Das 4C overhaul ideas?

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29 Oct 2019, 07:53


I recently acquired a known defective Das Keyboard 4C in ANSI layout through classifieds; looked in pretty good shape but it was described as having two defective switches, B and N, which indeed did not register.
Das Keyboard 4C
Das Keyboard 4C
2019-10-29 01.12.51.jpg (1.84 MiB) Viewed 1147 times
Initially, I thought I could replace the two defective switches and pass it on to someone else. (Maybe Secret Santa? Has anyone planned on running it this year? Before you ask: no, I don't have time to run it, but will gladly take part and have a few potential items in mind already.)

Alas, things got a bit more "interesting" as I kept on trying out different keys: more intermittently failed to register, some would flicker when depressed. "Exercising" brought some keys back to life or made them more reliable, but not perfect.

I don't have a detailed history but there were no apparent signs of water ingress or excess humidity. Apparently the board was in regular use until those two keys started acting up, then set aside for an unknown amount of time. If I had to guess, a few months at most.

Time to introduce this board to my friends Edsyn (Soldapult) and Hakko (FX-888D)...

This particular unit has Greetech Brown switches; I'm not sure how they rank in terms of reliability, but the six or so switches I've opened all had contacts looking like this, not impressed:
2019-10-29 01.42.30.jpg (230.52 KiB) Viewed 1147 times
According to the case timestamps, this board was manufactured sometime in 2014, which makes it an early 4C.

The fix is simple but tedious: clean the contacts with a pencil eraser:
Nice and shiny
Nice and shiny
2019-10-29 01.45.09.jpg (200.64 KiB) Viewed 1147 times
So, since I have to desolder and resolder the whole board anyway, wouldn't it make sense to change things up a bit?

This is where you, fellow Deskthoritarian, come in: I have plenty of boards as it is and I don't really use ANSI anyway, do you have any suggestions on which direction to take this project board? I have some ideas already, but I'd like your input.



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29 Oct 2019, 14:25

How much do you want to mod it?


29 Oct 2019, 15:27

Get some new caps, maybe replace all the switches with NK Creams.

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[ XMIT ]

30 Oct 2019, 02:13

Watch out, some of these use glued in stabilizers! Otherwise it's a just a very nice TKL. You could paint the top case and switch out caps like I did.

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