UK Military Keyboard (Alphameric Foam and Foil)

Anakey

28 Feb 2019, 11:42

Quite the coincidance that after buying this board off ebay on Friday Chyros did a review on the earlier Alphameric switches. However I did not know it was Alphameric until i saw a different ebay auction that had the same font style used.
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As you can see the board itself is almost pristine condition apart from a couple of small knocks the board looks to have been stored for years without seeing any use. The key caps are still as white as the day they were made and the legends are all doubleshot. Notice the distinct Shift Lock with the LED in the middle. The centre is drilled out then in filled with clear plastic to act as a light pipe for the LED.
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Starting with the back of the keyboard assembly or switch plate (for each key has its individual barrel and slider assembly) You can see where the slider for the Return key was removed and also that the Shift Lock key has a hole made in the foam pad for the LED. The foam pads themselves are in exceptional condition and are still very fluffy and have not disintegrated with time.
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Close up of the dummy barrel on the return switch you can still see a left over guide rail from the slider this prevents over travel of the slider and over compression of the foam also stopping the slider falling out. Also you notice each switch has a small hole in the lower right corner, these holes are for screwing the pcb to the switches as there is no solder unlink traditional contact based switches.
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Shift Lock pad showing the hole made for a pcb mounted LED
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Keyboard assembly front view The blank 1.5u keys are Shift keys that have been doubleshot with the same colour of plastic looking carefully you can still make out the faint text from the mould
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As I mentioned previously each key has its own switch which can be individually removed from the switch plate also you can see the guiding rails for the slider.
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As you can see the switches use a square peg mount that fits into the white slider along with a helical return spring. you can also see the double shot marks on the keycap. The slider ensures that the keycaps are angled to create a stepped profile despite all keycaps being uniform in profile.
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Pcb switch side you can see the capacitive pads and also the pcb mounted LED for the Shift Lock.
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Reverse side of PCB showing assembly labels.
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Assembled keyboard on bottom plate
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Bottom plate labels
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Case showing removable top plate. This enabled production of different top plates for each keyboard yet the same casing and back plate could be used
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Outer case sticker

Overall the keyboard is quite pleasant to use considering it is a foam and foil. The way that it is designed not to over compress the foam takes away some of the mushiness that is normally associated with Foam and Foil boards.

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JP!

01 Mar 2019, 02:20

Nice board. Definitely not bad if you can find them in nice shape. That olive drab case is cool.

xxhellfirexx

12 Mar 2019, 07:50

If anyone wants one, there is still one on sale.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rugged-Industr ... 08715bdf42

the_ambyguous

14 Mar 2019, 10:58

xxhellfirexx wrote:
12 Mar 2019, 07:50
If anyone wants one, there is still one on sale.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rugged-Industr ... 08715bdf42
oh man, that thing is beautiful, and I would have absolutely no use for it. Theres not much you can do with these kinds of boards right? Man, dare I ask the seller to quote shipping to Texas... decisions decisions

Anakey

14 Mar 2019, 13:58

well it is foam and foil so it should be able to run using the capsense controller though I have not yet investigated it on the board that i have. it is quite heavy so be prepared to pay the cost of shipping. Also ask the seller to wrap the plug to protect it from scratching the casing its got a solid metal 24 pin serial plug on the end as you can see in the listing so could scratch the case during shipping if not protected.

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