Here in the UK, the second hand market is quite lively and I think you would have no problem swapping an SVGA monitor for a good EGA. Is the market as good in Germany? Since you have details of connecting an EGA monitor, could you send these to use here? Several members will be interested.

Hard disks are quite easy to connect to the Electron once you have the relevant interfaces and software. The demand was there so people made the interface. I may be wrong but I haven't heard of anyone making an interface for an SVGA monitor.

Thanks for the leaflet. Can you type it onto a disk in English and send it to EUG?

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #20