Your Most Reliable / Least Reliable Keyboards?

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07 Dec 2019, 02:33

I think that somebody (Ripster perhaps?) posted a photo years ago with a Model M or F with caps in tatters like that.

This one only had a hole in Enter and near holes in spacebar and something else, maybe Tab. I stripped it for the chassis, of which Northgate is simply the pinnacle.


07 Dec 2019, 04:52

XMIT wrote:
07 Dec 2019, 02:14
elecplus claimed that there were data entry folks who would wear through the PBT key caps of old Model Ms.
I wonder if long nails are the cause.

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07 Dec 2019, 15:30

My gf's old R40 Thinkpad has keys that aren't entirely worn through but many of them have "craters" and are missing their legends. It's still lying around somewhere, I might take a photo at some point. She has long nails, so there may be something in it. I don't, because it's irritating and I'm clumsy enough as it is.

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07 Dec 2019, 17:15

Claws will do that. Ouch!

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08 Dec 2019, 01:47

Least that I personally own: a few complicated Alps boards. Although I'd wager those Apple butterfly things in the 2016+ MacBook Pros could beat Alps in the unreliability department, maybe even foam and foil. Thankfully I don't own any of those personally.

Most: NMB dome and slider, a couple of my more abused Cherry MX blue boards and the Unicomp in that order. Feel like the dome and slider boards don't get enough love. They are decent tactile boards, last for basically ever and don't seem to have dust sensitivity issues. I've got a couple of Dell or Compaq branded NMB dome with slider boards I picked out of the trash during an office remodel that were covered in drywall dust. Still work just fine, didn't even really need to clean them. I'm sure Topre are probably similarly dust proof but the cost definitely leans me more towards the old school dome and sliders. When Model Ms break they're a PITA but I've never seen one die from "regular" use outside of the rivet problem. Most of the failed Ms with intact rivets I've repaired have had liquid in the membrane. But that will do it to most anything short of Hall Effect or optical switches.

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08 Dec 2019, 06:54

Most: early Monterey K104 with white Alps. Bought for 6 bucks at a junk store and never missed a keystroke in ten years of daily use. Only retired it because it became badly yellowed and I wore the legends off the (printed) caps. Not quite worn through, but very shiny.

Least: Had a Morrow luggable PC decades ago, and its presumably-foam-and-foil keyboard was completely unusable. The only way I was able to use that computer was with the keyboard from a MDT-60 terminal, which was directly compatible. Least reliable modern keyboard would have to be the wife's Microsoft Ergo (she won't use anything else). Fortunately there's a never-ending flow of those through the local thrift stores since they need to be replaced once or twice a year.


13 Dec 2019, 17:46

Least reliable, my red dragon k552 white with outemu blue. I picked it up for the heck of it. It broke in so many ways that It would take to long to explain. The m0110 that I am using right now is actually pretty unreliable right now. I rad to replace some of the switches with a keyboard from an old RadioShack Tandy with skcc cream, and even then it has some issues sometimes. As far as my most reliable board, I have a Olkb Planck that has lasted me almost a year at this time, with no complications at all.


16 Dec 2019, 18:57

most reliable: OG Ergodox. Built by /u/profet23 in 2016, I've used it as a daily driver ever since. I desoldered it to swap in Zilents v2 62g switches and it simply hasn't skipped a beat.

least reliable: my 2012-era iPad's Bluetooth keyboard case, with its keycaps that snap off for seemingly no reason and rubber domes that are barely the size of a pinhead in diameter. I should really pick up a new tablet-and-keyboard combo.

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