Alps64 Mini

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snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

25 May 2018, 21:28

I started this project a long time back but set it on the back burner while I was working on other stuff. Recently someone from reddit reached out asking for an update so I decided to revisit the project and open it up to the community.
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The original goal was to modify hasu's Alps64 PCB design to accommodate a set of Macintosh Portable keycaps that I had gotten. The Macintosh Portable keyboard is slightly smaller than a traditional 60%, clocking in at 14.5 units (rather than 15). Since then, I expanded the scope to support a couple of the other 14.5 unit alps layouts including:
  • Apple Macintosh Portable (confirmed on a prototype pcb)
  • Apple M0116
    Spoiler:
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  • Apple M0118
    Spoiler:
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  • Apple M0330
    Spoiler:
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  • NeXT Non-adb
    Spoiler:
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  • Apple IIc (unsure)
Here's the github repo:
https://github.com/snacksthecat/alps64-mini

I have one working prototype which I plan on building once I can find someone to help build me a wooden case.
Spoiler:
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Thinking about possibly doing a small group buy if anyone else is interested. Obviously there are no cases for 14.5 sized keyboards so that's the biggest challenge.

I'm interested to see what you guys think. Feel free to send over some suggestions. This is my first toe-dip into PCB design so I'll happily accept any constructive criticism.

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Menuhin

25 May 2018, 23:11

I thought about that too, but stopped at (I believe) where most people stopped, "darn... these caps on the edge do not work".

By the way, I must be late, but recently discovered powder coating wood, so CNC wooden case, detailed and polished by hand can have a durable coat like those vintage powder coated keyboards too:
Powder-coating finish on Wood

Good luck for the project & GB.

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pdc

01 Jun 2018, 15:13

I rather like the 14.5-unit ANSI-style layout: it avoids the 1.5-unit backslash key, which I view as something of a wart. Some awkwardness about where to squeeze in backtick/tilde, and there would be issues with using standard-sized keycaps, but with Alps caps this is less of an issue...

Dolasvp

17 Jun 2018, 04:45

This sounds excellent. It will save me having to do another handwire to use my iic caps, provided it has compatibility for them.

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