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Old 04 May 2019, 11:34   #1
aeberbach
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Big grin My new A1200 mechanical keyboard is complete

tl;dr - I made a mechanical keyboard using Gateron MX Blue switches for my Amiga 1200 . It's based around a PCB I designed in KiCAD. The connection to the computer is through a ribbon cable, same as the original membrane keyboard, and it sits where the old keyboard assembly used to go. No modifications to the computer are required

You can read way too much about this project on my blog gray unicorn if you want to know all the details. It's been a fun project, but took a little while!


Last edited by DamienD; 04 May 2019 at 13:24. Reason: ...reduced image size
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Old 04 May 2019, 11:54   #2
DJBase
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...and this wil be open source?
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Old 04 May 2019, 13:42   #3
Daedalus
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Is this in parallel with, or based on Kipper2K's project? Thread here.
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Old 04 May 2019, 15:40   #4
aeberbach
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This is emphatically nothing to do with the Kipper2K project - never talked to them. I found out about that project after I had a first board design, any sooner and I might not have even started. But looking at the photos online I can see they have made some very smart choices regarding mounting the keyboard, not to mention the enhanced compatibility, as well as coming with a full set of keycaps. If you want a replacement mech kb you should buy it. As the blog says,
if I get the chance I'll be buying keycaps from Kipper2K.

WRT "open source" this is no source right now, just something I built for myself and wanted to show off.
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Old 04 May 2019, 15:40   #5
solidcore
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How will you resolve the keycaps ? manufacture them or buying caps from kipper?

Never mind you just said above

Yes also our pcb supports a500 ( with a micro chip and custom firmware ) so will be sold as a1200 or a500 .
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Old 04 May 2019, 15:46   #6
aeberbach
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First up I will probably use this excuse to buy a laser engraving unit and see if I can burn proper Amiga legends onto the correct-sized key blanks. Some commercial keysets have laser-engraved legends so it might be possible to produce something that looks OK. And if it doesn't work at least I have a laser engraver eh?
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Old 04 May 2019, 17:38   #7
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I was just curious, but good work!

Sounds like a good plan
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Old 14 May 2019, 00:27   #8
Krashan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeberbach View Post
tl;dr - I made a mechanical keyboard using Gateron MX Blue switches for my Amiga 1200 . It's based around a PCB I designed in KiCAD.
I work on very similar project since February and just managed to succesfully test the first prototype. I have used Kailh Blue switches (but of course almost any switches may be installed, as they have the same dimensions), used KiCAD as well, and it seems we have used exactly the same set of keycaps. The difference is layout. As using stock keycap set was my principle, I decided to modify the layout a bit:



Now I have to add mounting brackets and add caps lock LED, also fix some minor errors in PCB. Then I plan to sell these keyboards if there will be demand.
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Old 14 May 2019, 03:08   #9
Retrofan
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@Krashan your keyboard looks very interesting/promising
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Old 14 May 2019, 04:58   #10
aeberbach
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Amazing Krashan!

- Looks like 34-way ribbon cable like a floppy drive uses? I almost did that, but got a tip that the 32-way FFC cable and connectors that are available fit just fine into the original Amiga connector if you snip off one line on the Amiga PCB side.
- exactly the same keycaps!

I'm working on Amiga keycaps. I bought one of the small laser engravers from eBay and tried putting artwork on a key, and it works perfectly if you first dip the keycap top in laser printer toner. If you don't the etch is too light. The toner provides a matte laser-absorbing surface and it is indelibly etched into the keycap like a tattoo. Then you can wash off the keycap and you have a perfect key. You can remove a lot of the black if you wipe it with solvent, but don't put solvent on your keys is what I say. Also this works in colour; and luckily I found a full set of used toner cartridges with more powder than I will ever need waiting to go to recycling here in the office. So when my blank keysets arrive I'll even be able to make proper red Amiga modifier keys.
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