Sharp PA1000H - typewriter turned keyboard

kelvinhall05

08 Jun 2020, 19:05

Hi guys. Making this thread after I have already started this project but will continue to post updates as they come in. Didn't think about making one before I started working lol.

I bought a Sharp PA1000H on ebay and it turned out to be a great buy. It has green Alps as I expected, but these things are fucking mint. I will go as far as to say that they are as NOS as you can get without being NOS. They fell unused.

Plate before just a super light dusting (yes, this is exactly how I found them; they're that clean):
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After light dusting:
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Keyboard module:
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Gorgeous Alps doubleshots with really nice colours:
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I decided to cut the printer part of the case off as I have no use for it and it made the whole unit unecessarily long.

Before:
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After:
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Sanded and cut blanking plate from the rest of the plastic. Doesn't look the best from the back or bottom but looks fine from the front and works well.
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I made a PCB for it as it's the easiest way to get everything I want wired up, it'll be nice and neat to wire everything up. Still in production but here is a render:
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Old PCB desoldered:
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So that's where I'm at rn. Waiting for parts to come in. Can't really do anything until then. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long.

fricked

08 Jun 2020, 19:08

first !!!

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TheInverseKey

08 Jun 2020, 21:08

Nice

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ddrfraser1

08 Jun 2020, 22:48

Noice

kelvinhall05

09 Jun 2020, 16:46

Digikey order arrived just now. Everything looks good. LCD viewing area is almost perfect, only about a mm too small on the sides. It's fine, I won't notice it.

This one is a lot thicker than the old one. Will have to make some kind of bracket to hold it, maybe use part of the old LCD's PCB.

kelvinhall05

09 Jun 2020, 17:52

USB port holes/cutout drilled and port mounted:
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kelvinhall05

09 Jun 2020, 20:00

New LCD temporarily attached with tape so it stays lined up while I figure out a permanent way to hold it on (the tape could totally be permanent, might just stick with that).
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kelvinhall05

10 Jun 2020, 16:54

Original contrast potentiometer installed. Had to cut part of the PCB to get it to fit properly.
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kelvinhall05

12 Jun 2020, 00:59

USB hub arrived. Way overpaid for shipping, but at least it came fast from China. This thing is way smaller than I expected. Gonna be fun soldering to it without helping hands.
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kelvinhall05

12 Jun 2020, 01:39

Ok found some helping hands, lol. Soldered fine, wasn't too hard thanks to them.
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Jesseg

12 Jun 2020, 02:10

I got one of these for $5 from some junk warehouse, It was barely used and looked and felt brand new, but sadly had been damaged. The switches lived on though of course. Nice find! I only wish I did this with mine now. Let me know if you need any extra keycaps as I also have a whole set of them

kelvinhall05

12 Jun 2020, 02:34

jessesevorg wrote:
12 Jun 2020, 02:10
I got one of these for $5 from some junk warehouse, It was barely used and looked and felt brand new, but sadly had been damaged. The switches lived on though of course. Nice find! I only wish I did this with mine now. Let me know if you need any extra keycaps as I also have a whole set of them
Will do, although so far I haven't broken any stems lol.


I will have extra PCBs so lmk if you want one (assuming they are drop-in replacement like I hope, kek)

kelvinhall05

18 Jun 2020, 17:34

PCBs are hopefully gonna ship today. Checked a few hours ago and they were at the "final inspection" stage. Guess we'll see my next mistake when they arrive hahaha.

BTW, if someone here knows what I can do with a Pro Micro controlling a character LCD over i2c besides monitoring PC temps/usage, lmk.

kelvinhall05

24 Jun 2020, 18:30

PCBs are out for delivery, can't wait to inevitably find another mistake!

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 01:07

What did I say?
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Guess project is on hold until I get enough money to get new PCBs. If someone wants to buy this disaster, lmk

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Jesseg

25 Jun 2020, 01:16

Man that must be annoying.. how did you do that?

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 01:54

Jesseg wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 01:16
Man that must be annoying.. how did you do that?
Well first, I'm fucking stupid.

Second, I probably moved this row over an extra 0.25 or 0.125u, and since I based the top keys on this side on that far-left row...yeah.

Welp.

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ddrfraser1

25 Jun 2020, 03:27

Dude! Dremmel! That’s what I did when I got a non stepped caps plate but the pcb was stepped. Is it just that row?

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 04:04

ddrfraser1 wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 03:27
Dude! Dremmel! That’s what I did when I got a non stepped caps plate but the pcb was stepped. Is it just that row?
Yeah, it's just those. I'd rather not hack up the plate, partly cause I'd have to mess with the case.

I thought of a (hopefully) good solution. Attach magnet wire to all the leads of the misaligned switches, bend them flat, and solder the magnet wire into the holes instead of the switches.
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I will solder stuff to the PCB tomorrow and hope that this works. Will also put electrical tape over the PCB where the pins are bent flat, just in case.

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 04:08

At least the PCB *looks* pretty nice
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Jesseg

25 Jun 2020, 05:07

Good Idea, and that looks great!

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 12:54

Jesseg wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 05:07
Good Idea, and that looks great!
I am not happy with it, gonna bug me. But if it works it works.

kelvinhall05

25 Jun 2020, 18:43

Guys I'm a FUCKING GENIUS

Magnet wire worked :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I had to heat the joint for like 15 seconds to get the insulation to melt (yes, that is how you're supposed to remove insulation on magnet wire) and now it works wonderfully! God damn...first I go full retard mode, then I fix it lmao.

Only problem is that I forgot that QMK LED pins don't just output 5v, so I can't use capslock LED. Anyone know if you can change that?

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ddrfraser1

25 Jun 2020, 19:30

Nice! That’s the fun of these things :D

kelvinhall05

26 Jun 2020, 04:53

So this just keeps getting better. Seems my character LCD might be dead. Either that, or the LCD backpack is dead, or something else idfk. I can't even get the LCD's backlight to turn on which is a really bad sign. I mean, the backpack is getting 5v, so I assume the display will...I'll have to undo my amazing hot glue job to investigate more.

ntv242

27 Jun 2020, 21:09

What are you going to use the LCD for anyway or you just want it working? I kind of want to see the whole picture of the case too if possible, can't quite gauge what it looks like from all those picture. Cool project tho XD I will hunt down a sharp 1000 and copy you dude.

kelvinhall05

27 Jun 2020, 21:46

ntv242 wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 21:09
What are you going to use the LCD for anyway or you just want it working? I kind of want to see the whole picture of the case too if possible, can't quite gauge what it looks like from all those picture. Cool project tho XD I will hunt down a sharp 1000 and copy you dude.
I was planning on using the LCD as a PC temp/usage monitor.


I managed to get the backlight working and the characters working but not at the same time, although I have a feeling that is due to the example code I was using (which is a pita to flash from Arduino IDE btw).

kelvinhall05

Yesterday, 00:25

Having trouble with the clear plastic that goes over the display. There is something on it, looks like glue or something, and alcohol won't take it off. Worried acetone will destroy the plastic.

Also the usb hub doesn't work, awesome. Not sure if I misunderstood what it's for/how to use it, but it ain't passing data through. Awesome, more money gonna need to be dumped into this project...

kelvinhall05

Yesterday, 23:19

I am nearing completion. The keyboard part is completely done (although that's been done for quite a while now). I just need to:
1. Fix or replace the clouded and scratched clear plastic that covers the LCD
2. Figure out software for the display.

Also, I tore down a shitty little 4-port USB 2 hub and glued that inside. Works great. Really pissed that the Nanohub didn't work cause it was almost 30 USD after shipping, but oh well.

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