Another hour later, and I'm starting to consider whether maybe the key plungers weren't meant to be disassembled.


15 Responses:

  1. giles says:

    Oh my God... you didn't disassemble number 5, did you?

  2. yakko says:

    Wow! What tool did you use to get those keyswitches to look like that?

    The good news is that anyone with a soldering iron, something to desolder with and standard ALPS keyswitches should be able to revive that keyboard. I've been able to keep my old ZDS 101 keyboard working this way.

    The pisser is, each defective keyswitch has to be disassembled in order to have the contacts or the plunger part replaced.

    • jwz says:

      Well, probably most of what you're seeing is that the camera on my phone is junk. I popped the tops off the switch boxes with a knife, and they came off relatively easily, but getting them back together in a functional state is another matter: there are the two contact pieces, which may or may not be more bent than is healthy; there's another folded piece of metal for (I think) applying horizontal pressure to the plunger; and there's the spring. All these pieces are small and slide around while I'm trying to snap the box back together. I need two more hands, and they need to be an order of magnitude smaller.

      (I also I seem to have broken some of the solder connections to the board, but those look easy to fix. Uh, if I knew where my soldering iron went.)

      The only reason I'm still fucking around with this at all is that I'm getting a mild runaround from the Kinesis online store drones, so I'm guessing it'll be more than a week before I have the replacement...

  3. ydna says:

    (Nelson Muntz) Ha Ha

    Dood, that looks like an action shot of your keyboard exploding. It's like a scene out of Alien.

  4. mhagler says:

    You could solder some leads onto those exposed keyboard ones and hook them up to foot pedals to replace the missing keys!

  5. scytrin says:

    We've got the schematics. Now, where's that damn exhaust port about the size of a womp-rat?

  6. vxo says:


    I had an IBM keyboard that had what appear to be the same kind of switches. I read them described as capacitive in nature somewhere. My mom flung the keyboard one afternoon and the entire room was showered in its pieces. It was like a surreal rainstorm of tiny bits of copper and stainless steel. I was never able to reassemble it, even with the guts of a similar keyboard.

  7. scjody says:

    Take two USB keyboards of pain. Plug them both in at once. Use one per hand. If you can get one USB keyboard working under Linux, the other one should Just Work. I don't think there's a way to tell them apart even if you wanted to.

    To get my USB keyboards working, I had to insmod: hid, usbkbd, keybdev, input, usb-ohci. If I wasn't running Debian, that would probably have happened automatically.

    (My reason for 2 keyboards: I have a fairly comfortable Logitech cordless ergo keyboard, as well as a non-cordless for typing passwords and such.)

    • marklyon says:

      Are you really so paranoid about someone grabbing the text off your wireless keyboard that you have a wired keyboard for passwords only?

      I'm glad my little fantasy world is a bit calmer, gentler, and fluffier than that.

      • scjody says:

        Considering how easy it is to capture text from these things, even by accident, yeah. It's not like USB keyboards are expensive or anything. The wired keyboard is also useful if I'm, say, watching a movie and leave the cordless keyboard on the couch.

        • jwz says:

          What the hell was wrong with PS/2 anyway? I can't understand the big push to use USB for keyboards and mice: the only effect from this that I've seen is that bottom-of-the-line keyboards and mice that used to cost $5 now cost like $40 instead. I guess that's a "benefit", but not, you know, to me.

          • scjody says:

            Well, I can plug my mouse into my keyboard, the way God intended and... uh...

            Intel wants to move to USB so they can stop putting pins for PS/2, serial and parelell in their chipsets. Fortunately, nobody's listening to them. (Whoever heard of a USB console?)

        • marklyon says:

          It's moments like this that I enjoy Mississippi. We don't have blackouts, we don't have earthquakes, the government pretty much lets you do what you want as long as you don't hurt others, everyone has firearms, we don't have "graywater" systems for irrigation, we don't have snipers driving around, we have a low population density, and I don't even think anyone would care to know what I was typing. Heck, my cell phone doesn't even have "minutes" (it's unlimited) and my bank doesn't charge me fees for anything other than bouncing checks.

          Of course, we get a disproportionate amount of poverty and are the last to get really cool stuff, but the trade-off isn't that bad. You can always order