Griffin iMate ADB to USB adapter... safe?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #1
    I have had this Griffin 'iMate' adapter for a while now. It's a nifty little cable that adapts Apple Desktop Bus devices to USB. So, for example, it lets me use my Apple Extended Keyboard II and ADB mouse I on a computer that uses USB. Now, I assume that it's true that ADB is NOT plug-n'-play. In fact, Apple claimed, in their old user manuals for computers, that removing an ADB connection from the Apple computer, while it was on, could damage the peripheral or ADB port. My question is: I know USB is plug-n'-play, but is the ADB device connected to it suddenly plug-n'-play capable once adapted to USB? I am wondering if the sudden plugging-in and unplugging of this adapter, with an ADB device connected to it, can damage the ADB device. I don't know if this was a coincidence, but I used my Apple Extended Keyboard II on a newer Mac and unplugged it/plugged it in freely without worry. At some point I did get odd issues, such as the caps lock light sometimes not turning on when I pressed the key, or turning on only once the key was deactivated, requiring some toying with the key to get it to be in-sync again. Also, about two or three keys on the keyboard are now screwed up. I can't quite remember, but I think when I press the 'W' key, 'wx' gets typed as if I pressed those two keys in unison. Did this iMate, with its questionable architecture, do something to my keyboard? I wanted to plug in my original Apple Extended Keyboard I to a newer Apple computer, but I am afraid to after what happened to my AEK II. Any ideas? I am just a little skeptical on the safety of this device. As for the mouse, no problems occurred. (not much can go wrong with a mouse).
     
  2. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #2
    Keyboard

    Well usb is plug and play. removing the adb from the adapter may cause electrical spikes but doubtful.

    Your problems are more likely due to the age of the keyboard and dirt or degradation of its internals due to age.

    All keyboards have some kind of life span. The one your using could be extended by removing the keys, taking the plastic off and cleaning the decades of dust , dirt and grime from the buttons.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #3
    Yeah, maybe I shall try to give it a deep cleaning, as I do with my non-mechanical keyboards. I recall one needing a special tool to remove the keycaps correctly... Is that true or can I just pull/pry them off? I have been a little hesitant to actually pull the keys off of this thing. (just to clarify, it's an Apple Extended Keyboard II).
     
  4. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #4
    pop off

    They pop off pretty easy, just make sure that all the keys work before you put the caps back on. like anything else they will hold on less and less the more they are removed and put back on.
     
  5. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #5
    I'm relying on memory, but I remember that old "don't plug or unplug the ADB cable while the Mac is on" thing, and I also remember that after following it's dictates/mandates for years, somebody wrote in a well-argued post (somewhere lost to time) that the real reason was something to do with addressing & the ADB bus, and when unplugged the Mac would lose track & potentially assign it an incorrect address when plugged back in??? something like that...anyway, after that I remember not bothering to shut down or sleep the Mac the couple of times I had to plug/unplug it.

    Flash forward to 2014...I'm typing this on my Apple II keyboard & Kensington Turbo Mouse, using an iMate ADB to USB adaptor, and I just had to plug & unplug the USB cable (for the second time today) because the keyboard was unresponsive. ??? no idea why.

    I've had to do that occasionally, and nothing bad has ever happened. The weird thing is, I have two Apple Keyboard II's, and both have a problem with reading a "terminal 't'" in a word (like "that")...in fact, just there with the "that" it didn't pick up, and I had to type an extra letter near the "t" to get it to read it. Again, I'm not sure why...

    As far as cleaning the thing, everything snaps apart and snaps back together, but getting leverage on the first coupla keys can be tough...feels like you may break the thing, but hasn't happened yet. There are some metal bars under the shift keys and under the space bars, so be careful not to send those flying across the room.
     
  6. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #6
    Hmm, interesting. And yeah, sometimes keyboards do odd things on these adapters. Adapting ADB to USB by itself is kind of an illegitimate thing to begin with. I still feel comfortable note using it for keyboards. I don't know if it's the nature of the adapter, the keyboards, or BOTH, but I have a bad feeling when I use it. I am sure everything is okay in the end, and it is cool to use an old keyboard. Too bad I reply on the volume button, even with external speakers.
     

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