Are these dye subbed keycaps?

andresteare

12 Nov 2020, 01:51

Hi, I was cleaning an old Compaq keyboard thinking it has NMB dome with sliders and I found a bad surprise and after an interesting surprise.

The first surprise was that there are NMB domes but no slider, just a normal key with integrated slider, a bummer.

But after cleaning and looking the keycaps, they look to be dye subbed. This doesn't makes much sense, why add expensive keycaps in a cost saving keyboard mechanism.

Here's a couple of pictures
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IMG_20201111_214229.jpg
IMG_20201111_214229.jpg (2.18 MiB) Viewed 344 times

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

12 Nov 2020, 02:13

Look lasered to me

andresteare

12 Nov 2020, 02:23

Redmaus wrote:
12 Nov 2020, 02:13
Look lasered to me
I probably need a closer picture, because the lettering is dark AF and the surface of the marks matches the surface of the top of the keycap, unlike lasered ones

andresteare

12 Nov 2020, 02:31

Redmaus wrote:
12 Nov 2020, 02:13
Look lasered to me
Here's another pic
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IMG_20201111_222816.jpg
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chzcake44s

22 Nov 2020, 13:11

My opinion is they are lasered. It would be impressive if they were dye-subbed because of the sharpness and fineness of the legends.

gichtl

23 Nov 2020, 23:49

I strongly agree to dyesub due to matching surface. Laser would leave cavity due to the burned away material.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

24 Nov 2020, 04:14

An easy test is to put a tiny drop of acetone on the back side and swirl it around. A cap that is PBT will ignore the acetone but a cap that is ABS will soften and be etched by the acetone.

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lhutton

24 Nov 2020, 05:01

gichtl wrote:
23 Nov 2020, 23:49
I strongly agree to dyesub due to matching surface. Laser would leave cavity due to the burned away material.
Yup, laser ablations leave a through, but they could be lasered and filled in with paint or dye.

That would be some mighty sharp and thin dye sub work especially for a keyboard chucked in a box with a vintage Compaq. Usually dye subs have thicker legends. Could just be some other printing method like screening. Doesn't look like pads or decals IMO. Could also very well be laser etched with in-filled legends so they're level with the top of the keycap.

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