MEGA65 FORUM

Keyboard

append delete Andrew Owen

I've been working on my own Z80 based 8-bit computer project for a while now so I'm really interested to see how Mega 65 is progressing. I wondered what you were planning to do for the keyboard. The best solution I could come up with was getting one custom printed by WASDkeyboards.com. If you know a provider that can do short-run custom keyboards with any layout I'd like to hear about it. But if you're planning on using a standard PS/2 or USB keyboard though and are thinking about using a service like WASD to produce it, I'd like to offer my services (no charge) to design a keyboard that matches the look and feel of the original C65 as closely as possible. Here's the keyboard and keypad I designed for my computer: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=73508 you can contact me at aowen[at]mail[dot]ru.

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append delete #1. Ordyne

Pretty sure the idea is it will look identical or as close to the C65 keyboard. Surely it has to be custom and most likely from the original supplier of the prototype keyboards?

append delete #2. Andrew Owen

Do you know who the supplier is?

append delete #3. Deft

It was MITSUMI and they do not exist anymore. Keyboards are the biggest issue at the moment, everything else is going well. If anyone is able to support us in the keyboard topic please contact us over mega65.org ... thank you!

append delete #4. Deft

Just sent a mail to you Andrew, thank you for offering your help!

#5. Solei

This post was deleted by its owner

append delete #6. Solei

In-house production of custom c65 keyboards consisting of a metal hole-plate, a pcb, and some silent cherry switches should be doable.
That way you have full control of layout and production - and it makes it possible for the user to replace defective switches in the future without getting a new keyboard.

append delete #7. Ordyne

That's actually a pretty good idea!

append delete #8. Meshuggah333

Jumping on this a little late. I want to second the plate/PCB/replaceable switches option, it's relatively expensive but will last a lifetime.
I suggest Cherry MX clear or brown as they offer a satisfying tactile bump and aren't too light or hard to press, noisy, or overly expensive :
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=707
https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=853

Of course if a cheaper alternative is found, even if of a slightly lesser quality, is always a better option. We don't want a 1000$ retro-computer :) (even if I'd be surprised if it doesn't come close to that number with the case/keyboard dilemma.

append delete #9. gardners

At the moment we are exploring the full-custom keyboard path with replaceable mechanical Cherry switches, as it will give the nicest experience, and at low quantities, is not much more expensive than any other option -- of course this just goes to show how expensive the other options also are!

Paul.

append delete #10. ThomBraxton

Hello folks,

my English is really bad, but i hope you understand what I want to say.

I've seen the prototype of the keyboard, that was designed for the mega65. I see there some problems with this keyboard for a programmer. Programmers - people who make programs for that machine - or must I say software designer? - often need the "="-sign for calcutaltions and other things. I mean, that the =-Sign should not be on a function-key or a separate key. The =-sign shoud be on the normal keyboard, because it is used really often during the time of developing software for that machine.

Greetings,
ThomBraxton

append delete #11. gardners

Hello Thom,

We agree completely. However, the PC 87-key layout is just really not ideal for a C= style 8-bit computer. This is why we are making a full custom keyboard, that will have exactly the same layout as the real C65.

Paul.

append delete #12. Manuel

There are some cheaper keyboard switches on the market than the Cherry MX.
For example: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/gateron-switches.

append delete #13. gardners mobile

Yes we know about some. but we have a source of cherry switches at a good enough price that makes it not worth considering poorer quality cheaper switches. most of the cost ends up on everything else, anyway.

Paul.

append delete #14. Meshuggah333

Razer make some nice Cherry MX clones too (they are Chinese clone, but pretty nice), just saying.

append delete #15. gardners

True. We looked at a few good quality Chinese alternatives to Cherry, but came to the conclusion that the price difference wasn't big enough to compel us. This is partly because we think we are close to having a plan to have the keyboards manufactured in Germany. In fact, we would really like to have everything possible manufactured in either Germany or Australia. At the manufacturing scale that we can hope for, the price difference is actually quite small, by the time one factors in all the negotiations and iteration that would be required for us to tool-up with a Chinese company.

Paul.

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