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Not new...strictly speaking


Hey all,

I was active back in 2009-2010 for a little while before the drudgery of IT work and then a switch to working exclusively using laptops and their abominable keyboards left me with little reason to post.

Well, I like my job now, I work on a desktop at the office and have a proper docking station at home, and through an unhealthy thrift-shopping habit I'm slowly finding mechanical keyboards.  It's unlikely that I'll ever get into buying new high-end but it's fun to take what's been donated-away and see if I can do something with a keyboard purchased for under $10.  So far I've picked up the following:

* Ducky One blue-backlit 104-key DKON1608S with Cherry MX Red switches (one led burned out for 5/% key)
* Razer Blackwidow Elite 104-key RZ03-0262 with Razer Green switches
* Corsair K70 Rapidfire 104-key with Cherry MX Red switches
* Drevo GRAMR 84k Backlit (rebadged KeyCool, each row a particular solid color) with Outemu Brown switches with some of the ugliest keycaps I've ever seen
* AUKEY KM-G3 RGB Backlit with Outemu Blue switches, again with the same ugly keycaps as the Drevo, some keys missing, replaced with Razer keycaps
Back in the day I had picked up keyboards on and off, and I have the following mechanicals:

* IBM M-13 black with black keys with screenprinted lettering
* WYSE-85 VT terminal keyboard 840366-01 with Cherry MX Black keys
* DEC VT-220 terminaland noteworthy rubberdome:

* Gateway 2000 'Anykey' 122-key
* Cherry MY 1800 freak with MX-type stems but rubberdome action
* Sun Type-6
And one that got away, I had a Compaq MX 11800 rackmount keyboard with integrated trackball.  Before I realized that the keys had individual switches I donated it away because the escape key wasn't working.  In hindsight it would have been trivial to replace the keyswitch.  Oh well.

When I got the Drevo it wasn't working and it sat on the shelf for quite some time.  Plugging it in I would just get nothing.  Once I got the AUKEY, I took the two keyboards apart and moved the AUKEY's cable over to the Drevo.  Plugging it in I got a USB error on the computer, then realized that the two keyboards' connectors were pinned differently.  Repinned the AUKEY's cable to match the Drevo and suddenly the Drevo started working.  I put the Drevo back together with its USB-C adapter and it now works again.  I don't know why, but putting 5V down the wrong pin seems to have fixed something that was broken in the Drevo.  It may end up with a new set of keycaps, the ones that came with it are incredibly ugly.  Unfortuantely from a usage point of view insert is function-modified delete key, and I am used to copy/paste with ctrl-insert and shift-insert, this may make it unusable for my purposes.

I'm wondering if I can find parts to convert the Cherry MY 1800 over to mechanical.  I like the form-factor and in some ways the beige makes me nostalgic for what I used back in the nineties, but in its current state it's one of the worst rubberdome keyboards I've ever used.  Makes boards that have sat out in the heat of the garage feel nice.

I'd also like to track down an ADB to USB adapter, but for a mouse, not for a keyboard.  I have one of those Kensington cueball-sized trackballs with four buttons for ADB/Macintosh, I'd like to use it on a PC if I can find a way to make it work.  Unfortunately I'm around 20 years too late to find one of those Griffin iMate adapters, and I'm not sure how well the Tinkerboy or Drakware adapters do.

Lastly that WYSE-85...  it lacks modifier keys and an escape key.  It might be interesting to convert to USB but it would require more than just a signal converter, not sure if it's worthwhile to convert or just to use for parts.

I'm pretty sure this is a open source pcb that uses mx compatible switches that's compatible with the MY 1800. It's also has qmk which is an open source reprogramming software which is great.

You will need to go to a pcb manufacturer (like jlcpcb the one that's mentioned in the github link) and get it made though, never done this so not sure how much it costs though, and also solder as well. Replacing the pcb does seem like a fun project.

hmmm.  I'm not afraid of soldering switches on to a PCB, those are pretty large pins and I've done that kind of work before.

What I probably wouldn't want to do is to have to solder-on a controller chip, or a slew of diodes, or a slew of resistors.


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