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Old 02 September 2007, 23:41   #1
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Keyboard pictures

I have a variety of keyboards in my possession.. :-)

The first one is an old A2000A era Cherry keyboard.




Doommaster reckons this keyboard is worth hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately his forum is offline so I can't link you.
[edit: forum back online, actual value $1200: http://www.retrogeekcomputers.com/ph...c.php?f=4&t=28
Any takers? This keyboard can be yours for $1200! :-P]

Cherry also did some of the A1000 keyboards, the others were done by Mitsumi. All A1000 keyboards have individual mechanical switches.

Notable: The keyboard controller is by Philips, not CSG. The POING trick doesn't work here, just like it doesn't work with an A1200 kbd controller.


Last edited by Jope; 02 August 2014 at 17:41. Reason: A1000 kbd info fixed
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Old 02 September 2007, 23:49   #2
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This keyboard is one I'm extremely fond of.




Made by NMB and again individually keyswitched. The PC keyboard folk call these "Space invader switches" due to how they look under the keycap. :-)




Peculiarity: C= logo instead of the left Amiga key.

You can easily identify these by the rivet between Del and Help. Also the keyboard feel is very unique.

If someone has a German or Swedish NMB keyboard for the A500/A2000 for sale, I'm interested!
Actually, if you have a German/Swedish PC compatible NMB, sell that to me too! :-)

Last edited by Jope; 18 April 2011 at 10:02.
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Old 03 September 2007, 00:01   #3
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For the most part, Amiga keyboards are made by Mitsumi. They have a plastic stem with a piece of conductive rubber on the bottom. The rubber strikes two pads on the keyboard membrane (A500/600/1200) or circuit board (big box).



But if the mechanics are the same, why is a big box keyboard nice and clicky and the wedge machines have mushy keyboards?

Well, the secret lies right under the keycap.. :-)
Wedge:

Big box:



Simply having rubber cups that click between the positions in place of the springs, the big box Amiga keyboards feel much nicer to type on, yet are otherwise mechanically similar to the keyboards in the little sisters.

Also the PCB vs. plastic membrane is a notable difference, but one that doesn't really affect the reliability or the feel of the keyboard, only the price.. Membrane is cheaper of course, C= saved every penny on the machines that were made in volume. :-)

Also you can barely see it in the pictures, but wedge keyboards have smoother, shinier keycaps. Big box machines have rougher matte keycaps. This also adds to a "quality" feel in addition to the rubber cups.

I have also seen Mitsumi PC keyboards with a similar mechanism as the Amiga, complete with rubber cups. I'd actually need one for my sinister plans, but I'm yet to source one. :-)

Last edited by Jope; 18 January 2009 at 12:43.
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Old 03 September 2007, 00:11   #4
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Like I said before, the A1000's keyboard is also individually keyswitched, some by Cherry, some by Mitsumi.

The one I photographed is a little battered, but it was more easily accessible than the pristine one I have in storage. :-) This unit had Mitsumi switches.



Notable here is that the lowest row (Alt A space A Alt arrowdown - enter) are slanted a different way than the rest of the keys. Feels very odd, I guess someone tried to be ergonomic here?



Another silliness you can make out is that the guide dimples are not on F and J like on every other Amiga keyboard, but on D and K! This again leads to a very strange feel when typing on it..

It always feels that you've got your hands too close to each other, when the reassuring dimple is under your middle fingers, instead of the forefingers. :-)

Otherwise the action of the keys is very nice with a soft click as the switch makes contact.

Hmm, quarter past midnight. I guess it's bedtime.

If someone could post similar pictures of the A500 keyboard with two membranes, it'd complete this thread. I don't know of any other types of Amiga keyboard. I used to have one of those (in my very first UK based A500, rev5 ks1.3), but I gave it away as a result of some trades. Too bad. :-(

Last edited by Jope; 02 August 2014 at 17:42. Reason: Corrected manufacturer info
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Old 03 September 2007, 00:31   #5
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wow
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Old 03 September 2007, 03:36   #6
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Awesome thread Jope.

Very interesting read.
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Old 03 September 2007, 04:13   #7
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@Jope


I tihnk you have just opened my eyes to what i think is a new concept (atleast for me)

KEYBOARD !


and by the looks of it, we are talking the EXTREME Tripple QWERTY edition!

nice pics.
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Old 03 September 2007, 09:17   #8
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Thanks. :-)


I guess I'm a bit strange for being so interested in little details such as these. Anyway, now I can refer to this thread when I'm debating keyboards with some other strange person. :-D
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Old 13 September 2007, 13:55   #9
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I found a picture depicting the two membrained A500 keyboard on Amiga.org .. Photo taken by a user called orange.



If someone has a kbd like this they want to part with, pm me please. :-)

I don't think they were made in any other layout than UK/US.

Last edited by Jope; 18 January 2009 at 12:43.
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Old 21 September 2007, 23:34   #10
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Those A2000 cherry amiga keyboards fetch quite a bit apparently...
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Old 24 September 2007, 14:36   #11
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Any references for the price?
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Old 29 September 2007, 00:25   #12
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some keyboard pr0n
http://chain.3dgrafika.cz/temp/A1000/a1000kb_inside.jpg (freakin layout there!)
http://chain.3dgrafika.cz/temp/A1000/a1000kb.jpg (repairs)

(too big for img src=)
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Old 29 September 2007, 14:43   #13
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It's a pity they never made a finnish/swedish A1000 keyboard.. All the ones I've seen here are the US layout with stickers on top.
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Old 29 September 2007, 18:05   #14
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The A1000 is lovely to type on. The A500 one with springy feel and cupped buttons (unlike the early A500 flat ones that are not grey but beige and has C= key) is just as lovely. Especially, I love that you can type lightly on it, let you fingers fly over it and caress it, and it has proper curvature unlike the A1000's. All other keyboards are a letdown from these.

Notable PC keyboard runners-up throught the years are Keytronics 9001 from 1993 (clicky keyboard with keytravel that almost feels like a weighted synthesizer keyboard) and, though I hate to say it, the $15 or so M$ RT2300 black wired keyboard.


In last place, after the ZX-80, we can find the original Atari 520 ST keyboard, built by someone who never built a keyboard before.

Interesting info about A2000 Cherry keyboards: in 1991, Cherry was infamous for their keyboards which came out some working, others not. IIRC it turned out they didn't make them fully compatible, so anyone who had to make a keyboard controlled game or such had to adapt his routines to the two versions of the A2000 Cherry keyboard as well as comply with the normal way as per H.R.M.
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Old 30 September 2007, 13:46   #15
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Excellent photos! So which keyboard controllers allowed unlimited simultaneous keypresses? Were there any differences between them? (Many PC ones can only do a few together).
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Old 30 September 2007, 16:40   #16
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The 6570 is your friend, but even that can't do unlimited multikey.. It just handles rollover unlike the A1200 keyboard controller.

Just about every keyboard made for the Amiga has the 6570, except the Cherry keyboards and the A600/1200.
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Old 04 October 2007, 18:00   #17
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This sucks, how do people keep their keyboards so nice'n tight?? My A1200's keyboard is so ruined, I've binned it! Now I use a pc keyboard. Oh well...
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Old 03 January 2008, 22:47   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
I have also seen Mitsumi PC keyboards with a similar mechanism as the Amiga, complete with rubber cups. I'd actually need one for my sinister plans, but I'm yet to source one. :-)
A-ha!

The keyboard has been procured and one part of the sinister plan has come to fruition!

As you can see, C-128 keycaps and plungers fit perfectly into the Mitsumi PS/2 keyboard chassis. (I'm typing this on the keyboard in the pictures)




The keyboard itself is a based on the A500/600/1200 style plastic membrane with A2/3/400-esque rubber cup springs.. Gives the nice feel but has the cheap construction.

The key spacing is naturally 100% the same as with an Amiga or C-128 keyboard, the keys are at the same angle and the feeling is 100% the same. If you are a fast typist on an Amiga keyboard, you'll feel right at home with this Mitsumi.

As you can see, they only used three of the little screws to hold the bottom plate together. :-) If you dismantle an Amiga keyboard, you probably don't REALLY need to screw all them in there either, just secure a few key points so that the base plate makes an even contact with the mechanism plate.



If you have broken C-128s sitting around like me, you can easily make a good emulation keyboard such as this. I however will not be wasting this effort on mere emulation... ;-)

Last edited by Jope; 18 January 2009 at 12:44.
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Old 25 January 2008, 18:59   #19
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Just out of interest, does anyone have any info on the CDTV keyboard? Is it similar to the big box type?

I was thinking of getting hold of one of these as a black keyboard would be a lot cooler and isn't going to yellow
 
Old 26 January 2008, 14:00   #20
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It is like a regular big box keyboard but has black plastics.. Also the cable is wired differently, but you can just swap in an A2000 or A4000 keyboard cable, depending on what connector type you need.
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