Foam & Foil Mini Monster - Phase 1: Autopsy

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

01 Dec 2019, 06:53

I came into this foam and foil keyboard maybe about two years back. I can't remember who I bought it off of, but I wish I could thank them! Today I was cleaning/organizing and rediscovered my half finished project. Most of the cleaning work has been done, which is my least favorite part. So now what's left is mostly the fun stuff. Like I've done in the past, I'd like to see first if I'm able to get it working stock. If that fails, then I can explore what it would take to get it working with CommonSense.

I also just got a new camera so I decided to have some fun and take pictures. Here's a breakdown of everything I found in the box.

Top Case
This piece is solid, thick metal. It weighs 936 grams! Definitely something contributing to the overall coolness of the board. I like the big blue band at the top as well.
Image

Back Plate
This is also metal, though this time thinner bent sheet metal. As you can see in the photo, it has a small spot of superficial rust.
Image

Black Thing
I forget exactly where this fits into the equation but we'll figure that out later.
Image

PCB
I've always found the foam and foil PCBs to look really cool. There's some printed text at the bottom that might give hints as to what machine this keyboard went to, but nothing jumping out at me. The guy I bought it from said it came from a military facility or something.
Image

Switches
Already disassembled and thoroughly cleaned (thank you past Snacks). I will need new foam for the board. I'm not exactly sure what to use if I DIY it. For past projects I bought pre-cut foam disks off ebay, but they were very pricey. This time I'd rather just cut my own. I presume I can use leather punches for this.
Image

Keycaps
I actually had two sets of caps in the box. I forget which ones came with the board, but a few had broken stems. I was passively seeking out some replacements for a long time and eventually came into a second set of caps. I haven't checked for compatibility between the two layouts yet but it's good to know I have some options.
Image

More Keycaps
Here's the second set. Oh I guess I forgot to take photos of the spacebars. Please use your imagination.
Image

Cable
Serial connector on the business end and pinchy thing on the side that connects to the PCB.
Image

Thanks for reading :P

User avatar
OldIsNew

01 Dec 2019, 22:45

snacksthecat wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 06:53

I will need new foam for the board. I'm not exactly sure what to use if I DIY it. For past projects I bought pre-cut foam disks off ebay, but they were very pricey. This time I'd rather just cut my own. I presume I can use leather punches for this.
I really love the old tall stem KeyTronic F&F boards. There's a pretty good discussion about DIY F&F choice preferences in this thread: Best replacement foam for keytronic foam and foil switches .

I've found that a 7/16" leather punch makes disks that fit very well.

Post Reply

Return to “Workshop”