Multitech KB-101A Restoration and Mods *NEW VIDEO 6.1.2019*

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JP!

Unread post by JP! » 05 Mar 2018, 22:25

Thanks for posting this. Glad to see another Multitech here. I've never fully disassembled an Alps board this far down before and I have one of these as well that needs a good cleaning.

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twinrotor

Unread post by twinrotor » 05 Mar 2018, 23:33

Its fairly straight forward. Having not done a keyboard, I was a bit intimidated. Once I figured out exactly how the switch plate/switch/PCB all mesh together, its not such a mystery.

From case removal to separation took two hours. Would have taken about fifteen minutes less if 20% of the pins were not bent. I did find a sweet spot with the right size tip on my de-soldering gun. I ran it at 340 degrees Celsius and probably took about five seconds a pin to melt and vacuum. The five pads I damaged could have been prevented by being a bit more cautious when running the gun. Those damaged pad still had just enough solder on the edges of the pins to pull the laminate. The rest simply popped off, much easier than my first/second attempt in the video above. The one broken pin was probably a bit of both work hardening and me being a bit rushed.

I'm ready to tear apart this MX clone board I have. Its waaay newer, which I'm thinking is going to open up other little dark alleys of crap to deal with. I have not really studied any to see if they are built in a similar fashion. I know most the custom 60% boards I have looked at online are similar, just more surface mount components that I will not have to mess with. Its not necessary to replace the passives on this Multitech, but I'm going to anyway, while the keyboard is apart. Its fairly common knowledge very few electronics come with electrolytic or tantalum caps that are stable for 20+ years. Sure, its all low power, but loss of noise suppression could really be a big issue, especially using a ARM32 as a PS/2 to USB adapter like I do. I've already found it to be extremely sensitive to connection resistance. No pull-up resistors needed here!

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twinrotor

Unread post by twinrotor » 13 Apr 2018, 19:18

Still waiting on the weather and timing.. We are having a typical spring, but more rain and cooler temps than normal.

The crack in my top case is spreading :( At least I can work on it inside. Will post pictures as I mess with it. In another thread, I recieved a bunch of great ideas on how to treat this crack and I'm most likely going to use most. The crack just happens to line up with a screw stud that holds the two halves together :(

Meanwhile, I have taken the switches and cleaned the outsides of the housings. I disassembled about a dozen switches, mostly picking them from the cleanest to the dirtiest switch, finding the insides to all be almost perfectly clean, as seen in the pics I've already posted. I kinda knew already that they were fairly clean (not scratchy at all), but I wanted to double check.

I so want this thing back on my desk.....

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twinrotor

Unread post by twinrotor » 25 Oct 2018, 16:12

It has taken forever to find time, but I'm finally getting this thing back together. I had planned on doing a bit more video, but just have not been able to set up anything.

Went ahead and decided to do the keys. I'm leaving the case alone, as there are come cracks and I don't want the heat of the retrobright spreading it anymore.

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Grey keys still have some brown after 8 hours in the sun

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Sanded the rust and imperfections from the original paint. Did not get carried away, as this is not a visible piece. I just wanted to make sure no more rust would come through. Here are some pics from sanding to final paint

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Hopefully I will be able to get to assembly here soon. I do want to set a camera up and record putting the board back together. Some of you have asked about this process and how difficult it is, so I plan on recording! Please be patient, but it will not be much longer; I'm really starting to hate these Kaihl MX blues I've been using since I tore this guy down.. I WANT MY ALPS BACK! :)

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twinrotor

Unread post by twinrotor » 06 Jan 2019, 14:40

Yes, it took entirely too long, but here is the latest:

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