Arduino as an writing machine? Need advice

Hi there

Can I ad an keyboard to an arduino an a SD Module and a small sunlight readable display to my arduino to create a simple "writing machine" for outdoor use?

It should only to show the typed text and save it to the sd card.

Is this possible?

ps2 keyboard is a goer (but not USB)


Everything is possible with Arduino, the problem I see is that it may be a little bit unconfortable, it depends how you do it.

PS2 keyboards (common old ones) are easy to interface, requiring only 5 volt power and 2 signals, so it’s possible to connect one to Arduino.
the communication is based on a bus with two lines: one for the clock and one for the data. The clock signal is generated by the keyboard,
and when both the signal are in the high logic state the keyboard is ready to send data to Arduino.
Ok, so the the keyboard pin that usually goes into the computer is not so easy to directly connect to arduino, so maybe it would be more
comfortable to cut the cable keeping an eye on wich cable is wich.

Ok, so now I uploaded an image it may help you to take a closer look to the keyboard Pin we are talking about.

There is explicited wich pin is doing what.
Of course the 5V pin goes to 5 volts, the gnd to gnd…
Connect the DATA pin to any numbered arduino Pin, as n° 8 and the clock to another one, as n°2, because is the Data pin!!! Very important…
Check out if the Pins in the sketch are the same you connected the keyboard to!

You will need to use the PS2 keyboard library, you can find it there:
Also you will see and intresting image doing something you are trying to do.

Here is a schetch you mase use, you may find it in the examples of your Arduino IDE. Or in the site

#include <PS2Keyboard.h>

#define DATA_PIN 4
PS2Keyboard keyboard;

void setup() {


void loop() {
if(keyboard.available()) {
byte dat =;
byte val = dat - ‘0’;

if(val >= 0 && val <= 9) {
Serial.print(val, DEC);
} else if(dat == PS2_KC_ENTER) {
} else if(dat == PS2_KC_ESC) {

Ask if you need some help! I didn’t try it but this is how I would make it!


Thanks for your detailed help :)

But will there be enough connectors free to ad an lcd display and an SD Card or an Eprom to save the text?

Maybe I will try an EPaper LCD

Are you using Arduino UNO or Mega or?? All it depends about the power Arduino can give. And the keyboards needs about voltage and current. (look behind it) I also made an easier sketch by myself with that library that just writes in the Serial monitor what you are pressing with your keyboard. If you wanna check if the PS2 works...tell me I'll post it.