Serial Mouse adapters for the Acorn Archimedes

The Acorn Archimedes range of computers has an atypical hardware implementation of its RS232/RS423 serial port. In order to use a serial mouse with the port to replace the harder to find Acorn Quadrature mice, a special adapter may need to be used.

Some serial mice will work without the adapter but I've found that of all my serial mice, only one works with the Archimedes and it requires this adapter too.

Parts for assembly

The adapter is straightforward to build and requires a small amount of soldering to get the job done. The parts required to build a single adapter are as follows:

  • 1 * 9-way D-Sub plug
  • 1 * 9-way D-Sub socket
  • 1 * 9-way D-Sub box (with fixings)
  • 6 lengths of wire (4 long, 2 short)

All the parts ready for assembly of the Serial to PC Mouse adapter

Wiring the connectors

The four long wires are connected as straight through connections on pins 2, 3, 5 and 7. The two short wires connect pins 1, 4 and 6 together on the 9-way socket which will plug into the Archimedes' serial port.

Wiring diagram for an Archimedes serial port to PC mouse adapter

The finished article

The photo below shows the Archimedes end of the adapter with the traditional fixing screws in place.

The serial mouse adapter after completion

On the mouse side of the adapter, the fixing screws are replaced with hexagonal nuts allowing a mouse to be plugged in and secured.

A second shot of the Archimedes Serial to PC Mouse adapter

Making it work

Once you've made up your adapter, for versions of RISC OS below 3.50, you need to install some serial mouse drivers. I use the Serial Mouse Driver v2.00 by Stuart Tyrrell as it can auto-detect between MS (Mouse Systems - 2 button) and PC (3 button) serial mice so it makes life a little easier.

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Serial Mouse Driver

Stuart Tyrrell released his Serial Mouse driver as Public Domain in the archive that you can download below.

Acorn BBC A3000