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600/800XL Keyboard variants


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#51 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:33 PM

Close up of switch.

Attached Thumbnails

  • keybd2.jpg


#52 Mr.Amiga500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:46 PM

Yes, that's the type 2. The type 1 ALPS is lighter and smoother, but I like the keycaps on the type 2 better. I don't know why, but they just feel nicer. Maybe they're a different material. (PBT?)

 

Nobody has a type 3 switch they can photograph?



#53 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:52 PM

I also noticed the Alps has a short travel, almost like a laptop keyboard. I had some type 3's (I bought them because they looked like 2's) but I got rid of them once I noticed the wobbly feel. It's like the switch posts are made of a flexible plastic.



#54 Paul Westphal OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:38 PM

One I just sold had ' sand papery ' key tops, as opposed to smooth ones, and had a socketed board.

#55 RodCastler OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 9, 2015 6:07 PM

key-bump!

 

I was finally able to get an alps type 1. Not a big fan of the looks, however the double-shot molding looks really nice.

 

Now after typing, I was very disappointed. Compared to my type-2 keyboards, type-1 is no competition. 

 

First, keys seem to be sloppy enough to make the keys to lean to one side or the other, making the keyboard look not very straight. Second, when pressing any key from any of the 4 corners, they will just not travel down, which makes it impossible to type fast. That never happens to the type-2. 

 

So, I'm not sure how type-1 can be anyone's favorite, unless mine has some type of failure consistent across the entire keyboard. If I had to recommend any of these, type-2 is hands down my option.



#56 Mr.Amiga500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:03 AM

That is very odd. Are you sure it is ALPS? If so, possibly you got one that was in a very dusty environment. Dust can get into ALPS switches and make them snag or feel scratchy. (though I have dozens of ALPS keyboards and they're all fine - and my ALPS 800XL was bought new)



#57 576XE ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:27 AM

Somewhere earlier I heared that technologically USB is direct child of SIO.

 

Now I think that Atary keyboard based on mechanical-capasitive switches is known now as TOPRE type keyboard.

...



#58 rbeane1956 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 5, 2015 7:19 PM

I was able to get a Type 4 keyboard back from the dead. I took it all apart and cleaned all the surfaces with a paper towel and windex. I did a youtube video on how I did it. https://www.youtube....h?v=iJHTJIx2Qgw



#59 576XE ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:03 AM

I never seeing this keyboard. Only 130XE, which are terrible!

 

But I think that the idea of soft click was very straightforward and absolutely right.

I worked with IBM's old style keyboards which never gave me a chance to mistyping.

 

All the best!



#60 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:28 PM

A couple other keyboard threads just for reference in one place:

 

 
(turns out it's a type 3)


#61 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:49 AM

Got a type 2 here from a dead 800XL and although it cleaned up well and looks nice, the keys block terribly if you don't strike them at exactly 90 degrees.

#62 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:57 AM

I've noticed that that all type 2's are equal. I've got some with more flexibility/bending in the plungers than others. There's no visible difference, though.



#63 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:05 PM

I don't think it's so much the plungers bending as being poorly seated and loosely restrained. The slight wobble on the plunger is amplified by the height and mass of the keycap once attached.

#64 Mr.Amiga500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:31 PM

This thread needs updating...
 
Type 1: Alps made, using Alps SKFL switches
 
Type 2: AWC made, using Cherry M8 open top switches
 

Type 3: AWC made, using Cherry M8 closed top switches
 
Type 4: Unknown - using "Hi-Tek/Stackpole-like" switches (incomplete! needs more detail!)
 
Type 5: Mitsumi made, using "Mitsumi hybrid switches" ("rubber dome on stick")
 
 
600XL (only?)
Type 2a: AWC made, using Futaba low profile switches, Type 2 keycaps
 
 
Many thanks to Daniel Beardsmore for the Deskthority Wiki information!

Edited by Mr.Amiga500, Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:34 PM.


#65 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:13 PM

About type 4:

 

I've seen these metal-backed keyboard with STACKPOLE stamped on the back in black ink. They don't use a Stackpole switch, but rather just push a spring against the mylar.



#66 Mr.Amiga500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:25 PM

I think I'll disassemble one of my backup Type 4 800XLs and get some photos of this switch. I don't think I've seen it documented anywhere.

From what I've heard, Stackpole is a fairly disreputable company that stole a switch design from Hi-Tek, then went around selling keyboards with this switch to Hi-Tek's customers. Hi-Tek sued them, but (inexplicably) lost.

#67 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:30 PM

Atari had identical 800 keyboards made by both Hi-Tek and Stackpole. The only difference was the color of the plungers. The Hi-Teks were white and the Stackpole ones were either yellow or green. I always figured the two companies worked together to 2nd source keyboards, but maybe Stackpole just undercut Hi-Tek for the same design.



#68 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:31 PM

About type 4:
 
I've seen these metal-backed keyboard with STACKPOLE stamped on the back in black ink. They don't use a Stackpole switch, but rather just push a spring against the mylar.


Is that the one that has a black plastic panel under the keys with holes in it? The plungers click into the holes.

#69 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:44 PM

Is that the one that has a black plastic panel under the keys with holes in it? The plungers click into the holes.

Yeah, it's a plastic frame screwed to a metal plate with folded Mylar in-between. Each key has a small hole under it that a narrow spring sits in. When the key is pressed, the spring causes the Mylar sheets to touch. There's a larger spring around the small one to provide general key resistance.

 

I wonder if someone can print a conductive coating on Mylar that doesn't oxidize so readily.



#70 presario123x OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:12 PM

Great thread !

 

I got a Type 2 on an 800XL. I am trying to remove all keys to clean them out, but they don't come out. How hard should I try pulling on them ? :)  I don't want to break the switches..

 

Thanks



#71 presario123x OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2016 8:27 AM

Great thread !

 

I got a Type 2 on an 800XL. I am trying to remove all keys to clean them out, but they don't come out. How hard should I try pulling on them ? :)  I don't want to break the switches..

 

Thanks

 

Ok I finally managed to take the keys out. For some reason the previous owner decided to glue the key caps onto the switches....



#72 eegad OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:01 PM

Thanks for the info. Back in the 80's I used 2 different 800xl's. An unmodified one that I got in early '85 to replace my 400, and then another in '87 with a 256k upgrade installed.  Somewhere around '88 (I think) one of the mail-order places had a "warehouse clearance" where they were selling leftover 800xl's for around $40.....so I bought one and packed it away, unopened. 

 

For the past 8-10 years, I occasionally take out the old 800xl, play some games for a few days or weeks, then pack it away again for a year.  Recently I got to thinking "hey, I still have that sealed 800xl...maybe I should actually open it and see if it even works!".  So that's the one I took out and was playing with this past week. But it seemed to look a little different and the keyboard felt more mushy...thought maybe it was just that it was a "brand new" machine.  But no, today I put the 3 machines side by side. The 2 machines that I used heavily from '85 to '91 both have the Type 1 keyboards, and I always liked them.  This "new" machine has a Type 4 keyboard. Nope, don't like it as much...the Type 1 has a nicer feel.



#73 MEtalGuy66 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:43 AM

Anyone have any spare parts for one of these 600XL/800XL Mitsumi keyboards?

800XL-MITSUMI.JPG

If so, I need a "J" key, a Space Bar, and the springs for both.

I'll pay shipping plus whatever's fair for the parts. If not, I'm gonna eventually have to order an entire replacement keyboard.

Thanks.

Edited by MEtalGuy66, Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:44 AM.


#74 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 18, 2016 2:53 PM

I've noticed that that all type 2's are equal. I've got some with more flexibility/bending in the plungers than others. There's no visible difference, though.

I wanted to add to this comment to the above:

 

I have an AWC P/N 100005 Rev.02 here that has the bendy keys. The shaft/plunger plastic is flexible and the keys will bend if they're pressed off-center. A also have 2 AWC P/N 100001 Rev.03 keyboards that looks identical, but the plungers are completely rigid and feel like proper keyswitches. At some point there was a change in the switches themselves.



#75 Spanner OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 9, 2016 2:46 PM

I have a Type 2, made by AWC (number 70166201) I think,and some of my key are not working properly,the keys are soldered on to the circuit board.anyway of fixing it..?


Edited by Spanner, Fri Sep 9, 2016 3:22 PM.





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