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EagleTG
September 23rd, 2016, 06:40 AM
Hi all!

I finally found a Chiclet PET for my collection! This has been a long search for me and I'm thrilled to have finally found one that met almost all of my criteria regarding condition, location (I didn't want to ship), price, etc.

That said, I'm missing one of the legends on the keyboard. The key is there, but the aluminum (?) inlay is missing. Looking for some ideas regarding replicating the key legends. If I can make it close enough to the original, I might replace a few of the originals that are worn from use.

The original key legends have a bit of depth/thickness to them as they appear to be made from aluminum. They also have a grain/texture and a bit of a sheen that shows through the printing from the material they are made of. I think I can make a "look alike" from inkjet printed label stock, naturally it wouldn't have the sheen or texture of the original. I could laminate over that label to give it a bit more of an original look. My issue is taking up the depth of the inset in the keycap. I can't seem to come up with a way to fill in the depth, as the paper/laminate material would be thinner than the original legends.

I could also find an appropriate metal/aluminum and use a transparent label for the text/symbol and then laminate over top of that. Make a "sandwich" of sorts. I just need pointers on finding some sort of appropriate metal/aluminum stock to work with. Can't seem to find anything that looks appropriate via my Google searches. We used to have some asset tags we used at work that would have been nearly perfect, but those are long gone. One issue with the asset tag approach is that I really only need a small amount, and it seems that most of these solutions are sold in bulk.

I'm also worried that if I find a suitable material I won't be able to make accurate enough cuts to keep it looking stock.

Here's a picture I found that gives a decent view of the chiclet keyboard for those unfamiliar:
33334

This doesn't show the depth of the aluminum inlay, I'll try to get a picture of my machine so you can see that.

Let me know if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.

geoffm3
September 23rd, 2016, 07:27 AM
Several years ago I had a Space Invaders Deluxe machine, and it's control panel was badly worn and it is the same sort of brushed aluminum panel with silkscreen graphics over top. I found a replacement that someone had managed to get reproduced that was a perfect match. I imagine the hard part with that would be die-cutting the individual keys out of a panel so that would make things prohibitively expensive. However, silkscreen is done a lot as DIY for other projects, so maybe if you could find some aluminum panel you could silkscreen over top.

I guess the anodized color keys would be harder to reproduce DIY.

geoffm3
September 23rd, 2016, 07:32 AM
I guess there's some DIY for anodizing out there too!

http://astro.neutral.org/anodise5.shtml

KC9UDX
September 24th, 2016, 07:23 PM
If you only need one, and it's aluminium, buy a sheet and have a print shop screen print the legend on it, with an outline of the shape it needs to be. Depending on the thickness of the aluminium, you can cut it with a paper shear (scissor, or otherwise), or a jeweler's saw. You can sand or file for a good finish, round corners, etc.

Not as hard as it sounds.