Help with Soarer's Converter programming


#1

I recently got ahold of an IBM Space-Saving Keyboard Model M, and it had a USB cable with the integrated Soarer’s Converter Teensy controller. I’ve been trying to understand how to program the board using Soarer’s documentation, but frankly I’m in a bit of a loss.

Would anyone be kind to help me out?


#2

I am also curious…I have one of orihalcon’s cables and I can’t figure out how to use the Soarer’s programming utilities.


#3

Oh boy, something I actually know how to do.


First you’ll want to download the Soarer_Converter_v1.10.zip from the Soarers’ GMK thread. Should be at https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=17458.0 along with the 1.12 update, but that can be dealt with later.


Inside this zip are the configs, docs, firmware, and tools folders. Docs is important because it has the html docs that help with using Soarers’, but for now we’re interested in tools.


Inside you’ll want to extract the win32 sctools folder.


Once inside, the file you want to pay attention to is the scaswr.bat file. This is the batch file that will allow you to flash your updated keymap to the Soarers’ converter.


This is a basic remap file. The important bits are the remapblock at the beginning and endblock at the end. Anything starting with # is just a note and isn’t paid attention to. The way the remapping works is you take the keycode that the key you want to remap currently sends and the keycode you want it to send and just put them on a tabbed line together. For example, I have my key that normally sends EXTRA_F1 remapped to send MEDIA_VOLUME_DOWN. To find what keycodes are currently being sent through the converter by any key you can download hid_listen from https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/hid_listen.html open it, and just press keys to see the codes. Then, you can open codes.html back in the docs folder to look for the code you actually want it to send.


After saving your remap.sc file, just drag it on top of scaswr.bat with the converter plugged in to compile the map and then upload it to the converter.


If you want to update to 1.12 you can just download the 1.12update zip, extract, then using either Teensy.exe or QMK Toolbox flash the appropriate .hex onto the converter.

Hopefully this is clear enough, it’s been a bit since I’ve messed with it so hopefully I got everything right.

Edit: A quick thought, you might want to start with a remap.sc file that’s blank besides remapblock and endblock first to reset any remappings that the previous owner might have set. The remap won’t work unless you’re using the keycodes that are originally being sent by those specific keys.


#4

Thank you so much, @donutcat!

This helped a bunch. So it’s kind of weird, but I actually couldn’t use any of the Windows tools properly for some reason.

  • My PC would detect Soarer’s Keyboard Converter when the keyboard was plugged in and the default keymap (the keys as they are printed) was working fine.
  • When I tried the HID_listen tool, it was stuck on “Listening…” and nothing would happen when I typed keys while the terminal was open!
  • I wanted to update the controller to the v1.12 ATMega32u hex file, but I couldn’t get the Soarer’s to Bootloader mode (scboot would run and give me “ok” but it wouldn’t actually do anything to the controller, and the keyboard would still function normally).
  • In the end, I tried everything I could, even installed the Arduino IDE and Teensy tools, but I just couldn’t get it to work on PC.

So I got the same tools on Mac, created my keymap, and remapped it via the Terminal on Mac. HID Listen would work fine there, and the remapping was successful, fortunately. I’m still at a loss as to why Soarer’s wouldn’t be detected properly by the sctools and HID Listen on my PC though… even though it seems I have all the right drivers.


#5

I had some issues with tools on Windows 10 but works just fine on Windows 7. I’m using my own XT / AT Soarer’s Converter at www.tinkerboy.xyz