Add honing bumps/pips to F and J keycaps?


16 Jan 2019, 01:04

Just acquired an IBM pingmaster with an external converter by Hasu. I can deal with the wonky chinese keycaps, but the lack of homing bumps on the F and J keycaps is bothersome. Anyone have a good method to add them DIY? like a tiny drop of epoxy or something?

side note, I see the layout editor here I can use - ... 4_usb_alps
just not sure how to put the converter into programming mode so I can load a hex firmware onto it. I assume its the little white button exposed on Hasu's adapter but thought I would ask before I brick something...


16 Jan 2019, 01:16

I've seen some one drill a very shallow hole in the keycap,then place a ball bearing on the hole and use a soldering iron to heat the ball till melts into the hole,looked really nice as well,pretty sure you should test that on some keycaps you don't care about before you try it on the ones that came with the board.

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16 Jan 2019, 01:33

Yes, the button is to enter firmware loading DFU mode. There may also be a magic key combo. On my TMK powered HHKB that’s both Shift keys plus Pause.

As for homing bumps: tell that to my Kishsaver! Model Fs don’t have them either. With practice, typing on them is fine.


16 Jan 2019, 02:05

Muirium wrote:
16 Jan 2019, 01:33
Model Fs don’t have them either.
luckily there are model M keycaps with bumps, the previous owner of my F122 thankfully added them. Replacement keycaps compatible with pingmaster are out there so maybe I'll source some if I decide not to deface the stock caps


16 Jan 2019, 02:25

I prefer non-destructive methods.

The easiest I've done so far is to take a flat bit from a plastic blister package, cut a piece the width of the top of the keycap and then use a non-stick tape like 3M's Scotch brand to stick it to the front of the keycap. You can choose how high you want to have it stick out.

The only downside is that detritus might collect in between the narrow space between the plastic and the keycap, but then you can carefully peel the tape off, clean everything and reapply fresh tape.

Since I'm lazy I've also tried cleaning it with a somewhat stiffer brush, since the plastic bends you can push some of the cruft out.

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16 Jan 2019, 03:25

There are some pingmaster compatible caps that have deeper dishes, and I've seen numpad 5 keys with dots, but so far I don't recall seeing any that have dots.


16 Jan 2019, 15:41

I've seen some people use thick stickers, kind of like that embossing material that's used with certain labelers and those seem to work pretty well without any modification to the keycaps themselves.

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16 Jan 2019, 15:50

The Pingmaster caps are so beautiful, I would not want to make any irreversible alterations to them. I'd be inclined to do without any sort of homing keys. For example, my IBM model F boards do not have homing keys. Likewise, I've replaced the caps on many of my Alps-switch boards with caps from IBM 5140 computers and these do not have homing keys. It sometimes throws me off, but it seems easy to adapt.


16 Jan 2019, 17:02

thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely be trying a sticker or something non destructive if I feel like I can't adapt. I want to make this work as a daily driver since its so cheap, I can buy a backup board. at least until my kid grows up and is less likely to spill a cup onto my prized F122, then I can finally use that one every day :)

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31 Jan 2019, 03:14

A tactile marking pen is what you're looking for.

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01 Feb 2019, 20:00

There is a product called "Loc-Dots". They are clear plastic circles with central nubs designed to be homing key locators. They are available on Amazon for $4.29 for a sheet of six.
locdots.jpg (31.54 KiB) Viewed 1206 times ... B00II5T80M


02 Feb 2019, 12:19

It's not fancy, but it's easy to remove. You can put a dot of white elmers school glue on the two keys you want to have bumps. It'll dry clear and it's easy to knock it off should you change your mind.

Le Barde

02 Feb 2019, 12:26

What I have done is to put different keycap shapes on that keys. For instance, I put some upper Fn keycaps which I turn left for F and right for J. In that way, when I place my hands on the keyboard I can feel those keys going a little upper than the others. This is discreet.

But in my case, the keycaps are blank, so it does not change anything...

Le Barde

02 Feb 2019, 12:27

And what about a silicone drop from your best glue gun?

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