PS/2 to USB adapters and converters

Like if this guide is helpful
Many people have cherished PS/2 keyboards (especially of the genuine mechanical kind), trackballs, mice, etc, and wish to continue using them with computers and laptops that don't have PS/2 ports.  This generally works well by using a PS/2 to USB adapter, but there are a couple of things to look out for.
1) Some adapters are purely passive.
This is always the case for the very small and very cheap plug-like adapters.  These only work with multi-protocol devices.  These devices speak both PS/2 and USB, and sense which type of port they are connected to, and the only thing the adapter does is to connect the wires.  You will need to check the specifications for your PS/2 device to find out if it indeed does work with USB.  For what it's worth, I've ever only had a trackball that worked with both protocols.
2) Beware of half-baked active adapters.
For devices that only speak PS/2 you need an active adapter.  This speaks PS/2 to the device and USB to the PC, and translates between the two, but if you have a 102-key keyboard, there are cheap active adapters that won't recognize the key between left shift and Z (usually <> or \|) found on these keyboards.  The same is presumably the case for 105-key keyboards.  Higher quality adapters such as from Belkin work fine.

Happy Hacking!


For some reason ebay insists that guides be at least 400 words long.  This makes no sense.  Isn't the above useful as is?  Would it be more useful if it was longer?

But by all means, a good thing bears repeating.

Many people have cherished PS/2 keyboards (especially of the genuine mechanical kind), trackballs, mice, etc, and wish to continue using them with computers and laptops that don't have PS/2 ports.  This generally works well by using a PS/2 to USB adapter, but there are a couple of things to look out for.
1) Some adapters are purely passive.
This is always the case for the very small and very cheap plug-like adapters.  These only work with multi-protocol devices.  These devices speak both PS/2 and USB, and sense which type of port they are connected to, and the only thing the adapter does is to connect the wires.  You will need to check the specifications for your PS/2 device to find out if it indeed does work with USB.  For what it's worth, I've ever only had a trackball that worked with both protocols.
2) Beware of half-baked active adapters.
For devices that only speak PS/2 you need an active adapter.  This speaks PS/2 to the device and USB to the PC, and translates between the two, but if you have a 102-key keyboard, there are cheap active adapters that won't recognize the key between left shift and Z (usually <> or \|) found on these keyboards.  The same is presumably the case for 105-key keyboards.  Higher quality adapters such as from Belkin work fine.

Happy Hacking!
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides