Author Topic: Project: SSK revival  (Read 52047 times)

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Offline mkawa

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Project: SSK revival
« on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 10:30:44 »
UPDATE 11.28
sorry, i've been super derelict in keeping this OP updated. here's the latest update on where this project is at: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=33430.msg724146#msg724146

<insert link to SSK wiki here>

I will be starting a community-driven project to revive the SSK, with limited help from Unicomp (as in they are not aware that this is happening, but they will be providing parts regardless :D)

Current status: there is a board en route to my CAD guy, who will disassemble, take measurements, and design a new machinable aluminum (or acrylic, depending) casing for the SSK BS internals. we are aiming for ease of manufacture and low target cost.

Project goal: brand new SSKs, constructed by hand, for everyone who wants one.
« Last Edit: Wed, 28 November 2012, 16:11:52 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 10:30:56 »
reserved

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline boost

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 10:34:48 »
Can't wait.
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Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 10:35:44 »
Is the goal to have a TKL BS board, or to have a replica of the SSK?

The first one seems more interesting, as we can customize it, and make it smaller.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 10:39:11 »
definitely the former. an aluminum replica of the original SSK casing would be prohibitively expensive, and defeat the purpose of a ground-up rethink.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 11:28:13 »
i started a similar project at DT during the down time here. model F (capacitive BS) is my #1 switch choice, so i started with an XT and will re-use everything but the matrix and barrel plate - this to keep the cost as low as possible. already decided on a tenkeyless key layout. i would be very happy to help with this as there is quite a bit of overlap. my 2D CAD skills are pretty good.

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 11:41:00 »
interesting. your project is much more extensive, as you need to fab a pcb, barrel plate, etc. for this SSK project nearly all the internals are either directly available from unicomp or modifiable from parts that are. the scope of this project is largely limited designing a new economical (and probably smaller) casing for the standard SSK internals.

Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 11:44:30 »
unicomp has all the SSK internals for sale ? :o

fartq

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 11:48:11 »
not directly, but with some relatively minimal hacking, internals can be constructed from what they have available or tooling for.

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 14:17:06 »
the XT had separate barrels and barrel plate, so all i need is a plate with holes cut and will reuse the old barrels. this allows for lots of layout options. i ordered a prototype plate last week ($25 + ship). i expect that the plates would be much cheaper if i ordered 20 or so.

 i was planning on doing a compact 16x5 layout next. i had an idea of replacing the bottom membrane with very thin PCB. each column of 5 keys would have one of these http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/MMBD4148PLM-7/MMBD4148PLMDICT-ND/1964793 to give full NKRO. putting it at the top of the column or on the back will keep it out of the way of the hammers.

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 14:51:19 »
this is very interesting. i suspect there will be overlap between the projects. any way to move your project thread over here? :D

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 17:59:30 »
the XTant project is established at DT, but i would be happy to discuss/plan the compact keyboard project here.

what do you think of this layout? the keys left of the left arrow and up arrow are stepped "caps lock" keys. this should help isolate the arrow block.
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Offline hashbaz

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 18:48:44 »
I support these projects and can't wait to get my hands on one or both.  A custom BS board would be even cooler than a vintage SSK.

The layout above needs a tilde key IMO. ;)

Offline ironman31

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 19:21:53 »
I am definitely interested.
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Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 19:31:28 »
The layout above needs a tilde key IMO. ;)
i believe that all keyboards should be 100% programmable. only the key layout is set in stone, and even that can be converted to ANSI/ISO enter and left shift. i know a lot of people like the Ctrl in the caps lock position and they will be able to have that. want a Fn on both sides of the board? you can have that too.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 21:00:14 »
i'm starting to warm up to the tilde placement on the pure. maybe the scrlock in your layout should turn into a tilde?

also the two keys above it pgup/pgdown

naturally since this will need a custom controller it will be programmable, but let's face it, you can't just release a programmable controller and tell people to "have at it" :P

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 29 July 2012, 22:15:42 »
I like the idea of ditching scroll lock for tilde. Don't think I have ever in my life used that key. But as a linux user I use tilde dozens of times a day.

This is all just my perspective of course and it's your design ultimately.  And I suppose with model M key caps it's mostly irrelevant isn't it?  They are all the same profile.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 00:11:54 »
wcass, i've never seen an XT's barrel plate. do you have some pics you could link or upload?

also, the problem with a think pcb (and the reason why Ms use a membrane) is that the single-key-profile design more or less requires a curved backplate, which is incompatible with most pcb materials. (in particular, cheap ones  :-X)
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 July 2012, 00:14:25 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 11:57:45 »
i'll upload some pictures when i get home.

I measured/calculated the curvature on the XT to be pretty close to 12" radius. The PCB in the XT is .031". that thicknes and thinner will work, but is a curve really nessessary? look at the new Apple keyboards. not having the curve will make the case fab MUCH easier, cheaper, and make the keyboard thinner and easier to transport.

Offline harrison

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 12:55:56 »
looking forward to seeing some design mock ups of the casing.
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Offline Parak

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 13:49:21 »
As another side note, the singular barrels are all curved as well, so I can see how they wouldn't work all that great with a flat plate. Ideally, a new barrel for flat plates would have to be designed and molded, and here improvements can be made for diy - exact outer 1/2" barrel diameter drill, smaller drill under that for the stabilizing pin, etc. Molding new barrels out of something like uhmwpe is pretty expensive, though. Not to mention that the capacitive feet would still need to be sourced from vintage boards..

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 14:03:47 »
interesting note parak. injection molding is hard, to say the least, and doesn't work very well at small scales. there is 3d printing, but damorgue raised some pretty valid concerns re: surface smoothness. we know that unicomp can provide curved plates and barrel frames, so for this initial SSK project at least, I'd like to stick with them.

what would be really nice actually is if we could look into getting custom membranes made. further, is it possible to print a diode-like device onto a membrane? now _that_ would be cool.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Parak

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 14:17:07 »
uhmwpe is actually not injection molded, so there are some pretty nice dimensional tolerances in the process. Unfortunately, because it's not injection molded, expect even higher costs :p

Offline alaricljs

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 14:21:36 »
I thought MS's NKRO board had diodes printed on the membrane...
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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 19:36:31 »
then the question becomes can _we_ print diodes on a membrane?

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 20:23:24 »
as promised, pictures of the barrel plate.

the AT and 122 barrel plates have notches at 30 degrees below horizontal; the XT barrel plate has a hole for a pin centered .4" below the center of the barrel.

915-0
917-1
919-2
921-3
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 July 2012, 20:25:52 by wcass »

fartq

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 21:05:28 »
to be clear, is the last picture measuring the flat bit of the individual barrel plate? and the other dimension of the ind. barrel plate has the same curve as the underside of the metal barrel insert plate?

Offline wcass

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 22:01:14 »
to be clear, is the last picture measuring the flat bit of the individual barrel plate? and the other dimension of the ind. barrel plate has the same curve as the underside of the metal barrel insert plate?
the last picture is a side view of an individual barrel. i am still not sure if it was born curved. i think there is a .0005 gap at center curve now, but that might just be from being pressed into a curve for 30 years. when my XTant test plate comes in i will check fit with 84 barrels while the plate is still flat.

for DIY membrane, you can get polyester or mylar sheets from art/drafting supply stores. the M uses .005 for bottom and middle, .003 for top. go to a hobby store for 1/16" wide model masking tape. and instead of silver silk screen, try this:
http://www.amazon.com/CircuitWriterTM-Precision-Pen-silver-based-grams/dp/B0002BBVQO

http://www.hobbysuperstore.com/browse.cfm/masking-tape-1-16/4,66417.html
http://www.pearlpaint.com/shop-Mylar-Sheets_6935_6934.html
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 July 2012, 22:20:17 by wcass »

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 30 July 2012, 22:22:33 »
no need for full DIY membranes unless we have some way to print a semiconductor on :P

BUT, i just realized how we could add components to the membrane circuit: machine more holes in the backplate, place components in holes, connect leads of components onto appropriate points on backside of membrane (which needs to have some kind of makeshift via)

it may be possible to program the mill to make the appropriate holes (just large enough to fit an SMT diode), and vias through membranes are definitely possible, so it may actually be possible to make an NKRO SSK...

Offline telepete

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 01 August 2012, 14:46:19 »
This stuff is pretty interesting. I'm glad to hear that you have some plan on how to make changes to the membrane circuit. That would definitely give me some problems.
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Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 01 August 2012, 17:08:42 »
so, my CAD guy has the board and is making some initial drawings and measurements. i'll post them as soon as he gives them to me.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline rao2100

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 02 August 2012, 09:30:00 »
This is pretty cool, I will be in for one. :)
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Offline keyboardlover

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 02 August 2012, 14:04:36 »
Will they be 2-kro?

Offline Icarium

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 02 August 2012, 16:39:38 »
Hopefully we can make them NKRO or at least 6KRO. (Though going from 6 to N is just a programming nuissance.)
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Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 02 August 2012, 16:41:54 »
Will they be 2-kro?
unless my completely insane idea with embedding the diodes in the backplate works (which i highly doubt it will), yes, it will use the unicomp membranes and controller and hence be 2kro.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Icarium

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 02 August 2012, 16:58:02 »
Okay, sorry I was talking about the XTant efforts. (Still would have preferred FUK for the name. :p )
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Offline keyboardlover

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 03 August 2012, 19:58:37 »
I am tentatively interested.

Offline 486

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 03 August 2012, 22:29:17 »
I really like the idea. I hope it comes into fruition.
Any way, with this new project, will vintage SSK prices increase or descrease?

Offline REVENGE

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #38 on: Sat, 04 August 2012, 18:44:58 »
Will they be 2-kro?
unless my completely insane idea with embedding the diodes in the backplate works (which i highly doubt it will), yes, it will use the unicomp membranes and controller and hence be 2kro.
Better go license resistive multitouch...
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Offline jnsjr

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 09 August 2012, 03:42:30 »
Count me in! BS TKL is my dream.
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Offline SmallFry

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 19:28:25 »
Just so that you know Mkawa, I have my AIKON project...sort of. I have to reorder the circuit boards, but I think that they are just about functional. I'll get back to you on it. Shoot me a PM though.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #41 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 19:34:02 »
PM shot

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 19:35:31 »
fyi, we're going to start by getting a precise model of an SSK backplate, and then seeing if there's some easy to integrate a casing into something that's equally compatible with SSK frames

that didn't make any sense. bottom line: one piece backplate and casing. possible? only autocad knows
« Last Edit: Mon, 13 August 2012, 19:39:24 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Elrick

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 19:52:00 »
fyi, we're going to start by getting a precise model of an SSK backplate, and then seeing if there's some easy to integrate a casing into something that's equally compatible with SSK frames

that didn't make any sense. bottom line: one piece backplate and casing. possible? only autocad knows

If you do manage to complete this, please sell it as a kit, so that the rest of us can piece it together.  I would love the opportunity to build an SSK from parts delivered from this venture.

It would remind me of the early PC kits that were sold in the late 1980's.  Buying a kit from Altronics here in Perth then running home to build it up.  Took several weeks to complete but it was done.  Damn I was proud of myself back then.......

Offline jkercado

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 14 August 2012, 16:46:39 »
What's the projected price for this keyboard?

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Offline deleet

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 15 August 2012, 00:35:26 »
Definitely in!

Offline mkawa

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 15 August 2012, 20:27:14 »
my hope is that we can get the case to come in at 200 or less, including custom powdercoating. at current unicomp prices, the rest of the parts are around 100$. i have no idea what will happen to unicomp's parts pricing though if the projects succeeds and the kit becomes remotely popular (personally, i'm just hoping to build 5-10 new units as a proof of concept right now)

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline slueth

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 16 August 2012, 23:20:40 »
interested!

Offline hoggy

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #48 on: Sat, 25 August 2012, 12:27:03 »
Interested.
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Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Project: SSK revival
« Reply #49 on: Fri, 31 August 2012, 01:36:44 »
 ;D EXCITED  ;D