Author Topic: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)  (Read 5542 times)

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Offline jrfhoutx

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[IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 18:34:11 »
Last month I teased a PCB that I have been working on, a replacement PCB for the Apple M0116 and M0118. It got a good amount of interest in that post and a lot of interest when I brought the prototype to the Austin meetup in April. Since all but one of the prototypes have gone out to the chosen testers and I'm getting close to the final product (unless I decide to just get completely crazy and switch to ARM at the last minute or something, or the M0118 tester tells me that the switch footprints don't line up properly), I wanted to post an IC for this.

The original idea behind the Golden Delicious was to offer a better, fully programmable alternative than the Griffin or Hasu converters, so that the M0116 and M0118 could be used with modern computers, without the need to modify or cut holes in the case. Ever since I got my first M0116 I've always felt that the M0116 was the best board and layout that Apple ever made. I just hated installing and programming Hasu converters in all my M0116's (the converters weren't in QMK when I started working on this project, but have since been added).

There are no crazy special features, this is just a simple replacement PCB. It uses an ATMega32U4, runs QMK, is nkro capable, and has new USB-B (yes, full size USB-B, not mini or micro) daughter boards.
PCB color will be yellow (hence the name Golden Delicious), will use all SMD components, and will come fully assembled (no soldering diodes, 'cause no one likes doing that, especially not SMD diodes).

Since it's still in prototype phase for now and there could possibly be one last prototype revision before going to a full production run, there is no current or potential pricing (still working on that, and finding a quality fab house to use for the PCBs and assembly). But the project is finally at a point where I feel comfortable with putting up an IC and looking in to pricing and running a group buy for it.


So HERE is the IC form. Please, leave comments or suggestions and fill out the IC form, thanks!

Offline fireworm

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 18:40:32 »
Nice, I'd be down for one.

It has slowly dawned on me that 60% + numpad is nice for a workhorse.

Will you offer mx plates?  (Since the pcb is alps mx?)

Edit: Simplify the IC form, btw.  Having a matrix for number of pcbs @ x price is really weird.

Personally, I'd price out at MOQ 25 and MOQ 50, then ask folks at that price 'how many would you buy?'.
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 May 2019, 18:43:37 by fireworm »

Online LightningXI

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 18:58:11 »
Nice! I should keep a spare M0116 around then.

QMK and NKRO? Sign me up.

Would definitely love to see an M0115 AEK version as well.
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Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 19:08:46 »
Nice, I'd be down for one.

It has slowly dawned on me that 60% + numpad is nice for a workhorse.

Will you offer mx plates?  (Since the pcb is alps mx?)

60% + numpad is a great layout.

No, I wonít be offering MX plates. I used the footprint to give people the option if they wanted to go through the trouble.

Would definitely love to see an M0115 AEK version as well.

Itís on the drawing board, but I have a couple other projects I want to do first. But Iíll get there eventually.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 21:23:00 »
The Apple keyboards of this generation (M0116, M0118, AEK and AEKII) have the key-switch assembly mounted very low in the case, and there are dimples in the bottom of the plastic case for where the bottom row's switch pins go. To fit, the switches must be mounted on these specific locations with the switch pins north.

This means that for a modder to fit Cherry MX switches on the bottom row, he would first have to grind away some plastic with a Dremel to be able fit the centre shafts.
It would be hard to find 1.75u modifiers for Cherry MX mount (unless you use blank or a non-contoured profile like DSA), and the space bars of 4.75 and 5.25 are nonexistent.

Cherry MX does also not have any equivalent to the M0118's super-narrow Return key.
An equivalent to the M0116's 1.75◊2 backwards-L key does exist however, and it has the switch in the same position.

No, I wonít be offering MX plates. I used the footprint to give people the option if they wanted to go through the trouble.
BTW. A plate that would fit Cherry MX would also fit SMK Alps-mount and Mitsumi Alps-mount.
Clicky SMK Alps-mount are very nicely clicky in my opinion, but a little scratchier than Alps on off-centre key presses. I have not tried Mitsumi Alps-mount, but the tactile Mitsumi-mount are really nice: more stable and tactile than any Cherry MX ... and also much rarer.
Supporting three or four on a single position would require at least one switch to be upside-down though. Alps needs to have pins north on the bottom row and Cherry MX would need to have pins north on the home row and lower to support QMX clips.

How about leaving fitness into the Apple Standard Keyboard aside for a moment and consider a generic PCB that would also support a 15u alphanumeric section + numpad.
Then that could be a reason for supporting Cherry MX, and could perhaps also be a way to get the order quantity up.
Most keys would be the same, but for the bottom row, you could offer more options:

219528-0
The two top rows in the figure are the bottom rows for the keyboards already supported: M0116 and M0118
The others are bottom rows for common layouts: a green key already has a switch position, and a red key would have a position unique for that layout alternative.

Fitting normal-sized right Shift, ANSI-\, Backspace, and ANSI and ISO Return keys is easier...
However, there are two types of regular-sized Alps ISO Return keycaps out there: switch centred in the 1.25◊2 rectangle (Matias ...), and switch centred in the 1.5◊2 rectangle (Dell AT101).
(BTW. Support for the latter would also allow replacing the M0118's super-narrow Return key with one from a ISO AEK/AEKII. Some mod to the plate and case also required of course)
« Last Edit: Fri, 17 May 2019, 00:10:42 by Findecanor »

Offline maartenwut

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 16 May 2019, 23:05:59 »
no soldering diodes, 'cause no one likes doing that, especially not SMD diodes
SMD > tht

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 17 May 2019, 05:47:53 »
no soldering diodes, 'cause no one likes doing that, especially not SMD diodes
SMD > tht
Let the fab do it
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Offline ErgoMacros

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 17 May 2019, 17:16:22 »
@jrfhoutx: There's another post for an AEK/AEK-II PCB just like your M0116 PCB.
He's done some work on it, not as far along as you are.
    https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=94144.0;topicseen

Looks like his may not happen though. Seems like he's willing to collaborate.
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Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 02 June 2019, 11:08:52 »
So over the last couple of weeks I'd been working on getting the latest revision finalized, but have been rethinking my approach to this.

The original concept was to create a single sided PCB like the original Apple PCB, but I went with double sided and SMD to make things easier on myself in designing it. But after putting my hands on a Plaid, and looking closely at the design (which I personally really like, and think is extremely cool), I'm currently thinking of moving back towards the original concept and going with an all THT design.

I'm thinking of going back to all THT, and offering a kit with all the necessary components. this would keep the cost of the PCB down and a bulk purchase of the components would keep overall costs down. It would also keep with the original aesthetic of the keyboard and it's original PCB. I'm currently finishing up the SMD version revisions and working on a THT version as well (just to have all options available to me depending on which direction I decide to go with.

I've talked to some people about it and for the most part they agree about the costs and the aesthetics. I just wanted to post my thoughts about the pcb here and see what other people thought about it.

Offline LouisD

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 03 June 2019, 19:09:06 »
To clarify (I'm not too versed in all the PCB terms), you're thinking of going with a design where we would need to solder the diodes ourselves?

If it brings the price down I'm all for it. I soldered diodes on my UT47 and it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. I agree that it would look cooler as well.

Offline Applet

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 02:14:15 »
Really cool project, like it! (SMD > THT, as said, let the fab do it)
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 June 2019, 02:17:05 by Applet »

Offline LurkerMcNoPost

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 09 June 2019, 10:50:28 »
So over the last couple of weeks I'd been working on getting the latest revision finalized, but have been rethinking my approach to this.

The original concept was to create a single sided PCB like the original Apple PCB, but I went with double sided and SMD to make things easier on myself in designing it. But after putting my hands on a Plaid, and looking closely at the design (which I personally really like, and think is extremely cool), I'm currently thinking of moving back towards the original concept and going with an all THT design.

I'm thinking of going back to all THT, and offering a kit with all the necessary components. this would keep the cost of the PCB down and a bulk purchase of the components would keep overall costs down. It would also keep with the original aesthetic of the keyboard and it's original PCB. I'm currently finishing up the SMD version revisions and working on a THT version as well (just to have all options available to me depending on which direction I decide to go with.

I've talked to some people about it and for the most part they agree about the costs and the aesthetics. I just wanted to post my thoughts about the pcb here and see what other people thought about it.

Think this is an excellent idea. I personally prefer soldering on SMD parts, but THT here just seems to make so much sense. Keep up the good work, can't wait for the GB!

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 10 June 2019, 09:09:20 »
So over the last couple of weeks I'd been working on getting the latest revision finalized, but have been rethinking my approach to this.

The original concept was to create a single sided PCB like the original Apple PCB, but I went with double sided and SMD to make things easier on myself in designing it. But after putting my hands on a Plaid, and looking closely at the design (which I personally really like, and think is extremely cool), I'm currently thinking of moving back towards the original concept and going with an all THT design.

I'm thinking of going back to all THT, and offering a kit with all the necessary components. this would keep the cost of the PCB down and a bulk purchase of the components would keep overall costs down. It would also keep with the original aesthetic of the keyboard and it's original PCB. I'm currently finishing up the SMD version revisions and working on a THT version as well (just to have all options available to me depending on which direction I decide to go with.

I've talked to some people about it and for the most part they agree about the costs and the aesthetics. I just wanted to post my thoughts about the pcb here and see what other people thought about it.

Think this is an excellent idea. I personally prefer soldering on SMD parts, but THT here just seems to make so much sense. Keep up the good work, can't wait for the GB!

I agree, aesthetically it makes a lot of sense. But after discussing it with a few people I think Iím going to stick with SMD parts, mostly due to limitations of VUSB and using a PDIP AVR. Iím the interest of lowering cost, I am considering a move from SMD diodes to a THT/SMD combination footprint for the diodes and leaving it to the buyer to choose which they prefer and to solder them on.

I hope to have everything finalized soonTM.

Offline LurkerMcNoPost

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 14 June 2019, 03:38:08 »
Just finished up a M0116 build and I absolutely love the form factor and sound, but I only just now discovered that the rollover limitations cause me to miss keys while typing. Can't wait for this PCB now, consider my interest thoroughly checked - for either SMD/THT.

Offline mr.squishy

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 14 June 2019, 14:14:40 »
Just discovered this thread, I've had an M0116 since 2015. It's currently my work keyboard and I'd love to have some newer features. Count me in! Unfortunately I cut a small hole in my case in the past, anyone know a good way to patch it without it looking obvious?

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 14 June 2019, 14:23:42 »
Just discovered this thread, I've had an M0116 since 2015. It's currently my work keyboard and I'd love to have some newer features. Count me in! Unfortunately I cut a small hole in my case in the past, anyone know a good way to patch it without it looking obvious?

I would say make a post in classifieds or mechmarket looking for a case. Someone out there who harvested the switches from one might have the old case laying around still.

Other than that it would probably depend on how big the hole is and where it is.

Offline mr.squishy

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 16 June 2019, 07:47:35 »
Just discovered this thread, I've had an M0116 since 2015. It's currently my work keyboard and I'd love to have some newer features. Count me in! Unfortunately I cut a small hole in my case in the past, anyone know a good way to patch it without it looking obvious?

I would say make a post in classifieds or mechmarket looking for a case. Someone out there who harvested the switches from one might have the old case laying around still.

Other than that it would probably depend on how big the hole is and where it is.
It's pretty small, it's only big enough for a regular USB cable to pass through. So only a like 4mm or so.

I'm really excited to see where this goes, this will be an awesome project for sure. But it begs the question, what do we all do with our original Apple pcb's? I'll probably harvest the teensy for re-use as another converter, then frame the old apple pcb. Do other people have plans?

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 16 June 2019, 16:00:26 »
But it begs the question, what do we all do with our original Apple pcb's? I'll probably harvest the teensy for re-use as another converter, then frame the old apple pcb. Do other people have plans?

Framing it was something Iíd thought about, I've always kinda considered them works of art, so itís fitting I suppose. I have a bunch of vintage pcbs from desoldered boards, and I have a few ideas for what to do with them now that theyíre essentially useless, but any project I do with them would be a long way off.

Offline mr.squishy

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 28 June 2019, 13:16:21 »
Any updates?

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 29 June 2019, 23:34:46 »
Any updates?

Well I was working on the final revision before production. I havenít ordered those PCBs yet unfortunately.
I got smacked with a huge property tax hike, which increased my mortgage quite a bit. That means all my spare cash that Iíve been using to fund prototyping is going to paying my mortgage. Hopefully soon the county appraisal district will finish their reassessment of my property and approve my exemptions. Once that happens prototyping will be back on track and Iíll be able to start the group buy.

It sucks because Iíve had to put all of my projects on hold because of this (I have 3 other non-vintage and one more vintage replacement PCBs Iíve been working on).

As soon as things change Iíll update here again.

Offline mr.squishy

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 30 June 2019, 08:50:23 »
Any updates?
You're amazing, keep up the awesome work!
Any spoilers in your other projects?

Well I was working on the final revision before production. I havenít ordered those PCBs yet unfortunately.
I got smacked with a huge property tax hike, which increased my mortgage quite a bit. That means all my spare cash that Iíve been using to fund prototyping is going to paying my mortgage. Hopefully soon the county appraisal district will finish their reassessment of my property and approve my exemptions. Once that happens prototyping will be back on track and Iíll be able to start the group buy.

It sucks because Iíve had to put all of my projects on hold because of this (I have 3 other non-vintage and one more vintage replacement PCBs Iíve been working on).

As soon as things change Iíll update here again.

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 30 June 2019, 14:00:33 »
Any updates?


Well I was working on the final revision before production. I havenít ordered those PCBs yet unfortunately.
I got smacked with a huge property tax hike, which increased my mortgage quite a bit. That means all my spare cash that Iíve been using to fund prototyping is going to paying my mortgage. Hopefully soon the county appraisal district will finish their reassessment of my property and approve my exemptions. Once that happens prototyping will be back on track and Iíll be able to start the group buy.

It sucks because Iíve had to put all of my projects on hold because of this (I have 3 other non-vintage and one more vintage replacement PCBs Iíve been working on).

As soon as things change Iíll update here again.
You're amazing, keep up the awesome work!
Any spoilers in your other projects?

Just replacement pcbs for a few boards where the originals were very failure prone and itís been almost impossible to get new original pcb replacements.

Offline tectonicplate

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 14 September 2019, 01:30:40 »
I hope this still happens, been looking forward to it!

Offline jrfhoutx

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 15 September 2019, 12:57:43 »
I hope this still happens, been looking forward to it!
Yes, it's definitely still going to happen. I need to finish some pcb assembly work for a small private group buy of another board before I have time to run this.

Once that group buy is over I will be running this one. it's taken me a bit longer to get to the group buy than I had wanted it to, but right now I'm shooting for sometime in October for this to run.

Offline IK4MS

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Re: [IC] Golden Delicious PCB (Apple M0116 Replacement PCB)
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 06:45:42 »
What a coincidence, just found a cheap orange alps azerty M0118 :P

Would be great to get it running again, good to see I found it just in time.