Guess The Project

User avatar
Halvar

10 Aug 2013, 13:38

Oh no, Mr Interface follows the lure of the college kids money path, joins the dark side and founds his own novelty keycap business!

User avatar
Mrinterface

10 Aug 2013, 13:48

Halvar wrote:Oh no, Mr Interface follows the lure of the college kids money path, joins the dark side and founds his own novelty keycap business!
Not caps.

Adapters.

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Aug 2013, 13:57

But won't someone pleeeeease think of the skulls!

This adapter should open up a world of dyesubbed IBM goodness for modern Cherry boards. But naturally I'm the odd one out who wants to put tall profile SA caps on his IBMs!

Are cap adapters like lens adapters on SLR cameras? Canon has the deepest bodies, so its lenses are the easiest to put on other makers' cameras: with a simple metal adapter. Nikon is a few mm thinner, so Canon lenses work easy enough on those, but not vice versa. Minolta had the shallowest bodies, so its lenses were always bloody useless (unless you used an "active adapter" with its own optics and image quality issues).

TL;DR are some adapters easier to make than others? And are some adapters downright impractical?

At least caps don't require chipping to maintain autofocus.
Last edited by Muirium on 10 Aug 2013, 13:58, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mrinterface

10 Aug 2013, 13:58

Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 1.57.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 1.57.33 PM.png (34.93 KiB) Viewed 1810 times

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Aug 2013, 14:02

Don't forget these!
Image
The Honeywell order will be small but sweet!

mr_a500

10 Aug 2013, 15:35

nathanscribe wrote:
mr_a500 wrote:Get a Kaypro II - they're much nicer.
I only heard of these a few days ago when I was watching this:
Apparently the Kaypro II ran the editing software.
Excellent - now I can finally have a useful purpose for my Kaypros.

Mrinterface wrote: Here ya go.... Tell me if it worked out with your wife ;-)
She wasn't nearly as impressed as she should have been.

User avatar
Mrinterface

10 Aug 2013, 15:53

Adapter_proto.png
Adapter_proto.png (32.6 KiB) Viewed 1789 times

User avatar
Halvar

10 Aug 2013, 16:29

This looks like it's supposed to be an adapter for Model M keycaps on Cherry MX switches, although I would expect the stem to be much shorter for that, and slanted for most rows.

I stll have no idea what kind of cap "Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 1.57.33 PM" is meant for, or any of the other recent screenshots.

User avatar
Mrinterface

10 Aug 2013, 16:41

Halvar wrote:This looks like it's supposed to be an adapter for Model M keycaps on Cherry MX switches, although I would expect the stem to be much shorter for that, and slanted for most rows.

I stll have no idea what kind of cap "Screen Shot 2013-08-10 at 1.57.33 PM" is meant for, or any of the other recent screenshots.
That was an early prototype..

They are all adapters.

Working on Cherry to Alps, Alps to cherry, IBM to cherry, IBM to alps

EDIT : now seriously contemplating Blender for 3D modelling.....

User avatar
Muirium
µ

10 Aug 2013, 21:01

These will all be magic!

I bet there's real interest in matching Cherry mount caps to less common switch types. Topre needs some custom love, and I dream of sphericals on my buckling spring.

But all combinations are great news. You know how it is for all of us. So many caps, so many switches, but how to use them both together!? Here's how!

User avatar
Halvar

10 Aug 2013, 23:40

MX caps on Mathias and topre switches -- you will be a rock star! :ugeek:

mintberryminuscrunch

11 Aug 2013, 00:40

Halvar wrote:MX caps on Mathias and topre switches -- you will be a rock star! :ugeek:
topre should be really easy compared to ALPS
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=28983.0

User avatar
Halvar

11 Aug 2013, 10:03

An adapter for using topre keycaps on MX switches might be easy, but what you really want is the opposite ... ;-)

User avatar
Muirium
µ

11 Aug 2013, 13:27

Exactly! MX has the caps. Where is Round 4 for buckling spring? Or DSA Retro for Topre! With adapters these and other dreams come true.

The problem I can think of is the physical dimensions of the Cherry mount. That cylinder surely must be added to the overall height for an IBM converter! I could handle that but it will need to be seen to be believed! And MX caps on Topre: I need to scrutinise some caps and think it through. There's material properties of the adapter's own plastic to consider too.

The good news is that Honeywell caps have HUGE mounts so putting them on Cherry MX should be perfectly plausible! Same for IBM caps, for which Mr. Interface already has a good looking adapter on the drawing board.

User avatar
nathanscribe

11 Aug 2013, 18:50

What about the curve of the backplate though? Aren't IBM's plates curved, but Cherry plates flat? The profile of the keys would then be different, I'm guessing more scooped, unless the adapters took this into consideration and re-angled the caps to suit.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

11 Aug 2013, 19:04

There's a lot of variables, all right! IBM caps are flatter, thanks to the curved plate dealing with all that, and would feel something like DSA on a Cherry board.

But going the opposite direction, the problem would spring up: what to do with highly sculpted caps, like the function row? You'd get double the row profile! Inclined caps + inclined plate. And an angle adapter provably couldn't fix the entire effect, if my imagination is right. Those highly sculpted rows have very different caps.
Image
Put those on a curve and see if you reckon an angled adapter could fix it. I don't think so.

The solution is to use a regular profile set of caps. DSA is ideal, or SA or DCS caps all of a neutral profile. Rules out a lot of sets, of course, but better than nothing by a long way.

User avatar
nathanscribe

11 Aug 2013, 22:06

Hmm, so are you proposing an adapter that will take a 'universal' keycap and adapt it to specific types of keyswitch?

The problem with using existing Cherry-profile (or similar contoured) caps on a curved plane is exactly what you've described above - that angled adapters would not correct for the angle of descent of the keypress, only for the angle of the cap on top. So there'd be an inherent lack of support via an adapter for most existing Cherry-compatible caps.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

User avatar
Muirium
µ

11 Aug 2013, 23:16

No, you're spot on. It's a tricky problem!

DSA profile MX is the closest thing we have to universal caps right now. They're uniform across all rows, and Matt3o and others have made some fine GBs in those lately. If we could buy adapters to fit them on Topre, Alps / Matias, or IBM buckling springs, I think Mr. Interface would find himself a lot of business!

IBM's curved plates require uniform profile. But even flat plate Cherry boards like Filcos and Pokers work very nicely with flat DSA. If we can adapt it for Matias or Topre, we will!

User avatar
nathanscribe

11 Aug 2013, 23:42

Does the Wiki have details/pics of these named families (SA, DCS, DSA)? I couldn't find any... just a couple of mentions.

User avatar
Halvar

11 Aug 2013, 23:48

So in fact the three that would really be interesting are:

1) MX keycaps on Alps boards
2) MX keycaps on Topre boards
3) Unprofiled MX keycaps (eg DSA) on BS bords

These adapters seem all seem impossible without adding several mms of height... #3 might be the one with the lowest additional height if I'm not mistaken...

The technical alternative would of course be to use a universal keycap system similar to the old BS keycaps, where the keycap is really just a thin shell, and place an adapter (or rather: second part) under it for every kind of keycap. Maybe that's what MrInterface is trying to do? But given the huge market dominance of MX nowadays I don't see this coming true any time soon... MX users won't want to pay a premium for universally fitting caps...

User avatar
Halvar

11 Aug 2013, 23:50

@nathanscribe: these are in fact all Signature Plastics families, see here:

http://keycapsdirect.com/key-caps.php
Last edited by Halvar on 12 Aug 2013, 00:34, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nathanscribe

12 Aug 2013, 00:28

Ah, excellent, thanks! :)

User avatar
Muirium
µ

12 Aug 2013, 00:49

Halvar wrote:So in fact the three that would really be interesting are:

1) MX keycaps on Alps boards
2) MX keycaps on Topre boards
3) Unprofiled MX keycaps (eg DSA) on BS bords

These adapters seem all seem impossible without adding several mms of height... #3 might be the one with the lowest additional height if I'm not mistaken...
MX caps are the big supply. Largely thanks to Signature Plastics, indeed. I hold HHKB caps in high regard (PBT dyesubbed in Helvetica! Just like classic IBM…) but a quick glance at group buys tells you exactly where all the action is.

Yet MX caps are a pain to adapt because of the size of their mount. Every mm in the Z dimension really counts, and MX caps add several. So yes, adaptation from MX looks harder to do well than to it.
The technical alternative would of course be to use a universal keycap system similar to the old BS keycaps, where the keycap is really just a thin shell, and place an adapter (or rather: second part) under it for every kind of keycap. Maybe that's what MrInterface is trying to do? But given the huge market dominance of MX nowadays I don't see this coming true any time soon... MX users won't want to pay a premium for universally fitting caps...
I think Mr. Interface has more sensible objectives just now than our plans for world domination! Namely: BS to MX adapters. IBM caps are indeed the closest thing to an ideal "universal cap". And, so long as you can find them, they're actually pretty nice. Their design is certainly more sensible than the MX ones we find ourselves all tangled up about; causing 7bit and others row-specific and offset stem nightmares!

But the real interest is in Cherry caps, as we agree; they're a tougher nut to crack.

User avatar
Mrinterface

26 Aug 2013, 12:11

Having problems with selecting the best tool.....

Tinkercad too limited
123D design keeps crashing on me
Freecad not intuitive enough, but it features constraints : very handy....
Blender not really setup for design work like this
Viacad2D3D looks promising
Sketchup looks promising

This was done using sketchup :
Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 12.08.34.png
Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 12.08.34.png (52.96 KiB) Viewed 1610 times

User avatar
Muirium
µ

26 Aug 2013, 12:20

Looks like I ought to consider Sketchup. Dimensions mean a lot to a double-checking klutz like me!

User avatar
Mrinterface

26 Aug 2013, 14:08

Intermediate results.

The fact that I have a 3D printer to approach this in an agile way so I can iron out the errors immediately is of course excellent!
MX alignment.JPG
MX alignment.JPG (531.39 KiB) Viewed 1599 times
Alignment wrong...
IBM_nubs.JPG
IBM_nubs.JPG (342.44 KiB) Viewed 1599 times
Need nub cut-outs....

User avatar
Muirium
µ

26 Aug 2013, 14:17

Oops! But rapid prototyping is definitely the way to go.

Are you happy with the way your MX mount attaches to the switch? I see them with little chamfers which seem to vary between different caps, but can't see the exact shape of yours. Are they difficult to pull off?

User avatar
Mrinterface

26 Aug 2013, 15:21

Muirium wrote:Oops! But rapid prototyping is definitely the way to go.

Are you happy with the way your MX mount attaches to the switch? I see them with little chamfers which seem to vary between different caps, but can't see the exact shape of yours. Are they difficult to pull off?
The MX mounts are still under development. A.t.m. they are not a tight fit, but I'm very close....

User avatar
Mrinterface

26 Aug 2013, 19:51

Argh.....

It seems sketchup is not really suited for delicate non-90 degrees work.... If you just have simple designs it's perfect, but go anywhere complicated and you are in for some nasty surprises.... ( Try and cut a hole on an angular non-90 degree surface ..... )

User avatar
tlt

26 Aug 2013, 20:41

I tried a little and it wasn't easy but I managed to do something like that by using the arc tool to draw an circle edge and cut it out.

Edit: that does not actually work. But I made a cylinder and put it where I wanted the hole and than right clicked the surface and chose the "intersect with model" option this gets me edges on the right paces so that I can remove the necessary surfaces.
Last edited by tlt on 26 Aug 2013, 21:04, edited 3 times in total.

Post Reply

Return to “Off-topic”