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DistantStar001

Need Keycaps for my C64s

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So I have number of Commodore 64s in various states of repair and functionality.  Four of them are more or less fully functional, but the two seen below lack full keyboards.  

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The lettering is different on each, as are the plungers (I did manage to find a source for the plungers for the board with the grey function keys).  I actually have all of the mustard colored function caps (just lack the plungers to mount them with), but one is currently serving as a delete key on an Apple //e (the "DELETE"/ESC, Arrow and 9 keys seen in the picture are spares from another //e so I guess it all balances out).  I've tried Google, eBay and Etsy, but so far no luck.  It seems like everywhere I look, either the caps I find are the wrong ones for my respective boards, or they don't stock the particular key that I need.  Can anyone steer me in the right direction here?  It would be very much appreciated. 🙂

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The upper one looks like a VIC-20, or at least the keyboard comes from one of those with the "Eurostile" look. Those are harder to come by. I have a few keys left that I sell to people in dire need but I don't think I have all the caps you need anyway.

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10 hours ago, carlsson said:

The upper one looks like a VIC-20, or at least the keyboard comes from one of those with the "Eurostile" look.

You're right.  The upper case is from a VIC-20.  I've been trying to find a good upper case for a while, but so far no luck.  As for the keyboard, I bought that separate, so I really don't know where it came from.  The original is currently in another C64.  It's pretty common for either a C64 or VIC-20 (mustard function keys, same plungers as the machine with the marked up case).  

11 hours ago, carlsson said:

Those are harder to come by.  I have a few keys left that I sell to people in dire need but I don't think I have all the caps you need anyway.

So I've discovered.  Also thanks, I'll keep looking.  You don't get a computer in this condition without knowing it'll be a long term project.  🙂

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Install a VIC-20 motherboard and at least it will look real. To my knowledge there never were any C64's made with the Eurostile keyboard. I saw someone on eBay listed a complete, refurbished keyboard for $70 but that is quite a bit more than it really should be worth.

 

I can have a look later but as I wrote, I might only partly be able to help you with keycaps on that.

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7 hours ago, carlsson said:

I can have a look later but as I wrote, I might only partly be able to help you with keycaps on that.

Thank you so much!  Please let me know.  Even if you don't have all of them, I'll be closer than I am now.

 

8 hours ago, carlsson said:

 I saw someone on eBay listed a complete, refurbished keyboard for $70 but that is quite a bit more than it really should be worth.

I've seen those too.  It's ridiculous!  For that price, I've seen whole VIC-20s that work, even a few questionable C64s.   Same with the Apple ][ plus.  The keyboard alone is nearly as expensive as the computer.  The //e isn't that far behind.  And finding individual keycaps...  If you can help, I'd be very grateful.  

 

Also, what are people doing to their number rows?  It always seems like every partial keyboard I see is missing the same keys. 

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I think people store things on top which breaks the up most row.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 9:46 AM, carlsson said:

I think people store things on top which breaks the up most row.

I can see that.

 

Sorry for the delayed response, forgot to hit post.

Edited by DistantStar001

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OK!  So I've managed to find the plungers for the one with the grey function keys...  Unfortunately, all the spare keycaps I have are for various Apple computers and don't work with this particular style of plunger (the plus mount is too thick).  So the board will still be incomplete and there's nothing to hold the springs on yet.  But still... Progress!!! 🙂

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Posted (edited)

...

 

(Wonders discretely about the prospects of 3D printed nylon keycaps, treated liberally with vinyl dye.... Will google.)

 

Google suggest Rit Dye-More dyes.

 

Should be possible to paint a resist layer on top of the keycaps to prevent the text from getting colored (assumes textured text), then just soak them in a bag with marbles to weigh them down, an appropriate amount of time. Neat.

 

If you can't get shiny new reproduction keytops, it's worth exploring.

Edited by wierd_w

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