Hi Newton fans,

the original plan was to release a neat product for you, inspired by the USB-to-DIN connector that came out earlier this year. But I was interrupted... .

To connect the USB/DIN cable to the MP2x00, you still must have a dongle from the proprietary Apple Interconnect Port to the also somewhat proprietary Mini DIN connector. These seem to be made from unobtanium these days, and the original manufacturer of the plug itself will not make them again, even when I asked for 600 of them. Bad luck for us.

So I waded through all online catalogs of all electronics distributors I could find in the quest of the one plug that may be compatible. But the pin pitch in question is 1mm, a pitch that is very uncommon.

But I wouldn't write all this if I failed, now would I. I present to you the IEEE 1386 standard. Pretty much the one and only 1mm pitch connector that I could find at all, and woohoo, it can help us out here. Meant to connect two printed circuit boards in a backpack manner, the female plug does fit the Newton Interconnect Port after some box cutter surgery to make the pin count match.

It's a Molex 0714390964, 1.00mm Mezzanine (IEEE 1386) Receptacle, Surface Mount, Dual Row, Vertical Stacking, 64 Circuits Pick and Place Cap, and yes, they are available in black as well.

So, some cutting is required

and some very fine soldering. But everything is easier with a circuit board. And with JLPCB offering a set of 10 PCBs for $2 (plus $16 shipping), this is really a nice option:

Bad soldering at its best.

With header pins for experimenting.

The connector is a good enough fit, maybe a bit too loose, but the contact seem fine. This photo shows my first zombie plug in the official MP2x00 connector.

So three things are left to do:

1: hook up the USB module. I didn't have time yet, wanting to avoid a short circuit or ruining my MP in any other way, but the signals are definitively there according to my scope. There is also space and power for an inverter, or whatever we need here, so yes, easy peasy.

2: design a case, because if this is plugged in upside down, it may kill your Interconnect Port, making it a very bad day. A case can fix it right side up mechanically. Also pretty easy thanks to 3d printing.

3: come up with PCBs, maybe for a DIN dongle as well, and have a few made if there is demand. And even that is fairly easy. The annoying part is the soldering

Added bonus:

On Aliexpress there are USB-C power modules and boost converters that could provide the 7V, 1200mA that are required as the correct supply voltage through the interconnect port. So one USB-C connection would provide data and ample power, even for charging, at the same time.