Author Topic: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod  (Read 3260 times)

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Offline LazyDog

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  • Posts: 34
[IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« on: Wed, 23 May 2018, 03:38:30 »


Hi folks

You may remember the AlphaSmart 3000 mechanical mod I made a while back. I'd like to improve on the proof-of-concept PCB I made then, as well as on the untested 2nd revision I uploaded. I'd like to sell the PCB and parts as a kit, supporting more switch footprints (shooting for Alps and Kailh Choc as well as MX). Most importantly, I feel that the old layout leaves a lot to be desired (see below) and would like to improve it. I would like to support a degree of layout customization. While I only want to make 1 PCB design out of entirely passive components, my idea is to use optional switch positions, jumper wire pads and solder bridges to allow some of the keys to be swapped and moved if one so desires, with instructions to make configuration options easy to understand.

If you're interested, I'd love to hear which specific layout options as well as other improvements you'd like to see.

Cheers.



6/10 Update: I don't think it would be feasible to provide the option of Colemak with entirely passive components, so I'm figuring out a design that uses a programmable microcontroller.

6/11/2019, a full year later: Preorders are open! Turns out the best option was just to offer two different PCBs.
« Last Edit: Tue, 11 June 2019, 18:50:11 by LazyDog »
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Offline tex_live_utility

  • Posts: 590
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 23 May 2018, 13:27:53 »
I definitely don't need one but I love the idea of a Choc Alphasmart. Good luck with this!

Offline Amitari

  • Posts: 3
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 08:52:21 »
As I've mentioned before, I'm very much interested in this kit. Would be neat if it could support Colemak.

Offline monkt

  • Posts: 126
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 09:41:28 »
Yeah, different layout support, like Colemak, would make mine usable again.


Would this be compatible with other AlphaSmart models, like the Neo 2?

Offline baxxt14

  • Posts: 30
  • Location: New Hampshire
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 10:30:53 »
I'd be down for this! Super cool!

Offline kayjayuk

  • Posts: 1
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 13:37:02 »
I have been lurking on this forum for ages but never actually posted. Your idea is something I would want to be part of. I use an alphasmart 2 as my daily driver so old live one compatible with that.

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Offline LazyDog

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  • Posts: 34
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 24 May 2018, 18:02:18 »
Since Colemak seems popular, I'll try to make that work. It would add at least 34 extra points to solder though.

This will only be compatible with the 3000 model for 2 reasons: first, because that's the model I already have, for which I've already documented the matrix and case measurements, and which I know it will work with. Second, and more importantly, later models don't have room for a full-height top row, so you'd have to find or make keycaps for the top row that are 16mm instead of 19mm (or just make all the rows shorter so that the keycaps are normal-sized but extra snug). If there's significant demand for a board compatible with another model, despite the key distance weirdness, I could try to make that instead.
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Offline jamesaaronbooks

  • Posts: 3
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 16 October 2018, 18:58:47 »
Anything still happening with this Interest Check? I just learned about the project on the Alphasmart board at Flickr. Thanks!

Offline young_won

  • Posts: 54
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 16 October 2018, 20:07:39 »
i'm interested in

Offline swedishpiehole

  • Posts: 79
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 25 October 2018, 16:59:43 »
Count me in among the interested! If you haven't already, drop in on the AlphaSmart group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/39436080@N00. They are already talking about your mod over there.
Anyway, I have a Neo2 and I'd love to find a way to put mech switches in it. I'm not super worried about the smaller keys on the top row—if nobody makes keycaps that size I could fashion my own or somehow mod the original ones to fit. But if that's not possible, I'd consider buying a modded 3000 from you. Going to PM you now!

Offline grnidone

  • Posts: 4
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 27 November 2018, 17:22:01 »
I am very interested in this.  Are the instructions the same for the new "updated" version as the old one?  (If I follow the instructions for the old one, will it still work?)

Offline ShivaYash

  • Posts: 161
  • Location: Berlin, DE
Re: [IC]Improved AlphaSmart 3000 Mechanical Keyboard Mod
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 28 May 2019, 14:32:32 »
ME... and yes I realise this is an old thread...
IBM Model M SSK, HHKB Pro 2 BT and Realforce 104U HiPro