Alps Appreciation

I recognize those caps. Which poor NEC MK II died for this build? :o

Seriously, did you use a V80 with aluminum case or something else?
Blaise170
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Unread post08 Feb 2018, 00:06

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Just returned from an extended hiatus! I've been gone since 2016 so if you needed me in the meantime, sorry. Feel free to ask me anything now though. ;)
scottc wrote:Your caps lock looks a little bit wonky! Is it all the way on, or is there maybe something wrong with the switch?

Looks like a cool board, congrats. :)

yeah it's a little wonky - i need to find another cap!
Blaise170 wrote:I recognize those caps. Which poor NEC MK II died for this build? :o

Seriously, did you use a V80 with aluminum case or something else?

This is the TIME TKL: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=92349.0

I got the caps from another member that bought the board off Y!J! I really like them. If I had them in hiragana that would be even more awesome, but I also like the katakana characters as well.
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Unread post08 Feb 2018, 00:43

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Just got my Zenith Z-150 from clickityClackity. Board looks nice and feels very solid. Question though, is it supposed to be a very pingy board or are green alps themselves very pingy switches?
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 03:47

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idlethock wrote:Just got my Zenith Z-150 from clickityClackity. Board looks nice and feels very solid. Question though, is it supposed to be a very pingy board or are green alps themselves very pingy switches?

Green alps are just pingy switches. I used to have a new z-150 and was till extremely pingy. If you don't like the ping, yellow alps aren't as smooth, but less pingy and sound better.
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 03:50

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Brett MacK wrote:Green alps are just pingy switches. I used to have a new z-150 and was till extremely pingy. If you don't like the ping, yellow alps aren't as smooth, but less pingy and sound better.

Are they responsible for most of the ping and the metal case merely adds onto it? Or does it really depend on the case/condition of the switches? I saw this video and it really does sound like the pinging from the switches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWut880tep8

I love how smooth they are, but shame they ping so much.
Last edited by idlethock on 10 Feb 2018, 04:39, edited 1 time in total.
idlethock

Unread post10 Feb 2018, 04:19

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All linear Alps, especially the first generation ones, are very pingy. Yellow Alps are still pingy, but not as much, that is true. For my custom builds with linear Alps, I lubricate the springs using victorinox multi-tool oil, and it hushes them up so I can enjoy the smooth experience in my favorite keyboards without that annoying ping.

The switches themselves are responsible for the ping, more specifically their return springs, but a metal back panel or case itself can make them resonate even worse.

In my opinion, sound is still important in the typing experience, to a significant degree. Not AS much as feel, of course, but a great sound and feel in a keyboard is just lovely.
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 04:28

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e3e's lubricated springs can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_yYrtrso_k (hope you don't mind me posting it, my dude)

The lube makes the switches sound pretty awesome. I'm considering trying it out on my custom as well, but I actually find that I don't mind ping so much - it gives it that extra shot of vintage!
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 04:54

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Hey guys! I have this Zenith keyboard. It has SKCL Green Switches. I want to replace them with clicky alps. Where can I get Matias alps switches for cheap?

Image

Also, this keyboard is XT. Is it possible to get a simple AT plug to Ps/2 adapter and connect it to my PC?
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 18:53

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Go for genuine complicated alps instead of matias!

Also the z150 is, unfortunate, notorious for being a stubborn protocol. I think only a few people have succeeded in converting it, but both the guys I’ve talked to about never got back to me =/
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 18:57

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//gainsborough wrote:Go for genuine complicated alps instead of matias!

Also the z150 is, unfortunate, notorious for being a stubborn protocol. I think only a few people have succeeded in converting it, but both the guys I’ve talked to about never got back to me =/

This is a ZKB-7. It has an AT plug, but the eaZy pc was an XT clone.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 18:59

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As for Matias Click switches, you can get them directly from Matias, but I have bought mine from mechanicalkeyboards.com in the past. For IBM XT to USB, you'll need a protocol converter such as Soarer's. Orihalcon sells premade Soarer's cables (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200...824&kw=lg) but they are a bit more expensive than doing it yourself. I am not 100% certain the Zenith uses IBM XT though so you may still have to reflash it with a Zenith XT compatible firmware if that's the case.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:00

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Blaise170 wrote:As for Matias Click switches, you can get them directly from Matias, but I have bought mine from mechanicalkeyboards.com in the past. For IBM XT to USB, you'll need a protocol converter such as Soarer's. Orihalcon sells premade Soarer's cables (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200...824&kw=lg) but they are a bit more expensive than doing it yourself. I am not 100% certain the Zenith uses IBM XT though so you may still have to reflash it with a Zenith XT compatible firmware if that's the case.

Is this just the plug in the picture? It looks like an ordinary cable that does the same thing as a PS/2 converter.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:06

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green-squid wrote:
Is this just the plug in the picture? It looks like an ordinary cable that does the same thing as a PS/2 converter.

Your typical AT to PS2 adapter just takes the pins and changes the form factor. The one I linked is a converter which actually changes the protocol from XT to USB.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:14

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green-squid wrote:Is this just the plug in the picture? It looks like an ordinary cable that does the same thing as a PS/2 converter.

Aye, XT boards often times have the same DIN connector that AT boards have. Like the IBM model F XT, for example. Z150 is the same way, and it seems the ZKB-7 is like that as well.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:20

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//gainsborough wrote:
green-squid wrote:Is this just the plug in the picture? It looks like an ordinary cable that does the same thing as a PS/2 converter.

Aye, XT boards often times have the same DIN connector that AT boards have. Like the IBM model F XT, for example. Z150 is the same way, and it seems the ZKB-7 is like that as well.

But is this just a cable?
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:22

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green-squid wrote:But is this just a cable?

It's a cable with a built-in ATMEGA32U4 microchip.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:24

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Blaise170 wrote:
green-squid wrote:But is this just a cable?

It's a cable with a built-in ATMEGA32U4 microchip.

I see. Problem is, this cable costs $50 shipped to my country :o :o . Not worth it for me.
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 19:33

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These cables do not work with any of my Z150. Ask orihalcon, be prepared with a picture of the pcb, he might be able to help you. He is a use here, maybe you can get a discount.

Just a note: this cable worked on every other keyboard with DIN connector I have thrown at it sofar, it was definitely worth it for me.
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Here it is
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 20:42

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//gainsborough wrote:Go for genuine complicated alps instead of matias!

But complicated ones are very very expensive! And they don't last as long.


I wanted to convert this keyboard so that it would work on my pc and so that I wouldn't have to buy an expensive clicky keyboard :(
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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 21:33

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green-squid wrote:
But complicated ones are very very expensive! And they don't last as long.

I am not so sure about that. I would bet that they got a bit more... generous... with their rating when they simplified. It is a good way to convince people buying the switches it is an 'improvement' instead of an obvious cost cutting measure.

However, pine alps do seem to be a a bit vulnerable to dust, but I am not sure I agree with them being less reliable than simplified alps. I may be wrong here. I don't know if the slits contribute to this, but from personal experience, they dirty pretty fast if you use the keyboard in a dirty environment, or eat over it.

Also, complicated white alps aren't expensive, good deals don't last so you have to stay vigilant and research lots of boards. Even if they are 'less reliable',the plastic spacer in the switch plate makes them easier to disassemble and reassemble, massively increasing their life expectancy.
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I definitely wouldn't call complicated Alps unreliable, I've found some very grimy Alps boards that still worked great after a quick cleaning.
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Unread postYesterday, 01:31

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Just returned from an extended hiatus! I've been gone since 2016 so if you needed me in the meantime, sorry. Feel free to ask me anything now though. ;)
Agreed, unreliable isn't quite the right term I think, as the complicated switchplate is actually pretty robust. "Sensitive" would be a better term maybe?
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Unread postYesterday, 06:21

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Okay, I get it now. But Matias ones are easier to get for me, so that's what I'll go with.

What is the CHEAPEST and easiest way to convert this to PS/2 or USB?
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Unread postYesterday, 06:26

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green-squid wrote:Okay, I get it now. But Matias ones are easier to get for me, so that's what I'll go with.

What is the CHEAPEST and easiest way to convert this to PS/2 or USB?

Assuming it's like the protocol on the z150 - I don't know of but a few cases where anyone was successful at converting them in the first place. I could be entirely wrong though. If anyone actually does know of a working converter for the z150 or this zkb-7 I would love to know where to get one as well!
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Unread postYesterday, 07:10

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If Soarer's is incompatible you can still make your own protocol converter with an ATMEGA chip like a Teensy, though you do need to know some basic electrical engineering in order to do that.
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Unread postYesterday, 08:16

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Just returned from an extended hiatus! I've been gone since 2016 so if you needed me in the meantime, sorry. Feel free to ask me anything now though. ;)
//gainsborough wrote:
green-squid wrote:Okay, I get it now. But Matias ones are easier to get for me, so that's what I'll go with.

What is the CHEAPEST and easiest way to convert this to PS/2 or USB?

Assuming it's like the protocol on the z150 - I don't know of but a few cases where anyone was successful at converting them in the first place. I could be entirely wrong though. If anyone actually does know of a working converter for the z150 or this zkb-7 I would love to know where to get one as well!

Check out this legend though! He said he converted it! Looks easy, but is the flashing easy? And could I do it without tuining one of my AT motherboards for a female AT socket??

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Unread postYesterday, 13:11

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Like I said it really comes down to how well you know electrical concepts. You can buy an AT socket for a few dollars on eBay, though I dont know which part number you would need to look for.
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Unread postYesterday, 13:33

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Just returned from an extended hiatus! I've been gone since 2016 so if you needed me in the meantime, sorry. Feel free to ask me anything now though. ;)
Blaise170 wrote:Like I said it really comes down to how well you know electrical concepts. You can buy an AT socket for a few dollars on eBay, though I dont know which part number you would need to look for.

But is there a soarer firmware you can flash on that microcontroller with a couple of clicks?
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Unread postYesterday, 13:46

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looked into it and it looks easy as 1 2 3. There is a significant chance I am going to do it. ;)

Will these parts work, ohaimark?
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Unread postYesterday, 16:57

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