Author Topic: is it a mod? the DDK  (Read 18349 times)

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Offline dougy

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is it a mod? the DDK
« on: Wed, 18 February 2009, 20:54:53 »
I wish the one true keyboard would somehow turn up. Thought the blue Cherries in the Apple Adjustable was perfect, but she (who must be obeyed) disabused me of that notion. Somehow the switches were much louder at home than in the store, fortunately I know the rule for a happy marriage so searched for a remedy.

My needs are: 1) a splayed board. Even a few minutes of use with a regular keyboard is uncomfortable, a bit longer brings real pain. 2) Mechanical switches with a tactile feel and less noise than the blues. 3) Compact size for a limited desk. And finally 4) aesthetics, this desk is in the kitchen of our farm house and is always in public view.

Since the keyboard in question doesn’t seem available I started assembling parts. Started with brown Cherries pulled from a Compaq 11800. Because pcb etching has become mostly obsolete in the past 40 years I opted for cutting the pcb and using what circuitry I could. For a controller an Apple USB keyboard was a donor. Its extremely easy to trace out the circuits and the pads for the ribbon connectors were easy to solder to. The keycaps are mostly from a Cherry 11900, with a few of the oversize caps coming from a Scorpius M10.

The layout is basically Apples standard, the arrow keys ended up on the left more as balance than practicality, still since they are never used during composition it works well. There are 2 seperate space bars, switched in parallel, which seems a waste as I only use my right thumb. I haven’t figured out how to mark the command key on the left side, the right one is the Windows menu key.

Finally the case is my own. I’m partial to stainless even though it is difficult to work and even she concedes it has a nice look. The one bit of decadence I allowed myself was the “DDK” etched in the top. Alas it doesn’t photo well, but adds a nice touch in person.

Offline kliclak

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 18 February 2009, 21:07:37 »
In answer to your question...yes, that is definitely a mod...

Nice work!

Offline xsphat

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 18 February 2009, 23:57:59 »
Wow, yes that is definitely a mod. Nice work.

Offline lowpoly

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 02:17:09 »
Congrats, very well done.

Quote
There are 2 seperate space bars, switched in parallel, which seems a waste as I only use my right thumb.

You could map the left one to backspace.

Any inside pics? And I'm curious how you made the case.

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline wheel83

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 02:25:45 »
very nice work.  looks like a real product.  very clean.
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Offline wellington1869

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 03:47:07 »
sweet.

I bet if I threw it, it would circle around and come back to me.

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline dougy

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 06:12:27 »
No pics during construction, partly because it was messy, but mostly because I didn't think of it. The case started as a 2 x 2 bent angle of 16 gauge stainless. One leg was mitered and the other leg bent. Miters welded together and then a stainless plate fit to the inside. Very messy, and not pretty at all. All the welding was with mild steel wire and then ground flat. After the pcb was fit into the angle frame the vertical leg was cut flush with the top of the Cherry switch. It may not be apparent from the photos, but the case rises toward the center, and also to the rear. Most of that is to accommodate the chips on the controller, just a bit for comfort. I did a bit of research on splay, rise, separation etc if anyone is interested.

Wellington, if I threw it there would be dents. It is steel, a bit heavy. What police might call a blunt force instrument.

Offline itlnstln

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 06:23:48 »
How much for one of my own?  I love it! :)


Offline bigpook

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 06:27:22 »
I am impressed at what other members here are capable of doing. Very nice work : )
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Offline lowpoly

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 08:29:06 »
Quote from: dougy
is it a mod?

Good question. It's a new board which is to some extent based on parts from other boards. So, yes and no.

You picked the right forum though. :D

Miniguru thread at GH // The Apple M0110 Today

Offline Chloe

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 11:10:42 »
Looks nice. How do the switches sound in the steel casing?

Offline itlnstln

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 11:46:36 »
Quote from: Chloe;22134
Looks nice. How do the switches sound in the steel casing?


Hopefully, they don't have that steel-drum sound that my Northgate has.  That thing makes a racket.  His keyboard doesn't look to have the cavernous spaces the Northgate has, either, so I bet it's not too bad.


Offline wellington1869

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 17:26:27 »
Quote from: dougy;22102


Wellington, if I threw it there would be dents. It is steel, a bit heavy. What police might call a blunt force instrument.



yes, but can we please call it the 'boomerang board'? ;)  If it were mine I'd definitely have a strong urge to try it out in a field ;)

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline dougy

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 19 February 2009, 20:48:35 »
Quote from: wellington1869;22166
yes, but can we please call it the 'boomerang board'? ;)  If it were mine I'd definitely have a strong urge to try it out in a field ;)


Ahh, I missed the implications of that, a bit dense here, but then I've never thrown a boomerang.

There is hardly any sound, and no echo. Thinking that over it may not be surprising as there is very little dead space between the pcb and the bottom plate. From the bottom its steel plate, layer of teflon, controller board, layer of teflon, lots of jumper wiring, then the pcb. In order to "adjust" the wiring I did push down, hard. Also the echo seems worse on keyboard with metal plate mounting versus pcb mounting.

Cost of this thing would be outrageous, I could justify the time during the winter (lack of daylight and below 0F) but now with spring approaching I want to be outside.

Offline iMav

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 20 February 2009, 05:50:13 »
Nice work.

Offline dougy

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is it a mod? the DDK
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 20 February 2009, 06:46:49 »
We were both in my office this morning, she using a Cherry Touchboard (black linear) while I was using the DDK. We think the Cherry board is louder, even though she has a lighter touch.