Author Topic: TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod  (Read 10807 times)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 14:06:57 »
I've started this mod maily because the keyboard was in bad shape and I didn't want to throw it out. Some of you may recall that I already wrote about this keyboard in a different topic.

The idea was to swap switches for Cherry MX Blue and along the way swap LEDs as well. I'm thinking orange or yellow LEDs for this one. I'm counting on another GH member to provide the switches while the LEDs will have to come from eBay.

As sixty said, TG3 really has nice and clean soldering. It did however take some practice as I haven't done this before. For anyone interested, I set the soldering iron to 350C. Probably too high so I'll try 300 later on. So far I managed to desolder about 24 switches and diodes which took me a good 3 hours. I'm thinking I'll need about 7 hours for the whole board.

Will report back on my progress :) Stay tuned!




January 7th: removed all but 14 switches now. I'm planning to finish tomorrow morning. Shouldn't take more than an hour :)

January 8th: desoldered all switches and removed the metal plate. Cleaned both sides of the PCB as well as the metal plate. Some of the top-side solder pads are corroded because of the gunk that got under the switches. Hope this doesn't affect anything.





Awaiting switches and LEDs. Hopefully I can finish the mod by the end of the week. I can't wait! :)



January 19th: Installed and soldered the MX Blue switches. Took me less than an hour. Awaiting LEDs :)

March 7th: Yeah, it took me this long to get replacement LEDs and install them. Here's the result!







p.s. The left side is actually not the exact same keyboard ;)

The project is now finished. It took me about 14-15 hours to complete. I'm pretty sure I could do another in less than 10 hours.
« Last Edit: Fri, 11 March 2011, 12:49:10 by Half-Saint »
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 15:28:57 »
I'm now 50% done desoldering. I reckon that I now desolder 4-5 switches per 15 minutes which is quite alright for a first-timer :)
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Offline didjamatic

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 15:36:13 »
Friggin awesome mod!
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Offline ricercar

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 15:50:16 »
Best wishes. Can I send you my TG3-BLT for red > blue LED swap and no switch swap?
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Offline fssbzz

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 16:05:51 »
at first i tot this is your mod. lol because you both post up at about the same time.

Offline laden3

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 16:11:10 »
there are some on ebay, $90 shipped...
http://cgi.ebay.com/TG3-Electronics-BL82-Series-82-key-LED-Backlit-KeyboaRD-/330506545694?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item4cf3b9aa1e
but, are these worth buying? they don't have the windows key -_-
I rrrove brrracks.

Offline fssbzz

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 16:15:12 »
i wonder why they even do that.
this is what i see the the description of that TG3 in ebay.

so tard

Offline arieswu

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 20:42:09 »
Quote from: laden3;273658
there are
but, are these worth buying? they don't have the windows key -_-


you can use software to simulate the win key la
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Offline turbocharged

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 05 January 2011, 21:29:57 »
Nice mod, hope it goes well. Orange/Yellow LED's should work well since they have similar forward voltage requirements.

I was contemplating doing the switch change on mine except with Clears....then I had the bright idea of taking apart each black switch and making ghetto reds...now I might just not F with it. Glad to see someone who is going to go through with it.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 January 2011, 21:32:25 by turbocharged »
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 06 January 2011, 02:01:50 »
Quote from: laden3;273658
there are some on ebay, $90 shipped...
http://cgi.ebay.com/TG3-Electronics-BL82-Series-82-key-LED-Backlit-KeyboaRD-/330506545694?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item4cf3b9aa1e
but, are these worth buying? they don't have the windows key -_-


That's a great price, I've had that one in my Watchlist for a while :)

Quote from: ricercar
Best wishes. Can I send you my TG3-BLT for red > blue LED swap and no switch swap?


Yes, if this works out for me, you can send me your TG3 but I expect you to cover the postage both ways ;) I'd also recommend sending just the mainboard, no case or keycaps, to reduce weight. If the cable is the same as mine, you can omit that as well.

Quote from: turbocharged;273851
Nice mod, hope it goes well. Orange/Yellow LED's should work well since they have similar forward voltage requirements.

I was contemplating doing the switch change on mine except with Clears....then I had the bright idea of taking apart each black switch and making ghetto reds...now I might just not F with it. Glad to see someone who is going to go through with it.


I believe it would take even more time because you have do desolder and disassemble each and every switch in order to do that!

Cheers,
SainT
« Last Edit: Thu, 06 January 2011, 02:04:25 by Half-Saint »
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 06 January 2011, 02:15:43 »
Can anyone tell me what kind of LEDs are used in the TG3? Wouldn't want to buy wrong ones :) I know they're 3mm but that's about it.

Cheers
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Offline ironman31

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 06 January 2011, 09:46:01 »
Quote from: Half-Saint;273636
I'm now 50% done desoldering. I reckon that I now desolder 4-5 switches per 15 minutes which is quite alright for a first-timer :)


Don't worry, once you get in a rhythm, it'll go much faster. The key is to get as much surface area of the iron as possible onto the part your desoldering. For switch swaps I found that the pointed tip irons work best (the shape that the radio shack ones come with) as opposed to Hakko's standard tip, which is about the shape of a flat head screwdriver, only thicker.
Keyboards:
IBM Model M Space Saving Keyboard (Used), HHKB Pro 2 (White, Lettered), Realforce 87U all-45g in White, Filco Majestouch 2 TKL with Cherry MX Browns, Model F PC/ATNoppoo Choc Mini (MX Browns), Model F XT, IBM Model M 1397735 (bought NIB), (2) Siig Minitouch (GHSS) one with XM, one with complicated ALPs (modded),2 Dell AT101W, Cherry G80-11900HRMUS (modded with MX browns)



Pointing Devices:
Logitech G500, Evoluent VerticalMouse 3, Logitech G5, CST 2545W, Microsoft IntelliMouse Trackball, Logitech M570, Logitech MX revolution


Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 07 January 2011, 13:30:27 »
I removed all but 14 switches now. I'm planning to finish tomorrow morning. Shouldn't take more than an hour :)

Quote from: ironman31
For switch swaps I found that the pointed tip irons work best (the shape that the radio shack ones come with) as opposed to Hakko's standard tip, which is about the shape of a flat head screwdriver, only thicker.

I use one that's shaped like a very blunt pencil. Works great.

Cheers
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 08 January 2011, 04:38:10 »
This morning I desoldered all switches and removed the metal plate. Cleaned both sides of the PCB as well as the metal plate. Some of the top-side solder pads are corroded because of the gunk that got under the switches. Hope this doesn't affect anything. Now I have to wait for the switches and LEDs to arrive.

Cheers
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 02:24:26 »
Last night I stumbled upon this page:
http://www.deckkeyboards.com/light.php

Didn't know Deck supported modding their boards :) Anyway, it says there that the red diodes are rated at 1.8V and the ones I bought are rated at 2.4V. Hope that doesn't mean I have to switch all the resistors as well. Another minus is that the LEDs I ordered have a 65deg viewing angle instead of 30. Link
« Last Edit: Mon, 17 January 2011, 03:15:12 by Half-Saint »
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Offline kidchunks

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 08:15:34 »
Hey Half-Saint,
How you liking those helping hands with the magnifying glass? I've been meaning to pick one up but seen mixed reviews.
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Offline didjamatic

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 08:38:35 »
I bought some from Harbor Freight, but haven't used them yet.  The price was right.

Half Saint, this is an awesome mod.
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 08:39:35 »
It's not completely useless but it is much too light to carry any significant weight. I mostly use the 'hands' for wire tinning and soldering connectors. The magnifying glass is also handy with projects like mine but again it's not perfect. I'd recommend you get a proper magnifying glass with built-in light like this.
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Offline turbocharged

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 08:55:31 »
Quote from: Half-Saint;279739
Last night I stumbled upon this page:
http://www.deckkeyboards.com/light.php

Didn't know Deck supported modding their boards :) Anyway, it says there that the red diodes are rated at 1.8V and the ones I bought are rated at 2.4V. Hope that doesn't mean I have to switch all the resistors as well. Another minus is that the LEDs I ordered have a 65deg viewing angle instead of 30. Link


You shouldn't have a problem with using LED's with a greater forward voltage...I think it would just be a bit dimmer than using the correct resistor. It is what you are going the other way that the incorrect resistor becomes a problem. Too much current running through the led when you use a red LED in place of a blue or white one.
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| IBM Model M 1391401 (BS) | Goldtouch GTC-0033 Keypad (MX Browns) |

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 17 January 2011, 10:24:30 »
Still haven't received replacement switches or LEDs so the project is at a halt :(
« Last Edit: Tue, 18 January 2011, 01:38:57 by Half-Saint »
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 18 January 2011, 01:40:05 »
All the resistors wired with the LEDs are 150ohm. I figured I'd need 130ohm resistors for orange LEDs so that shouldn't be a big deal, just less current.
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 18 January 2011, 14:06:42 »
Thanks sixty!

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Offline turbocharged

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 18 January 2011, 17:46:11 »
Quote from: Half-Saint;280561
Thanks sixty!

Show Image


Nice
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 19 January 2011, 12:09:52 »


Everything is in place and I'm now waiting for the last ingredient. Probably wouldn't be smart to plug in the keyboard without LEDs?

Anyway, I have a different problem now. The PCB feels sticky despite the fact that I cleaned it with alcohol. Any ideas?

Cheers
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 19 January 2011, 12:31:29 »
I'm such an idiot. Just checked specs of my solder wire and it says:

"Flux residue can remain on surfaces without cleaning."
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 20 January 2011, 16:24:54 »
Orange LEDs finally arrived today but I won't be doing any soldering now as it's almost midnight and I had a few beers :)

Cheers
SainT
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 21 January 2011, 14:56:13 »
OK, so I finished soldering the LEDs. The end result: keyboard works, LEDs don't except for the CAPS LOCK. What did I do wrong? Polarity is the same as it was. Resistors too big?

How do I go about debugging this?
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 21 January 2011, 15:04:20 »
Can you be a bit more specific? :) Thanks
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 21 January 2011, 15:31:08 »
Just in case I wasn't specific enough in my previous post: factory installed Caps Lock LED works.
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 22 January 2011, 14:17:16 »
I measured voltage on LEDs and it's around 0.85V. Couldn't get any current readings... probably just n00b. I stuck a CR2032 3V battery between one of the soldered LED pins and it lit up nicely.

If that's any help..
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Offline turbocharged

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 23 January 2011, 09:37:52 »
Quote from: Half-Saint;282947
I measured voltage on LEDs and it's around 0.85V. Couldn't get any current readings... probably just n00b. I stuck a CR2032 3V battery between one of the soldered LED pins and it lit up nicely.

If that's any help..

The reason you couldn't get a current reading is because you have to have the multimeter in series with the circuit to measure current. Voltage is the "potential difference" between the two points on the circuit and is measured with the multimeter in parallel.

You should measure the voltage across the resistor and let us know what you found. That way we you can calculate the current going through the circuit.

Also, just making sure....but you were at a higher brightness setting on the keyboard right?
« Last Edit: Sun, 23 January 2011, 09:51:12 by turbocharged »
| Deck Legend Fire (MX Blacks) | KBC Poker X (MX Reds) | Cherry G80-11900LTMUS (MX Clears) |  Cherry G80-11900HRMUS (MX "Ghetto Reds")
| IBM Model M 1391401 (BS) | Goldtouch GTC-0033 Keypad (MX Browns) |

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 23 January 2011, 13:36:24 »
Funny thing.. I could get a reading on some resistors but not all.. IIRC I got a reading of 1.6V. I also tried putting one probe on cable +5V and one on one end of the diodes.. somehwere I got 5V, somewhere I got 0V. This is really weird! I don't remember cutting any leads. I did wash the PCB with flux removal and the bloody thing leaked in some of the switches (they don't click anymore) but the keys still register I think..

I got the abovementioned readings with brightness on max.
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 25 January 2011, 00:38:22 »
Either there's a short or I messed something up or both :P
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Offline kriminal

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 25 January 2011, 10:24:52 »
hmm i do have 2 decks... might as well do something like this
Geekhacked Filco FKBN87M/EB modified with Brown, black and blue cherries, doubleshot keycaps
Deck KBA-BL82 with Black cherries
Cherry G84-4100LCMDK-0 Cherry ML switches
Cherry G80-8200hpdus-2 Brown cherries
IBM Lexmark 51G8572 Model M Keyboard
Geekhacked Siig Minitouch KB1948
IBM Model M Mini 1397681

Offline Half-Saint

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« Reply #34 on: Mon, 31 January 2011, 00:44:59 »
I'm stuck with non-working LEDs. Anyone have any more ideas? :)
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Offline keyboardlover

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 31 January 2011, 11:24:43 »
Lol...he was great in the movie "Made".


Offline keyboardlover

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 31 January 2011, 11:36:33 »
Quote from: ripster;287782
Maybe there is a Diode that would block Vince Vaughn when I view the movie?


I've never seen Vince Vaughn more obnoxious in any other movie than Made BUT he's also hilarious in it. I highly recommend Made if you haven't seen it. Favreau and P Diddy are also excellent in it.

Offline Half-Saint

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« Reply #37 on: Wed, 09 February 2011, 13:16:43 »
I removed the top left orange diode and replaced it with the original RED diode - lo and behold! It lit up, the rest didn't. Since I am a lazy man, I don't feel like desoldering everything again just to replace a few resistors so I'll try ordering some more diodes from the chinese.. correct voltage this time..
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Offline Half-Saint

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« Reply #38 on: Wed, 09 February 2011, 13:24:19 »
Don't worry. I never take more than 1-2 seconds per pin when soldering.
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 09 February 2011, 13:32:02 »
I think I figured it out.. reverse polarity :P

When you look through the casing, they look about the same. When I applied 3V to the red LED, it lit up; the orange LED didn't. When I reversed polarity, the orange lit up fine but the red didn't.

So, the moral of this story is.. check polarity first!
« Last Edit: Wed, 09 February 2011, 14:03:42 by Half-Saint »
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline turbocharged

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 09 February 2011, 14:15:32 »
Quote from: Half-Saint;292381
I think I figured it out.. reverse polarity :P

When you look through the casing, they look about the same. When I applied 3V to the red LED, it lit up; the orange LED didn't. When I reversed polarity, the orange lit up fine but the red didn't.

So, the moral of this story is.. check polarity first!

Yea polarity is pretty important :)

So now you have to go back through and resolder every led?
| Deck Legend Fire (MX Blacks) | KBC Poker X (MX Reds) | Cherry G80-11900LTMUS (MX Clears) |  Cherry G80-11900HRMUS (MX "Ghetto Reds")
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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 09 February 2011, 14:19:50 »
Quote from: turbocharged;292431
So now you have to go back through and resolder every led?


Yes. However, I think I'll be getting brighter LEDs as these barely glow, when I put the keycap on. I got diffused LEDs instead of water-clear ones.
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 21 February 2011, 02:02:37 »
Well, just started desoldering the yellow diodes. It's a pain in the ass :)

SainT
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 06 March 2011, 15:32:49 »
It is done! New diodes are in place and they look wonderful. I can't wait to show you the pics. I'm a bit tired so it'll have to wait until tomorrow :)
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 08 March 2011, 00:37:01 »
The finished product - before & after the mod:
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline elbowglue

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 08 March 2011, 00:39:30 »
Wow.  Very cool.  I like it.  Are you ready to sell it to me now?
My keyboards: Filco Cherry Blue Tenkeyless(daily home), Compaq MX11800 (modded to blacks), Compaq "MX 84u",  Wellington\'s Dampened Endurapro, Pinkalicious Filco Blue Cherry, Chicony KB-5191, Chicony KB-5181, Desko MOS 5023 UP "elbowglue" spos (modded to blues), Siig Minitouch (monterey blue), SMK-88 (blue cherries), Ricercar SPOS
Smallest to biggest keyboards in inches (Length X Height) - Length is most important for a midline mouse position

KBC Poker: 11.6 x 3.9 - HHKB: 11.6 x 4.3 - Siig Minitouch (Geekhack Space Saver): 11.6 x 6 - Deck/Tg3 82: 12 x 6 - Noppoo Choc Mini 12.4 x 5.3 - Compaq "MX 84u": 13.1 x 7.5 - Filco Tenkeyless: 14 x 5.3 - Cherry "ricercar spos" G86-62410EUAGSA: 14 x 7.75 - Topre Realforce 86u: 14.4 x 6.65 - Desko "elbowglue spos" MOS 5023 UP: 14.5 x 8.4 - IBM Model M Spacesaver: 15.3 x 7 - G80-1800: 15.9 x 7.1 - Adesso MKB-125B: 16 x 7.3 - Compaq Mx11800, Cherry G80-11900: 16.25 x 7.5 - Filco Standard: 17.3 x 5.4 - Unicomp Endurapro: 17.9 x 7.1 - Adesso MKB-135B: 18.3 x 6.0 - Cherry G80-3000: 18.5 x 7.6 - IBM Model M, Unicomp Customizer: 19.3 x 8.27

Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 08 March 2011, 00:52:16 »
Well I've thought about selling it but it cost me an arm and a leg thanks to the helpful people at the Customs :P The price would probably be set at around $200 + shipping.
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Offline Curetia

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 08 March 2011, 05:31:32 »
Very nice work! I hope you'll enjoy the new look and feel :)

Offline Half-Saint

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #48 on: Fri, 11 March 2011, 12:49:52 »
Added some new pictures.
IBM Model M (6) - Acer Alcatel 6312-KW - IBM Model M Space Saver - IBM Model M 122-key - Cherry G80-3000 (2) - IBM Model F AT - TG3 BL82A (2)

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Online mtl

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TG3 BL83 MX Blue mod
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 21 March 2011, 22:06:59 »
Congrats on the nice mod!  I just started a similar mod on a toxic Deck 82-key and am having similar trouble de-soldering the switches and LEDs.  I think it's because solder pads are on both sides of the board, and there's a ton of solder in there.  It's painstaking work to get them all off.
MX13 SpaceSaver | Phantom | Tactoblack Filco -10 | Realforce 103U-UW | Variable Clicky Deck 82 | Deck Legend