Converting IBM Wheelwriter to USB Keyboard

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The first part of this post contains background on how I got the keyboard and how I progressed with it. If you'd like to jump straight into the conversion instructions, click here.

Quick link to GitLab repo of this project: Nicd/qmk_firmware

Obtaining the Wheelwriter

After getting my Cherry finished, my brother messaged me that his company was emptying their old office and were throwing away some sort of IBM typerwiter. He asked if I would be interested in taking it instead, to save it from going to the landfill. Of course I was, and so I was soon in possession of a working IBM Wheelwriter 6747-2. The Wheelwriter is an electric typerwiter introduced by IBM in 1984 to replace the earlier Selectric. It has a keyboard with similar construction to that of the famous IBM Model M, using the same buckling spring mechanism. The unit my brother saved for me is from 1986.

I myself had no use for a typewriter, but I was very interested in its keyboard, that seemed to be in perfect condition. All the keys responded properly, so it was just a matter of disconnecting the keyboard and converting it into USB usage. This is how my conversion story started.