Raspberry Pi Pico Saves Unicomp Keyboards – Find Compatible Models


  • Unicomp’s Model M keyboards faced discontinuation due to the discontinuation of a crucial chip in its controller cards.
  • Unicomp redesigned its USB controllers using the Raspberry Pi Pico as a replacement for the discontinued part.
  • The use of the Raspberry Pi Pico allows for reprogramming and modding of the Model M keyboards.
  • Purdea Andrei has ported Vial-QMK to the new Unicomp controller cards running the Raspberry Pi Pico, allowing for real-time keyboard reconfiguration.
  • Unicomp keyboards purchased from June 2023 onwards likely have a Raspberry Pi Pico under the keys.
  • Controller replacement with a Raspberry Pi Pico-powered alternative is possible for older keyboards, but compatibility should be checked.
  • All Unicomp keyboards (except for EnduraPro) now come with an Aristides controller card, and Mini M models for the United States come with Justify/Mike Smith controller cards.
  • Adafruit suggests the possibility of models running the Raspberry Pi Pico W with custom firmware for Bluetooth connectivity.

Ted’s Take:

Unicomp’s Model M keyboards were on the verge of extinction, but fear not, the Raspberry Pi Pico swooped in to save the day! With the discontinuation of a crucial chip, Unicomp had to get creative and redesign their USB controllers using the beloved microcontroller. And let me tell you, it’s not just a replacement, it’s a game changer. Now, you can reprogram and mod your Model M to your heart’s desire. Need different functionality? Just reconfigure your keyboard in real-time using a GUI or a JSON configuration file. Want to automate tasks and feel like a lazy genius? Create macros and combos that will do the work for you. If you’re lucky enough to have purchased a Unicomp Model M recently, you probably already have a Raspberry Pi Pico working its magic under your fingertips. And if you have an older Model M, there’s hope for you too. Just make sure to check compatibility before attempting a controller replacement. With the Raspberry Pi Pico, Unicomp keyboards are getting a new lease on life, and who knows, maybe we’ll even see some Bluetooth-enabled models in the future. The possibilities are endless, just like the clicks

Original Article: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/raspberry-pi-pico-keeps-unicomp-keyboards-clicking

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