Author Topic: Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)  (Read 8942 times)

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Offline Cata1yst

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« on: Thu, 31 March 2011, 16:21:38 »
Ok so got my inspiration from eunjea, with his thread over here. http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:9542

Of course thats an at 101, the at101w has a handful of resistors underneath the LED cluster. (that you dont really need). My goals thus far were to A) Have fun with this mod B) Make it look good C) Make it feel good.

So B and C. The beige keycaps have started to yellow, and the printing has started to fade on all of the keys. So im looking to track down some decent keys. Secondly, i dislike the feel of the blacks, they feel gritty, they feel bleh, and the 70g actuation points and i just dont get along.

Day 1
So i hacked mine apart using a dremel and a jigsaw, which proved to be a mistake as the blade wore out towards the end of the metal plate, eventually breaking off a peice of it that lied underneath the left arrow key. Discouraged i tossed it into the trash, and looked at the diagram online for 30 seconds and realized that i could ressurect it easily. So i dumpster dove in my own trash bin (which is gross), and stuck to it. Pictures below of my progress.




You can see in the bottom left the peice that broke off. :(

Feel wise its ok so far since the keyswitches are plate mounted.

Plans/Ideas
Tomorrow im hoping to hack the casing apart and get it in a nice formfactor. Any suggestions on the best way of doing this?

Paint scheme wise i was thinking stormtrooper, black keys on a white back. But i might do it darth vader, with a black back and white keys? Idk.

Im still struggling on which switch type, ive narrowed it down to either oranges or blues, but im leaning towards oranges since they seem to be easier to source, and the "smoother" alternative.

Any suggestions on what keyboard that i can source some decent keycaps and switches from?

Offline .XL

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 05 April 2011, 10:06:04 »
/KL is selling MX Red switches in the Classifieds section! But I doubt they fit...

Go with the simplified alps if that's what you like best. Will the montereys fit??

I'm debating on whether or not I want to go with the Darth Vader of Storm Trooper look, too. I think what I may end up doing is dyeing the case a different color...like red...and put it on my Filco red :p
Keyboards: Filco Majestouch-2 87key Browns - Realforce 103UB 55g - Compaq MX11800 (ghetto clears + doubleshots)

Offline Findecanor

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 05 April 2011, 10:19:54 »
Most ALPS-compatible key caps (except those on Apple's AEK and AEKII) are the same size, so you can mix and match. There are ALPS-compatible rubber domes (Monterey K208). The key caps from Acer 6312-W are also nice.

You can upgrade the switches with other complicated ALPS switches from the top, without the need to de/solder them.
Cherry MX switches do NOT fit ALPS boards at all.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline Cata1yst

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 05 April 2011, 11:00:24 »
Quote from: Findecanor;324978
Most ALPS-compatible key caps (except those on Apple's AEK and AEKII) are the same size, so you can mix and match. There are ALPS-compatible rubber domes (Monterey K208). The key caps from Acer 6312-W are also nice.

You can upgrade the switches with other complicated ALPS switches from the top, without the need to de/solder them.
Cherry MX switches do NOT fit ALPS boards at all.

Well to take advantage of the blues/orange grey switchplate would involve soldering.

Quote from: .XL;324967
Go with the simplified alps if that's what you like best. Will the montereys fit??

Nope. They seem to be more "square" and the alps are rectangular. So thats a no go :X shame really. the monterays are beautiful switches to type on. If only my minitouch didnt have the far left function key id be using it...

I gave cleaning the blacks a shot... they were already clean. I gave lubing them a shot. Made no difference. I removed the tactile spring. Felt ok, but the high actuation point still bothers me a little.

Thanks for the input guys! Painting today.

Quick update: Not really painting today as a small corner didnt get much filler, so i gotta refill and wait and resand.
« Last Edit: Tue, 05 April 2011, 11:59:45 by Cata1yst »

Offline Pylon

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 05 April 2011, 17:33:30 »
Quote from: Findecanor;324978

Cherry MX switches do NOT fit ALPS boards at all.


Unless they're these.

Offline Findecanor

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 06 April 2011, 02:52:05 »
Quote from: Pylon;325258
Unless they're these.

Very rare, and I suppose that they are key cap - compatible only, not pin-compatible.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline crowstar

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 08 April 2011, 15:49:24 »
did you ever complete this? If so how did you make the join; I'm thinking of using some 'no more nails' is that a good idea?

Offline Pylon

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 08 April 2011, 21:12:43 »
Quote from: Findecanor;325443
Very rare, and I suppose that they are key cap - compatible only, not pin-compatible.


Pin spacing looks identical to Alps switches.

Offline Cata1yst

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Dell At101w Tenkeyless Worklog. (AT84)
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 10 April 2011, 22:42:27 »
Quote from: crowstar;326942
did you ever complete this? If so how did you make the join; I'm thinking of using some 'no more nails' is that a good idea?

Been on vacation sorry. I personally used JB weld, but any epoxy really will work. Ill snap pics of the joint, and then im painting tomorrow if weather doesnt look threatening.

The leading edge board that i was pinning some hopes on just went WAYYY above my budget. They were nice too with blue alps and double shot keys :(

Back to oranges it seems.