Alps Appreciation

samuelcable

06 Mar 2019, 05:39

abrahamstechnology wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 05:35
Heck, why don't we do a group buy for a luggable with a nice Alps keyboard? Like the IBM 5140 but with modern hardware.
We are already doing tons of custom cases so why not take it up a notch?
Organizing gbs for a keyboard is already painful, i dont think such a niche hobby could do that for a computer. unless you mean modifiying the original ones :oops:

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abrahamstechnology

06 Mar 2019, 05:39

Oops, I meant to post that in the laptop thread. Sorry.

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Polecat

06 Mar 2019, 05:56

abrahamstechnology wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 05:35
Heck, why don't we do a group buy for a luggable with a nice Alps keyboard? Like the IBM 5140 but with modern hardware.
We are already doing tons of custom cases so why not take it up a notch?
Like this? Kaypro case, mini-AT motherboard, 9 inch mono VGA monitor, white Alps keyboard. Built a couple of these back in the '90s for remote data logging. Sorry for the dust; it's been sitting for a couple decades.
Attachments
DSCN9775.JPG
Luggable 386
DSCN9775.JPG (812.28 KiB) Viewed 1591 times

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abrahamstechnology

06 Mar 2019, 06:02

Polecat wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 05:56
abrahamstechnology wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 05:35
Heck, why don't we do a group buy for a luggable with a nice Alps keyboard? Like the IBM 5140 but with modern hardware.
We are already doing tons of custom cases so why not take it up a notch?
Like this? Kaypro case, mini-AT motherboard, 9 inch mono VGA monitor, white Alps keyboard. Built a couple of these back in the '90s for remote data logging. Sorry for the dust; it's been sitting for a couple decades.
Very nice!

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

06 Mar 2019, 06:05

ZedTheMan wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 01:03
Got an Omnikey 102 at last! I've got an OEMMAX Mac-105 with great condition Blue Alps that are just begging to be swapped into this thing. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I could do to spiff it up? https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3710001471
I can't tell from the link - but I hope you didn't pay $300 for that omnikey!!

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ZedTheMan

06 Mar 2019, 07:35

//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 06:05
ZedTheMan wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 01:03
Got an Omnikey 102 at last! I've got an OEMMAX Mac-105 with great condition Blue Alps that are just begging to be swapped into this thing. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I could do to spiff it up? https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3710001471

I can't tell from the link - but I hope you didn't pay $300 for that omnikey!!
Good Lord, no! I managed to haggle down to under $90 shipped. No worries, I am no sucker! More than I had hoped in the end to get an Omnikey for, but thanks to my MIGHTY selling thread, I've managed to scrounge the funds.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

06 Mar 2019, 07:40

Good stuff! Blue alps certainly sound very nice in this chassis - or any northgate chassis! Highly recommend if that's what you are considering! I'm about to do something similar with a 101!

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ZedTheMan

06 Mar 2019, 07:54

//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 07:40
Good stuff! Blue alps certainly sound very nice in this chassis - or any northgate chassis! Highly recommend if that's what you are considering! I'm about to do something similar with a 101!
Hey, on another note, do you know anywhere I can get a gold badge Northgate sticker, or be able to get a reproduction one? I wanna go all the way to make the best Omnikey 102 possible, with the blue Alps, sexy badge, AND including the N-key rollover and variety of dip switch options.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

06 Mar 2019, 08:04

Huh... it's like we have the same idea for our omnikey builds, hahaha. Though, mine will be an omnikey "102" hahaha.

As far as acquiring a badge, I don't know of any repro. badges that exist. You could always custom make one and have it printed off - I know there are name-tag services that would be able to print something on a gold badge. Like this:

https://www.nametagwizard.com/design/br ... -tag-1-x-3

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ZedTheMan

06 Mar 2019, 08:18

//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 08:04
Huh... it's like we have the same idea for our omnikey builds, hahaha. Though, mine will be an omnikey "102" hahaha.

As far as acquiring a badge, I don't know of any repro. badges that exist. You could always custom make one and have it printed off - I know there are name-tag services that would be able to print something on a gold badge. Like this:

https://www.nametagwizard.com/design/br ... -tag-1-x-3
Ooh, very nice site link! Do you have any image files available for a logo for this? Or will I have to make us one?

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

06 Mar 2019, 08:30

Yeah you'll have to make one. I actually have a gold badge for mine already =P I'd be interested in what you create, though!! I tried tracing one in adobe illustrator, but couldn't get a good pic of a badge on the internet. I'll take a close-up for you so you have a better start.

BTW I just realized the link I sent you has a 1"x3" dimension, so we'll have to find something else as that will be too big.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

06 Mar 2019, 08:34

Image

edit: tried to isolate just the text using not-so-advanced techniques...maybe it can provide a starting point for you!

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ZedTheMan

06 Mar 2019, 15:27

//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 08:34
Image

edit: tried to isolate just the text using not-so-advanced techniques...maybe it can provide a starting point for you!

Image
This will provide an excellent starting point, thank you!

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

13 Mar 2019, 01:31

ZedTheMan wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 15:27
//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 08:34
Image

edit: tried to isolate just the text using not-so-advanced techniques...maybe it can provide a starting point for you!

Image
This will provide an excellent starting point, thank you!
I'm no graphic artist but I know a job for SVG when I see one. Here's my attempt at a starting point. I took a photo and autotraced it in Inkscape.

Image

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ou1ww ... tfsMM7Cmiu

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

13 Mar 2019, 01:34

that looks phenomenal! Nicely done!

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ZedTheMan

13 Mar 2019, 01:41

snacksthecat wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 01:31
ZedTheMan wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 15:27
//gainsborough wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 08:34
Image

edit: tried to isolate just the text using not-so-advanced techniques...maybe it can provide a starting point for you!

Image
This will provide an excellent starting point, thank you!
I'm no graphic artist but I know a job for SVG when I see one. Here's my attempt at a starting point. I took a photo and autotraced it in Inkscape.

Image

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ou1ww ... tfsMM7Cmiu

Damn snacks, you did a great job as always! Should only take a couple of tweaks to be perfect.

Delirious

13 Mar 2019, 04:02

I was bored so here we go, please see attached

Omni03.JPG
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The gaps where I marked with color pens are spaced evenly if they are of the same colors. I took some liberty and decided that the slash should be evenly spaced as well.
Capture.JPG
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The corners are sharped and I'm not sure if they should be rounded or not, cant really tell from gains' picture and I sold my northgate.
Omni01.JPG
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Omni2.JPG
Omni2.JPG (68.26 KiB) Viewed 1312 times
https://www.dropbox.com/s/596dmev9p91ub ... O.dwg?dl=0

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

22 Mar 2019, 22:38

I did a thing.

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At some point when I get some free time, I'll make a post about my omnikey collection. For now, you guys get to enjoy these absolute potato pics

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ZedTheMan

22 Mar 2019, 22:51

//gainsborough wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 22:38
I did a thing.

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Image

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At some point when I get some free time, I'll make a post about my omnikey collection. For now, you guys get to enjoy these absolute potato pics

Nice job Gains!

My own Omnikey project has been put to the side until I can figure out what's wrong with it, firmware wise. Considering wiring the matrix to a teensy, actually.

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Hypersphere

22 Mar 2019, 22:55

@//gainsborough: Nice pics. Please follow up with explanations of what you did to the board. I'm also looking forward to your forthcoming post about your Omni collection. As you probably know from my posts, I am quite fond of Northgates, especially the US ANSI Omnikey 101.

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

22 Mar 2019, 22:59

Hypersphere wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 22:55
@//gainsborough: Nice pics. Please follow up with explanations of what you did to the board. I'm also looking forward to your forthcoming post about your Omni collection. As you probably know from my posts, I am quite fond of Northgates, especially the US ANSI Omnikey 101.
He installed some sort of trap door to hide buttons, among which appear to be:
  • release the hounds
  • trap door
  • ejector seat
  • dispense jelly beans

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

23 Mar 2019, 00:44

ZedTheMan wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 22:51
Nice job Gains!

My own Omnikey project has been put to the side until I can figure out what's wrong with it, firmware wise. Considering wiring the matrix to a teensy, actually.
Thanks, Zed! This particular project was on the sidelines for a bit as well, so I definitely can relate. It'll come together eventually!
Hypersphere wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 22:55
@//gainsborough: Nice pics. Please follow up with explanations of what you did to the board. I'm also looking forward to your forthcoming post about your Omni collection. As you probably know from my posts, I am quite fond of Northgates, especially the US ANSI Omnikey 101.
Great minds...

So basically this board is the joining of a DC 2214 and an omnikey 101 (and the badge from a beat up 102). The 2214 provided the blue alps and the ANSI doubleshot caps (save for the caps lock, which is the original omni101 caps lock) and the omni101 provided everything else. I painted the plate a gold color to match the badge as well. It sounds REALLY nice - like, second maybe only to the DC 3014 (which you may have noticed I stopped pestering you about, hehehe. Thanks again, Mike!). AE doubleshots and blue alps are the perfect match in my opinion.
snacksthecat wrote:
22 Mar 2019, 22:59
He installed some sort of trap door to hide buttons, among which appear to be:
  • release the hounds
  • trap door
  • ejector seat
  • dispense jelly beans
lol! Muffin button as well.

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adamcobabe

23 Mar 2019, 02:37

Interesting, what is the spacebar from?

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

23 Mar 2019, 02:47

adamcobabe wrote:
23 Mar 2019, 02:37
Interesting, what is the spacebar from?
Ahh yeah, that one, like caps lock, is part of the original cap set. Omnikeys use the double plunger stab as opposed to other vintage boards that just have one.


Also, as a side note, I had to cut the logo so that it would fit on the trap door of the 101. I was disappointed to learn it’s not a metal badge, it’s some kind of sticker =(

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Hypersphere

23 Mar 2019, 16:30

@//gainsborough: Thanks for the additional details. That Northgate spacebar is noticeably whiter than the other caps. I would probably have been inclined to keep all of the original keycaps on the board. Other than the color, how do the DC 2214 caps differ from the NG caps, and how do the DC 2214 caps differ from other DC caps?

I recently put a set of dye-sub PBT caps from an IBM P70 luggable computer keyboard on a NG 101. These IBM caps are extremely thin, but they suit the SKCM white (pine) Alps switches quite well (actually, these are orange-white hybrid switches). Because I generally don't like the gray mods found on many vintage Alps boards, I often replace them with blank black caps from Matias. The Matias 7u spacebars don't have plunger stabilizers, but they work just fine with just the wire stabilizer -- and there is no rattle.

Wazrach

23 Mar 2019, 18:38

Hypersphere wrote:
23 Mar 2019, 16:30
@//gainsborough: Thanks for the additional details. That Northgate spacebar is noticeably whiter than the other caps. I would probably have been inclined to keep all of the original keycaps on the board. Other than the color, how do the DC 2214 caps differ from the NG caps, and how do the DC 2214 caps differ from other DC caps?

I recently put a set of dye-sub PBT caps from an IBM P70 luggable computer keyboard on a NG 101. These IBM caps are extremely thin, but they suit the SKCM white (pine) Alps switches quite well (actually, these are orange-white hybrid switches). Because I generally don't like the gray mods found on many vintage Alps boards, I often replace them with blank black caps from Matias. The Matias 7u spacebars don't have plunger stabilizers, but they work just fine with just the wire stabilizer -- and there is no rattle.
Hi Hyper! I have a great condition ZKB-2 with Green Alps on the way, although it will be a while yet. I am thinking of maybe doing a click mod like you did to your Yellow Alps one. :o I have some quite deep-sounding pine White Alps in a Chicony that I could use.

I think I got a really good deal (£48.41 + international shipping). The seller said he cleaned the switches with an ultrasonic cleaner but could never get it to work, because he was using a Soarer-based converter. I'll just plug it into my PS/2 port. :D

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Hypersphere

23 Mar 2019, 22:10

@Wasrach: I think that my Zenith with yellow Alps that I click-modded was a 163-73 rather than a ZKB-2. The 163-73 accepts a Soarer's converter with no problem. I think that the ZKB-2 should also work with a Soarer's, especially if it is in AT mode.

The Z-150 is the one that definitely does not work well with Soarer's converter, but it will work with an internal Hasu converter.

Keep in mind that the sound of keyboards switch is highly dependent upon the chassis in which they are installed.

Looking forward to seeing a post from you on your ZKB-2 after it arrives.

Wazrach

23 Mar 2019, 22:48

Hypersphere wrote:
23 Mar 2019, 22:10
@Wasrach: I think that my Zenith with yellow Alps that I click-modded was a 163-73 rather than a ZKB-2. The 163-73 accepts a Soarer's converter with no problem. I think that the ZKB-2 should also work with a Soarer's, especially if it is in AT mode.

The Z-150 is the one that definitely does not work well with Soarer's converter, but it will work with an internal Hasu converter.

Keep in mind that the sound of keyboards switch is highly dependent upon the chassis in which they are installed.

Looking forward to seeing a post from you on your ZKB-2 after it arrives.
I definitely will! For a board that seems to be well-known, you don't hear much about it. It looks like Blue Alps get all the hype. ;)

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Drclick

17 Apr 2019, 06:45

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I got these two boards months ago, they are from HP R/332 Instrument Controller.
There are two varieties: undamped SKCM Creams and SKCM Blacks, like NeXT Non-ADB keyboards.
Creams have the "ALPS" logo on the top, pretty smooth and feel good to use, but Blacks feel a bit sandy.
I can't see any difference between these two with caps, so if you want to purchase one, make sure they are creams. :D

Lbibass

17 Apr 2019, 14:10

Drclick wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 06:45
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I got these two boards months ago, they are from HP R/332 Instrument Controller.
There are two varieties: undamped SKCM Creams and SKCM Blacks, like NeXT Non-ADB keyboards.
Creams have the "ALPS" logo on the top, pretty smooth and feel good to use, but Blacks feel a bit sandy.
I can't see any difference between these two with caps, so if you want to purchase one, make sure they are creams. :D

Holy crap. I had no idea that the HP Vectra Portable wasn't the only board with those caps. That's a great find!

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