Author Topic: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)  (Read 1821 times)

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Offline daniel29088

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Hello geekhack,

I just received my first model f, and it is mostly functional but the biggest problem is that random keys are "pressed", after lurking geekhack and dh, my guess is that it is a grounding issue?
Also, I did not convert this keyboard, it came with a pro micro( i think it is 1600mhz or something like that) flashed with 'tmks' xt firmware. Right now, I tried wrapping the controller in a piece of paper because i thought maybe it was shorting on the metal case, but of course nothing changed. I want to blame the controller but I'm not sure. A few switches are broken, could it be a flipper is doing funky stuff?


I have heard from two sources that some controllers are sensitive to cable length, I havent tried that yet.
On the chance it is the foam, does anyone make them here still?

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Dan
« Last Edit: Sun, 28 June 2020, 16:18:05 by daniel29088 »

Offline daniel29088

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Re: model f xt spamming keys (grounding???)
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 13:31:29 »
Just tried a shorter cable, had a few hiccups already, but so far they keyboard has not ruined any of my documents yet. Time will tell.

EDIT: Nothing has changed.
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 June 2020, 21:46:25 by daniel29088 »

Offline daniel29088

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Re: model f xt spamming keys (grounding???)
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 18:08:45 »
Is this even the right board for this??

I just got a even smaller cable for my board (1ft!!!), the problem is still here but atleast windows finally recognized it as a keyboard! All out of ideas.. I'm thinking that a broken flipper is messing my board up, but I aint sure, does it matter? I have a pc 122 I can pull some flippers or something out of if I can use it.



Offline daniel29088

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Re: model f xt spamming keys (grounding???)
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 16:02:41 »
Cmon y'all dont let me pontificate!
I opened the turd up, and it turns out that the keyboard is missing the plastic insulator the plastic separating the pcb from the back plate. I made some ghetto stuff using plastic from a binder and some paper, and it still doesent work. Does anyone here know of any plastics I could use, or where i can get a replacement?

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 13:36:28 »
I'm sorry that nobody has responded. I'm surprised that nobody has. This is most commonly a grounding issue. The F XT, in particular, seems to like to flip out if the grounding strap for the cable is not making a good tight electrical connection. It should be a rogue black wire that runs out of the DIN cable's jacket and screws down to the casing or plate (I forget which). If the collar on this cable and/or the screw and/or the metal it screws to are oxidized, or if the screw is too loose, it may not be properly grounded.

When I got my first Model F keyboard, it had a snipped cable, and I never bothered with the grounding strap when I replaced it with a MIDI cable. I have noticed, oddly, that it seems to work perfectly with my Soarer's converters, but it did what you've described with TMK, it would often output nothing but gibberish.

Offline daniel29088

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 14:36:50 »
snip

Can you show me what the ground cable looks like? I have taken apart the model f a few times now, and I have never seen it. I'm guessing mine was lost.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 16:13:07 »
snip

Can you show me what the ground cable looks like? I have taken apart the model f a few times now, and I have never seen it. I'm guessing mine was lost.

Yeah, someone may have ignored that cable when they converted it. If the pro micro is mounted inside of the case, cable length for the USB cable coming out of the converter should be irrelevant. When people talk about cable length on these old boards with converters, I think they're usually talking about the length of the original unmodified cable, going into an external converter.

I do not have my XT with me at the moment, so I stole this image from the internet:



The ground cable is the one going to the right. I don't recall if it screws to the lower casing right there or not. I believe it does.

I know I had problems with my Pro Micro and TMK to begin with. Some of the cheapest of the cheap Pro Micros may not be identical to the ones available on Sparkfun. I know mine are all blue. There's also apparently an issue where the Pro Micro may not supply enough voltage for the keyboard to function correctly with TMK.

If you have nothing remaining of the ground strap, and don't want to bother with trying to make your own ground strap and maybe solder it to the USB connector's housing on the Pro Micro or something, have you tried flashing Soarer's firmware? It may just work with that instead of TMK.

I do believe that mine worked with TMK once I got a proper Teensy.
« Last Edit: Mon, 29 June 2020, 16:38:35 by Maledicted »

Offline daniel29088

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 16:34:57 »
Yea, there is nothing left of the cable and my pro micro is blue too. To flash soarers firmware I would need a teensy right? I think I have the original cable, so I could try orihalcon's converter?

Thank you so much for your help

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 16:45:06 »
No, I used those cheap blue Pro Micros for plenty of Soarer's converters. They work fine for that purpose. You should be able to just flash Soarer's firmware to the one you've got and see if it works any better with that.

This is a helpful guide for that process. You should be able to skip right to the Flashing section.

You have the original cable? Even with the original cable, unless you by a 5-pin DIN Soarer's converter on Ebay or something, there would be some soldering involved to fix the grounding issue. You could solder a female 5-pin DIN socket to the Pro Micro's corresponding pins, or try to make your own grounding cable to ground on something like the housing of the micro USB socket on the Pro Micro.

Offline daniel29088

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Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 16:02:37 »
snip

Since it was flashed for me, I do not have a comp port.. are these even reflashable?
EDIT: shorting the gnd and reset pins should just clear the flash right and I can follow the tutorial as if my micro was new ?
« Last Edit: Tue, 30 June 2020, 16:09:25 by daniel29088 »

Offline Maledicted

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  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Model F XT keyboard typing random characters (possible short)
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 17:06:32 »
snip

Since it was flashed for me, I do not have a comp port.. are these even reflashable?
EDIT: shorting the gnd and reset pins should just clear the flash right and I can follow the tutorial as if my micro was new ?

Normally, there should be a com port in device manager corresponding with the pro micro no matter what, the difference is that that port number chances when you short reset to ground. That leaves you 3-5 seconds or so to initiate the flash from the command prompt utility in the guide, modified for what com port number is reported in device manager when you short those pins.

I usually short it, figure out what com port it seems to be changing to, modify the command accordingly, have it up and ready in the command prompt, then short it again and verify in the command prompt that shorting it is still causing it to show up as the same port, then quickly return to the command prompt to press enter to initiate the flash.