I have a vintage Sun Microsystems Type 6 keyboard that uses an 8 pin Mini-DIN and I want to use it on a modern computer with at least a USB 2.0 port. I've searched online e-commerce websites but most sell only PS/2 6 pin to USB adpatpers or converters. One site (Drakware) sells what I'm looking for but is unavailable (https://www.drakware.com/shop/p/sun2usb) and still awaiting a response from them. Here are photos for reference: Sun type 6 keyboard

8 pin Mini-DIN

Thanks in advance.

  • 5
    drakware has closed up their shop for now. An option might be to homebrew something with an Arduino Micro, such as SunType5_ArduinoAdapter or suniversal. And watch out for that bent pin in your mini-DIN cable!
    – scruss
    May 31, 2021 at 15:12
  • 2
    I’ve had some success using a propelling pencil to straighten bent pins.
    – Frog
    May 31, 2021 at 19:51
  • 1
    Beware of the power button on the top right. One of our customers pressed it and it shut down the Sun workstation. Took us a week to figure out how to disable it. Hopefully that is not enabled when you connect it to your machine.
    – cup
    Jun 1, 2021 at 22:14
  • @scruss thanks for the info. I guessed as much, drakware products are all sold-out. Time to take out the soldering kits..
    – Homberger
    Jun 2, 2021 at 10:38
  • 1
    It seems the verdict at <retrocomputing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/166> was that questions about where to obtain parts are off-topic, so… Jun 2, 2021 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


You could maybe solve the 2-step conversion in 2 separate steps: Belkin used to offer a Sun keyboard/mouse to PS/2 adapter as part of their KVM product line (these adapters seem to be available fairly cheaply from eBay ). Once you have a standard PS/2 connectpr, converting that to USB should be possible with standard adapters for PCs.

  • Don't those standard adapters work only if the keyboard supports both PS/2 and USB protocols, and adapts accordingly? (I suppose that to mean PS/2 signalling over USB wires). Would the Sun adapter support that? Jun 1, 2021 at 12:55
  • 2
    @another-dave There are active PS/2 to USB adapters that do protocol conversion, as well as passive ones that just swap the wires around. See, for example, retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/1132/…
    – john_e
    Jun 1, 2021 at 13:30
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    @another-dave Direction is of importance here: There's no PS/2 (keyboard) to USB (Computer) adapters like that. The adapters you refer to are USB (Keyboard) to PS/2 (Computer) that will only work with keyboards that support both protocols. There are no computers to my knowledge that would support both PS/2 and USB on a PS/2 socket (but there are keyboards that do, the Sun one is none of them). The direction PS/2 (KB) to USB (Computer) is always an active converter. Unfortunately, the Sun keyboards aren't PS/2 (at least not the PS/2 a normal PC would assume), so we first need to go there
    – tofro
    Jun 1, 2021 at 13:55
  • The PS/2 6pin mini-DIN (keyboard) to USB (computer) active converter is pretty straightforward; i'm typing on the setup right now. This 8-pin Sun keyboard is definitely going to need an active converter to USB. Problem is the vendor. I'd like to avoid going through an arduino setup if I can.
    – Homberger
    Jun 2, 2021 at 10:53

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