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bfollowell

Trying to recreate type 1 ALPS keyboard PCB and need ALPS SKFL switch info

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It seems like every other day someone is coming up a with a new keyboard project. I've come up with another of my own. I have a type 1 ALPS mechanical keyboard in my original 800XL. The original cable was damaged beyond repair, so I tried adding my own connector, but the pads for the original 24-pin connector cable were unbelievably fragile; much more so than any pads I've ever tried desoldering in the past. Of the 24 pads, 10 of them lifted completely, most within a couple of seconds of applying the iron. I tried repairing, but it was in just too bad a shape. That being the case, I want to recreate the PCB and transfer the ALPS switches to a new PCB with newer, better traces. If I'm going to recreate the board, I'll probably have a 24 pin header like the original, but also bring to the side a 1mm molex connector as well, so that I can take advantage of newer, better cables.

 

Here's where the trouble starts. I've looked and haven't had a lot of luck finding an ALPS switch model/footprint that I can use with KiCAD. Is anyone aware of there being one for the ALPS SKFL standard switches and where I may find it if it exists. If it doesn't, I'm going to need to try and create my own. In that case, is anyone aware of a detailed datasheet for the ALPS SKFL standard switches? I've not had any luck on that front either.

Thanks to anyone that may be able to offer information.

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I'd also posted over at Deskthority, a mechanical keyboard forum. Someone responded over there that they'd created a PCB in KiCAD using SKFL switches and they'd created their own footprint. If anyone else is interested, you can download the mod file here.

 

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47 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

I'd also posted over at Deskthority, a mechanical keyboard forum. Someone responded over there that they'd created a PCB in KiCAD using SKFL switches and they'd created their own footprint. If anyone else is interested, you can download the mod file here.

 

I don't understand much about switches... Are those SKFL switches something you can buy new? Reading your post I checked my 800xl and noticed it comes with ALPS switches too. If one day it fails, it would be interesting to replace this board with a modern one with new switches.

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40 minutes ago, scelbi8h said:

I don't understand much about switches... Are those SKFL switches something you can buy new? Reading your post I checked my 800xl and noticed it comes with ALPS switches too. If one day it fails, it would be interesting to replace this board with a modern one with new switches.

 

I'd be surprised if you could ever find any new, unless you lucked into someone that had a ton of NOS somewhere. I've seen a few of them on ebay though, typically reclaimed from old keyboards.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/333703869469?

 

At $4.95 a key, plus $4.45 for shipping, you probably wouldn't want to order too many though.

 

Edited by bfollowell

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