Alps stabilizers on ISO layout


14 Apr 2019, 13:56

I need some help: what is the standard way to mount ISO enters with Alps stabilizers? If you have an Alps keyboard in ISO layout, you'd really help me out by lifting the keycap and take a picture of the stabilizer and the back of the keycap. Post in the comments. There probably are a few variations... I'd be really interested in a Matias keyboard.
I'm trying to make a switch plate for The Endgame Keyboard that works with Alps stabilizers. The space bar shall have holes for both Alps and Costar, the two unit keys are simple, but I can't figure the enter key out. Any help will be greatly appreciated! In the picture you can maybe spot the mounting holes for the enter stabilizers. Are they on the wrong side of the switch?


15 Apr 2019, 20:59

I was trying to take picture of the stabiliser on my Matias Tactile Pro in nordic ISO when - in true show of Matias ´quality´- one of the stabilisers came off. :D


After battling for 5 minutes with the slippery over-luber stabiliser, I manged to get it back in and get you a picture of it.



15 Apr 2019, 22:38

I had a (modified) Dell AT102W on the desk just now:
Dell-AT101W-Enter.jpg (477.25 KiB) Viewed 2012 times
... because I was comparing it to the ISO AEKII. Not the Enter/Return key you want, but it has the same stabiliser.
ISO_AEKII-Return.jpg (366.7 KiB) Viewed 2012 times
Huh. The 0.25u narrower Apple key does fit the AT102W (with a gap) and vice versa (without the case top).
But the Matias and Dell keys are not compatible: although they are the same size and have the same type of stabiliser, the switch position is shifted 0.125u.

Besides Matias, Tai-Hao has also made Alps keycaps and Cherry MX/ISO keycaps, but I dunno about Alps/ISO keycaps.

Inserts for Costar-style keycap mounts (Cherry MX mounts), allowing you to mount a keycap with Cherry MX mount on the stabiliser to Alps snaps on the plate were shown in another thread recently.


20 Jul 2019, 16:05

Man, this is so useful!
I'm sorry I haven't seen this until today (will turn on notifications over mail or something). The topic is still very relevant.
To begin with, my orientation was inverted. I placed the supports on the other side of the switch. But that points to a solution: I can put supports on both sides of the switch. One to fit Alps and one to fit Matias.
It'll be necessary to supply a cap set that is guaranteed to work with this layout. Your suggestion to use a Costar solution is a good one. And if somebody wants to use Apple caps the problems won't end with the ISO. The shift is shorter, right? Fifth row mods are just... weird.
Food for thought. I'm very grateful for these pictures, and extra glad that you showed me more differences than I knew existed. Thank you!

User avatar

20 Jul 2019, 21:11

I just saw this too, but it came up before during Blindassassin's Northgate PC board project. There aren't a lot of ISO Alps keyboards in the U.S. but I have managed to gather up a few examples. I started to document those, but apparently I'm still in the gathering (uh...hoarding) stage. From Blindassassin's research it turns out there are four Alps ISO Enter configurations. Three with a rotated switch (stem vertical) and one non-rotated (horizontal). Here's a link to that, and another where I posted a photo of the Focus version. You might have to scroll up or down just a bit.

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=18276&p=402644&hil ... so#p402644

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=18276&p=402538&hil ... so#p402538

I have examples of the following Alps-mount ISO Enter keyboards if it helps:

Focus FK-2002
Costar CSK-2102
Ortek MCK-84
Datacomp (Mac)
Azio Levetron
Acer 6312 (Italian)

First I think we need to come up with terminology to define the four different versions and a way to easily identify them.


25 Jul 2019, 14:07

All right. I'll put this out there: I'm actually trying to make keyboards.
In that project I need to use standard size ISO enters. The solution I'm leaning towards is to copy Matias. Maybe different sets of holders in the keycap could solve a few problems? I'll look into that. As for using vintage caps, it will be impossible to cater to all variations. Remember alps are older than the Model M - which set the standard we're using today.
Therefore I'm working with modern standards, its pretty easy to put ISO and ANSI on the same PCB for instance, but old alps are present in all sorts of different layouts that doesn''t conform to ISO layout (or ANSI), there might be a need for new keycaps when using vintage switches.
I'm also thinking I should have a stock of nice caps for alps users. I think they should fit Matias stabs, for not only can my boards (or kits) be used with Matias caps, but my caps can be used with Matias boards. Also, the PCB:s will work with MX, and those seem to have more of a standard placement, matching the Matias layout.
Lots of variables. My first action will be to put the stabilizers on the right wide of the switch... Doh!


27 Jul 2019, 20:20

Are you aware of the new Alps set that KPrepublic released this month?
It is blanks only, but has modern ISO option. ... 7d27KJOoYh


03 Aug 2019, 12:08

I was, but didn't realize they had ISO options. Very interesting, will look into that. Thanks a million!


03 Aug 2019, 12:51

Findecanor's Picture of his AT102

My AT102 made by ALPS has the exact same stabilizer system, the board was made in Ireland so it has the UK ISO layout. It is a weird a board i have only came across one other like it but the sticker on the back was different to mine i will upload pics of my board soon.


03 Aug 2019, 13:35

This is my ALPS made AT102, figured i through up a few pictures of what it was like when i originally got it and after i cleaned it up.
Before.JPG (2.19 MiB) Viewed 1526 times
Lots of tobaco :roll:
Before-1.JPG (1.66 MiB) Viewed 1526 times
Before-2.JPG (1.73 MiB) Viewed 1526 times
After-2.JPG (1.93 MiB) Viewed 1526 times
After.JPG (1.65 MiB) Viewed 1526 times
ALPS-Label.JPG (150.06 KiB) Viewed 1526 times
PS- Sorry not very good at taking photo's
Last edited by Donnelly20 on 04 Aug 2019, 11:30, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

04 Aug 2019, 09:08

Your image tags are pointing to something on Google Photos that apparently hasn't been setup to be linked from here. Ideally just attach directly here and place inline.

Assuming your "Lots of tobacco" refers to the brown gunk commonly found on those PCBs, that'd be rosin flux.


04 Aug 2019, 11:38

Darkshado wrote:
04 Aug 2019, 09:08
Your image tags are pointing to something on Google Photos that apparently hasn't been setup to be linked from here. Ideally just attach directly here and place inline.

Assuming your "Lots of tobacco" refers to the brown gunk commonly found on those PCBs, that'd be rosin flux.
Hey thanks for that, just taught me how to upload pics eaiser :D. I uploaded it yesterday and they were fine not sure why it changed, but anyway im not sure about the rosin flux you could be right i just assumed it was tobaco cause it looked like it and the keyboard had a weird bit of a smell to it when i got it. something was spilled on it but it was definitely not water cause it smelled sweet and with a hint of living in a smokers house. Also when i inlined the photo's it rotated them for some reason.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”