Alps Appreciation

Hak Foo

09 Aug 2020, 21:03

Could you put the guts into a (modified) Matias housing and use a SMD LED below the switch?

shallot

09 Aug 2020, 21:45

I've had success removing broken stems from sliders by inserting a thin flathead screwdriver into the stem's hole and then prising out side-to-side.

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hellothere

10 Aug 2020, 00:09

shallot wrote:
09 Aug 2020, 21:45
I've had success removing broken stems from sliders by inserting a thin flathead screwdriver into the stem's hole and then prising out side-to-side.
I've used the smallest slotted/common/- jewler's screwdriver that I had to push down one side of the broken part, to make the broken part vertical -- if we're considering the broken part in the picture I stole is horizontal -- then I'd stick the screwdriver in the "hole" of the broken stem and lift it out. This worked out great on a 4-tab Alps clone keyboard of mine that had a few stems broken off: disassembling the switch without destroying it was a nightmare. Reassembly was basically impossible.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

13 Aug 2020, 02:04

I did some fun stuff with a dc-3014 of mine:

Spoiler:
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It's got SKCL cream alps as it's main switch type, then an SKCL grey for the spacebar. The PBT caps are from an AT101, then I put an IBM PC convertible label on it because I had it lying around, haha. I think it's cute!

I can hear what you're saying, though - you're saying: "My God, //gains, what have you done!? You removed the blue alps from a dc-3014!?

Well, yes..... but

Spoiler:
I already have one with blue alps, and I love this chassis so much I wanted to justify keeping it. Thus, the different switch type =)

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Polecat

13 Aug 2020, 02:56

Passed on two on ebay in the last year or so, $65 and $99. One just sold for $760, go figure! I'm happy with my 2214, replaced the white alphas with blues, just because I could.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

13 Aug 2020, 04:39

>_<

They are lovely keyboards! 760 is a pretty insane price though, holy cow. Mine weren't cheap either, but they weren't 760 expensive.

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Polecat

13 Aug 2020, 04:55

Yeah, I was surprised by that. Several bidders really wanted it, and apparently got their stimulus checks at just the right moment.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/124235746943

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

13 Aug 2020, 05:18

It is a nice board, given that its alps with ANSI layout. Still $760 is nearing beamspring territory.

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Chyros

13 Aug 2020, 09:31

Good-looking boards too, with a fantastically-sounding chassis and AE doubleshots. It's difficult to think of a better stock blue Alps board IMO xD .

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Hypersphere

16 Aug 2020, 00:23

@//gainsborough: Back in 2016, I discovered a Leading Edge DC-3014 that had white Alps switches. It seems to have been stock and not Frankenswitched.

@Chyros: Agree! I also like the DC-2014 -- I like the form factor and general aesthetic, but I have some trouble typing on its particular layout. Here are some pics of the lovely PCB and its stately array of bare blue switches:
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Polecat

16 Aug 2020, 01:37

Hypersphere wrote:
16 Aug 2020, 00:23
@//gainsborough: Back in 2016, I discovered a Leading Edge DC-3014 that had white Alps switches. It seems to have been stock and not Frankenswitched.
The DC-2214 definitely came both ways. I have examples of both in the database. As with the Northgates there doesnt seem to be an exact break by serial number. It's very likely the 3014 came with blue and white switches too.

The Leading Edge keyboards came with their computers. Not something you could buy separately in a computer store. It would be interesting to dig out some old ads to see which keyboard(s) came with which computer, and if the 2214 and 3014 were concurrent?. Some had a DIN5 straight plug, some a 90 degree DIN5, and some came with a PS/2 plug. Leading Edge had many different non-Alps keyboards also, of course.

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E3E

16 Aug 2020, 01:51

Polecat wrote:
16 Aug 2020, 01:37
The DC-2214 definitely came both ways. I have examples of both in the database. As with the Northgates there doesnt seem to be an exact break by serial number. It's very likely the 3014 came with blue and white switches too.

The Leading Edge keyboards came with their computers. Not something you could buy separately in a computer store. It would be interesting to dig out some old ads to see which keyboard(s) came with which computer, and if the 2214 and 3014 were concurrent?. Some had a DIN5 straight plug, some a 90 degree DIN5, and some came with a PS/2 plug. Leading Edge had many different non-Alps keyboards also, of course.
Yes, the DC-3014 has also been documented with Alps SKCM White too. There was one that was sold on eBay as NOS that turned out to be whites, which no one expected.

They're almost like inverse in terms of which of the two switches are more common for each board. The 2214 definitely is mostly white, whereas you're most often going to get blues from 3014s.

I've not seen the variation in plugs much. My 3014s and 2014s had 90 degree DIN-5, and the 2214 I have has a straight PS/2 connector.

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doomsday_device

17 Aug 2020, 22:00

chicony kb-5161AT with skcl green. features full nkro and it is a picky bitch. have to boot with another AT keyboard, then plug it in to make it work. plan to convert it. really cool board. notice the styrofoam still sticking to the pcb.
last picture with blue alps brother
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wanderhoden

18 Aug 2020, 11:54

my new board is so wierd dont even know where to start ...
the name of the board? dunno! Kernel? 2Kernel? LKernel? IIKernel!?
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than the layout i mean its cool got an big ass enter key but to make room they shifted the keys a bit ...thats fine keys are now there where the win key would be in future but why the hell they mixd it up to ? oh and some room for the left shift key...than its an german layout öäü all the good stuff ...but the keys are named in english^^ what is ctrl!?! that calls man Strg!
and whats wrong with the keycaps!?some are double shot some are not xD but ey 2 stabilizer for the big ass enterkey
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grey switchplate
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the chasi is thin plastic but the metal plate its painted
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amigastar23

18 Aug 2020, 17:11

I got my SKBM White Alps Switches today and i can confirm that the white slider indeed works with SKCM White Alps.

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Polecat

19 Aug 2020, 05:23

wanderhoden wrote:
18 Aug 2020, 11:54
my new board is so wierd dont even know where to start ...
the name of the board? dunno! Kernel? 2Kernel? LKernel? IIKernel!?

than the layout i mean its cool got an big ass enter key but to make room they shifted the keys a bit ...thats fine keys are now there where the win key would be in future but why the hell they mixd it up to ? oh and some room for the left shift key...than its an german layout öäü all the good stuff ...but the keys are named in english^^ what is ctrl!?! that calls man Strg!
and whats wrong with the keycaps!?some are double shot some are not xD but ey 2 stabilizer for the big ass enterkey

the chasi is thin plastic but the metal plate its painted
Nice find! The FCC ID says Meng Chieng Trading Company. Only two products attributed to them - this keyboard and an 84 key version, probably an AT clone. The layout was used on some Focus, Monterey, and DTK keyboards.

wanderhoden

21 Aug 2020, 17:21

finishd cleaning...retobright...soft clean on the switches ...decent keyboard again ;)
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Reimu64

23 Aug 2020, 22:42

About a month ago, I posted this teasing to do an Alps build. Well, here's that. It's also my first ever keyboard build, so I made a few mistakes (i.e. crooked switches as seen + mismatched keycaps). Still satisfied with though. Alps switches are bloody awesome!
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mcmaxmcmc

24 Aug 2020, 15:03

ntv242 wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 10:06
Are those really alps?
Should be the General Electric SKCC, yeah. Something like that.

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zrrion

24 Aug 2020, 16:23

Yeah, that's GI SKCC. It is rarer, but not all that different from ALPS SKCC. I have some nos and they're nice.

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zrrion

28 Aug 2020, 07:32

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Was able to get the missing keycaps for this with some help from Bass, the black thing is an insert from Bass's board, not really sure what it is for, but it looks super cool. I got really lucky and the yellowing matches between the 2 boards so I don't have to worry about retrobriting

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ppCircle

30 Aug 2020, 21:47

So, few days ago i manage to buy 2 keyboards, one of them was Fame TH-5539-5 with genuine skcm pine alps switches. All i found was 5539-5 were found only with clones or aruz switches so there it is. It's also really early model, no.0004157.

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More pictures:
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wanderhoden

31 Aug 2020, 07:49

nice find! those keycaps are thic wounder how they sound ^^

mode1ace

31 Aug 2020, 09:09

What the hell happened to that thing? Lucky none of those thick "cherry" keycaps are damaged.

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hellothere

25 Sep 2020, 00:09

Spoiler:
AEKII.png
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Apple Extended Keyboard II. Alps cream damped. Not a very artsy picture, but I think the condition of the keyboard makes up for it.

So, after having four or five Alps clone keyboards come to me, I now have three Alps: this one, a Chicony with SKCM pine white Alps, and a cool-looking terminal keyboard from Cumulus with SKCL yellow (and a grey Alps for the spacebar).

I really liked the Matias Ergo feel, although I'm not a fan of ergo layouts. I really, really like the AEKII, but I've set myself a rule to only have three keyboards. Well, I only sell one or two a week, so it has time to impress me :D.

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Jesseg

25 Sep 2020, 00:51

hellothere wrote:
25 Sep 2020, 00:09
Spoiler:
AEKII.png
Apple Extended Keyboard II. Alps cream damped. Not a very artsy picture, but I think the condition of the keyboard makes up for it.

So, after having four or five Alps clone keyboards come to me, I now have three Alps: this one, a Chicony with SKCM pine white Alps, and a cool-looking terminal keyboard from Cumulus with SKCL yellow (and a grey Alps for the spacebar).

I really liked the Matias Ergo feel, although I'm not a fan of ergo layouts. I really, really like the AEKII, but I've set myself a rule to only have three keyboards. Well, I only sell one or two a week, so it has time to impress me :D.
That thing looks pristine!

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hellothere

25 Sep 2020, 01:18

It's also pretty clean on the inside. I've been lucky to get boards that are in pretty good shape. The non-IBM keyboards I get mainly just have dirty keycaps and/or are various shades of yellow, rather than having broken keys or other physical problems -- except when I'm specifically buying a known bad keyboard.

Here's the Cumulus:
Spoiler:
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Which I got expressly because it looks cool, rather than because of great condition. The keycaps are double-shot grey/raspberry. I have a couple replacement keys coming in, but they're grey with black lettering.

I don't have pics of the Chicony. It's beyond banana yellow and the keys are bindy and scratchy. I just finished removing all the switches, which was made more difficult because someone removed some and resoldered them with bent contacts.

I'll be testing the AEK for at least a week to see if there are any problems. The delete key sounds a little off, but it's working. I want to be sure there isn't any key chatter.

Hanslau

25 Sep 2020, 14:06

Does replacing the keycaps risk "dirtying" the switches?

Just got a modified blue Alps keyboard, so crisp and smooth. I switched only the numpad and arrow keycaps with TaiHao Dolch keycaps.

Now when using I realize the keys with the new keycaps feel scratchy, unsmooth. I knew alps were not dust tolerant but just from a keycaps switch? However the keys on the Home, Insert and Scroll Lock sections also feel kinda scratchy, but not to the extent of the TaiHao keys.

So is it just some major coincidence, or did I fck up by changing the keycaps?

mode1ace

25 Sep 2020, 22:48

probably a coincidence, though if the tai haos are a bit taller than the original keycaps then that will make the scratchyness more apparent.

Give then a clean, you can take the switch tops off with toothpicks, separate out the parts and brush out the dust from the switch tops, they'll be much improved for it. It's a tedious task but well worth doing.

Chyrosran22's guide is decent https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... BSWbSz25vI

ntv242ver2

26 Sep 2020, 11:42

Dont think alps are that super sensitive to dust. Still i would also rec to put time in cleaning at least the top housing and the stem. It is beneficial in general anyways

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