Author Topic: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build  (Read 6004 times)

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Offline FlukeNukem

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Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 00:56:47 »
This keyboard came with my first computer, a Dell Pentium 90 workstation I pulled from a dumpster when I was about 13.  That workstation is long gone but I kept the keyboard and used it as my primary until 3 years ago.  The switches are worn out, the tactile bump is all but gone on about a third.  Activation force varies wildly between them.  PS/2 ports are becoming rare, and the 2kro sucks for gaming.  It's time for a refresh. 

So here's the plan.  I ordered a five pack of the Matias clicky switches to try out, and I was impressed with the feel.  Time to order more switches and some diodes.  I'm going to hand wire a new matrix and convert to usb using a teensy (haven't decided on a firmware yet).  In the mean time I've started with dissassembly today.  The keycaps are soaking in some soapy water and I'll probably start desoldering tomorrow evening.  For now, pictures:




CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline evangs

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 02:39:02 »

This keyboard came with my first computer, a Dell Pentium 90 workstation I pulled from a dumpster when I was about 13.  That workstation is long gone but I kept the keyboard and used it as my primary until 3 years ago.  The switches are worn out, the tactile bump is all but gone on about a third.  Activation force varies wildly between them.  PS/2 ports are becoming rare, and the 2kro sucks for gaming.  It's time for a refresh. 

So here's the plan.  I ordered a five pack of the Matias clicky switches to try out, and I was impressed with the feel.  Time to order more switches and some diodes.  I'm going to hand wire a new matrix and convert to usb using a teensy (haven't decided on a firmware yet).  In the mean time I've started with dissassembly today.  The keycaps are soaking in some soapy water and I'll probably start desoldering tomorrow evening.  For now, pictures:

Show Image

Show Image

Show Image

Cool project, looking forward to updates

Offline Venatorious

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 02:53:05 »
Nice.  I will be watching this thread for updates.

Offline StormyMonday

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 06:36:11 »
A new lease on life for the ol' girl. This will definitely be fun.

I've never been a fan of blinky lights, but the soft glow of backlit keys on an AT101 would be fun and definitely turn some heads. Had you considered tarting her up some?

https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/another-single-switch-circuit-board-t11420.html?sid=ba365146b3db77a858d80e07006cbd86


Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 07:13:56 »
Gotta love an old AT101! I pulled one with blacks out of a dumpster, and turned it into a handwired teensy run split keyboard https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=79278.0.

The imgur build log has some pitfalls I ran into, and I don't envy you desoldering that circuit board (though I did want to try another time with a blowtorch...), but hopefully there's something in there you might make use of and save time with.

I had plans on making a sandwich case for it with a laser cutter, so the original case is untouched. You're welcome to it if you're looking to retain the original appearance, and damage yours in some way... and pay shipping ;D

Good luck!  :thumb:

Attached some laser cutter pics only because I just did it yetserday and I'm still excited

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 27 March 2016, 21:08:07 »
A new lease on life for the ol' girl. This will definitely be fun.

I've never been a fan of blinky lights, but the soft glow of backlit keys on an AT101 would be fun and definitely turn some heads. Had you considered tarting her up some?

https://deskthority.net/workshop-f7/another-single-switch-circuit-board-t11420.html?sid=ba365146b3db77a858d80e07006cbd86



Nah, I might paint the case but that's about it.  Just wiring the matrix will be over 300 solder joints, I'd rather not add any more lol

Gotta love an old AT101! I pulled one with blacks out of a dumpster, and turned it into a handwired teensy run split keyboard https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=79278.0.

The imgur build log has some pitfalls I ran into, and I don't envy you desoldering that circuit board (though I did want to try another time with a blowtorch...), but hopefully there's something in there you might make use of and save time with.

I had plans on making a sandwich case for it with a laser cutter, so the original case is untouched. You're welcome to it if you're looking to retain the original appearance, and damage yours in some way... and pay shipping ;D

Good luck!  :thumb:

Attached some laser cutter pics only because I just did it yetserday and I'm still excited

Man that's some cool work on that split setup.  I've always wanted to try out a split but I'm too chicken to take a saw to my plate.  Maybe I'll pick up another dumpster board somewhere and give it a try.
CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 29 March 2016, 00:49:36 »


Man desoldering is a royal pain in the ass.  I might need to buy a desoldering iron to do the rest.  It took me over 2 hours to do what you see here.  Can't wait to get started wiring up the new switches.
« Last Edit: Tue, 29 March 2016, 00:56:01 by FlukeNukem »
CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 29 March 2016, 05:54:35 »
Man desoldering is a royal pain in the ass.  I might need to buy a desoldering iron to do the rest.  It took me over 2 hours to do what you see here.  Can't wait to get started wiring up the new switches.

I borrowed a solder sucker and it was still a huge pain. I wound up cleaning up the last bits by jamming a chopstick between the plate and prying the two apart while I touched the iron to the leads, slowly moving them further and further apart  :eek: .... but it was like 2am at that point and I didn't care about the circuit board. You clearly have more patience than I do!

Keep going! It's going to be worth it!

Offline Venatorious

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 29 March 2016, 10:16:06 »
I loathe using solder suckers.  No one likes having to desolder in such an awkward way.  I need to get a desildering iron as well.  The lead free solder in my kbp V80 ID impossible to work with when using a solder sucker.

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 29 March 2016, 19:20:14 »
Okay so after my frustration with how slow things were going last night I was ready to try something different.  Perhaps something drastic...

I took the board out to the garage and taped it down to my table saw.  Then I took an angle grinder to the backside.  In no time it had removed all the solder joints.  As well as the solder mask, the traces and much of the PCB.

But hey, it took all of about 30 seconds  :))
After that the pcb pulled right of and the switches just popped out of the plate.  At this point I ran over to my local walmart and grabbed a rattle can.  They had some orange rustoleum on clearance so that's what I got. 

Turns out it doesn't look half bad.
CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline StormyMonday

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 29 March 2016, 21:46:04 »
Okay so after my frustration with how slow things were going last night I was ready to try something different.  Perhaps something drastic...
Show Image

I took the board out to the garage and taped it down to my table saw.  Then I took an angle grinder to the backside.  In no time it had removed all the solder joints.  As well as the solder mask, the traces and much of the PCB.
Show Image

But hey, it took all of about 30 seconds  :))
After that the pcb pulled right of and the switches just popped out of the plate.  At this point I ran over to my local walmart and grabbed a rattle can.  They had some orange rustoleum on clearance so that's what I got. 
Show Image

Turns out it doesn't look half bad.

Too funny!!!   :p

Desperate times call for desperate measures, eh?

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 30 March 2016, 07:47:51 »
Now THIS is my kind of problem solving. Quick and dirty. Also, you've stolen my idea for a safety orange plate!  ^-^

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 31 March 2016, 17:34:39 »
While I wait on UPS to show up with my switches/diodes/teensy I decided to clean up the case and maybe paint it.  However I couldn't find a Tupperware container much bigger than a ham sandwich.  So I stuck them in the washing machine.

It's not deep enough to fully submerge them, but I can just come back in a couple of hours and flip them over.  If you do this just make sure you prop the door open as soon as the machine is done filling up.  I doubt the spin cycle would do the keyboard any favors.

P.S. those with very keen eyesight may notice an IBM model F case in there too.  More on that later.
CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline jerue

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 31 March 2016, 17:40:46 »
Nice log! Can't wait to see more!

I was just watching a tutorial video over on Deskthority about this very same project. There is someone on eBay selling 10 AT101W's for $100, but after watching the video, replacing them all with Matias switches seems like such a pain it couldn't be worth anything in the world :mad:

Offline Venatorious

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 01 April 2016, 02:32:19 »
I love the Dell AT's.  They are the most moddable things out there are they are so common its fine if you mess up. Black alps aren't bad switches at all, they are just overshadowed by other switches in the alps family.

Offline FletchINKy

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 01 April 2016, 08:47:58 »
There is someone on eBay selling 10 AT101W's for $100, but after watching the video, replacing them all with Matias switches seems like such a pain it couldn't be worth anything in the world :mad:

I'm sorry Jerue, but I took your tip and bought that lot on ebay. I'm prepared to embrace the suck  :))

Plan on making a couple more At101 Split56s https://github.com/FletchINKy/AT101_Split56, and then a couple regular teensified-- teensyfied-- teensy-ified (??) handwired At101w with the black alps it came with, then combine the case from my original with another, and make a Kinesis Freestyle-style (??) split keyboard that retains the original style of the AT101w, and then...?? I'll have like 6 more keyboards left after that...  ;D

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 06 April 2016, 23:02:44 »
Well my switches and diodes came in and I finally had some time to put in a little more work on the board.  I was looking at the diodes trying to figure out how to hold them in place to solder them.  It's not perfect but this is what I came up with in five minutes using only stuff I had in my toolbox.


Alligator clips  :thumb:

So now I have the diodes in.  I also did a test run of a couple of columns.  I'm using pre tinned 24ga copper for the columns.  It's bare so I think I'll put a dab of liquid electrical tape where they cross over the diodes rows.  Anyway for now this is where I'm at.


CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline Venatorious

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 06 April 2016, 23:25:17 »
Any plans for a backlight since the matias switches are transparent?  :p

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 07 April 2016, 22:42:28 »
Any plans for a backlight since the matias switches are transparent?  :p

Not at this time, I just want to get it put together and working.  I could always add some later but backlighting ain't really my thing.
CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline FlukeNukem

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 27 April 2016, 00:26:22 »
Well after a couple of crazy weeks at work I finally had some time to sit down and work on the keyboard some more.  Tomorrow I'll try to get it hooked up to the teensy and flash it with tmk.

CM Storm QFR Cherry MX Green
Dell AT101
IBM Model F 5291 "Bigfoot"

Offline andresteare

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 27 January 2021, 11:18:21 »
This keyboard came with my first computer, a Dell Pentium 90 workstation I pulled from a dumpster when I was about 13.  That workstation is long gone but I kept the keyboard and used it as my primary until 3 years ago.  The switches are worn out, the tactile bump is all but gone on about a third.  Activation force varies wildly between them.  PS/2 ports are becoming rare, and the 2kro sucks for gaming.  It's time for a refresh. 

So here's the plan.  I ordered a five pack of the Matias clicky switches to try out, and I was impressed with the feel.  Time to order more switches and some diodes.  I'm going to hand wire a new matrix and convert to usb using a teensy (haven't decided on a firmware yet).  In the mean time I've started with dissassembly today.  The keycaps are soaking in some soapy water and I'll probably start desoldering tomorrow evening.  For now, pictures:

Show Image

Show Image

Show Image


Would it be possible to wire the teensy to the pcb? like this old compaq mod

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 29 January 2021, 06:30:29 »
You could, but the matrix is ... interesting (I tried to work it out on a phone, doesn't look terrible but not straight rows/columns as you would do it) and I don't see any diodes so you would have ghosting when you press multiple keys which you would need to prevent in firmware.
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
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Offline andresteare

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 30 January 2021, 19:06:18 »
You could, but the matrix is ... interesting (I tried to work it out on a phone, doesn't look terrible but not straight rows/columns as you would do it) and I don't see any diodes so you would have ghosting when you press multiple keys which you would need to prevent in firmware.

That sounds reasonable to me, I just finished handwiring and giving the QMK treatment (with VIA support included) to an IBM typewriter so I think I'm ready for a couple of hours with the good ol' multimeter  and MS Paint lol.
And I don't mind THAT much about NKRO, the AT101 have a decent matrix and should handle most gaming purposes just fine (Managed to type "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" with both shift keys pressed which impressive for a matrix without diodes).

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 02 February 2021, 03:07:07 »
I highly doubt it has a gaming optimised matrix but that typing is impressive (assming it's the matrix not firmware tweaks)  Sounds like you know what to do so give it a go and report back :)
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline andresteare

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 07 February 2021, 15:27:18 »
I highly doubt it has a gaming optimised matrix but that typing is impressive (assming it's the matrix not firmware tweaks)  Sounds like you know what to do so give it a go and report back :)

Welp, about the matrix, let's say I learned that identifying which are columns and which are rows is irrelevant, it's just about pinout coordinates, I started drawing the matrix and got bored because there was no way to consistently identify rows and columns, and including both in one draw is just a mess even in the most perfect keyboard matrix. So now I will assign the coordinates and report back with pinouts an other stuff.

By the way, I was thinking of starting a thread where people submit matrices, pinouts and other stuff of prebuild keyboard to help other people revive a dead PCB or get a good keyboard for cheap, I'm absolutely certain there are many people here that have handwired a prebuild PCB to convert it to QMK. Do you thinks it's worth creating a thread for it?

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 07 February 2021, 16:27:48 »
Welp, about the matrix, let's say I learned that identifying which are columns and which are rows is irrelevant, it's just about pinout coordinates, I started drawing the matrix and got bored because there was no way to consistently identify rows and columns, and including both in one draw is just a mess even in the most perfect keyboard matrix. So now I will assign the coordinates and report back with pinouts an other stuff.
Rows and columns are only good names for the trace patterns in DIY boards made by sane people, you just need to know what's connected to what.  If you have diodes you also need to record which diode is attached to which switch so be thankful you don't have any.

Quote
I was thinking of starting a thread where people submit matrices, pinouts and other stuff of prebuild keyboard to help other people revive a dead PCB or get a good keyboard for cheap, I'm absolutely certain there are many people here that have handwired a prebuild PCB to convert it to QMK. Do you thinks it's worth creating a thread for it?

I've suggested wiring a board with a dead controller to a Teensy to a few people, one had the same PCB I'd already mapped and another recently got through the matrix mapping stage with a bit of help but between the Teensy 3.1 and converting the matrix to QMK it did not work (Thread if you're interested) most lose interest.

The main problem is even on 'gaming' keyboards with diodes designers still insist on using a crazy matrix for no apparent reason (well, if I was being my normal cynical self I'd say it's so you don't fix it and pay them again for a new board) which really doesn't help and nice visible traces as on these old boards are a rarity.

I'm not sure it wouldn't be quicker overall to desolder and handwire once you add up the time spent mapping the matrix then converting that into QMK config, assuming the board has plate mounted stabilisers.
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline andresteare

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Re: Dell at101 Matias clicky + teensy build
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 08 February 2021, 18:47:32 »
Found the problem! turns out I mapped a couple of coordinates wrong, almost gave up thinking the PCB have a line working both as a column and a row (which makes it impossible to port to QMK). Corrected the problem and now I have a normal matrix, I mean it's not a perfect harmonic matrix but it looks like a keyboard matrix, will upload the mapping and the pinout soon :)

Rows and columns are only good names for the trace patterns in DIY boards made by sane people, you just need to know what's connected to what.  If you have diodes you also need to record which diode is attached to which switch so be thankful you don't have any.


Oh yeah, the first keyboard I handwired have diodes but thank god every diode was next to its corresponding switch. That keyboard has a great matrix to learn to handwire

261853-0
261855-1