USB-C Panel-Mount Connector for F62 Keyboard

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26 Jul 2020, 22:00

This weekend, I set up my second new Ellipse F62 keyboard and installed a USB-C panel-mount connector. I promised to show some pics, so here they are:
cutout1a.jpg (66.29 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
The cutout involved drilling two holes for the mounting screws and using small hand files to enlarge the rectangular opening that was already present on the back of the case. In order to improve the visibility of the cutout for the pic, I temporarily placed a piece of yellow paper inside the case. Although I would have preferred putting the cutout in the left-rear of the case, I had to locate it in the right-rear side because the controller and mounting post for the original cable clamp were in the way.
connections1a.jpg (87.7 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
The connector is an L-COM USB 3.0 Type C to Type C Panel Mount Cable-0.3 M U3A00057-03M. Installation is simple: there is a USB-C receptacle on the rear of the keyboard controller. To accommodate the cable within the confines of the case, I used an M/F right-angle USB-C connector between the controller and the panel-mount cable. The panel-mount end of the cable is held in place by the two mounting screws. I also used thick double-sided tape under the panel-mount for good measure.
rear1a.jpg (67.26 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
Rear view of the installed connector.
toprear1a.jpg (77.89 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
Top-rear view of the connected keyboard. Because of space constraints on my desk and the fact that my keyboard cables are more easily routed to the keyboard from the left side, I used another M/F right-angle USB-C connector between the panel-mount connector and my USB-C cable.
wide1a.jpg (96.11 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
Wide view of the finished keyboard. The mods and right-bracket key are from Unicomp, and the remaining alphanumeric keys are from an IBM-XT. The spacebar came with the keyboard. The only other modifications include floss-modding of all of the keys, putting strips of Poron ThinStik polyurethane foam on the barrel plate where the spacebar stabilizer clips hit the plate, and applying SuperLube synthetic grease to the spacebar stabilizer clips on the barrel plate and the spacebar itself. I did not install O-rings on the mods as I did with my first F62, and I think this keyboard sounds and feels better than the one with O-rings.

I consider the panel-mount connector a worthwhile mod for the F62. I much prefer having a detachable cable on all of my keyboards. It makes it much easier to swap out keyboards in a keyboard rotation, and it makes storage of idle keyboards more convenient. Although I plan to use my new F62 most of the time, when I want to type notes during teleconferences, I switch over to my silenced HHKB.

EDIT: The pic below shows the self-adhesive feet that I added to the case:
feet2a.jpg (68.99 KiB) Viewed 1350 times
The front corners have small hemispherical bumpers. The rear corners have conical bumpers. I like the cone-shaped feet, because you can get the desired height with a smaller base than would be the case with hemispherical ones.

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