Xerox DocuT̶K̶LSaver: An Alps custom full sized compact build log

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swampangel

02 Apr 2019, 00:31

Oh nice! Glad you got what you wanted.

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snacksthecat
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20 Apr 2019, 08:02

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Got the case in. This is going to be beautiful :P

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snacksthecat
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28 Apr 2019, 18:38

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Happy to say I'm back working on this project. This is my crude method for getting the edge-cuts of the plate right. I took a photo then bounced back and forth between Kicad and Inkscape to trace the outline (once I got the scale of the photo approximately right). It's probably not perfect but it worked on my last project. I'll need to validate this by taking measurements. I'm not sure yet if I'll do any prototyping on cheaper materials before getting it cut. Maybe just printing it out on paper.

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snacksthecat
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28 Apr 2019, 20:37

I goofed (again).

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Two mistakes with this PCB that I had printed. I didn't put the USB port on a diving-board like it is on the authentic PCB. That much is workable but I also didn't put it on the correct side of the PCB. Those two things together render this unworkable without lots of effort. I'm thinking I will just eat the mistake and get the board reprinted correctly. Luckily it was not that expensive to have this one printed in the first place. Might try out a different PCB fabrication house this time, just for comparison sake. I had this one printed by Gold Phoenix and the quality is very good. I'm interested to try out some others and see how they stack up.

Delirious

28 Apr 2019, 20:58

funny timing. I just fixed my UK78 yesterday, switching from stupid BAE back to ISO. I even used the small ISO from Tektronix set to test the gap. I can say my Saver twins are finally done done after all these times tweaking around.

Good luck with your project.


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snacksthecat
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28 Apr 2019, 21:55

Delirious wrote:
28 Apr 2019, 20:58
Spoiler:
funny timing. I just fixed my UK78 yesterday, switching from stupid BAE back to ISO. I even used the small ISO from Tektronix set to test the gap. I can say my Saver twins are finally done done after all these times tweaking around.

Good luck with your project.


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Wow great job. Those both look phenomenal.

Unfortunately when I did a dry run placing switches and caps, I found several more mistakes. No idea why my design was so off from reality. I think I was just working on too many things at once and cut a bunch of corners.

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  • LShift is off by .25 units
  • RShift is off by .25 units
  • Numpad 0 should be treated as a stepped cap
  • Entire numpad should be shifted .25 units to the right (leaving a gap between it and the alphas)

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snacksthecat
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02 May 2019, 18:37

This time around I'm going with different vendors for both the plate and the PCB (different from my last project):

Plate: OSH Cut
PCB: Eurocircuits

I've passed these options up in the past because they are certainly not the cheapest options. But they accommodate low volume orders (1pc) and are not too too expensive. I think both would be viable for more bulk orders.

I decided to do this in order to get a taste for the different qualities. My order is in with both vendors and I'm excited to receive the finished pieces.

One new thing that I encountered was an exception to my PCB design/order. I wish I snagged a screenshot because I seem to be unable to pull it back up now. Basically it was saying that certain pads on my PCB were at risk for "overplating" and even "burning". Then in the picture it showed a few of the pads in red color. Does anyone know what this means or how to avoid it? The exception was pointing out (what seemed to me as) a random spot and I couldn't find anything obviously wrong with it.

I will try to find the PDF summary that had the image and accompanying text in it.

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snacksthecat
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11 May 2019, 04:53

Yay, I received the PCB from EuroCircuits. The quality seems very good. I'm not sure if there is the concept of "resolution" in PCB world but all of the pads, traces, etc. all look phenomenally sharp. That being said, I really know nothing about this stuff so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It is very interesting, though, to get a look into a bunch of different shops and see how their products differ.

I felt like a video does a better job at showing detail than what I'm able to do in a photo so here's a quick youtube clip.

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snacksthecat
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11 May 2019, 23:10

And now I've received the plate! I ordered the plate from OSH Cut and I'm pretty happy with what I got. I tried to go bare bones with it but maybe if I could change anything I would have ordered some sort of finishing to be done. Much faster (for me at least) than some of the other shops I've tried since they're also located in the US.

I'm definitely going to have to do a dry run assembling this whole thing. I'm worried about some of the fits. I already know the left and right shift keycaps need to be adjusted to compensate for an error I made.

I'm still actually scratching my head how I made this error. It may be a limitation of the swillkb plate builder web app. I've become very dependent on that tool to spit out nice pretty svg's with exactly where each key should be placed. I had to adjust the key placement for this build very minutely because the alpha block is a quarty unit short. Dunno if some sort of weird keyboard rounding error happened. Maybe I just messed up twice.

Here's some pictures:

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snacksthecat
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12 May 2019, 01:21

Okay, this thing looks SO COOL in the case.

But I don't want to show any pictures yet. Not until I can fix the little mistakes I made.

Here they are:

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For #2, I'm wondering if I should drill the PCB or try to do some hacky wiring to get the switch connected to the matrix. This pcb is really nice and I'd hate to drill it. I also don't really know how to do it safely. I'll probably go the wire route in the end. Spacebar is coming from PMK. Thank God they have 6.5 alps spacebars. I have no idea why I set it up that way. I think it looked wierd with 6.25 and definitely looked weird with 7.

One more picture:

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snacksthecat
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12 May 2019, 02:19

The pads on this PCB are so razer sharp, it's really nice to work with. I'm definitely going to use this manufacturer again in the future.

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snacksthecat
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12 May 2019, 05:07

Diodes all set to be soldered. We've reached the point of no return.

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Here's a picture of my humble setup.

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For issue #2, I have to make sure that the legs of the diode don't get in the way of where the switch is supposed to sit.

So instead of soldering this one from the back, I soldered it from the front.
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And on the backside, I made sure to get it as flush as possible.
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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

12 May 2019, 05:19

#DTA2019

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snacksthecat
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12 May 2019, 07:08

So my other plan to address issue #2 is to extend and bend the legs on the switchplate.

Cut the legs off the switchplate.

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If Slenderman worked for Alps Electric

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His counterpart, big eyes Bert

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Some sort of superhero emerges when they come together (yay)

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snacksthecat
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20 May 2019, 06:13

These spacebars from PMK are really nice but why in the world do they have cherry mounts where the stab hooks go?!

I took some hooks from the Matias stabilizer kit and cut the MX mounts off and glued them to two long-boy stab hooks. I needed the long ones because the only stabilizer wire I have of this approximate size goes quite deep.

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It didn't work at first but I did some more adjustments to the wire and it eventually "worked". It's at a point where I can use it. I'll probably try to find a better wire at some point in the future.

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pizza_is_a_lie

14 Jul 2019, 16:05

Snacks - as always, loving your stuff. We need to catch up RE: ASK55 at some point (and 7u non-ABS spacebars...)

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