Utterly stupid rubber dome replacement experiment - BTC 5100C

micmil

21 Mar 2021, 20:09

I love the BTC/Packard Bell 5130. It was the first keyboard I used for any real length of time, being packed in with the first computer my family owned. So it's kind of my baseline for keyboards. Things are either better or worse than it. Why the hell is this spacebar so squeaky on this New Model M... anyway, I thought I'd see if other BTC dome with slider boards stacked up and ended up grabbing one of the kajillions of French layout BTC 5100C's littering eBay like unwanted baguettes.
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It's not terribly good, to be honest. The biggest problem is the idiocy of placing the FN key where the CTRL key has existed on basically every keyboard since the Model M was invented. That aside, the domes are lacking. There's no real tactility, just some resistant mush then less resistant mush. There's only one thing that can be done.
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IMG_20210320_112629597.jpg (77.78 KiB) Viewed 396 times
Fix it. I have a minty fresh 5130 I'm not messing with, and another I bought as a donor for a couple of keycaps. Might as well put the carcass to good use. I pulled the dome sheet, chopped it up a bit, and sewed the Frankenstein up. The result? It's about 300x better than it was. There's actual tactility to the keys and it no longer feels like an office-grade HP from 2002. Is it my new daily driver? Hell no, of course not. It was never going to be that simply due to the jacked up CTRL location and tiny left shift (the One True Shift). The real important thing here was finding out if the problem was the design of the board or the actual dome sheet itself, and the answer is shockingly clear. I honestly did not expect much difference but there it is.

What a fun way to kill twenty minutes that was. :lol:

*Incidentally, I'm aware these pics are about nine-h hideous. The phone I'm using seems to dislike retaining settings from one pic to the next. :roll:

Jan Pospisil

22 Mar 2021, 12:57

If you converted this to USB, the keys could just be swapped and remapped, right? Also the nav cluster, which is just idiotic, but could be swapped around to make sense.

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ddrfraser1

22 Mar 2021, 13:22

Neat. I’m surprised there’s such a difference in the domes!

micmil

22 Mar 2021, 17:18

ddrfraser1 wrote:
22 Mar 2021, 13:22
Neat. I’m surprised there’s such a difference in the domes!
I knew it would make a difference but I didn't expect as much. It really brings into sharp focus the fact that crappy rubber domes are a choice, not a byproduct of rubber domes being rubber domes.
Jan Pospisil wrote:
22 Mar 2021, 12:57
If you converted this to USB, the keys could just be swapped and remapped, right? Also the nav cluster, which is just idiotic, but could be swapped around to make sense.
Yep. I may end up doing that, but it'll be a while before that comes around. Too many things lined up right now.

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ddrfraser1

22 Mar 2021, 17:20

micmil wrote:
22 Mar 2021, 17:18
crappy rubber domes are a choice, not a byproduct of rubber domes being rubber domes.
Wisdom

headphone_jack

23 Mar 2021, 02:09

I considered just redoing the matrix on mine to swap the fn and ctrl keys, but that is definitely not in store for a while. Soon enough!

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ddrfraser1

23 Mar 2021, 02:27

So much for so little

micmil

23 Mar 2021, 20:40

ddrfraser1 wrote:
23 Mar 2021, 02:27
So much for so little
This should be the actual header for the site. :lol:

"I internally modded this incredibly obscure 1970's terminal keyboard to play the Tetris music as I type!"

Wait, that sounds awesome. BRB...

Tahoma

23 Mar 2021, 20:43

Cool, or more my speed:

"I internally modded this massive terminal keyboard to add GNSS/GPS capabilities to it and a Stratum 1 time server."

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ddrfraser1

24 Mar 2021, 02:05

micmil wrote:
23 Mar 2021, 20:40
ddrfraser1 wrote:
23 Mar 2021, 02:27
So much for so little
This should be the actual header for the site. :lol:

"I internally modded this incredibly obscure 1970's terminal keyboard to play the Tetris music as I type!"

Wait, that sounds awesome. BRB...
Lol, I endorse it

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