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Old 16 May 2019, 14:37   #1
aeberbach
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Amiga 1200 mech keyboard - open source, boards available

I have produced a PCB to make an A1200 keyboard. It plugs in place of the original with no modifications necessary to the computer. Please be aware that this is very much a DIY project. You need to provide some parts to populate this blank PCB, you need to solder it, you need to finish it with a way to mount the keyboard in the case. I've written a fair bit about how this came to be at http://www.grayunicorn.com.

I have made this KiCAD project open source - MIT license. Please take a look at https://github.com/aeberbach/A1200KB

Since it makes no sense to order PCBs one at a time I have some extras to sell.

There's a big picture of the actual board for sale, as well as a picture of a finished one, in the github repo (and so many pictures on the blog).

- if you are in Australia, board price is AUD$50 - shipping included.

- if you are in the USA and I get money from you before Tuesday 21 May board price is US$38 - that includes shipping. Delivery estimated around June 5 in the contiguous states. This is because I am flying there and will be able to post locally!

- if you are not in Australia or the USA talk to me and I will work out the cost to ship to you.

If any requests for boards come in after Tuesday May 21 I will be travelling. You can reserve a board but it could be a month before I can post it because I won't be home.

I accept Paypal. Please make payments as "friends & family" or add the PayPal fee. I will ship to most places in the world but if you're not covered by the above please contact me for shipping quote.

Available boards:
PCB1 - sold
PCB2 - sold
PCB3 - sold
PCB4 - sold

PCB5 - available
PCB6 - available

Also offered for sale elsewhere.

full PCB Specifications:
Project Name: Amiga 1200 KB R2
Length: 140
Width: 453
Layers: Two Layer
PCB Thickness: 2.0 mm
Material Type: FR 4
Copper Weight: 1 oz
Surface Finish: HASL
Solder Mask Color: Black - Gloss
Silk Screen Color: White
Smallest Hole: 0.60 mm OR Above
Min Trace/Space: 0.30 mm

Cheers,
Adam

Last edited by aeberbach; 20 May 2019 at 06:01. Reason: updating availability
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Old 24 May 2019, 02:54   #2
SpocksBeer
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Hey! My PCB arrived today, now I need to source the extra components and have a few questions. I'm planning on using Gateron Yellows in my build - I'm assuming there's no compatibility issue and I just need the 3 pin variety?

The LED requirement for the caps lock - any chance of a suitable Mouser part number so I can just submit a single order? Or is this a LED variant of a keycap?

Not yet sure what I'll do about mounting. I don't have the tools to route aluminium angle (hmm...my brother might be able to help with his CNC), so maybe something less elegant with an angle and an attached plate to make a shelf. Maybe this is an excuse to experiment with commercial 3D printing...

Currently have a question in with Signature Plastics to see if they can provide a complete set of keycaps in DSC profile - DSC and SA both seem to have 9U spacebars as an option. Otherwise I'll grab a set like you have until something better comes along.
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Old 24 May 2019, 03:38   #3
aeberbach
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Hi! Happy it arrived safely.

Any MX switch should function properly. I used 5-pin switches in mine because the extra two pins ensure the switch body is aligned perfectly to the board as intended. You can use 3-pin switches but you may find the alignment is something you have to worry much more about when soldering and it could look bad if you don't get every key straight.

For the LED I used a regular 3mm LED from AliExpress - 65 pieces for $9.20. No special Mouser parts required but off course they would have plenty of 3mm LED options too.

I do think 3D printing is the answer for the keyboard mount and I look forward to being able to add some STL files to the repo so anyone can just print what they need. Aluminium angle is fine but time consuming to make.

SP have 9U SA space bars? That's where I am going next then. I thought they were out of stock and with them it can be months before they have enough demand to reproduce a new run of a particular part.

I am waiting for my blank keycaps to arrive from AliExpress then I will start laser-etching my own keycap set.
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Old 24 May 2019, 04:31   #4
SpocksBeer
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Ah perfect, thanks; I see now how the LEDs are mounted. Trip to Jaycar should sort me out.

Yeah, they seem to have SA and DCS (erg...DSC is not a thing) profile 9Us in stock, though the colour options aren't great. I've dummied up a layout on their editor and waiting to see if they can do it for a reasonable (ish) price. Not expecting less than $100USD really.
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Old 04 June 2019, 08:05   #5
SpocksBeer
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So, Signature can do the layout above just fine, but would need a group buy to do it at anything approaching a reasonable price. Like 50 orders to get things below $100 (US) per set.

I'd be all over that if I thought 50 other people would buy a Cherry-compatible, Amiga specific (would probably add some international layout keys) keycap set, but I suspect the compromises would put people off. Wrong profile keys, what colours to choose (different colour combination would be a separate group buy), use of the original "A" symbol on the modifiers.

I dunno...any interest?
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Old 04 July 2019, 06:04   #6
SpocksBeer
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Here's a couple of build photos. It's mostly complete (missing stabilisers and a means to mount it securely at the moment). I think it looks pretty good.

I've got Gateron yellow key switches in there (I think about $40US worth). It's using a clone of the PimpMyKeyboard's "Dolch" keycap set from KBDfans.cn (about $70US worth for both keys and stabilisers) which I think will look good in either a black or white repro A1200 case. I've still got a few bits and bobs on the way to try and complete it without gaps, so I'll update again when I've progressed.

Thanks to aeberbach for making a cool DIY project.
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Old 04 July 2019, 20:59   #7
Mick
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It's very nice but too much DIY involved for me, hopefully someone like A1200.net or Checkmate can pick it up and turn it into a more plug and play product.
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Old 05 July 2019, 00:03   #8
aeberbach
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If you want easy, go to Amigaon the Lake - kipper21k designed them.
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Old 05 July 2019, 21:56   #9
Mick
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Yeah I know but competition is good for prices.

You should see if they're interested, both companies could both use something like this for their cases.

Last edited by Mick; 05 July 2019 at 22:02.
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Old 06 July 2019, 02:45   #10
SpocksBeer
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I think Checkmate are using the Kipper2k keyboard. A1200.net are supposedly building their own mech keyboard for their own Mitsumi keycaps. So there will sort of be competition, but each project addresses its own niche. Price wise this project will likely be the cheapest, but not by a huge amount given the volume discounts not being there. Definitely one for the tinkerers.
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Old 06 July 2019, 20:00   #11
b0lt-thrower
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Yes, yes YES! Mech keyboards always and forever.
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Old 07 July 2019, 15:29   #12
Krashan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick View Post
Yeah I know but competition is good for prices.
I'm still working on my project, shown in other thread. I've managed to get Amiga size (1.25 U) function keys printed, PCB has been redesigned accordingly and sent to the factory. Mounting brackets are in the work too. I intend to have it as a product on RastPort.com. I estimate it will take three months to have it on sale.

Last edited by Krashan; 07 July 2019 at 17:20.
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Old 18 July 2019, 11:22   #13
aeberbach
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I have finished a 3D printed mounting solution for the keyboard - details at the blog, https://aeberbach.github.io/kb-9.html - also you can get the STL files from GitHub along with the rest of the project - https://github.com/aeberbach/A1200KB

I'm still looking for a keycap solution, going to start on the laser engraving very soon...

As of right now I have no PCBs to sell, though one person is interested. If a couple more want to PM me I could place another order, and then I will let people know if any are available.

Of course if you just want a KB that works with all the right keycaps, order the kipper2k effort from Amiga on the Lake - it's looking pretty awesome and won't be far away.

Last edited by aeberbach; 18 July 2019 at 11:29.
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Old 23 July 2019, 12:32   #14
lord of time
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this looks amazing - what are the chances of getting a A600 version?
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Old 24 July 2019, 04:14   #15
aeberbach
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The A600 uses a membrane that connects to the main board just like the 1200. It's certainly possible, even fairly simple after having done one for A1200.



But I don't have an A600 and they were always pretty rare in Australia... if someone popped up and said "Here's an A600, make a keyboard for it!" I'd do it.


Looks like the other keyboards around don't have an A600 option either
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Old 24 July 2019, 12:58   #16
Mick
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I could donate a case and keyboard for physical fitting but there's no motherboard. It will probably end up discarded in about 5 years anyway. It's up to you but I'd imagine you'd want motherboard as well for electrical testing?
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Old 24 July 2019, 13:02   #17
lord of time
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I can try and find a a600 motherboard - I will have a scout about? maybe somebody here can help if not?
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Old 25 July 2019, 01:08   #18
aeberbach
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That's really helpful. I will definitely make this keyboard if I have a computer to base it on. True that without a motherboard to fit against and make sure each keypress is registered there would be a lot of guesswork involved...
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Old 25 July 2019, 01:23   #19
Mick
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Well if you manage to source a motherboard PM me your address. I'll probably buy kipper's keyboard but happy to help.
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Old 25 July 2019, 10:01   #20
lord of time
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It turns out i have a motherboard - its knackerd but it should do to get you started as far as fitting and measurments go.
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