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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: NYCesquire on Sat, 04 May 2013, 00:47:13

Title: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Sat, 04 May 2013, 00:47:13
Buckling spring and wireless?

Start with a Unicomp Model M

(http://s24.postimg.org/pptz3hz51/P1040295.jpg)

Add the Handheld Scientific Bluetooth Module

(http://s24.postimg.org/9b01qxh5x/P1040297.jpg)

Remove it from the enclosure and desolder the PS2 riser

(http://s24.postimg.org/9wp0n1c85/P1040306.jpg)

Desolder the Speaker and mount the battery at an angle.

(http://s24.postimg.org/hyhuiokdh/P1040312.jpg)

Carve out a spot in the keyboard enclosure for the brootoof module.

(http://s24.postimg.org/t36t3yi3p/P1040305.jpg)

Carve windows for the mini usb connector and the power switch, lay down a good thick layer of hot glue under the module, press it into place and hold until it cools, then tuck all of the looong USB cable into the enclosure (it's mostly empty space anyway)

(http://s24.postimg.org/e7cva3w2t/P1040316.jpg)

If you want to sex it up a bit with anodized keycaps, try Duplicolor Metalcast.  First, prime them.

(http://s24.postimg.org/5q467pcmd/P1040300.jpg)

Then lay down the "metallic" basecoat.

(http://s24.postimg.org/a32pq4ld1/P1040301.jpg)

Then the anodized color coat.  It should last approximately forever, since it's made to withstand high-temperatures on engine parts.

(http://s24.postimg.org/6ys1tc4kl/P1040302.jpg)

Unfortunately, Unicomp does not deliver a very nice, even color from the factory. Get a nice uniform black enclosure by painting with Plasti-Dip.  Plasti dip is essentially a spray-on rubber coating, so it should prove quite durable.

(http://s24.postimg.org/5ssn8a5np/P1040309.jpg)

Put it all together e voila!

(http://s24.postimg.org/u85gn2tyd/P1040317.jpg)

From the back

(http://s21.postimg.org/604h3o9on/P1040318.jpg)


What do you think?  I still need to put some finishing touches on the carve-outs.  They need sanding and a full coat of plasti-dip for a professional finish.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: SmallFry on Sat, 04 May 2013, 01:23:58
Very cool! How long does the battery last?
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: metalliqaz on Sat, 04 May 2013, 01:25:20
So baller.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: CPTBadAss on Sat, 04 May 2013, 07:57:04
Can you explain a little more about how the metallic paint and purple work? And I really enjoyed that build log. Giving me ideas for my SSK...
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: Dubsgalore on Sat, 04 May 2013, 08:11:33
This is really badass..Congrats!
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Sat, 04 May 2013, 10:41:35
Thanks everyone!

I read on some user post that the battery would last "weeks".  Now I can't seem to find the post.

In any event, you can check out the Brootoof video here:


They answer a lot of questions in the comments.  For example, you can connect a USB cable and it will work as a wired keyboard in BIOS.  This is a great, simple product and these guys ought to get much more attention.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Sat, 04 May 2013, 11:00:07
And a shot of the preliminary carve-out for the module's status lights on the bottom. Useful for pairing, charging status, etc.

(http://s24.postimg.org/ifnvbkftx/IMG_20130504_005819.jpg)
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: SpAmRaY on Sat, 04 May 2013, 15:29:42
Very nice I will try this one day.....
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Mon, 06 May 2013, 21:59:58
As to battery life: I really don't know how long it lasts. I gave it a full charge today, so I'll count from today and update everyone when it won't wake from sleep. I really only use it a couple hours per weekday.

As to the paint job: I primed it because, well, because if you don't prime your gonna have a bad time, mmmkay?  I used a base coat, called "ground coat" because the purple is just a tinted clear coat.  You can apply the purple directly to a metal surface, and it will look anodized.  But if you apply it to a matte plastic surface, it'll just look like plastic covered with shiny.

I am considering applying vinyl lettering to the fronts of each keys, but it would be so small that it would require a custom  group buy of 50 pieces.  Think anyone would be up for that?
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: Leslieann on Mon, 06 May 2013, 22:55:15
Excellent work and awesome info!

Can you get us a part # for that module and where you got it?


Edit:
Here is the website, and they sell it there for $59.
http://handheldsci.com/kb
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: bazemk1979 on Tue, 07 May 2013, 11:14:07
get black leds on top overlay from Unicomp
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Fri, 10 May 2013, 17:02:36
Battery died last night, so that gives us a few hours a day for a week.

There is a lot of unused space along the top of the board.  I'm considering installing small solar panels to trickle charge the battery.  I'd need long, thin solar panels that were efficient at low light, not unlike the logitech solar powered keyboard.  Any thoughts on that?
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: SpAmRaY on Fri, 10 May 2013, 17:06:24
Battery died last night, so that gives us a few hours a day for a week.

There is a lot of unused space along the top of the board.  I'm considering installing small solar panels to trickle charge the battery.  I'd need long, thin solar panels that were efficient at low light, not unlike the logitech solar powered keyboard.  Any thoughts on that?

i loved my wireless solar powered k750 it would be awesome to see this implemented in something else....

Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Fri, 10 May 2013, 17:16:14
Does anyone have the solar panel from one that they want to sacrifice for science?
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: zulios on Wed, 15 May 2013, 17:13:30
Great mod. That sparkled my interest to do a similar thing on my Access IS board, but sadly it seems to be needing 250ma. More than twice the limit this device can accept ! With such power requirements, I don't think the battery would last long either even if they were to release a more powerful adapter.

May I ask why you chose to do that mod on a unicomp keyboard ? I would have thought that this would better benefit a more compact and lightweight keyboard.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: dndliomx on Wed, 15 May 2013, 18:04:05
The hole carved out for your USB port, makes me sad.  :(
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: 0100010 on Sun, 22 September 2013, 14:24:53
Whoa - how did I miss this thread?  Have any other shots of the guts of the wireless adapter?  Curious if you could mod in a larger capacity battery.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: NYCesquire on Sun, 22 September 2013, 17:47:10
It should be trivial to mod in a higher capacity battery.  Actually, I've become super busy with work and I'm not able to continue this project. I'm happy to pass it on to an intrepid modder at cost.  If anyone is interested, give me a shout!
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: takieda on Sun, 27 April 2014, 20:26:19
Sorry to resurrect an otherwise dead thread, but I had a question about this mod that I was hoping you could answer. I'm about to embark on a similar mod project, but with an original IBM Model M ( Part No. 1391401 ) and I hooked it up directly to make sure all the keys worked. I was having some initial difficulty with it, so I downloaded a keyboard tester ( at http://www.passmark.com/products/keytest.htm ) and have since verified that the keyboard works mostly properly. All of the keys on the keyboard produce some form of response, but I've noted that Right Ctrl and Right Alt both show as Left Ctrl and Left Alt (kind of to be expected - though I don't know enough about this keyboard, others have suggested as much as a possibility), but also Print Screen Scroll Lock and Pause all have issues. Sometimes they'll press, other times they won't. Sometimes they'll press but so will Left Shift (btw, Right Shift works fine). Scroll Lock works almost flawlessly, but does have some intermittent issues similar to Print Screen and Pause, but I can't determine if the other two work at all (well Print Screen SEEMS to work, as even though the button does not show up correctly in the keyboard test, as long as I press the key solidly, I can then paste that image into MS Paint).

Has your Unicomp had any of these issues?
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: agodinhost on Sun, 27 April 2014, 22:19:00
Can you explain a little more about how the metallic paint and purple work? And I really enjoyed that build log. Giving me ideas for my SSK...
I`m interested 2 ...

awesome work man!
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: JustCallMeCrash on Mon, 16 June 2014, 12:57:05
I got one of these units last fall and, while it would work fine with a Dell rubberdome, I could never get it working with any of my ErgoDox boards or any other mech board in my arsenal.  Is it the amperage, as discussed higher up?  Has anyone gotten one of these modded to work?  I have pretty decent soldering skills and I'm not afraid to attack the BT unit, so any suggestions will be tried.
Thanks.

EDIT:  I just realized that I didn't clarify what "one of these units" means.  I picked up one of those bluetooth keyboard adapters from HandheldSci.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: themitch22 on Thu, 19 June 2014, 22:23:26
Confirmed that the Handheld Scientific bluetooth adapter does not work with either my Razer Blackwidow or my Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid. Just letting people know before you buy one, I wanted to do this exact mod much to my disappointment. I did take it apart though an it looks like it's using some sort of ARM processor and a bluetooth module similar to a hc-05 bluetooth module. I emailed Handheld Sci and they said it probably didn't work because the polling rate is too high. Now I'm looking for other solutions.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: berserkfan on Sun, 30 November 2014, 07:58:56
Doing a necrobump on this one; I hope to stimulate more discussion.

[Actually my big motive is to get Ezrahiliyer to think about a bluetooth mod, plus get more people discussing the latest state of bluetooth tech and modding, because I really want to do this mod too but don't want to wind up wasting money.]
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: dorkvader on Sun, 30 November 2014, 11:26:18
other resources on this:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58015.0
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=19104.0 <- my fav.
Title: Re: My Anodized(ish) Wireless Unicomp Model M
Post by: ezrahilyer on Sun, 30 November 2014, 12:50:38
Doing a necrobump on this one; I hope to stimulate more discussion.

[Actually my big motive is to get Ezrahiliyer to think about a bluetooth mod, plus get more people discussing the latest state of bluetooth tech and modding, because I really want to do this mod too but don't want to wind up wasting money.]

other resources on this:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58015.0
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=19104.0 <- my fav.

I have looked at those threads, and have even posted a thread myself about doing a bluetooth mod: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=63336.msg1484042#msg1484042
 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=63336.msg1484042#msg1484042) looking for interest in doing one of my conversions, but there was only one reply. In short, I can add bluetooth functionality using the adafruit blue fruit radio, and a small discrete pairing button on the back. ( I don't like the large blinking one) I would need a soarers, a blue fruit, a charging module, a LiPo batt, and a bulkhead connector (for charging and possibly for reprogramming the soarer) plus a small panel mount button.

I haven't done one yet because of two reasons: 1 is that I am kept pretty busy just doing the regular model M conversions and Apple Alps conversions, so until I open my online store (which i am working on) and am able to devote more time to these projects, I just haven't had the incentive to do bluetooth yet. ( I do want to do atleast one of my own boards in bluetooth because I use a laptop with it, and would like to have that USB port free.

The other reason that I haven't done it, is by the time I buy all those supplies they add about $50 to the raw materials needed for the keyboard, so that would have to go on top of the price. Plus the extra work.  I'm just not sure how many people would be willing to drop $200+Shipping on a Bluetooth Model M.

The solution that I would like to get to is what this thread was: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=19104.0 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=19104.0) I am working on my own design for a drop in bluetooth controller, and also a drop in USB controller. I will be making them and selling them in my online store, but that will take some time to implement.
 
Right now my keyboard restorations take about 1/8th of my total 'work time' and I am going to drop something I don't enjoy as much to bring my available time up to about 1/4 or 1/3, so that way I will have more time to work on these boards, and to build my new site into a place for people to come buy restored Model Ms, Fs, and Apple Alps boards. Also I will be selling certain journaling and art supplies, and also one of my other passions is vintage film cameras.

Lucidity Studios will be a 'Temple To Creativity'

Sorry to go off on tangents like that. In short: I would love to build a bluetooth Model M, if you want one, PM me and we can discuss prices and exactly what options you are looking for, but I probably won't make one without a reasonable expectation that I will sell it.

:-)

-Ezra