Hello geekhack community, this is my first thread after lurking for a while.
I want to present to you a project I have in mind. I don't know when I will actually be able to do it, though.
I have two Alphasmarts (Pro and 3000) which I love for what they are. But as you might know, the keyboards of both models are quite bad.
So my idea is to replace the default keyboard with a mechanical one. The following points come to mind:
- Since the default keyboard is certainly not directly replaceable with anything, I would have to disassemble the keyboard and rewire the replacement keyboard with the proper matrix.
- The top row (F-keys) are smaller so the case probably must be modified
- Maybe it is simpler to move the AS electronics to a keyboard. Are there tenkeyless keyboards with enough "room" to accommodate the display?
Do you have suggestions for a keyboard to sacrifice that is not too expensive or valuable? I would prefer a used keyboard. The switches are not that important, almost everything is better than the stock keyboard.
A cheap solution would be using a keyboard of a C64, although it is not great either. Can the keys be rewired and are they even mechanical?
Edit: I just took apart a C64 C keyboard. Not mechanical, no separate switches. Might be possible to rewire by scraping the PCB traces and soldering to the board, but I don't think it is worth the effort.
I appreciate any suggestions!