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Sound dampening for 99/4A keys?


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#1 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 12:37 PM

Has anyone ever tried installing dampeners on a TI-99/4A's keys?

 

I recently read a posting on How-To Geek re: quieting mechanical keyboards and thought it might be fun to try a keyboard-quieting project.  But needless to say, the TI's key stems aren't the common "plus shaped" Cherry MX type.  So I suspect any ordinary o-ring dampeners wouldn't work well.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions? 



#2 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 5:43 PM

Earplugs? :grin:

#3 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 4, 2018 6:06 PM

Expanding foam and a razor blade?

#4 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 9:17 AM

As a kid, I had 2 TI consoles:  one with black keys and one with grey keys.  I still have the one with grey keys. 

 

As I recall, the console with the black keys was quieter and had a softer feel.  I'm actually more interested that getting back to that softer feel than I am in noise reduction.  (Noise reduction is a fringe benefit; it would be less bothersome to my partner when I'm up in the wee hours tinkering.)  I'm thinking some o-rings could work if properly sized and placed. 

 

Not really a big deal, and I do like the nostalgic sound.  The How-To Geek article just set me thinking about some fun tweaks.

 

I'll do a bit more digging and will post again if I find anything useful.



#5 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 10:36 AM

I can't help you, unfortunately, but in contrast--i actually hook up a Sennheiser condensor microphone directly above my keyboard and run the signal through an 800 watt,dual amp PA system and blast it through the house... I love that sound, and I think everyone who lives here should too. ;)

#6 digdugnate ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 1:29 PM

i actually like the sound of the TI kb :)  i have a 'Das Keyboard' mechanical in my office and i love it.



#7 80s_Atari_Guy ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 1:56 PM

I love mechanical keyboards.

My PC RGB keyboard has MX Blue Switches, they sound amazing.

I also have a old Dell AT101W with ALPS switches. I love this thing so much, it's in my Will.  :-D  I don't use it because it was new old stock and I want to keep it pristine, but I often just get the keyboard out just to stroke it. My family think I'm weird.

 

My all-time fave would be the Cherry G80-3000 HFMGB. This thing should come with a 18+ rating, for keyboard lovers. If I hooked this thing upto Opry99er's Sennheiser condensor microphone, any mechanical keyboard lover in range of the amp would need a box of tissues.  ;)

 

For retro machines you can't beat a BBC Micro/Master, gorgeous keyboard. The TI, also sounds amazing. The Oric Atmos, also not bad for such a small computer.



#8 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 2:09 PM

In my office, and at home: Cherry G80-3000. In the office, when hardware is scheduled to be renewed, I explicitly order a Cherry keyboard.

 

I was pretty surprised to learn (after ordering) that Cherry's headquarters are located in Auerbach in der Oberpfalz, just 45 km from here, where I am currently typing.



#9 arcadeshopper ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 3:49 PM

I can't help you, unfortunately, but in contrast--i actually hook up a Sennheiser condensor microphone directly above my keyboard and run the signal through an 800 watt,dual amp PA system and blast it through the house... I love that sound, and I think everyone who lives here should too. icon_wink.gif

 

and the neighbors



#10 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 6:10 PM

I can't help you, unfortunately, but in contrast--i actually hook up a Sennheiser condensor microphone directly above my keyboard and run the signal through an 800 watt,dual amp PA system and blast it through the house... I love that sound, and I think everyone who lives here should too. ;)

 

I love it!  :thumbsup: A ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.  (Pun intended.)
 
 



#11 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 6:22 PM

I knew mechanical keyboards were still popular, and it's interesting to hear the various impressions of models old and new.

 

I actually prefer mechanical keyboards, too.  I'm using one now with my Mac, in fact, and I love it.  But I admit I favor mechanicals that have a softer, squishier feel and a more subtle "clack". 

 

So noise aside, I'm curious to hear opinions:  how "squishy" do you like your mechanical keys to be?



#12 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 11:29 PM

My original Mac Plus has a very loud and responsive keyboard... Not only does it "clack," but is has almost a metallic ringing after each keystroke.  It is currently my favorite keyboard to type on.

 

The keyboard I'm using now on my PC is a Fellowes Microban split keyboard with another nice clacky feel to it.  Still, my Mac Plus and my TI are my favorites, followed closely by my TRS-80 Model 3.



#13 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 8:22 PM

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed hears me typing on one of my mechanical keyboards and demands to know: "Who are you typing so hard to?" Then she'll come over to look for my non-existent girlfriend and be disappointed that I'm typing a message here on AtariAge. Of course, she doesn't notice the sounds at all when she is using the same keyboard. It just feels so nice to use!



#14 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 7, 2018 1:10 PM

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed hears me typing on one of my mechanical keyboards and demands to know: "Who are you typing so hard to?" Then she'll come over to look for my non-existent girlfriend and be disappointed that I'm typing a message here on AtariAge. Of course, she doesn't notice the sounds at all when she is using the same keyboard. It just feels so nice to use!

 

Fortunately, my partner also uses a mechanical keyboard, an old Microsoft ergo unit.  So, during the day at least, he doesn't even take notice when I'm typing away on this mini Adesso.  (At night, on the other hand, I think he'd just prefer I just go sleep at a reasonable hour.)



#15 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 8, 2018 1:19 PM

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed hears me typing on one of my mechanical keyboards and demands to know: "Who are you typing so hard to?" Then she'll come over to look for my non-existent girlfriend and be disappointed that I'm typing a message here on AtariAge. Of course, she doesn't notice the sounds at all when she is using the same keyboard. It just feels so nice to use!

 

If she is anything like mine, she is just hoping you will find another poor soul to drop you off with to free her from her karma of whatever horrible thing she did in her past life to get stuck with me. :D



#16 etownandy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 9, 2018 12:06 PM

I dunno if this would work, but Tandy 100 owners used to use orthodontic rubber bands to quiet their keyboards.



#17 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 9, 2018 9:54 PM

I dunno if this would work, but Tandy 100 owners used to use orthodontic rubber bands to quiet their keyboards.

 

That's a clever idea.  Akin to the o-rings though, which are basically just heavier, rounded-edged rubber bands.  Still, either small rubber bands or o-rings could work if they're the proper size.  I may eventually experiment with those.  (The only reason I haven't already tried is that it seems hard to find just a few; usually, you have buy them in packs of dozens or hundreds.)

 

At the moment, I'm preparing to test 2mm-thick craft foam.  (I picked up a 12"x18" sheet today at a Michaels Store for 99 cents.)  I'll be cutting a couple of pieces to size, fitting those to the base of a few keys, and then testing.






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