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gobo

Atari 400 Keyboard Durability

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Was just thinking. I've never heard of anyone mention that they had an Atari 400 Keyboard fail. Back in the day, when it was my first computer, I beat on that thing! Are they virtually indestructible?

(Just bought a 400 to put the future 400 Incognito into)

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Never say never, but mine survived one hell of a battering fully functional and unmarked before eventually being replaced with a B-key...

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I've had to replace a faulty membrane before, but it was an Ebay purchase, so I have no idea how it was treated.

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13 hours ago, gobo said:

Was just thinking. I've never heard of anyone mention that they had an Atari 400 Keyboard fail. Back in the day, when it was my first computer, I beat on that thing! Are they virtually indestructible?

Mine failed, although it was still usable.

 

The glue holding the layers together on the left side of the keyboard started to come off. Eventually one of the keys, I can't recall exactly but I think control, "bubbled up" so that the top plastic layer was convex rather than concave. It still worked, but every press caused the plastic to move further than its design, and eventually it began to break off along the bottom white ridge. It was only a matter of time before it broke off completely, although it lasted me 3 years so likely at least that again.

 

I may be the only person to actually prefer the 400 keyboard to the 800. Once I got used to it I could type just as fast as any other keyboard. When, several years later, I got the chance to use an 800, I found the keys to be very short throw and not comfortable for someone coming from the VT-102 world. I understand the 1200 was the best-in-class, but I have never seen one in the flesh.

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I'm crazy that way too. While I like the real keyboards better I actually got so used to and good at using the 400 membrane it felt strange going to an 800XL. My fingertips did start to feel weird after a while after a long session on the 400 though. :) Membrane definitely worked well for what it was designed for..games.

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I've had 2 dead 400 keyboards. Luckily I was able to buy NOS replacements from best.

 

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I'm back to using my stock 400 keyboard as my BKey has become somewhat unreliable. I'm kinda enjoying it at the moment, but eventually I'll fix the dead BKey and use it again. Something I'm looking for is a brown "1" key from the BKey that I'm missing. Doubt I'll ever find one......but I'll ask just in case.

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2 hours ago, cornchip said:

I'm back to using my stock 400 keyboard as my BKey has become somewhat unreliable. I'm kinda enjoying it at the moment, but eventually I'll fix the dead BKey and use it again. Something I'm looking for is a brown "1" key from the BKey that I'm missing. Doubt I'll ever find one......but I'll ask just in case.

What do they look like?   Got a picture?

 

Had multiple 400's, used one of them exclusively for years, the membrane keyboard was rock solid.

 

 

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