I have a vintage IBM Model F which I just bought from eBay, that I am trying to connect to my new Windows Pc. I ordered a DIN to Ps/2 converter from Newegg, because I my pc has a combined ps/2 port, so I assumed it was just going to be an easy plug and go. However. My computer can’t seem to read that there is a keyboard there! It won’t work in The BIOS and it won’t even come up in device manager. Is there are driver I need to download or something? Please help!

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    Does the keyboard have num/caps/scroll lock indicators in the top right hand corner? If not it's an PC/XT keyboard which will not work with an passive AT converter do you have a part number?
    – PeterI
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 0:56
  • It's a good thought. My daily driver is an IBM Model M. Works no problem with PS/2 on modern motherboards. Never tried a Model F but getting it working first on an old PC with PS/2 would be a good first step.
    – Brian H
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 11:42
  • the keyboard used must support old serial interface for example I am using DIN5/PS2 + PS2/USB passive converters on my oscilloscope (running Win9x) with old USB keyboard I got for my long dead laptop (let it rest in pieces). It is working but the new keyborads (especially fancy ones for gaming) do not ... And also the converters should be the right ones IIRC there were some differences between mouse and keyboard (they where usually color coded as they looked the same with the same connectors) you want the violet ones not green. And also PS2 requires restart ...
    – Spektre
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


The only Model F keyboard which can be used on a modern PC with only a passive DIN to PS/2 converter is the 84-key AT keyboard. This keyboard type can be recognised by the 'Caps Lock', 'Num Lock' and 'Scroll Lock' lights in the top right-hand corner, and the keys being separated into three blocks.

Other keyboards such as the 83-key PC/XT keyboard or the 122-key 3270 PC / terminal keyboards require to be connected through an active protocol converter (such as "Soarer's Converter") to be usable on a PC with a PS/2 port.

It's also possible to use at least some 122-key keyboards if you burn a new microcontroller with AT-compatible firmware but that's rather more invasive than using a separate converter. (I've seen this process described as 'flashing' the microcontroller, which it isn't -- the 874x is based on EPROM, not flash!)

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