Packard Bell T9102 - SKCM Blue Alps at it's Finest

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Hypersphere

25 Jan 2019, 15:00

@kakan:

Yep, the Hasu USB-USB converter "just works"! Highly recommended.

Regarding dressing up keyboard cases, I've had good results with spray painting, but I need to do this in my garage, which is unheated, and it's currently below the minimum temperature required for painting. So, I stupidly decided to try vinyl wrap. It was like a Laurel and Hardy movie. "That's another fine mess you've gotten us into." After three attempts, I gave up on vinyl wrap -- forever, let's hope.

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cineraphael

31 Jan 2019, 18:19

The Construction Quality compare to Northgate Omnikey Gold Label and Acer KB101-A?

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Hypersphere

31 Jan 2019, 21:36

cineraphael wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 18:19
The Construction Quality compare to Northgate Omnikey Gold Label and Acer KB101-A?
The construction quality of the Packard-Bell series depends somewhat on when the keyboard was built. As I've mentioned in an earlier post, "T9102" is apparently a serial number and not a model number. I have two Packard-Bell keyboards that resemble S/N T9102, one is T8015 and the other is T9103. The construction quality of the T8015 is somewhat better than that of the later version, T9103. The main difference might seem rather small -- the screw mounts in the older version have threaded metal inserts, whereas the screw mounts in the later T9103 are all plastic. Both of the Packard-Bells had serious yellowing of the case and keycaps.

I've had bad luck with the Acer KB101-A and Acer KB101-AS, mostly with respect to the cases having very brittle and deeply yellowed plastic. I returned the 101-AS, and I have put the 101-A aside for later restoration. Several switches on the 101-A are unresponsive.These issues reflect the condition of the keyboards rather than construction quality per se. It is a small sample, but the flaws might be some indication of how well these keyboards hold up.

I have a Northgate Omnikey Gold Label and several Northgate Omnikey 101s. I've had good luck with all of my Northgates. The construction quality is very solid. The only downside to the Northgates is that the paint on the top plates does not hold up well -- it is fairly common to see plates with corrosion spots. However, all of my Northgates work quite well. I enjoy converting them to USB, as there is ample room inside the case to install a Soarer converter and panel-mount USB. Moreover, with the right panel-mount USB connector, it is not necessary to drill new holes in the bottom metal pan of the case. My older Northgates have "pine" switches (with slits in the top housings). I have a newer one with bamboo switches (no slits) -- it works just fine, but the earlier productions with pine switches sound and feel better.

Based on this admittedly limited experience, my ranking of build quality is as follows:

Northgate > Packard-Bell > Acer

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cineraphael

31 Jan 2019, 22:34

You are just as lucky as Chyrosran22 when you have a Gold Label Omnikey with Blue Alp! Here In my city, I can't even find a Cherry G80-3000 or Dell AT101(In fact, there are no beige color computer keyboard for sale at all!). So, don't brother finding a Northgate Omnikey Ultra and Gold Label in my city.

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Muirium
µ

31 Jan 2019, 22:45

I would have had slim pickings if I only scored keyboards in my hometown too. Only really ever found Apple rubberdomes in Edinburgh. But I’ve got blue Alps of my own and plenty of nice stuff, all thanks to the internet and DT in particular.

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Hypersphere

01 Feb 2019, 16:39

It seems that no one is as lucky as Chyros. However, I suspect his apparent luck is actually a product of his skill, patience, and perseverance.

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ZedTheMan

01 Feb 2019, 17:31

Hypersphere wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 16:39
It seems that no one is as lucky as Chyros. However, I suspect his apparent luck is actually a product of his skill, patience, and perseverance.
Well, and in part having a cooperative electronics recycler to visit. Granted, it probably took skill to foster the relationship to where he could buy the keyboards from them.

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