Although we all have a computer or laptop at home, there are many who still have a typewriter that they have not thrown away out of nostalgia. And although many believe that the typewriter is obsolete and has no purpose, the truth is that thanks to Free Hardware it is an increasingly used device.
A maker user, Konstantin Schauwecker has managed to transform an old typewriter into a wireless keyboard that works and connects to a computer. The transformation process is easy but long and requires little money.
Konstantin Schauwecker has used an old Olympia typewriter to create this keyboard. The first thing he has done is fill each key with phototransistors responsible for sending the keystroke. Then you have connected all these phototransistors to a PCB that he himself created. Once you have connected everything, PCB board has been connected to Arduino Leonardo, so that the typewriter can be connected to a computer or laptop. Once the machine is connected to the Arduino board, we only have to connect the Arduino Leonardo to the pc. This will give us a traditional keyboard, that is, a wired keyboard. But we can replace the Arduino Leonardo board with Arduino Yún, in this case we would have a wireless keyboard.
The process is simple, but the work is long because we have to connect each phototransistor to each typewriter key and then to the PCB board. But after this work we will have two gadgets in one: a classic typewriter and a wireless keyboard.
You can find the construction guide as well as the plans of the pcb here!. In other words, anyone can build their own typewriter-keyboard for little money. Although if we want to save time, we can always opt for a traditional computer keyboard.