Alps Appreciation

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Polecat

26 Jul 2020, 21:23

mode1ace wrote:
26 Jul 2020, 20:00
I went for https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Datacomp-DFK ... 2749.l2649

Will probably convert it to USB if I can with a teensy in the case, we'll see. Amazingly this is my first white clicky alps board, I've got blue, amber, salmon, orange, white damped, cream damped and green, but this'll be my first white board.

Didn't realise they could come with doubleshots, it's rare to find a board with non-terrible caps with a straight pc UK-ISO AT-102 layout.
Nice find! Very clean, and from the mold numbers (5x/6x?) those look like very early white Alps switches, not long after the change from blues.

mode1ace

26 Jul 2020, 22:17

Polecat wrote:
26 Jul 2020, 21:23
Nice find! Very clean, and from the mold numbers (5x/6x?) those look like very early white Alps switches, not long after the change from blues.
I'm really curious to 1-2 test them next to my blue and amber boards, if they are to blues as salmons are to oranges I'll be quite happy with the board.

User avatar
Reimu64

28 Jul 2020, 17:52

This beauty just arrived today! It's going to be a while for another keyboard to top this.
Image
It's not a complete board; just a plate with the switches and keycaps, so it doesn't work. But hell, I love Alps now...I'm itching do an Alps build soon haha

User avatar
zrrion

28 Jul 2020, 18:06

I saw that board but they didn't ship to where i live, nice to see its in good hands!

User avatar
ddrfraser1

28 Jul 2020, 18:52

Reimu64 wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 17:52
This beauty just arrived today! It's going to be a while for another keyboard to top this.
Image
It's not a complete board; just a plate with the switches and keycaps, so it doesn't work. But hell, I love Alps now...I'm itching do an Alps build soon haha
Looking forward to seeing the final product!

User avatar
amigastar23

29 Jul 2020, 09:52

Hello there,

i just bought an ARC-Monterey-K102-K101-ISO-vintage-keyboard-SKCM-White-Alps and it has from what i know 2key rollover, does this mean only through USB or PS/2 connection also. I've thought PS/2 connection has nkeyrollover?
maybe someone can clarify this to me.
I haven't received the Keyboard yet, thats why i'm asking.
Also how close are white alps to blue alps? I would love to get a blue alps Keyboard but they are a little bit too expensive, will i be still happy with white alps?

thanks

User avatar
Chyros

29 Jul 2020, 15:33

PS/2 is not inherently NKRO, it'll be 2KRO over either connection.

User avatar
amigastar23

29 Jul 2020, 15:42

Hey Chyros,

guess what i bought an Alps Keyboard only because your Videos introduced me to the wonderful world of good switches.
Can i use
Keyboard -> Passive AT-PS/2 adapter -> PS/2-USB adapter -> Computer
i suppose yes, right? Or is there an AT-USB adapter available also?
thx

User avatar
ddrfraser1

29 Jul 2020, 15:55

amigastar23 wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 15:42
Hey Chyros,

guess what i bought an Alps Keyboard only because your Videos introduced me to the wonderful world of good switches.
Can i use
Keyboard -> Passive AT-PS/2 adapter -> PS/2-USB adapter -> Computer
i suppose yes, right? Or is there an AT-USB adapter available also?
thx
I usually get something like this and then pair it with a ps2 to usb converter.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Din-5-Female-t ... 0005.m1851

User avatar
amigastar23

29 Jul 2020, 16:10

@ddrfraser1
yeah, thats what i been also thinking of.

User avatar
amigastar23

30 Jul 2020, 00:44

Quick question,
I've read that the ps/2 to usb adapter has to be an active converter.
Is this true and what is an active converter if it's indeed needed?

User avatar
Polecat

30 Jul 2020, 05:50

amigastar23 wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 00:44
Quick question,
I've read that the ps/2 to usb adapter has to be an active converter.
Is this true and what is an active converter if it's indeed needed?
An active converter has electronics inside. A passive one is just a pin adapter, with wires between the two connectors. You'll definitely need an active converter to run a pre-USB keyboard on a USB port. Only later model keyboards with internal USB support will run on a passive converter. USB didn't come out until 1996 or so, and a Monterey K101/102 definitely predates that.

My personal opinion, and it's only that, is that very early white Alps switches are indistinguishable from blues. I have two matching pairs of keyboards with whites and blues, and one of those just happens to be Monterey K102. (The other is gold label Northgate 102). I would challenge anyone to tell the difference between blues and whites on either of these without pulling a keycap.

User avatar
amigastar23

30 Jul 2020, 09:10

@Polecat
Interesting, thank you for the information.
Sounds good.

User avatar
hellothere

30 Jul 2020, 19:26

I have become an official Alps keyboard owner. I already have a grey 4-tab clone, a green 4-tab clone, and a Matias ergo. I'm getting a Focus 8000 with white Alps next week. I'll try to follow Chyros' video on cleaning Alps keys.

User avatar
Chyros

31 Jul 2020, 00:44

hellothere wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 19:26
I have become an official Alps keyboard owner. I already have a grey 4-tab clone, a green 4-tab clone, and a Matias ergo. I'm getting a Focus 8000 with white Alps next week. I'll try to follow Chyros' video on cleaning Alps keys.
Get one that doesn't need cleaning. My video is only intended for boards that are already dirty. Never buy Alps dirty if given a choice.

User avatar
amigastar23

31 Jul 2020, 01:16

hellothere wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 19:26
I have become an official Alps keyboard owner. I already have a grey 4-tab clone, a green 4-tab clone, and a Matias ergo. I'm getting a Focus 8000 with white Alps next week. I'll try to follow Chyros' video on cleaning Alps keys.
Anyways congrats, i'm also an official Alps owner, waiting to arrive in the mail.
White Alps are a good alternative to enter the Club.

User avatar
hellothere

31 Jul 2020, 01:42

amigastar23 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:16
hellothere wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 19:26
I have become an official Alps keyboard owner. I already have a grey 4-tab clone, a green 4-tab clone, and a Matias ergo. I'm getting a Focus 8000 with white Alps next week. I'll try to follow Chyros' video on cleaning Alps keys.
I've looked up the Focus FK-8000 and it nowhere says that it has white Alps. Just curious.
wiki/Focus_FK-8000
Anyways congrats, i'm also an official Alps owner, waiting to arrive in the mail.
I did see a pic and it did look like white Alps. I definitely have been wrong before, but it was inexpensive and I think I could resell for the same amount or higher.

User avatar
amigastar23

31 Jul 2020, 01:45

hellothere wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:42
amigastar23 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:16
hellothere wrote:
30 Jul 2020, 19:26
I have become an official Alps keyboard owner. I already have a grey 4-tab clone, a green 4-tab clone, and a Matias ergo. I'm getting a Focus 8000 with white Alps next week. I'll try to follow Chyros' video on cleaning Alps keys.
I've looked up the Focus FK-8000 and it nowhere says that it has white Alps. Just curious.
wiki/Focus_FK-8000
Anyways congrats, i'm also an official Alps owner, waiting to arrive in the mail.
I did see a pic and it did look like white Alps. I definitely have been wrong before, but it was inexpensive and I think I could resell for the same amount or higher.
Let's hope you get White Alps, was just curious.

User avatar
hellothere

31 Jul 2020, 01:48

Thx. I have no problems sharing both victories and defeats :D.

Sturmtiger001

31 Jul 2020, 05:20

BadCrab wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 01:17
That is a great board and looks to be in good condition, too. Dig the layout with capslock pushed to the right of the spacebar, so weird.
It's a very funky sorta "pre-model-m" kinda layout going on, I like to call it "Zenith-XT" despite it not really having an official name, I can see some benefits to the layout but yeah it really is a wonky thing. Though after using it for a little bit I have to say it isn't the worst thing ever.

mode1ace

31 Jul 2020, 18:49

DFK192 arrived today, it’s rather exellent! metal mounting plate, n-key rollover with individual switch diodes and the case is really solid. Condition is flawless, borderline NOS other than a scratch on the backspace and some superficial dirt.
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kelvinhall05

31 Jul 2020, 19:29

Bought a Wang 725-3770 a few weeks ago for 80 USD + shipping (thankfully quite cheap because eBay GSP). It looked to be in alright shape, not too hard to restore. Sadly don't have any good pics of before restoration.

The day I got it I did all the work on it. Took me about four hours to clean keycaps, case, desolder switches, sand and repaint plate, and reassemble everything. Switches (SKCM Salmon) feel pretty clean (very smooth, no binding) and I peeked inside one and found almost no dust, so I didn't bother cleaning them. Keycaps were nasty but cleaned up nicely. Case wasn't too bad, but I think it's a teeny bit yellowed (won't bother fixing for now).

Pic of plate before paint (but after desoldering and cleaning in the sink):
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Plate after painting and switches soldered:
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Keycaps on (they aren't yellowed, my lighting just makes it look like that:
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Finished board (also not yellowed, same shit lighting):
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I really love the numpad, with the awesome amber lock LEDs (SKCL yellow, not green) and the calm blue sublegends. Very nice:
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Built a converter with a cheap RJ12 cable and a Pro Micro running Soarer's firmware and it works great. Beeper is fun to listen to :)

mode1ace

31 Jul 2020, 19:51

Noice, I'd love the ISO version some day, I keep an ebay watch on it. The light blue legends on the numpad just look so nice.

kelvinhall05

31 Jul 2020, 20:33

mode1ace wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 19:51
Noice, I'd love the ISO version some day, I keep an ebay watch on it. The light blue legends on the numpad just look so nice.
Oh yeah, it's quite a pretty board I'd say.

User avatar
ddrfraser1

31 Jul 2020, 21:43

Nice! I agree. I bought one of those last year. Mine’s got clickified black alps as the tactility wasn’t so hot with the stock switches. Feels great now. One of my favorite parts is the subtle beeper. It’s a nice unobtrusive thock.
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kelvinhall05

31 Jul 2020, 21:51

ddrfraser1 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 21:43
Nice! I agree. I bought one of those last year. Mine’s got clickified black alps as the tactility wasn’t so hot with the stock switches. Feels great now. One of my favorite parts is the subtle beeper. It’s a nice unobtrusive thock.

C9A97B97-641B-41E2-A2CE-41CC68B3A5E6.jpeg
Very nice :)

How is the Xerox going?

User avatar
ddrfraser1

31 Jul 2020, 22:14

kelvinhall05 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 21:51
ddrfraser1 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 21:43
Nice! I agree. I bought one of those last year. Mine’s got clickified black alps as the tactility wasn’t so hot with the stock switches. Feels great now. One of my favorite parts is the subtle beeper. It’s a nice unobtrusive thock.

C9A97B97-641B-41E2-A2CE-41CC68B3A5E6.jpeg
Very nice :)

How is the Xerox going?
Thanks.

Well my powder coat guy is moving his shop so that has put things on hold for a bit. my next step is to assemble the innards but can't do it until the plate gets powder coated. I also took the time to build a workbench. Now that that's done I can figure out the case.

However, on that note, The case is warped in places and broken in one spot. It's SUPER difficult to work with such a large piece of aluminum. So I'm either going to make due, or start from scratch and build it out of walnut. Haven't decided yet.

kelvinhall05

31 Jul 2020, 22:49

ddrfraser1 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 22:14
kelvinhall05 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 21:51
ddrfraser1 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 21:43
Nice! I agree. I bought one of those last year. Mine’s got clickified black alps as the tactility wasn’t so hot with the stock switches. Feels great now. One of my favorite parts is the subtle beeper. It’s a nice unobtrusive thock.

C9A97B97-641B-41E2-A2CE-41CC68B3A5E6.jpeg
Very nice :)

How is the Xerox going?
Thanks.

Well my powder coat guy is moving his shop so that has put things on hold for a bit. my next step is to assemble the innards but can't do it until the plate gets powder coated. I also took the time to build a workbench. Now that that's done I can figure out the case.

However, on that note, The case is warped in places and broken in one spot. It's SUPER difficult to work with such a large piece of aluminum. So I'm either going to make due, or start from scratch and build it out of walnut. Haven't decided yet.
Either way I am looking forward to an update and to see it done 👍

User avatar
hellothere

01 Aug 2020, 23:56

amigastar23 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:45
hellothere wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:42
amigastar23 wrote:
31 Jul 2020, 01:16

I've looked up the Focus FK-8000 and it nowhere says that it has white Alps. Just curious.
wiki/Focus_FK-8000
Anyways congrats, i'm also an official Alps owner, waiting to arrive in the mail.
I did see a pic and it did look like white Alps. I definitely have been wrong before, but it was inexpensive and I think I could resell for the same amount or higher.
Let's hope you get White Alps, was just curious.
I can say that I'm the owner of a keyboard that has Alps switches. Well, three of them. SKCL yellow for the three lock keys. The rest of the keys are quite probably wiki/Alps.tw_Type_OA2. It does also have the Futaba lock switch for the calculator.

It's not much, but I'm happy :D.

User avatar
amigastar23

05 Aug 2020, 14:10

Got my ARC - Monterey K102 Keyboard today, very nice with white alps.

Although it's a little bit hard to press since i'm used to lighter switches i like it , it even has 6key rollover.
very nice.
i just don't know if the keys are stiff because they are used or if the white alps are really that hard to press.

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