Author Topic: Realforce R2 cable mod  (Read 4984 times)

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Offline phinix

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Realforce R2 cable mod
« on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 14:18:39 »
I'm trying to find out how to mod Realforce R2 keyboard, so it would have removable cable, or somehow USB socket, instead of stock cable.

Do you buys have any ideas?
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Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 15:17:36 »
Boom.

https://pexonpcs.co.uk/collections/usb-cables-new/products/realforce-cables-1

I've ordered several from these guys. They do the realforce numpads too.

245768-0


Alternatively, you could just solder a usb (any type) female end to the stock cable and plug in your own cable to it, either hiding it on the inside of the case or cutting a little hole in the case and super gluing the end so that you can plug in your own cable. .
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 June 2020, 15:21:26 by ddrfraser1 »

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 17:25:15 »
Boom.

https://pexonpcs.co.uk/collections/usb-cables-new/products/realforce-cables-1

I've ordered several from these guys. They do the realforce numpads too.

(Attachment Link)


Alternatively, you could just solder a usb (any type) female end to the stock cable and plug in your own cable to it, either hiding it on the inside of the case or cutting a little hole in the case and super gluing the end so that you can plug in your own cable. .

I have pexons cables - I'm thinking of actual usb socket mod.
Pexon do those only with male USB-A plug at the end. They used to do female socket, but not anymore.

Best way would be to have a alu case with USB-C motherboard, but only one that is/was available was Norbaforce.
« Last Edit: Thu, 25 June 2020, 17:30:04 by phinix »
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 25 June 2020, 17:47:39 »
Do you want to mount the socket in/on the case or on the cable?  Either way you need to find the socket you want to use first, then it's just a matter of finding the connector for the other end and a dead USB cable.  Or as fraser suggested if it's internal and no-one will see it cutting the stock cable is easier still.
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Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 02:28:55 »
Do you want to mount the socket in/on the case or on the cable?  Either way you need to find the socket you want to use first, then it's just a matter of finding the connector for the other end and a dead USB cable.  Or as fraser suggested if it's internal and no-one will see it cutting the stock cable is easier still.

Yeah, I was thinking doing this.
I hoped someone already done something like that already...

I would prefer not to do much damage to actual chassis, but some solutions would involve cutting, drilling etc.
Ideally I would place USB-C daughterboard inside or under the case, with socket coming out at the back. But would need to figure out how I'm going to cover that small board.

Why HHKB is only one that comes with detachable cable...
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Offline ddrfraser1

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 07:30:48 »
Do you want to mount the socket in/on the case or on the cable?  Either way you need to find the socket you want to use first, then it's just a matter of finding the connector for the other end and a dead USB cable.  Or as fraser suggested if it's internal and no-one will see it cutting the stock cable is easier still.

Yeah, I was thinking doing this.
I hoped someone already done something like that already...

I would prefer not to do much damage to actual chassis, but some solutions would involve cutting, drilling etc.
Ideally I would place USB-C daughterboard inside or under the case, with socket coming out at the back. But would need to figure out how I'm going to cover that small board.

Why HHKB is only one that comes with detachable cable...

Leopolds have detachable cables too.

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 07:38:58 »
Do you want to mount the socket in/on the case or on the cable?  Either way you need to find the socket you want to use first, then it's just a matter of finding the connector for the other end and a dead USB cable.  Or as fraser suggested if it's internal and no-one will see it cutting the stock cable is easier still.

Yeah, I was thinking doing this.
I hoped someone already done something like that already...

I would prefer not to do much damage to actual chassis, but some solutions would involve cutting, drilling etc.
Ideally I would place USB-C daughterboard inside or under the case, with socket coming out at the back. But would need to figure out how I'm going to cover that small board.

Why HHKB is only one that comes with detachable cable...

Leopolds have detachable cables too.

Yeah, thats the thing, so why other Realforce keyboards cannot be the same?
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 26 June 2020, 23:09:45 »
If I bother to customize something, I usually try to go through the trouble to make sure it is better than anything I can just buy, and like my things to be invincible to begin with if I can. When I add a removable cable to an existing keyboard, I drill a hole for a female GX12 aviator socket, rig it up to whatever the corresponding internal pins are, and make my own cable for it from male aviator connector to USB type A.

If the hole doesn't need to cut through a seam in the case, I use blue loctite to clamp the nut that holds the socket in place really snugly with a wrench, so that it shouldn't really ever come loose again unless I want it to. With the F77 I had to sort of resort to a bunch of high temperature hot glue.

245833-0     245835-1

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« Last Edit: Fri, 26 June 2020, 23:13:16 by Maledicted »

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 08:11:12 »
Yes, my plan is very similar, only I'm going to use USB-C daugther board.

OR

make it simple, drill a hole in back panel and mount this, then somehow convert that rear plug to JST connector:



Question to our electronic geekhackers - how can I connect that usb-c plug with R2 JST connector inside the keyboard?
« Last Edit: Sat, 27 June 2020, 08:34:52 by phinix »
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 09:34:29 »
USB specifications give each wire a specific colour, unfortunately USB-C has so many wires the colours are re-used.  If you use a similar mini or micro USB cable there will only be four wires and it will be much easier to cut the connector off and know where they go in the keyboard socket.

Are you planning to unplug it often while drunk so USBC has an advantage?  I don't think you'll be ripping the port of in the middle of a lump of moulded plastic so durability isn't an issue...
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 10:41:20 »
USB specifications give each wire a specific colour, unfortunately USB-C has so many wires the colours are re-used.  If you use a similar mini or micro USB cable there will only be four wires and it will be much easier to cut the connector off and know where they go in the keyboard socket.

Are you planning to unplug it often while drunk so USBC has an advantage?  I don't think you'll be ripping the port of in the middle of a lump of moulded plastic so durability isn't an issue...

Here's what's going to happen.

When USB C becomes the new ubiquitous plug,  Everyone will request Mods for USB A, because that's the NEW cool-Retro plug.

Just as the retro-keepsake of PS/2 on mobos.

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 16:17:46 »
USB specifications give each wire a specific colour, unfortunately USB-C has so many wires the colours are re-used.  If you use a similar mini or micro USB cable there will only be four wires and it will be much easier to cut the connector off and know where they go in the keyboard socket.

Are you planning to unplug it often while drunk so USBC has an advantage?  I don't think you'll be ripping the port of in the middle of a lump of moulded plastic so durability isn't an issue...

I want USB-C to have all my keyboards sue one cable.

I'm thinking of using USB-C daughter board - think is those I can find hav 4 wires - so 5th - ground - is missing.
RF R1 had ground separated, now R2 has it in.
I would need a breakout board with 5 pin JST...

Norbauer has those mini USB boards - but I prefer USB-C :(

« Last Edit: Sun, 26 July 2020, 16:20:03 by phinix »
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 16:53:14 »
What about this one then, is there room inside the case for the 'motherboard' end?
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Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 18:19:02 »
What about this one then, is there room inside the case for the 'motherboard' end?

Nope, no space.
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 01:38:12 »
USB specifications give each wire a specific colour, unfortunately USB-C has so many wires the colours are re-used.  If you use a similar mini or micro USB cable there will only be four wires and it will be much easier to cut the connector off and know where they go in the keyboard socket.

Are you planning to unplug it often while drunk so USBC has an advantage?  I don't think you'll be ripping the port of in the middle of a lump of moulded plastic so durability isn't an issue...

Here's what's going to happen.

When USB C becomes the new ubiquitous plug,  Everyone will request Mods for USB A, because that's the NEW cool-Retro plug.

Just as the retro-keepsake of PS/2 on mobos.


Ps/2 had a purpose though, for N-key rollover, once upon a time. USB type A doesn't really offer any major benefits over alternatives, besides maybe durability if the female socket is relatively well-made. Type A to type A cables aren't common. I am curious to see that Unicomp Mini M though, since it apparently has a latching type A socket. I still wish we would have just stuck with mini USB for peripherals/charging.

What about this one then, is there room inside the case for the 'motherboard' end?

Nope, no space.

Are you trying really hard to avoid any soldering or something? I imagine with your first panel mount connector, you could just lob the original jst connector off, and the male type c connector of the panel mount connector, and splice them together with some pull-down resistors. Sometimes I just solder straight to contacts on the board myself. I haven't messed with type C at all, and plan to avoid it wherever possible.

I haven't used panel-mount USB connectors before, but I have purchased them with the intent to. Make sure you drill those holes as center as possible. It can be pretty annoying to try to make somewhat misaligned holes work, though it usually isn't too tough to just wallow out the holes a bit one way or another to adjust if you don't care too much about aesthetics.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 02:53:53 »
Are you trying really hard to avoid any soldering or something? I imagine with your first panel mount connector, you could just lob the original jst connector off, and the male type c connector of the panel mount connector, and splice them together with some pull-down resistors. Sometimes I just solder straight to contacts on the board myself. I haven't messed with type C at all, and plan to avoid it wherever possible.

It's not solderieg that's the problem it's USBC.  As you say chop off connector and solder or splice, should be easy.  Except when you chop and find 24 wires with more than one of each colour and then which wire goes where?  The motherboard connector has a known pinout, that's why I liked it.

The other alternative is a ]breakout PCB, does the job but how do you mount it on the back panel of a keyboard case when it's mounting holes are vertical.  I'm guessing there's a round hole where the cable exits that will need filling/covering as well that would have looked OK with a proper panel mounted socket behind.
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 04:25:43 »
Are you trying really hard to avoid any soldering or something? I imagine with your first panel mount connector, you could just lob the original jst connector off, and the male type c connector of the panel mount connector, and splice them together with some pull-down resistors. Sometimes I just solder straight to contacts on the board myself. I haven't messed with type C at all, and plan to avoid it wherever possible.

It's not solderieg that's the problem it's USBC.  As you say chop off connector and solder or splice, should be easy.  Except when you chop and find 24 wires with more than one of each colour and then which wire goes where?  The motherboard connector has a known pinout, that's why I liked it.

The other alternative is a ]breakout PCB, does the job but how do you mount it on the back panel of a keyboard case when it's mounting holes are vertical.  I'm guessing there's a round hole where the cable exits that will need filling/covering as well that would have looked OK with a proper panel mounted socket behind.

I guess I usually assume that people have a continuity tester lying around. I have needed one many times for such situations when splicing cables. Old school USB color coding isn't always correct anyway, although if the standard colors are present, I don't know that I have seen them be wrong. I know I have seen plenty of cables that have had weird colors for the wiring inside.

Yeah, that Adafruit PCB looks nice. It would be nicer if they had some sort of bracket for panel mounting it. I think that even this is probably too big.

Get the panel mount connector and the Adafruit PCB, plug the panel mount male connector into the PCB, solder the PCB to a JST connector? Sort of janky if you ask me, but it may be the least work.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 06:06:27 »
Another DIY unfriendliness of USBC - the pins in the connector are stupidly small and close together.  You would need bendy probes to get in there and I'd still be afraid of damaging the tiny pins.  I'm sure USBC is partly designed to stop things like this and make us buy new stuff...

Liking the brackets idea, just need smaller ones.  What about one of these and two of these - in stock and just down the road.
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Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 06:38:48 »
Guys, soldering is not a problem - as suicidal_orange mentioned, USB-C has 24 wires, I don't have any electronic testers/equipment or knowledge to test and find out.
I can solder simple 5 wires as I know which ones are in JST plug.

ALso, don't worry about breakout board position - I will mod keyboard casing to accomodate it - I picked a place as well - it will be 2-3cm from the center cable channel. I will take apart my R2 and measure all things later on, but I can screw breakout board down to bottom piece of case, dremel out some plastic, then wire it up to pcb. I would drill a nice, long rounded hole out on the back of the top case, so it would look nice.

245954-0

247985-1

245956-2



Only thing is to find out all electronic issues.
All USB-C breakout boards I find have 4 pin out socket for 4pin JST plub. How to connect them with R2's 5 pin?
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 July 2020, 16:17:23 by phinix »
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 28 June 2020, 07:49:49 »
It's using standard USB wire colours and Realforce are a quality company so no reason to think they wouldn't use the standard pinout leaving blue on the end as Shield (that's not supposed to be connected at the device)

If you look around the socket there are probably telltale capacitors on the power lines, a really fat ground trace and two parallel data traces heading off in the same direction for data - if you want to post a pic I'll have a look.
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 29 June 2020, 11:40:49 »
Another DIY unfriendliness of USBC - the pins in the connector are stupidly small and close together.  You would need bendy probes to get in there and I'd still be afraid of damaging the tiny pins.  I'm sure USBC is partly designed to stop things like this and make us buy new stuff...

Liking the brackets idea, just need smaller ones.  What about one of these and two of these - in stock and just down the road.

There are plenty of times I have had to rig up some staples or paper clips to my probes in order to get inside of some tiny connectors. I imagine staples would work for type c. I have thought about making my own probes with really narrow ends ... partly because one of the probes on my tester fell off and I have now been using the copper wire that remains. lol

It is funny you mention the tiny pins inside because I actually just recently bent all of the pins back in a type c jack a student had mangled beyond belief. It is just on a Chromebook, so we really only use them for charging, which now works again. I'm not sure whether or not the rest of it does, like transmitting video. I know some of the pins snapped off partway down, but it was surprisingly easy to realign them all and get them relatively flat again. Easier than most times I have tried to do something similar with usb type A.

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 06:24:03 »
It's using standard USB wire colours and Realforce are a quality company so no reason to think they wouldn't use the standard pinout leaving blue on the end as Shield (that's not supposed to be connected at the device)

If you look around the socket there are probably telltale capacitors on the power lines, a really fat ground trace and two parallel data traces heading off in the same direction for data - if you want to post a pic I'll have a look.

Cool, thanks.
I don't have that breakout boad yet, will order one once they get back in stock. I may go for this one, or here:



« Last Edit: Sat, 25 July 2020, 09:29:41 by phinix »
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Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 09:28:20 »
It's using standard USB wire colours and Realforce are a quality company so no reason to think they wouldn't use the standard pinout leaving blue on the end as Shield (that's not supposed to be connected at the device)

If you look around the socket there are probably telltale capacitors on the power lines, a really fat ground trace and two parallel data traces heading off in the same direction for data - if you want to post a pic I'll have a look.

So you are saying that earth/shield is just a wire soldered to USB socket housing?
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Offline jamster

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 10:01:44 »
What's the attraction for a removable cable?

The R1 (so I'd assume the R2) has cable routing guides underneath the board to three positions, which includes a huge amount of strain relief. This strikes me as far superior to the arrangement where one single USB connector comes out the back of a case for a fixed position cable.  I guess if you were going to retrofit a connector it would be the same place as the existing exit point so you'd preserve use of the routing channels.

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 11:28:34 »
What's the attraction for a removable cable?

The R1 (so I'd assume the R2) has cable routing guides underneath the board to three positions, which includes a huge amount of strain relief. This strikes me as far superior to the arrangement where one single USB connector comes out the back of a case for a fixed position cable.  I guess if you were going to retrofit a connector it would be the same place as the existing exit point so you'd preserve use of the routing channels.

Sometimes I switch my keyboards daily, making reconnecting r2 to back of my pc a real pain. I want one usb c cable to rule them all ;D
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 12:11:27 »
If you would like to avoid soldering, you could accomplish your goal using two connectors that are commercially available:

1. Poyiccot Type C to Screw Terminal Cable, USB 3.1 Type C Female to 5 Pin/Way Female Bolt Screw Shield terminals Pluggable Type Adapter Cable 30cm (Type C Female). Available online from Walmart:

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/Poyiccot-Type-C-Screw-Terminal-Cable-USB-3-1-Female-5-Pin-Way-Bolt-Shield-terminals-Pluggable-Adapter-Cable-30cm-Type-Female/PRD7CUAKFFC5HPC



2. USB Type C Male to USB Type C female panel mount length 0.3M. Available online from L-com:

https://www.l-com.com/usb-usb-type-c-male-to-usb-type-c-female-panel-mount-length-03m




Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 14:46:24 »
If you would like to avoid soldering, you could accomplish your goal using two connectors that are commercially available:

1. Poyiccot Type C to Screw Terminal Cable, USB 3.1 Type C Female to 5 Pin/Way Female Bolt Screw Shield terminals Pluggable Type Adapter Cable 30cm (Type C Female). Available online from Walmart:

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/Poyiccot-Type-C-Screw-Terminal-Cable-USB-3-1-Female-5-Pin-Way-Bolt-Shield-terminals-Pluggable-Adapter-Cable-30cm-Type-Female/PRD7CUAKFFC5HPC

(Attachment Link)

2. USB Type C Male to USB Type C female panel mount length 0.3M. Available online from L-com:

https://www.l-com.com/usb-usb-type-c-male-to-usb-type-c-female-panel-mount-length-03m

(Attachment Link)

Yeah, I would like to use this kind of panel mount, but thing is I would need to cut this cable up and then somehow pick wires to connect to pcb.

First one you pointed out looks pretty good though. Thing is I don't know if this huge wire plug would fit in the case.
This would be a different solution - to have USB-C socket outside, hanging out. It is one of the options, definitely, thanks.
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 17:27:48 »

Quote

Yeah, I would like to use this kind of panel mount, but thing is I would need to cut this cable up and then somehow pick wires to connect to pcb.

First one you pointed out looks pretty good though. Thing is I don't know if this huge wire plug would fit in the case.
This would be a different solution - to have USB-C socket outside, hanging out. It is one of the options, definitely, thanks.

Actually, what I had in mind was to get a cable that had on one end a female Dupont-type header to plug directly into the 5-pin header on the PCB. Ideally, the other end would have a panel-mount USB-C connector. Otherwise, you would need another panel-mount USB-C connector with the other end suitable for connecting to the header cable.

I have done several mods like this on various vintage boards in which I had installed a Teensy with a mini-USB connector or an internal Orihalcon converter with a micro-USB connector. I then ran either a mini-USB or micro-USB panel-mount cable from the Teensy or Orihalcon converter.

I am doing something similar to my new F62 keyboard. It has a USB-C connector on the controller, and I found a panel-mount USB-C with a short cable. One end plugs into the controller, and the panel-mount connector is installed inside the case.

In any event, it appears that you have your choice of a number of solutions for a detachable cable for your RF R2 board -- I also have one of these keyboards, and I plan to install a panel-mount connector in it.


Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 18:09:11 »

Quote

Yeah, I would like to use this kind of panel mount, but thing is I would need to cut this cable up and then somehow pick wires to connect to pcb.

First one you pointed out looks pretty good though. Thing is I don't know if this huge wire plug would fit in the case.
This would be a different solution - to have USB-C socket outside, hanging out. It is one of the options, definitely, thanks.

Actually, what I had in mind was to get a cable that had on one end a female Dupont-type header to plug directly into the 5-pin header on the PCB. Ideally, the other end would have a panel-mount USB-C connector. Otherwise, you would need another panel-mount USB-C connector with the other end suitable for connecting to the header cable.

I have done several mods like this on various vintage boards in which I had installed a Teensy with a mini-USB connector or an internal Orihalcon converter with a micro-USB connector. I then ran either a mini-USB or micro-USB panel-mount cable from the Teensy or Orihalcon converter.

I am doing something similar to my new F62 keyboard. It has a USB-C connector on the controller, and I found a panel-mount USB-C with a short cable. One end plugs into the controller, and the panel-mount connector is installed inside the case.

In any event, it appears that you have your choice of a number of solutions for a detachable cable for your RF R2 board -- I also have one of these keyboards, and I plan to install a panel-mount connector in it.

So if you are going to use panel mount connector - that means you will have to cut the cable, which will expose loads of wires from usb-c - how are you going to know which ones are the 5 you need to use for pcb connector?
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 18:27:20 »
Quote
<snip>

So if you are going to use panel mount connector - that means you will have to cut the cable, which will expose loads of wires from usb-c - how are you going to know which ones are the 5 you need to use for pcb connector?
Haven't gathered the parts yet for my RF R2 board. What I am hoping to find is either a cable with a 5-pin header connector on one end and a panel-mount USB-C connector on the other end. Barring that, I would hope to find the right combination of adapters, or I would go with a panel-mount mini-USB or panel-mount micro-USB. I realize that it could be better to go with a USB-C connector, but thus far, I do not mind using one of the older types.

My F62 solution is easy -- I have a panel-mount USB-C cable that plugs directly into the USB-C connector on the keyboard controller. I am working on that project now and expect to have it finished by next week. I've already drilled the holes in the zinc alloy case for the mounting screws and made the cutout for the USB-C connection.



Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 25 July 2020, 19:28:34 »
Quote
<snip>

So if you are going to use panel mount connector - that means you will have to cut the cable, which will expose loads of wires from usb-c - how are you going to know which ones are the 5 you need to use for pcb connector?
Haven't gathered the parts yet for my RF R2 board. What I am hoping to find is either a cable with a 5-pin header connector on one end and a panel-mount USB-C connector on the other end. Barring that, I would hope to find the right combination of adapters, or I would go with a panel-mount mini-USB or panel-mount micro-USB. I realize that it could be better to go with a USB-C connector, but thus far, I do not mind using one of the older types.

My F62 solution is easy -- I have a panel-mount USB-C cable that plugs directly into the USB-C connector on the keyboard controller. I am working on that project now and expect to have it finished by next week. I've already drilled the holes in the zinc alloy case for the mounting screws and made the cutout for the USB-C connection.

Cool. PLease show some photos fo this, sounds interesting. Was it hard to drill out USB-C socket hole? I mean just for a socket, in the middle of the screw holes.

For R2 - I'm considering just simply buying Norbauer's mini USB board and use that instead of usb-c.
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 26 July 2020, 06:43:37 »
Quote
<snip>

So if you are going to use panel mount connector - that means you will have to cut the cable, which will expose loads of wires from usb-c - how are you going to know which ones are the 5 you need to use for pcb connector?
Haven't gathered the parts yet for my RF R2 board. What I am hoping to find is either a cable with a 5-pin header connector on one end and a panel-mount USB-C connector on the other end. Barring that, I would hope to find the right combination of adapters, or I would go with a panel-mount mini-USB or panel-mount micro-USB. I realize that it could be better to go with a USB-C connector, but thus far, I do not mind using one of the older types.

My F62 solution is easy -- I have a panel-mount USB-C cable that plugs directly into the USB-C connector on the keyboard controller. I am working on that project now and expect to have it finished by next week. I've already drilled the holes in the zinc alloy case for the mounting screws and made the cutout for the USB-C connection.

Cool. PLease show some photos fo this, sounds interesting. Was it hard to drill out USB-C socket hole? I mean just for a socket, in the middle of the screw holes.

For R2 - I'm considering just simply buying Norbauer's mini USB board and use that instead of usb-c.
I'm usually not very good at photo-documenting my mods, but I will at least post a pic of the finished product.

Doing panel mounts on my Northgate Ominikey 101 boards has been especially easy. I install an Orihalcon internal converter, which has a header connector on one end and a micro-USB socket on the other. I have found a panel-mount micro-USB cable that fits exactly to the mounting holes and micro-USB cut-out on the Northgate metal case, so there is not need for any drilling or filing. Quite neat.

Regarding the F62, drilling the holes for the mounting screws was easy. The opening for the USB-C connector itself was a bit more challenging. However, there was already a small rectangular cutout in the metal. I enlarged this by drilling three holes and filing with small hand files.

Thanks for the tip about the Norbauer mini USB board. I will add this to the list of possibilities for my RF R2 project.

Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 26 July 2020, 15:30:48 »
USB-C Panel-Mount Connector Installed in my newest Ellipse F62 Keyboard:


As promised, I have posted some pics showing how I installed a panel-mount USB-C connector in my new F62 keyboard. The post is over on Deskthority (DT):

https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24286&p=468806#p468806


Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 31 July 2020, 18:50:12 »
USB-C Panel-Mount Connector Installed in my newest Ellipse F62 Keyboard:


As promised, I have posted some pics showing how I installed a panel-mount USB-C connector in my new F62 keyboard. The post is over on Deskthority (DT):

https://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24286&p=468806#p468806

Looks great!

I decide to go with a bit of multiple items direction:)
I got Norbaforce R2 daughterboard, ordered mini-usb to usb-c 15cm cable and usb-c to usb-c panel mount cable (female to female).
Couldn't find mini usb to usb-c panel mount.

So route will go - daughter board ->mini usb-to-usb-c -> usb-c-to-usb-c panel.

Should have all the items next Thursday. Only modding I will have to do is to make space for panel mount and drill holes.



« Last Edit: Fri, 31 July 2020, 18:53:16 by phinix »
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Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 01 August 2020, 07:49:46 »
@phinix: Looks a bit indirect, but your plan should get you there. Let us know how it turns out!

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 01 August 2020, 12:12:09 »
@phinix: Looks a bit indirect, but your plan should get you there. Let us know how it turns out!

Well, it is a bit indirect, couldn't find proper cable.
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Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 06 August 2020, 11:31:23 »
I decided to go with mini USB.
Was trying to over-engineer it :) No point.
I have a nice daughter board with mini USB, I'll go with this.

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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 06 August 2020, 13:04:15 »
I decided to go with mini USB.
Was trying to over-engineer it :) No point.
I have a nice daughter board with mini USB, I'll go with this.

Nice choice.  :thumb:

Show us the finished product when you're done.

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 10:05:13 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 13 August 2020, 10:19:50 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

That works, I did something similar with a DC-2014 when I put a Soarer's converter inside of it, though I left a little extra cable sticking out to hopefully help prevent excess stress on the crappy micro USB connector.

Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #40 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 16:37:42 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

That works, I did something similar with a DC-2014 when I put a Soarer's converter inside of it, though I left a little extra cable sticking out to hopefully help prevent excess stress on the crappy micro USB connector.
Not liking dongles, here's what I did with my DC-2014:



Circled in red is a panel-mounted micro-USB connector. Inside is an Orihalcon/Soarer converter. I actually prefer mini-USB, but the micro-USB was available in panel mount, and the Orihalcon converter had a micro-USB connector on it. In panel-mount mode, the micro-USB is sufficiently solid.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #41 on: Sat, 15 August 2020, 17:18:49 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

That works, I did something similar with a DC-2014 when I put a Soarer's converter inside of it, though I left a little extra cable sticking out to hopefully help prevent excess stress on the crappy micro USB connector.
Not liking dongles, here's what I did with my DC-2014:

(Attachment Link)

Circled in red is a panel-mounted micro-USB connector. Inside is an Orihalcon/Soarer converter. I actually prefer mini-USB, but the micro-USB was available in panel mount, and the Orihalcon converter had a micro-USB connector on it. In panel-mount mode, the micro-USB is sufficiently solid.

With micro USB, I would still much prefer my solution of a little rat tail sticking out. That connector is too fragile for me to trust solidly mounted to anything without some major reinforcement. I also didn't cut up the original case. I used the hole the original cable came out of and just clamped it down on some rubber I cut to size to pinch the micro USB extension cable tight between, so it should offer reasonable stress relief of the cable, hopefully prevent damage to the micro USB connector, and leaves the board itself entirely unmodified. I made sure to hang onto the original cable.

If mini USB were on the table, and it were not a very old board that I care very much about preserving as it is, I would consider it, but even then I would probably do a female GX12 aviator socket as I have done on other boards I have modified the cases on, since with those, I could literally swing the keyboard above my head by the cable with and harm nothing.

It is overkill, but I like overkill.

Offline Hypersphere

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 17 August 2020, 14:04:04 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

That works, I did something similar with a DC-2014 when I put a Soarer's converter inside of it, though I left a little extra cable sticking out to hopefully help prevent excess stress on the crappy micro USB connector.
Not liking dongles, here's what I did with my DC-2014:

(Attachment Link)

Circled in red is a panel-mounted micro-USB connector. Inside is an Orihalcon/Soarer converter. I actually prefer mini-USB, but the micro-USB was available in panel mount, and the Orihalcon converter had a micro-USB connector on it. In panel-mount mode, the micro-USB is sufficiently solid.

With micro USB, I would still much prefer my solution of a little rat tail sticking out. That connector is too fragile for me to trust solidly mounted to anything without some major reinforcement. I also didn't cut up the original case. I used the hole the original cable came out of and just clamped it down on some rubber I cut to size to pinch the micro USB extension cable tight between, so it should offer reasonable stress relief of the cable, hopefully prevent damage to the micro USB connector, and leaves the board itself entirely unmodified. I made sure to hang onto the original cable.

If mini USB were on the table, and it were not a very old board that I care very much about preserving as it is, I would consider it, but even then I would probably do a female GX12 aviator socket as I have done on other boards I have modified the cases on, since with those, I could literally swing the keyboard above my head by the cable with and harm nothing.

It is overkill, but I like overkill.
I, too, like overkill, especially when it comes to plenty of stress relief for cables and connectors. The micro-USB connectors that I have used on my Northgates, DC-2014, and DC-3014, are panel-mount extension cables. The micro-USB is embedded in rubber and connected with a built-in cable to the Teensy or ProMicro, using stress relief along the cable. This makes for a very solid connection -- very different from the connectors soldered to the keyboard PCB.

A nice thing about using these connectors on Northgate Omnikey 101 boards is that they fit perfectly to the holes that are already in the case, so no need to drill or cut in order to install the panel-mount.

Offline sharkybassy

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 15 September 2020, 16:30:14 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

(Attachment Link)
Did you end up getting this mod to work. i just got a realforce r2 and would like to mod mine too but dont want to kill my case if it doesnt work

Offline phinix

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Re: Realforce R2 cable mod
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 03:39:56 »
Unfortunately just found out that my dremel is dead, so till I get a new one, I did a simple mod, temporary solution without cutting the case - Norbaforce daughterboard and mini usb to usb C cable.

(Attachment Link)
Did you end up getting this mod to work. i just got a realforce r2 and would like to mod mine too but dont want to kill my case if it doesnt work

I still have no new dremel, so didn't cut the case.
So far I love the USB-C cable mod, it is a huge difference. But I will dremel the case as soon as I get a new tool, however it won't be soon, got more priorities on my head now  :rolleyes:
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Philips 40" 4K BDM4065UC | Sentry 2.0
Realforce R2 55g Novatouched+Deskeys #3 | CM QuickFire Rapid Frosty Flake MX Blacks | DROP CTRL High Profile w/ Glorious Holy Pandas| Model M | Logitech MX518 Legend | X52 PRO
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