Author Topic: My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard  (Read 62263 times)

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Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« on: Mon, 07 December 2009, 14:40:48 »
A few weeks ago I've turned my almost 20 year old, but very solid WYSE keyboard (with Cherry MX Black keys) into a wireless one, and after that I also made it tenkeyless...
Below follows the recipe:

I still had an unused Logitech Cordless keyboard for Wii lying here somewhere, so I demolished this controller PCB out of it:

Then I mapped the keycodes from the regarding controller, these codes appeared to form a matrix of 8 x 18, which I named 1 to 8 and A to R.
By running showkey (a program which shows which key has been pressed), and then shorting every combination of row and column (one pair at a time), and writing down the result, I got this table with all possible keycodes:

Then I took an old-fashioned solid keyboard with real keys, not only because of these are solderable, but also because typing on these is way better than those new-fashioned rubbish of nowadays...

Then I demolished the PCB completely off of the metal plate, on which all keys are mounted (in those square holes as you'll see on the photo below), and by demolishing the PCB off of it, there was more room for the wiring. The PCB was actually used to stabilize the space bar, but with a few pieces of beer mat this was resolved just as easily.


After that I soldered a complete new matrix of wires, according to the table I've made earlier.



Then I screwed up the back (I did not implement a battery cover, because the batteries (AAA) will last long enough, and therefore I don't have to remove the back cover very often).

My keyboard was finished now, but I wasn't fully satisfied. Though I wired the whole keyboard completely, I still didn't really wanted to have a numerical pad; actually I'm never using it, so why not just saw it off?
As I haven't done this before, for security I took another exemplar of a similar keyboard, which I sawed it into three pieces (middle part not shown):



Out of the middle part of the back cover, I made a few slides, which served as a kind of tape, to glue the two outer parts to each other. The housing consists of ABS, but I've glued it successfully with hard PVC-glue:


Whereas cutting and gluing the upper part of this exemplar went very well, I also did the rest, and this is the final result,
a nice old-fashioned decent tenkeyless winkeyless wireless real keyboard:



(You might have seen this photo before, because yesterday I posted my mod on a dutch forum, and this photo has been posted here by JaccoW...)

Offline Rajagra

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 07 December 2009, 14:56:50 »
Win!

I saw the photos from the Dutch forum and wondered about why the PCB was being snapped off. Presumably you desoldered the switches carefully first.

Amazing result, I may have to copy it.

Offline lowpoly

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 07 December 2009, 16:00:42 »
I love those hand-wired mods.

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Offline microsoft windows

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 07 December 2009, 17:52:04 »
I have a question. Are those Wyse boards IBM-compatible?
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Offline itlnstln

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 08 December 2009, 08:10:54 »
Quote from: microsoft windows;139949
I have a question. Are those Wyse boards IBM-compatible?

Some are, but I don't think the one in this article is.  It's part of the reason for getting a controller board from another keyboard.  That, and the whole wireless thing.


Offline bsvP585hUO2Y6

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 08 December 2009, 08:34:07 »
Are those Wii keyboards standard bluetooth devices or are they
something proprietary?

Btw, I find the freestyle wiring in combination with the plate-mounted
switches a rather elegant solution.  I guess a minor improvement with
this technique would be to use polyurethane enamelled wire.  You can
wire entire bus lines of the matrix in one go, and then solder
throught the enamel.  Much less stripping and cutting neccessary.

Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 08 December 2009, 09:18:49 »
Quote from: Rajagra;139852
Presumably you desoldered the switches carefully first.

Yes, I did, but without desoldering tool and with a little force sometimes...
And long time ago I've rewired an identical WYSE keyboard for use with my heavily modified Amiga 500, but then I didn't snap off the PCB:

So I had to saw a hole in the back cover for the controller board to fit.

@webwit: kort??

Quote from: microsoft windows;139949
Are those Wyse boards IBM-compatible?

Not all WYSE keyboards, but this board was (PS/2 connector).
I've had identical WYSE keyboards which belonged to WY60 and WY99 terminals.

Quote from: bsvP585hUO2Y6;140071
Are those Wii keyboards standard bluetooth devices or are they something proprietary?

They are not bluetooth, but pretty standard Logitech wireless I think (2.4 GHz or so), with a small USB dongle, perfectly suitable for PC's.
You can also hook up a standard USB PC-keyboard to the Wii.
« Last Edit: Sun, 26 December 2010, 13:10:57 by martinmeijerink »

Offline MarceloR

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 22 December 2009, 14:23:08 »
Hey, seems like this mod just hit the (somewhat) mainstream audience  at Engadget  (http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/22/modder-mods-wireless-keyboard-to-look-like-old-timey-one/)

Offline keyb_gr

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 22 December 2009, 15:21:51 »
Seems they haven't found the English version here though. Might be worth pointing out, huh?
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Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 22 December 2009, 18:27:42 »
Thanx folks! Coincidentally today I made a second exemplar, and painted the enclosure black:



I'm gonna use this one at my work :)

@keyb_gr: I've pointed them out...

Offline chimera15

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 23 December 2009, 07:43:29 »
Pretty awesome how you cut the other end off the case to make it fit together again.. I may have to try that.
Alps boards:
white real complicated: 1x modified siiig minitouch kb1903,  hhkb light2 english steampunk hack, wireless siig minitouch hack
white with rubber damper(cream)+clicky springs: 2x modified siig minitouch kb1903 1x modified siig minitouch kb1948
white fake simplified:   1x white smk-85, 1x Steampunk compact board hack
white real simplified: 1x unitek k-258
low profile: 1x mint m1242 in box
black: ultra mini wrist keyboard hack
blue: Japanese hhk2 lite hack, 1x siig minitouch pcb/doubleshot dc-2014 caps. kb1903, 1x modified kb1948 Siig minitouch
rainbow test boards:  mck-84sx


Offline Rajagra

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 23 December 2009, 08:34:55 »
That controller seems ideal for the job (having exposed contacts for the keyboard matrix), but for some reason I thought the Logitech Wii cordless keyboard itself was expensive to buy. Oh, that's right, it was ebay chancers. I'm glad to see it's normally more like £20-£30.

Offline JaccoW

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 25 December 2009, 13:41:54 »
Hello Martin,

Good to see you posted it here aswell.
Sorry to post it here before you did though, I understand you were planning on posting it here on a later date?

I just had to show it here. It's awesome.
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Offline kishy

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 25 December 2009, 16:41:05 »
Holy wow, you win.

I was exploring doing this with a Model M but...well...unfortunately membranes aren't as easy to manipulate as wires.
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Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 27 December 2009, 16:09:46 »
£122.95??? Is that an order number, or is it really the price? :shocked:
That's around 200 bucks!!! Why?
And they have sold 37 of those? :shocked: :shocked:

@JaccoW: I was indeed planning on posting it here... but it's okay... :)

@kishy: Maybe by using conductive glue?

Offline kishy

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 27 December 2009, 16:14:45 »
Quote from: martinmeijerink;145704
@kishy: Maybe by using conductive glue?


I looked at that possibility. It's definitely "doable" but an absolutely huge undertaking, involving more or less making a whole new membrane.

Oh boy. You've inspired me.
The problem is that I'd have to open up the Model M to accomplish that, and that would involve a bolt mod to close it back up again, and I have no interest in doing one of those.
Enthusiast of springs which buckle noisily: my keyboards
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Offline kishy

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 27 December 2009, 23:21:36 »
Quote from: ripster;145762
Kishy, the bolt mod is no big deal assuming you have a dremel mototool.

Aha, but you see, I do not. I have a big fat drill lol.

Plus I'd have to order the bolts and stuff, and I don't have the right bit. It's not an idea I'm ruling out for the future but it is something that right now would be a pretty big investment, all things considered. Whatever Model M is the last to sell from my Emporium I'll probably yank from the listing and keep for such uses later on.
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Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 18 April 2010, 08:48:17 »
I think this is worth mentioning: After half a year of intensive use, the batteries still last! :)

Offline Rajagra

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 18 April 2010, 09:00:59 »
Funny enough I was thinking of this again the other day. I must make a wireless board.

Can this controller handle all the keys present on a full-size board? Are there any other issues like slow response or poor rollover properties?

In other words, if I have to buy a donor keyboard should I go for the Logitech Cordless keyboard for Wii or a more conventional wireless board?

Offline jvhaarst

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 18 April 2010, 14:10:56 »
Just a short comment :
Instead of using PVC glue, you could have dissolved the remaining part of the keyboard in acetone, and create a perfect ABS bond between the two parts.
See here for an example : http://eegeek.net/content/view/18/30/

Offline martinmeijerink

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My old-fashioned tenkeyless winkeyless wireless keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 18 April 2010, 14:32:00 »
@Rajagra: Yes, this controller can handle all (over 100) conventional keys, like the numpad ones, NumLock, */+-, and all modifier keys (left ctrl/right ctrl/left alt/etcetera)
And the response is very quick, no remarkable latency (delay) at all. (Because it operates in the 2.4 GHz band).
The rollover properties are a little limited, i can press 'asd' simultaneously, but if I keep them pressed and press 'w', then the 'w' is not registered. But something like 'asdjkl' is no problem...
I've seen many other (conventional) wireless keyboards from Logitech and other manufacturers which operate in the 27Mhz band, and do have a lot of latency.
So I think you really should go for the Logitech Cordless keyboard for Wii, also because the PCB is very small, so it will fit in any conventional keyboard, and it's easy to solder wires onto it.

@jvhaarst: Nice solution :)
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 April 2010, 14:42:03 by martinmeijerink »