Author Topic: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped  (Read 1871 times)

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Offline Maledicted

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TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 11:50:35 »
Great rugged little boards. They come with MX blacks, but that can always be changed.

TG3 Electronics KBA-BLTG-5RBUVS-RC Toughbook Compatible Keyboard and Touchpad wi



I already have 3 of these kicking around, or I would pick it up myself.

Offline _rubik

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 11:57:42 »
When I read "cop keyboard", my mind jumped straight to the Motorola MDT9100-T https://hackaday.com/2018/03/17/from-cop-car-data-terminal-to-retro-computer/.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 12:20:38 »
Woah. That's cool. I saw some cop computers that came with all of the mounts and TG3 boards recently as well. I almost wanted to buy one, but what the heck would I ever use it for?

Offline _rubik

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 13:50:00 »
Woah. That's cool. I saw some cop computers that came with all of the mounts and TG3 boards recently as well. I almost wanted to buy one, but what the heck would I ever use it for?

Retro shelf art, mostly. People like to gut the internals and getting some bare bones linux running on it. I've always wanted to get a dumb terminal running for IRC https://jstn.tumblr.com/post/8692501831, so maybe the MDT9100 could serve a similar purpose?

Amber display + monochrome weechat would be a fun toy!

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 16:34:54 »
Woah. That's cool. I saw some cop computers that came with all of the mounts and TG3 boards recently as well. I almost wanted to buy one, but what the heck would I ever use it for?

Retro shelf art, mostly. People like to gut the internals and getting some bare bones linux running on it. I've always wanted to get a dumb terminal running for IRC https://jstn.tumblr.com/post/8692501831, so maybe the MDT9100 could serve a similar purpose?

Amber display + monochrome weechat would be a fun toy!

That would be cool as all hell, for sure. I think the TG3 systems were more modern. I imagine they would have no problem at all running some Lubuntu or something.

Offline funkmon

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 16:48:06 »
Yoink. I'm telling you mal, gimme your paypal I've gotta pay you back for this.
« Last Edit: Tue, 09 June 2020, 16:53:58 by funkmon »

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 16:58:27 »
This is a good buy, I have one that I paid a few dollars more for, and I don't even like linear Cherry switches. Somebody who likes broken-in Cherry blacks should pounce on it. (Assuming that this is the same one I have.)

I have never used it, but I keep it because a small, bulletproof keyboard with included track pad could be very handy "sometime" ....
 
“At the age of 35, after 6 years as a renunciant, he sat under a tree in Bodhgaya in North India and vowed not to get up until he had found the secret of our everlasting wandering from rebirth to rebirth. Sensing trouble, Mara, the demon of sense pleasures, sent a series of distractions his way, but the Buddha-to-be would not be stirred by such trivialities.
After 49 days, awakening came upon him. In one of the great moments in world history, he saw that all things are impermanent and ever changing. He saw how we suffer because we wish the world were otherwise. And through these insights he saw his suffering itself wander away. From that point forward he was the Buddha, which, like the term “Christ” is a title rather than a proper name.
For the next 45 years, the Buddha wandered the Indian subcontinent, turning the wheel of dharma and gathering monks and nuns into a crew of wandering beggars. Together they bore witness to what has been described as “History’s Most Dangerous Idea” – that  human beings can solve human problems on our own, without recourse to God or divine revelation.”
– Stephen Porthero 2010

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 17:35:42 »
I picked one of these up a few years ago (back when Compaq 11800s regularly sold for $50) and paid a bit more (mine was new in box but without the touchpad). TG3/Deck really owned the backlit keyboard segment for a while, but I thought the rubber splash protection barrier was the coolest part of the board (it made the MX blacks too heavy, but the tactility would be neat with a lighter switch). Some boards use a simpler thin sheat plastic barrier instead (which doesn't make the blacks so damn heavy) though, so its a fun mystery.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 18:34:40 »
Yoink. I'm telling you mal, gimme your paypal I've gotta pay you back for this.

Just find me some cool boards to buy.

This is a good buy, I have one that I paid a few dollars more for, and I don't even like linear Cherry switches. Somebody who likes broken-in Cherry blacks should pounce on it. (Assuming that this is the same one I have.)

I have never used it, but I keep it because a small, bulletproof keyboard with included track pad could be very handy "sometime" ....
 

I put box jades in one and cut the domes off of the rubber sheet. I use it as my HTPC keyboard. I figure I can throw it around, eat over it, use it under a blanket, etc, etc, and won't ever have to really worry about it. The only thing I wish were better than the trackpad. It is small and doesn't support multi-touch, etc. Not a huge deal for me though.

I picked one of these up a few years ago (back when Compaq 11800s regularly sold for $50) and paid a bit more (mine was new in box but without the touchpad). TG3/Deck really owned the backlit keyboard segment for a while, but I thought the rubber splash protection barrier was the coolest part of the board (it made the MX blacks too heavy, but the tactility would be neat with a lighter switch). Some boards use a simpler thin sheat plastic barrier instead (which doesn't make the blacks so damn heavy) though, so its a fun mystery.

You have one of the BL82s that has a rubber sheet and not the Saran wrap? I figured they all had that, and that the trackpad variant always had rubber. I have jades in one of those too, a PS2 variant that I put a female 5-pin DIN jack on to use nice HOSA MIDI cables with.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 19:28:08 »
I have it disassembled and wrapped up (it was my first desoldering job and the LEDs gave me some trouble, but the layout was cute enough that I might rebuild it someday), but it was a backlit model with no touchpad and the rubber sheet (one of the domes tore off in disassembly... again not my finest work). The touchpad models are a little uglier, but the pad looks quite functional and means you can control a computer entirely from in which is really cool.

I've found both Hosa and Monoprice MIDI cables are surprisingly flexible compared to any keyboard cable.
Speaking of MIDI, I can't wait for my QX3 to arrive so I can do a write up on how Hirose Cherries are worse than good modern linears so please stop killing cool vintage boards or terribly obtuse hardware sequencers for the meme switches to go in your fifth 60%

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 19:54:19 »
I have it disassembled and wrapped up (it was my first desoldering job and the LEDs gave me some trouble, but the layout was cute enough that I might rebuild it someday), but it was a backlit model with no touchpad and the rubber sheet (one of the domes tore off in disassembly... again not my finest work). The touchpad models are a little uglier, but the pad looks quite functional and means you can control a computer entirely from in which is really cool.

I've found both Hosa and Monoprice MIDI cables are surprisingly flexible compared to any keyboard cable.
Speaking of MIDI, I can't wait for my QX3 to arrive so I can do a write up on how Hirose Cherries are worse than good modern linears so please stop killing cool vintage boards or terribly obtuse hardware sequencers for the meme switches to go in your fifth 60%

You bought it for the switches then? They're really tanky boards, and I quite like 75% boards already as it is myself.

I haven't had a Monoprice MIDI cable before. I do wish that more cables would use rubber or silicone jackets myself. That's one of the things I love so much about the HOSA cables, besides the beefy metal connectors.

I agree on not destroying old boards just for their switches.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 21:11:03 »
Truth be told I had no idea why I bought it. I was using a Compaq 11800 as my daily driver and thought a more compact board would be fun to try. The Compaq 11800 isn't NKRO, but the ~4KRO (thanks to some dastardly jumper wires in every switch) made it pretty solid even for gaming. The TG3 was ~2KRO so I thought I'd handwire it for NKRO. I had so much trouble removing the original PCB (solder wick and a gas powered iron at that point) and broke a number of stubborn LEDs so I set it aside until I got more practice soldering. With a pump and a better iron I've had a much easier time (the second project was desoldering a linear space invader board terminal board, cutting down the case to TKL and trying to handwire it... I finally cut and epoxied the case just last week so it only took like 4 years :-[), and it was only a few months ago I learned the magical power of flux, so I'm still pretty stupid, but I like to think I'm finally at the point where the stuff that stumped me is... still a complete pain in the ass but at least its doable.

The thing that annoys me the most is seeing early cherry (G80 - 0XXX stuff) broken down for vintage blacks... especially when they are AT/XT boards with Model F layouts or standalone keyboards for the Amiga (not something completely stupid like most Wyse/Link branded terminal boards, but the doubleshots only fit one layout well). Cherry used to OEM keyboard assemblies (not unlike the TG3 but I can't find that listing now) and its fascinating to see Cherry caps with adaptors to fit NEC oval switches, how thin OG R0 keycaps were, or how Cherry would have circular windows in doubleshot caps.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 14:05:13 »
Here's another, and this one's even at a 25 cent discount from the last:



TG3 KBA-BLT Mechanical Keyboard with TouchPad Black

Maybe that's because it looks like somebody repaired the cable in the past? It looks like they used heat shrink, and actually knew how to apply it, so I'm going to assume that they knew what they were doing. I have noticed that a lot of the trackpad variants that were likely to be mounted in squad cars, etc, seem to have damage to their cables. It looks to be in good shape otherwise, better than most of mine.

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 15:06:09 »
I'm guessing the original cable was routed in such a way that they had to cut it to get it out. A single USB plug is pretty nice compared to dual PS/2 or serial + AT I've seen on other boards.

Offline funkmon

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 20:46:09 »
Damn, are these things a dime a dozen or what?

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 21:55:26 »
Damn, are these things a dime a dozen or what?

No clue. They're from a time (early to mid 2000s I think) when mechanical switches where phased out for rubberdomes at the consumer level (even for gaming) and really only saw use in commercial/heavy duty applications where switch lifespan testing was appreciated.

The keycaps are pretty odd (dyesubbed(?) black over milky white top similar to logitech or razer, but the sides are black plastic so its technically doubleshot).

I think there are a good number of them and they don't break very often. It'd be really neat if someone could make a replacement PCB for them.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: TG3 "cop keyboard" for $17.75, shipped
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 12 June 2020, 18:33:33 »
Damn, are these things a dime a dozen or what?

They are a dime a dozen because of government bureaucracy. TG3 makes and sells them for pretty high prices if I remember right, because they're designed specifically to be mounted in place in vehicles, etc, and basically last forever once mounted. Government agencies buy them up by the thousands and eventually end up surplussing them down the road, new and used. The target consumer isn't going to buy them secondhand, so the only people buying the surplus ones are people who stumble upon them and need a cheap keyboard, and people who already know that they're mechanical and made like tanks. Supply is high, demand is low.

I'm pretty sure that TG3 continues to pump these things out by the thousands.