Dead Focus 2001

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digital_matthew

07 Dec 2017, 02:50

Hey there. I recently bought a Focus 2001 from a recycling center. I was using it on my computer via a Soarer's Converter. It was working fine, but sometimes it would take a while to power up. While using it one day I could no longer type and a string of ds (ddddddddddddddddd) came up, and then it died, no lock lights or anything. The converter is fine, as I still use it with my Model F. I'm suspecting the cable, but I'm no expert on these things. Is there a reasonably easy fix for this? Or should I scrap it? I'd rather not throw it out as I like the white Alps switches, and the key caps are great. Not to mention that snazzy dust cover. Thanks!

Polecat

07 Dec 2017, 06:44

digital_matthew wrote: Hey there. I recently bought a Focus 2001 from a recycling center. I was using it on my computer via a Soarer's Converter. It was working fine, but sometimes it would take a while to power up. While using it one day I could no longer type and a string of ds (ddddddddddddddddd) came up, and then it died, no lock lights or anything. The converter is fine, as I still use it with my Model F. I'm suspecting the cable, but I'm no expert on these things. Is there a reasonably easy fix for this? Or should I scrap it? I'd rather not throw it out as I like the white Alps switches, and the key caps are great. Not to mention that snazzy dust cover. Thanks!
The cord wouldn't cause slow power up, but bad electrolytic cap(s) on the PC board might. Those tend to dry out with age, especially if the keyboard was stored and not used for a while. Cheap and easy to change those if you have a soldering iron.

User avatar
Chyros

07 Dec 2017, 07:24

You might want to check out or if necessary replace the D switch. I think if the computer detects a key that's stuck it will protest during boot-up.

User avatar
digital_matthew

08 Dec 2017, 03:30

Thank you for the replies. I'll re-watch your video on maintaining Alps switches and seeing if that's the problem. If not I may check the caps, but I don't have any diagnostic equipment (or know-how for that matter). I may just change them all.

Polecat

08 Dec 2017, 03:57

digital_matthew wrote: Thank you for the replies. I'll re-watch your video on maintaining Alps switches and seeing if that's the problem. If not I may check the caps, but I don't have any diagnostic equipment (or know-how for that matter). I may just change them all.
The FK-2001 was sold for many years, so there are different versions, but I'd be surprised if there were more than one or two electrolytic caps on any of them. The other caps rarely go bad, but electrolytics dry out, and sometimes swell up or pop their tops. Those will have an aluminum case with a shrinked-on plastic sleeve covering it, and will have a + and - marking as well as microfarad (uf) and voltage ratings.

User avatar
digital_matthew

29 Dec 2017, 03:34

Hey so I've decided to try to open this thing and repair it. The trouble is I don't know how to open it. I see those plastic clamps on the back, but I even though I can move them I don't see a way to do it simultaneously. Also are those the only fasteners? Or are there more underneath the rubber feet on the front? Thanks for your help.

Polecat

29 Dec 2017, 04:20

digital_matthew wrote: Hey so I've decided to try to open this thing and repair it. The trouble is I don't know how to open it. I see those plastic clamps on the back, but I even though I can move them I don't see a way to do it simultaneously. Also are those the only fasteners? Or are there more underneath the rubber feet on the front? Thanks for your help.
Pop the three clips one by one. The case will spread slightly, so no need to do them all at once. Once those are loose, turn the keyboard rightside-up and carefully hinge up the rear of the top cover until it's just clear of the key caps, then slide it towards you to release the front edge. There are clips across the front, but not the type you can release. Those break easily, so care is in order.

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digital_matthew

05 Jan 2018, 22:08

Thanks, Polecat! I was able to wrest the top of the case off, and it was way more difficult than it was meant to be. Anyway I found some kind of (spider?) nest under the Tab key which I quickly swabbed out. Thankfully it was abandoned, and the rest of the interior is really clean. So I plugged it in to see what's what, and all the lock lights work; I can turn them off with their respective keys. However none of the keys register. I'm thinking it's a capacitor, but I'm not sure which ones to replace. I attached a pic. Thanks for looking!
Attachments
focus_innards.JPG
focus_innards.JPG (1.84 MiB) Viewed 377 times

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Daniel Beardsmore

06 Jan 2018, 00:53

if nothing else, the keycaps look to be in excellent condition!

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Chyros

06 Jan 2018, 01:21

The lock lights look like they're all on. That's indicative of an error of some kind. I'm sure there are people here that know more about it :) .

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digital_matthew

06 Jan 2018, 01:49

Chyros wrote: The lock lights look like they're all on. That's indicative of an error of some kind. I'm sure there are people here that know more about it :) .
They are all on in the picture, but I can turn them on and off with their respective keys. But none of the keys register when I type.

Polecat

06 Jan 2018, 03:46

digital_matthew wrote: Thanks, Polecat! I was able to wrest the top of the case off, and it was way more difficult than it was meant to be. Anyway I found some kind of (spider?) nest under the Tab key which I quickly swabbed out. Thankfully it was abandoned, and the rest of the interior is really clean. So I plugged it in to see what's what, and all the lock lights work; I can turn them off with their respective keys. However none of the keys register. I'm thinking it's a capacitor, but I'm not sure which ones to replace. I attached a pic. Thanks for looking!
The blue capacitor upper right would be the one to replace, and any others that look like it. But first have you checked that the AT/XT switch is in the correct position? Also try moving that switch back and forth a few times--the contacts can oxidize with age and fiddling with the switch will sometimes get things working.

User avatar
digital_matthew

06 Jan 2018, 04:48

digital_matthew wrote: snip
The blue capacitor upper right would be the one to replace, and any others that look like it. But first have you checked that the AT/XT switch is in the correct position? Also try moving that switch back and forth a few times--the contacts can oxidize with age and fiddling with the switch will sometimes get things working.
Thanks. I sprayed some contact cleaner into it and moved it back and forth. Alas it didn't work. However, I did flip the board over and noticed some crud on the traces near the cable. I'm thinking of getting some isopropyl alcohol and cleaning them. I'm pretty sure that's the culprit.
Daniel Beardsmore wrote: if nothing else, the keycaps look to be in excellent condition!
Aye, in fact they are my favorite thing about this board.
Attachments
focus_crud.JPG
focus_crud.JPG (3.03 MiB) Viewed 336 times

__red__

06 Jan 2018, 15:08

Time to break out your DMM.

User avatar
digital_matthew

02 Feb 2018, 22:49

UPDATE! I know you've all been waiting with baited breath, so here's the conclusion. Okay so I cleaned off the gunk, but that didn't really help, weirdly. So I went ahead and replaced the electrolytic capacitor. And voila! I'm typing away on my Focus 2001. It works pretty well, but the lock lights take a long time to warm up, and F7 doesn't work. I guess that I'll have to replace the switch. Maybe with a blue Alps so I at least have one to play with. Since I use that key pretty much never it will not be on my immediate to-do list. I'm a true blue IBM mech fan, but I can see why people appreciate these switches. Now I just have to find me a pristine blue Alps board at an affordable price. Yeah right. Well thanks for the help, everyone! :D

rich1051414

03 Feb 2018, 00:49

It is always the caps, unless you change them first, then that is never the problem :)

Polecat

04 Feb 2018, 04:01

digital_matthew wrote: UPDATE! I know you've all been waiting with baited breath, so here's the conclusion. Okay so I cleaned off the gunk, but that didn't really help, weirdly. So I went ahead and replaced the electrolytic capacitor. And voila! I'm typing away on my Focus 2001. It works pretty well, but the lock lights take a long time to warm up, and F7 doesn't work. I guess that I'll have to replace the switch. Maybe with a blue Alps so I at least have one to play with. Since I use that key pretty much never it will not be on my immediate to-do list. I'm a true blue IBM mech fan, but I can see why people appreciate these switches. Now I just have to find me a pristine blue Alps board at an affordable price. Yeah right. Well thanks for the help, everyone! :D
Well that's good news, but the LEDs being slow to "warm up" is still troubling. Is the polarity of the cap correct? If not it will let you know before long. (...an electrolytic cap connected backwards is electrically similar to a bad one...)

User avatar
digital_matthew

07 Feb 2018, 17:44

Polecat wrote:
digital_matthew wrote: UPDATE! I know you've all been waiting with baited breath, so here's the conclusion. Okay so I cleaned off the gunk, but that didn't really help, weirdly. So I went ahead and replaced the electrolytic capacitor. And voila! I'm typing away on my Focus 2001. It works pretty well, but the lock lights take a long time to warm up, and F7 doesn't work. I guess that I'll have to replace the switch. Maybe with a blue Alps so I at least have one to play with. Since I use that key pretty much never it will not be on my immediate to-do list. I'm a true blue IBM mech fan, but I can see why people appreciate these switches. Now I just have to find me a pristine blue Alps board at an affordable price. Yeah right. Well thanks for the help, everyone! :D
Well that's good news, but the LEDs being slow to "warm up" is still troubling. Is the polarity of the cap correct? If not it will let you know before long. (...an electrolytic cap connected backwards is electrically similar to a bad one...)
Hey so now the lock lights don't light up at all. I did get the polarity right, but I may have done a crappy soldering job, so that might be the case. I'll redo the job to see if that helps.

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