Chyros wrote: ↑
07 Jan 2019, 20:16
Gauntz wrote: ↑
06 Jan 2019, 21:06
I'm sorry if this is a question that comes up a lot, but is there a big difference between NOS Alps and 'reasonable condition then cleaned' Alps feel? I have been increasingly hyped to get a board after seeing Chyrosran's reviews, but I have this nagging fear that I'll be underwhelmed and end up always wondering if it could be better.
I should perhaps elaborate a little bit. I'm not saying ONLY clean Alps boards feel good.
I own several well-used, not-clean Alps boards that are fine. This includes my daily work driver, a ZKB-2 that wasn't clean at all (plate deeply rusted, dust and fluff present on and between the keys) and was well-used (caps yellowed and pretty shiny). My own, daily use for the last, what, 3 years, hasn't helped I'm sure. But still it feels fine. Conversely, I have a Z-150 that appears spotlessly clean but feels terrible, and doesn't even work properly; it's electrically buggered.
Not ONLY clean boards feel great, and not even all clean boards do. But the cleaner a board is, the better the chance of it feeling nice. And although a board can be dirty and used and feel great, even they feel just that 5% or so less perfect than a spotless, perfect, NOS one. Which can actually be a problem; I almost never use my KB-101A because I'm so afraid of wearing it out or damaging it somehow xD .
Could you describe the terrible feel of your Z-150? Are they scratchy? Have you opened some of the switches to see if there is any visible dirt or residue at the bottom of the switches? Regarding the electrical issues, what kind of converter are you using?
I'ver recently restored two Z-150s, including modding the SKCL green Alps switches in one of them with SKCM blue Alps top housings, sliders, springs, and click leaves and modding the other with the same parts from SKCM white Alps switches. I like the Z-150, but I prefer tactile or tactile-clicky switches to linear switches.
Iintially, I was getting all sorts of weird behavior from the Z-150s, including seemingly random missed keypresses or severe chattering. At first, I thought I had done a bad job modding the switches. It turned out that these aberrations were due to the Soarer's converter, which apparently does not work correctly with the Z-150. I switched to Hasu's converter, and this took care of the problem. The other variable is the converter board -- I had the Soarer converter on a Pro Micro, and now the Hasu converter is on a Teensy 2.0. I haven't yet tried a Pro Micro with Hasu's converter installed.
I'm typing this on a restored Leading Edge DC-2014 with an internal Orihalcon/Soarer converter on a Pro Micro, and it is working fine. Apprently, the protocol used by the DC-2014 is different from that used by the Z-150.
When I first put the DC-2014 back together, I didn't like the sound. It seems that the hollow plastic case amplifies the sound in such as way that it too loud and has a wooden timbre.
I actually prefer the sound of the disassembled DC-2014 with the PCB-Plate assembly sitting on top of a folded terricloth towel to protect my rubber keyboard-mouse mat from the switch pins protruding from the bottom of the PCB. This is the setup I use when testing the converter and switches.
So, I took the board apart again and lined the case with terricloth strips and padded shelf liner. The result is that nice "punch through the desk" sound that blue Alps switches make when housed in the right sort of chassis.
I am considering making a custom case for a Z-150 and a DC-2014 that would be minimalist -- something like a sandwhich or tray case with as little bezel as possible. In addition, when I use the stock cases, I would like to optimize the materials and procedure for the sound-absorbing liner. At present, installing the liner is a somewhat haphazard process using whatever materials I happen to have on hand.
You might as well use your wonderful Acer KB-101A board. Given that it was new when you acquired it, the switches should be good for the advertised duty cycle of 10 million keypresses!