New Buckling Spring Design

zeeko

28 Apr 2015, 20:36

This project looks very interesting :)

andrewjoy

29 Apr 2015, 02:17

wcass wrote:
andrewjoy wrote: awesome project ! i want one. mmm possibly have the plates made out of steel the M flippers in the F barrels just look wrong tho
I was thinking about that too. The_Beast does very nice woodwork and he has a buddy that cuts aluminum and steel at a very reasonable price. I think it would look great to get the bottom and barrel frame made from .125" or 3mm aluminum and have the other case layers made from fine dark wood. The LEDs would be invisible though, so would probably leave them off.
Redmaus wrote: Will we get a starter set of keys with the case? Please tell me we do. It would be cool to have a default look. I like the idea of red keys. Also, will the LED backlighting be dimmable? Because otherwise I feel they will be too bright.
Maybe, but probably not. Key caps are a very personal thing. Most of the caps are fairly common, so not including them will keep the price lower. I may offer dyed caps as an add-on service. Dimmable LEDs is a target, but I have not looked into it enough yet.

i just think it would be cool with all steel , its the closest thing to a 62 key i am ever going to get

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wcass

29 Apr 2015, 03:39

By request, a sound comparison video. My keyboard first, then a (mostly) stock IBM model M (case was dyed black). The camera is resting on the same table as the keyboards - about 4" away. YouTube says that it will be about an hour before the file is uploaded, sorry about that.

In the video, i type "the rain in spain falls mainly on the plain" on both keyboards, then type across the home row. Most of you guys know what a model M sounds like - i suggest that you adjust your volume so that the second keyboard sounds like what you remember in order to get a good idea about what the new keyboard sounds like.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_5Ni1_zs3AU[/youtube]
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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

29 Apr 2015, 03:52

Better youtube link?

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wcass

29 Apr 2015, 04:36


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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

29 Apr 2015, 05:21

Wow I really want to know what it sounds like irl now. Are the inverted spacebars actually comfortable? And if they are uncomfortable could you turn the barrels the right way back? Because to be honest they don't look that nice like that.

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Muirium
µ

29 Apr 2015, 05:29

Different. I can't decide whether different good or different bad, though. Some things can't be told over microphone. Or rather are subtle enough to need good close, tight miking.

Speaking of which: clicky Futabas. Sound nice in Japanese YouTube videos, but when I tried them in person the other day they weren't inspiring at all. Even mint!

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

29 Apr 2015, 06:13

I like the muted click from your acrylic board much better than the original. Thanks for posting. Nice comparison

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wcass

01 May 2015, 18:08

I got some very disappointing news - InkJetFlex/CIT Technology will not be offering prototype service anytime soon. I was counting on these guys to make the top membrane for this keyboard. I had used them before and was very happy with the quality and suitability of their product. So now what? Research, I guess.

Needless to say, the keyboard will not be 100% functional at the Chicago KeyCon, but it will be there. I will put a blank top membrane in the keyboard so that the feel should be very close to the feel with a functional top membrane. I'll also try to rig up something so that the LEDs are at least partly functional. This should let more folks see, feel, and hear what the finished keyboard will be like.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

01 May 2015, 20:13

Where else could you make the top membrane?

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Mal-2

01 May 2015, 21:39

Have you talked to http://www.flexiblecircuit.com/ by chance? It looks like they manufacture in China, but have HQ in Minnesota.

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Touch_It

02 May 2015, 16:21

Muirium wrote:Different. I can't decide whether different good or different bad, though. Some things can't be told over microphone. Or rather are subtle enough to need good close, tight miking.

Speaking of which: clicky Futabas. Sound nice in Japanese YouTube videos, but when I tried them in person the other day they weren't inspiring at all. Even mint!
Really. I find the sound to be awesome. I like to use mine at work on occasion. Mostly for the sound.

On another note the new design sounded really quiet to me. I think, even with the best microphone, it can't compare to hearing it in person.

On another note. I saw your face wcass. Always fun to put a face to a name.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

02 May 2015, 17:24

Wait. What about extendable feet? Is it too late? I like to have my keyboards elevated.

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wcass

02 May 2015, 21:05

Redmaus wrote: Wait. What about extendable feet? Is it too late? I like to have my keyboards elevated.
McMaster Carr has a nice selection of adhesive backed bumpers from .06" to .87" in height. Chances are that i will provide several options.
Touch_It wrote: Really. I find the sound to be awesome. I like to use mine at work on occasion. Mostly for the sound.

On another note the new design sounded really quiet to me. I think, even with the best microphone, it can't compare to hearing it in person.
I have always had an IBM or Unicomp at work. I have been in a cube for the last 12 years, and i have only had one person say anything and that was along the lines of "at first, i thought it was really loud and distracting, but after a while i stopped noticing it." My wife said something similar after i converted her to a buckling spring fan. The sound is a conversation starter and way to get people to try the keyboard, but i understand that many folks do have a problem with it. I have no idea why or how this keyboard is so quiet - just know that it is. The folks at the KeyCon will be witnesses.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

02 May 2015, 23:44

wcass wrote:
Redmaus wrote: Wait. What about extendable feet? Is it too late? I like to have my keyboards elevated.
McMaster Carr has a nice selection of adhesive backed bumpers from .06" to .87" in height. Chances are that i will provide several options.

You probably have more important things to worry about, but I think it would be great if the board could have some two stage extendable feet like the model F's we are trying to recreate. They could maybe be 3D printed and be removable from the board itself? I feel like we can do better than rubber feet. :)

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Mal-2

02 May 2015, 23:57

Redmaus wrote: You probably have more important things to worry about, but I think it would be great if the board could have some two stage extendable feet like the model F's we are trying to recreate. They could maybe be 3D printed and be removable from the board itself? I feel like we can do better than rubber feet. :)
Sort of like piano lid posts, only down instead of up? There's a small post inset into a larger post. You can flip the short one, both, or fold them both. (There would be no functional reason to even attempt to extend the long one and not the short one.)

Image

Vizir

08 May 2015, 19:09

this is genius!

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wcass

11 May 2015, 04:28

This is probably the last update from me until after the KeyCon. I want to get the keyboard to look and feel as much like the final product as i can - considering that I still don't have a real top membrane or programmed controller yet. To achieve this, i painted the case (3 white base coats and 3 black coats) and hot-wired the LEDs. FYI, it is really difficult to capture light effects with a point-and-shoot camera - if you use a flash, it washes out the effect, but without a flash the LED appear much brighter than they really are. My camera does that "with-flash-without-flash-double-shot" thing, so here they are.

First, these shots taken in a brightly lit room.
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And now some shots with the room lights off.
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If you average the with/without flash, it would be much closer to the actual visual effect. Yes, there are LED hotspots, but they don't look yellow at all, or as blinding as they do in the "no-flash" shots.

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wcass

11 May 2015, 05:57

Hot-wired LEDs = Instead of the LED's coming from the controller, they are connected directly to +5 and it has 150 ohm resistors instead of 56 ohm as it will when coming from the 3.3v output of the controller. The LEDs are rated at 20 mA, but i'm driving them at about 6 mA (one resistor and three LEDs x two lines). I double-checked the documentation before i soldered on the LEDs but still managed to install all of the LEDs backward the first time. It is tradition to mark the cathode, right? Well, not this guy.
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I also wanted to show you the custom separator, the "stand-in for the top membrane", and the rubber mat. The separator is 5 mil (just like IBM model M), the top membrane is 4 mil (IBM used 3 mil), and the rubber mat is 8 mil (same as IBM). All were punched by hand. Laser cut would be nice.
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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 May 2015, 06:20

Wow, this looks great! I like red but have to ask will there be more than one color? Like RGB maybe? That would be sick. What did you think about the above posts on extendable feet?

andrewjoy

11 May 2015, 11:41

that looks amazing , just .... wow.

i am an F man myself for the most part but that is just sexy

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wcass

11 May 2015, 16:27

Redmaus wrote: Wow, this looks great! I like red but have to ask will there be more than one color? Like RGB maybe? That would be sick. What did you think about the above posts on extendable feet?
It is too late to add these features to this board, but I'll add RGB LEDs and extendable feet to the list of features to include in a future project. I really enjoy the tech-art creative process and can see myself doing at least two projects a year.

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ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

11 May 2015, 17:33

I was planning to do something very similar some times ago, your project makes me want to do it... http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/# ... 761786c59f

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AlexdeL

11 May 2015, 20:34

This keyboard is heaven sent! Some manufacturer should bring this to market, buckling spring fans should not be deprived of this!

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

16 Jul 2015, 01:45

Need to revive thread I want this to happen!

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wcass

19 Jul 2015, 08:12

When I sent out RFQ for membranes, i asked for 10 copies of my design (attached PDF, DXF, and gerbers), "conductive silver ink on 3 or 4 mil PET substrate". I sent requests to about 20 printers in the US and about 4 in China. I got replies back from about half. The quotes from the US vendors were between $230 and >$1000. Some were helpful with little tips like "We know you specified the .003 but we have found that thin of material likes to crinkle and float around in our dryer. We can go to a .005 but prefer .007 thickness."

In the end, i went with the low bid of $80 (+30 for shipping) from China. There were several communication issues, but I believed that all that was resolved. The membranes came in on Thursday, but i have been too busy to get a good look at them until today. My first impression was ... WTF? On one side the traces are silver-white but on the other side they are black. There is noticeable scorching, a crease, and it feels too thick.

The first thing i did today was to get out the multimeter and check the resistance from start to end of the longest trace. I suspect that the black is carbon and would be very resistive. Well, it might be carbon, but the traces are not any more resistive than a 25 year old model M membrane, so the color of the trace is not a concern. Only one of the ten has a crease and that is in a corner not near any of the traces. The cuts and print line up perfectly with the PCB. The scorched edges are mostly cosmetic, but the thing i am most concerned with is that the substrate is 10 mil (and up to 15 mil near some of the laser cuts). I'll try these out an hope that 10 mil is not too thick.
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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

19 Aug 2015, 19:53

My guess is that the lack of a rubber sheet is the key to this feeling "different".

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

01 Feb 2016, 21:40

Bump!

What happened here? Looks like he has all the necessary parts now. I wonder where it went?

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wcass

02 Feb 2016, 04:51

Surface mounting those tiny parts was a pain and my programming skills are weak. So i've been helping a few other folks with their projects by doing things i'm better at and enjoy more.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

02 Feb 2016, 04:57

Understandable. Do you know what time you might get back into finishing this project?

I really like this board so far and it looks really promising.

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