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  1. #1
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    ROG Claymore keyboard + PS2 compatibility

    So I recently decided to get a new keyboard as I wanted something more compact for gaming sessions (TKL), but preferably with a detachable numpad as I actually do use the numpad a lot. Asus Claymore was the obvious choice compared to Tesoro's offerings and the end-of-life Microsoft Sidewinder X6.

    So before I went to buy it I sent Asus a presales question if the NKRO feature of the Asus Claymore would work with a UBS->PS2 adapter if I didn't care about all the bells and whistles and synergies with other ROG products, but just wanted plain keyboard functionality with NKRO - the answer was YES.

    Well now I own the keyboard and I'm disappointed to confirm that it does not work with USB->PS2 adapter, which works fine full nkro with my Zowie Celeritas II keyboard. At first I thought the problem was the keyboard requiring to much power from the PS2 port (5V/0,7A), so I went on to make a USB->PS2 adapter which had 5V power disconnected from the PS2, and supplied 5V from external USB cable. That didn't work either - actually the keyboard does not even light up, even though I confirmed with a volt-meter that it actually is supplied with 5 volts of power from the same USB source that it works on without the adapter.

    So I got to the conclusion that this keyboard is not a stupid passive keyboard that will work if supplied with 5v power. This actually makes sense when thinking about that the firmware can be flashed on this keyboard - the keyboard actually has an "operating system" running inside that performs a "power on self test" to see if it's connected to a USB port, or else the keyboard will not boot (yes, a keyboard that won't boot? wtf right..).
    When normal keyboards with both PS2 and USB support are supplied with 5V power they will "check" if it receives a clocksignal from the PS2 port, and if it does not it will fallback and act as an HID device (USB). For some reason I have hope that the same capabilities are actually there in the hardware of Claymore - it's just the firmware that bypasses this.

    Actually if PS2 was supported this would make it a very unique product (first native PS2 nkro keyboard to support macros and gaming profiles). Because the software is running on hardware inside the keyboard itself, almost all of the keyboard features could be retained when using it with PS2 like on-the-fly macros, switching profiles for various games and even changing the RGB colours as they are all controllable with FN+?.
    And if you don't like to configure the keyboard via the FN-button, then it would be possible to connect it with USB, configure it with Armory software, sync changes and then be used with PS2 again - that is really no different of how iPods was used by the most of the world not so long ago

    So because of the "potential" I'm not giving up yet:
    - Does anyone have pictures of the Asus Claymore PCB (I don't wanna take mine apart yet - to new)
    - Does anyone have a copy of the firmware file so there could be an attempt to reverse engineer it (maybe some ttl options are available)?
    - Wasn't there a guy on this forum supplying beta firmwares for the Claymore keyboard who might actually be able to confirm whether PS2 is possible at all?


    Sidenote: PS2 vs USB is a conversation for another day - we all know PS2 is superior in theory, but there is a lot of discussion about whether it makes a difference in use. Honestly I don't care - I just want to use the theoretically superior technology and make sure that there is no doubt that the limitation is the player and not the equipment. We all want and buy products that is over-engineered for our needs (like most ROG products) - don't defend USB for the convenience of hot-plug capability and control of rainbow lights (vendors could add dual PS2+USB cabling for that anyway)
    Last edited by N0vember; 05-08-2018 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Array MasterC@ASUS's Avatar
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    The detachable keypad really appealed to me also, but if you didn't care for all the bells and whistles then Claymore was perhaps not the best purchase for you. It was clearly stated as a USB keyboard, if anyone told you different, please private message me the person you talked to or even the email correspondence.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterC@ASUS View Post
    The detachable keypad really appealed to me also, but if you didn't care for all the bells and whistles then Claymore was perhaps not the best purchase for you. It was clearly stated as a USB keyboard, if anyone told you different, please private message me the person you talked to or even the email correspondence.
    Well If it cant do PS2 it doesnt really matter which employee told me it could. It would only serve the purpose to bash him, so I'm skipping that part. He wont be getting that question everyday, and answering it wrongly anyway

    As for choosing the Asus Claymore without the care for bells and whistles then there is really no keyboards with detachable numpad other than:

    Asus ROG Claymore - MX red switches
    Logitech Dinovo - 15 year old keyboard which is wireless. Not suited for gaming.
    Gigabyte AORUS Thunder K7 - MX red switches, bulky design (only 6KRO over USB unless "gaming mode" is used)
    Microsoft Sidewinder x6 - Only 2KRO. Not suited for gaming (also end-of-sale).
    Tesoro Tizona - Kalih switches (only 6KRO over USB unless "gaming mode" is used)
    Tesoro Tizona Elite - Kalih switches (only 6KRO over USB unless "gaming mode" is used)
    Tesoro Tizona Spectrum - Kalih switches (only 6KRO over USB unless "gaming mode" is used)


    Asus Claymore is by far the most appealing keyboard in terms of quality. Features like control of an overclock via hotkeys on a keyboard if you have ROG motherboard is just a useless gimmick. I've overclocked for 15 years and never wished I had that option. The RGB lightning I get - a lot of people want that. But that's not why I choose it. I wanted a detachable numpad and it was the best option.
    Also I thought I got a native NKRO quality mechanical keyboard that could fallback to PS2 (like all probably designed keyboards can). Just to point out the newest keyboard from BenQ - Zowie Celeritas II with brand new Flaretech optical switches uses PS2, and that's top of the line esports gear.
    In my opinion it's sad a brand like ROG "settles for USB". The spirit of the motherboards "no nonsense wont settle for nothing" that are designed to withstand LN2 overclocking , certainly isn't reflected in the ROG gaming gear and the most expensive keyboard on the market.

    NKRO over USB happens by software trickery which doesn't make it full NKRO (like installing multiple HID devices for 1 keyboard). They can try to convince me all day, but why does it only work in Windows then (yes, because it needs special software workarounds to work and the solutions introduce jitter or jamming of the USB bus by excessive polling).

    Again remember. Why settle for USB, when there is a interface available that removes ALL doubt of limitation like PS2.
    Toms hardware has a fine article which is still relevant to this day explaining the advantages - no information has aged:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...rd,2955-5.html
    Last edited by N0vember; 05-17-2018 at 09:55 PM.

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