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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
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  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Do you know where to find this Keyboard? Pics

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    #16
    Originally posted by Mr.Amiga500 View Post
    Really? That sounds a bit strange. I don't have an Atari 800, but I have a 1200XL (Mitsumi switches) and two different 800XLs (Mitsumi, Alps) and the switches are nothing like the DEC switches. I assumed the 800 used switches similar to the 1200XL.
    800, not 800XL. The two computers are built very differently. The 800XL has more modern switches, but the original 800 has the square plunger/exposed contact type. The keytops are interchangable between the 800 and the VT100.

    Lots of other terminals from the era used them too. The Hazeltine 1500 is another one that comes to mind.

    When I was fixing the Hazeltine, I had to pull out a fair number of plungers to fix things - I just grabbed them with smooth, narrow nose pliers and pulled them straight out. But the Hazeltine plungers were white - not black like on the LSI keyboard. Perhaps they're put together differently? I didn't have any trouble pulling them out.

    -Ian

    Comment


      #17
      Yes, I know the 800 and XL series were built differently, but from what I have read and seen I thought they used similar switches. I'm surprised that they're different. Now I want to find an Atari 800 and test the keyboard feel.

      Do you still have that 800? Can you take a picture of the switch?

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by atod View Post
        Same Era. Where would you put it?
        I apologize...I thought this was about an IBM Thinkpad...my mistake, I misread the post.
        @ BillDeg:
        Web: vintagecomputer.net
        Twitter: @billdeg
        Youtube: @billdeg
        Unauthorized Bio

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Mr.Amiga500 View Post
          Really? That sounds a bit strange. I don't have an Atari 800, but I have a 1200XL (Mitsumi switches) and two different 800XLs (Mitsumi, Alps) and the switches are nothing like the DEC switches. I assumed the 800 used switches similar to the 1200XL.

          Here's a link to a brand new Atari 800 keyboard with some info. (no photo of the key switch though)
          I emailed the seller and he hasn't responded. Does anyone know if these "Rev 3 Stackpole keyboards compatible with 800s made after 1980" have the DEC keyboard design?

          I found a 1/4" and 5/8" hole saw and my plan is to cut out and transport the switch as required. Then use solvent to weld the plastic together (or epoxy).

          Thanks

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by Mr.Amiga500 View Post
            No, you're wrong. The TI-99/4a has an Alps style switch.

            The keyboard atod is looking for has DEC-style switches. (photo of my DEC VT-100)
            No... i'm certain my switches look different... I'm going to pull mine out and take a picture.
            It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

            Comment


              #21
              I was right. They look the same. Granted the color is different but I doubt that matters. I also have the black/silver version of the ti 99/4a and I would bet all the tea in china it used the same switches as I have pictured here.

              picture 1

              picture 2
              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

              Comment


                #22
                Thanks for the pictures! I just purchased the Atari 800 keyboard for about $37 (w/ S&H). It looks like the Atari key format may match up better. Who knows, maybe that will allow me to cut the Atari keyboard to size. I'll post the results.

                Someone was looking for missing Atari keys. Please send me a private message with the address they should be sent to.

                Thanks

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by luckybob View Post
                  I was right. They look the same. Granted the color is different but I doubt that matters. I also have the black/silver version of the ti 99/4a and I would bet all the tea in china it used the same switches as I have pictured here.

                  picture 1

                  picture 2
                  Wow, that's weird. I thought you were talking about the silver/black TI-99/4a, but still... it's strange that they switched to an older style switch when making a newer cost-cutting model. I bet those switches were cheaper to make than the Alps-style ones they originally had.

                  Thanks for the pictures.
                  Last edited by Mr.Amiga500; June 25, 2011, 08:56 AM.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    I ended up transporting an Atari 800 keyboard switch to the ADM keyboard. I drilled out both keys with a 1/4" long hole saw bit. It lines up just right. I then used epoxy to hold the new key in. The only issue was the Atari 800 keyswitch is about 1/4 cm higher then the original ADM keyswitch. This results in a higher key. I carefully used an Xacto knife to "shave" off the top of the yellow plastic. In addition, I had to shave the bottom of the key associated with this keyswitch. I should have never used a dremel to try and get at the corroded contacts. Hope that helps someone in the future.

                    I have all the keys so once I extend the broken contacts with leads, this should be in business.

                    Note : If you have an ADM-3A I highly suggest you inspect it for this oil like goo. It's the polyvinyl adhesive and must contain some sort of water because it corroded parts of the keyboard and motherboard. I cleaned it with alcohol. It comes from the monitor's old adhesive that hold the lens in place. There is a writeup to fix that also.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      The picture of the original keyboard you showed looks an awful lot like an old Cherry keyboard, the same type that the early Tandy Model Is used to use. I've been inside enough of them to be 99% sure since we used to have to take off every keycap on some units and bend one "finger" of the split contact forward to prevent "key bounce".

                      I probably have a couple of keyboards around in my Tandy parts.
                      Legacy Computers and Parts

                      Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Thanks. If you have an early Tandy Model Is keyboard I would be interested. I soldered on new terminals where the old ones corroded. I then performed a continuity test open then closed. I found two more keys were broken. The finger contact corroded off it's base on the bottom for each key. Now I'm in the process of "transporting" two more keys from the Atari to the LSI. Unfortunately, this requires a delicate epoxy job and also shaving the yellow colored box a few millimeters because it is too tall. The key must also be shaved a small amount to allow everything level. Here are some pics of where I'm at.





                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Druid6900 View Post
                          The picture of the original keyboard you showed looks an awful lot like an old Cherry keyboard, the same type that the early Tandy Model Is used to use. I've been inside enough of them to be 99% sure since we used to have to take off every keycap on some units and bend one "finger" of the split contact forward to prevent "key bounce".

                          I probably have a couple of keyboards around in my Tandy parts.
                          It is very close to the Tandy Model 1, but not 100%. A few keys on the right are missing. See pics below

                          ADM-3A


                          Tandy

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by atod View Post
                            It is very close to the Tandy Model 1, but not 100%. A few keys on the right are missing. See pics below
                            Well, that particular Model 1 hardly counts - it's been modified with some other keyboard. Probably as a method to get rid of the horrible keyboard bounce the early Model 1's had....

                            -Ian

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by RetroHacker_ View Post
                              Well, that particular Model 1 hardly counts - it's been modified with some other keyboard. Probably as a method to get rid of the horrible keyboard bounce the early Model 1's had....

                              -Ian
                              Thanks. It's still missing keys to the right. Perhaps the keyswitches are there but not used. If someone has an open Model 1, can you please post a picture of the entire keyswitch assembly? Thanks


                              Comment


                                #30
                                Here is a good pic of the ADM-3A keyboard.

                                Comment

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