Alps Appreciation

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ppCircle

18 Jun 2019, 21:20

//gainsborough wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 21:01
I just realized these are dampened creams and not actual SKCM creams =(

That really does suck.

edit: actually I can't really tell. What are they? I mean if they are legit SKCM creams I'd say you got a better deal than if they were browns. If they are dampened then yeah that's unfortunate.
Dampended creams, unfortunate. Anyway good find. I got fully working magnavox videowriter with that. Maybe next time im gonna find browns :mrgreen:

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

18 Jun 2019, 21:36

Lucky for you redmaus just found a bunch. I think he was going to be selling them at around $150 per 5140 (don't quote me on that through). Assuming you wanted to replace the switches, that is.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

24 Jun 2019, 10:29

Check out the tactile leaf on this batch of undampened creams I found in a canon typewriter:

Image

Also the slider is insanely slippery. It slid out of my fingers multiple times when handling it!

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Chyros

24 Jun 2019, 10:51

Very interesting! That looks like a sharper angle I normally see. Also the base retainer seems bigger.

Btw, is that a ZKB-2? XD

Wazrach

24 Jun 2019, 11:14

Chyros wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 10:51

Btw, is that a ZKB-2? XD
You nerd.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

24 Jun 2019, 17:59

Chyros wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 10:51
Very interesting! That looks like a sharper angle I normally see. Also the base retainer seems bigger.
It is! Instead of having two tabs (top and bottom retainers) on each side of the tactile leaf, there is just a single long tab on each side! It's really neat amd actually does feel slightly different than normal!
Chyros wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 10:51
Btw, is that a ZKB-2? XD
It is indeed! Good eye!
Wazrach wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 11:14
You nerd.
Aren't we all? :lol:

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Chyros

24 Jun 2019, 19:39

Wazrach wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 11:14
Chyros wrote:
24 Jun 2019, 10:51

Btw, is that a ZKB-2? XD
You nerd.
Not that I could realistically deny that, but I did have one right in front of me when I was typing that xD .

Lbibass

11 Jul 2019, 19:32

I figured it was time to start sharing at least some of my collection with the gang here. Unfortunately, I don't have my DSLR with me, so you'll just be getting some iPhone pics.

The first board is a shot of my pristine Zenith 163-73-1. Got this sucker for a little under a hundred bucks. The plate had almost no dust on it, and the SKCL Yellows, while not my thing in terms of weighting are definitely smooth.
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This next board is my Zenith TurboSport 386 keyboard. Very nice, smooth, and light switches. Not nearly as well built as the 163, but I'll be damned if it's not a nice board too. Nice PBT Dyesubs, just like the 163-73-1. Except I prefer the 'subs on this one because sublegends are nice.
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The next board that I have with me is my Alps Electric made AT101 with pine blacks and doubleshots! :mrgreen:
While this board might be yellowed to hell, and the caps extremely worn, and the plate rusted, and the PCB dead... well I am working on fixing those. Ended up getting this sucker for 75 dollars with shipping. It was one of those 300-400 dollar boards on eBay, and I offered 150, half joking around. The seller ended up accepting, much to my surprise. It ended up not working, so I asked for a refund. Quite a good deal.
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Then there's my SGI Granite AT101 which I did a switch replacement for. I got this board for only ten dollars off of someone in The Board's Slack group. His wife was cleaning the board and grabbed the wrong cleaning solution. Acetone is not great for Dampened Whites and spacebars, I can tell you that. Some wet sanding and desoldering later, I have a VERY nice sounding, and looking, board.
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I have some other boards, like my Wang 724 with Blue Alps, my Chicony 5160, my three, (three, yikes!) M0116's, my two AEK I's, my NTC 6251 with White Alps, my Z150 with Brown Alps, my UEK with SKCL Greens (my own design), and my two AEKII's. I don't have them with me right now, unfortunately, so these are all the pics you all are going to get.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Jul 2019, 19:50

Impressive Lbibass, I'm jelly of the SGI and Zenith ZKB2. What's a UEK?

Lbibass

11 Jul 2019, 22:08

Redmaus wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 19:50
Impressive Lbibass, I'm jelly of the SGI and Zenith ZKB2. What's a UEK?
The UEK is a board of my own design.
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The SGI granite is one of my favorites, but unfortunately, the ESC stem broke somehow. And the Zenith isn't a zkb-2. It's not made by the company that made Chicony and Monterey boards, but Alps Electric. No shitty, thin doubleshot caps here. Only thicc dyesubs. 8-)

DaOver

16 Jul 2019, 22:33

Finally found a NOS Alps keyboard after several junk ones.
Apple AEKII with SKCM Alps White dampened.
I think I'm gonna desolder these switches for my ALPS64 build. (Since the 2nd GB run for those NOS SKCM White Alps did not go through :cry: )
I plan on click modding the tactile leaves and replacing the dampened stems with normal stems from some ALPS clones.

Keycaps are actually quite nice. PBT and a nice thickness. Font is ugly :D
Maybe if I get an ADB to PS2/USB converter I might solder some other switches into this board.
It's a quality chasis.

After typing for a while on it, feeling NOS ALPS switches for the first time, it finally confirmed my suspicions that my Focus FK-2001 still has pretty worn out click leaves even after I tried to clean the switches and lube them.
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Apple AEKII M3501 - SKCM ALPS White Dampened
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Apple AEKII M3501 - SKCM ALPS White Dampened
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Apple AEKII M3501 - SKCM ALPS White Dampened
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Apple AEKII M3501 - SKCM ALPS White Dampened
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User avatar
Elrick

18 Jul 2019, 05:39

DaOver wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 22:33
Finally found a NOS Alps keyboard after several junk ones.
Apple AEKII with SKCM Alps White dampened.
I think I'm gonna desolder these switches for my ALPS64 build. (Since the 2nd GB run for those NOS SKCM White Alps did not go through :cry: )
Stupefying CRIME to do that. This original keyboard is unique in it's condition and should be left alone to appreciate it's wonder.
DaOver wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 22:33
Keycaps are actually quite nice. PBT and a nice thickness. Font is ugly :D
It's a quality chasis.
You will appreciate the quality overall and if you think that old Apple fonts are ugly, then you've never looked at the current atrocities known as Corsair and Razer junk keyboard font's. That alone would have you regurgitating your morning cappuccino quite easily.

Leave the original Apple keyboard alone because they are extremely rare in that condition. It's like breaking down a perfect Pink Diamond for the ignorant, that don't appreciate quality over substance.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

18 Jul 2019, 05:55

DaOver wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 22:33
I think I'm gonna desolder these switches for my ALPS64 build. (Since the 2nd GB run for those NOS SKCM White Alps did not go through :cry: )
It's NIB my dude

cli

18 Jul 2019, 09:44

DaOver wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 22:33
I plan on click modding the tactile leaves and replacing the dampened stems with normal stems from some ALPS clones.
I have click modded some black Alps, it's ok but pales next to clicky Alps white or blue switches.
It's like the Peugeot add https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50A9wjJ40Dk

My advice, have some patience and wait for someone selling their switches. Try putting a buying post on reddit.com/r/mechmarket.

DaOver

18 Jul 2019, 10:45

Geez, it did not occur to me that the Apple AEKII would be regarded as a keyboard that needs to be preserved.
I thought it's the type of keyboard that was so mass produced it, that is pops up everywhere.
Also, I did not find much praise for the dampened ALPS switches. They also felt like a lackluster switches without the need to be preserved.

mcmaxmcmc

18 Jul 2019, 11:07

DaOver wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 10:45
Geez, it did not occur to me that the Apple AEKII would be regarded as a keyboard that needs to be preserved.
I thought it's the type of keyboard that was so mass produced it, that is pops up everywhere.
Also, I did not find much praise for the dampened ALPS switches. They also felt like a lackluster switches without the need to be preserved.
I think most hold a special case for new in box keyboards -- finding one after, what, 20 years is not common at all! Most would keep 'em just like that. :)

As for just the AEKII, in one in what I'd say "normal" condition (slightly yellow, a tad worn, like somebody used it for a bit) -- yeah, just desolder that. Nobody gives a damn. :twisted:

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Muirium
µ

18 Jul 2019, 11:10

Here's some praise for damped Alps: I like them! Their tactility is fairly subtle, but much more tangible than the silly wee notch in MX brown. And the damping is great. Blue Alps are fun, but creams are switches I can really use, without a racket on either side of the stroke.

I actually prefer the AEK II to the orange Alps AEK I.

But that said, they're far from rare. They're like those Dell boards with black Alps: plentiful, but no one's making them any more. Ultimately, they'll all be gone, but there's many thousands still lying in boxes, for now.

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flowerlandfilms

20 Jul 2019, 09:01

Got my hands on a board with yellow Alps for the first time. They are quite pleasant to type on if you like linear keys.
These are a more pale shade of yellow than I have seen online.
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Muirium
µ

20 Jul 2019, 10:04

Yellows are indeed that pale, canary yellow colour when you see them in person. Take a look at the table:

wiki/Alps_SKCL/SKCM_series#Variants

A lot of photos—especially by sellers who don’t know the importance—are just poorly lit, which makes things look darker than reality. And then there’s all those darker shades of ambery, orangey Alps.

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flowerlandfilms

20 Jul 2019, 13:23

Muirium wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 10:04
Yellows are indeed that pale, canary yellow colour when you see them in person. Take a look at the table:

wiki/Alps_SKCL/SKCM_series#Variants

A lot of photos—especially by sellers who don’t know the importance—are just poorly lit, which makes things look darker than reality. And then there’s all those darker shades of ambery, orangey Alps.
Yeh sometimes it's difficult to tell yellow from cream from white in online photos.
I'll have to find something to do with these yellows, I dig them.

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flowerlandfilms

22 Jul 2019, 16:58

Can I ask if anyone has seen caps like these?
These are, I believe, silk screen printed caps, however they are also double shot.
Why go to the trouble of doing double shots and not actually use it for the text?
Just curious if anyone has seen it before.
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Chyros

22 Jul 2019, 17:35

Yeah, I've seen it before. My MCK-142Pro has several very weird examples of it, including doubleshot blanks xD .

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flowerlandfilms

22 Jul 2019, 18:43

Chyros wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 17:35
Yeah, I've seen it before. My MCK-142Pro has several very weird examples of it, including doubleshot blanks xD .
Oh yeh, I remember your video with red plastic in some of the function keys.
I guess it's for when they needed to make non-standard symbols for which they didn't have the tooling.

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Chyros

22 Jul 2019, 19:17

flowerlandfilms wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 18:43
Chyros wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 17:35
Yeah, I've seen it before. My MCK-142Pro has several very weird examples of it, including doubleshot blanks xD .
Oh yeh, I remember your video with red plastic in some of the function keys.
I guess it's for when they needed to make non-standard symbols for which they didn't have the tooling.
Yeah, exactly. I've never seen it on "standard" keys.

Lbibass

22 Jul 2019, 19:41

Chyros wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 19:17
flowerlandfilms wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 18:43
Chyros wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 17:35
Yeah, I've seen it before. My MCK-142Pro has several very weird examples of it, including doubleshot blanks xD .
Oh yeh, I remember your video with red plastic in some of the function keys.
I guess it's for when they needed to make non-standard symbols for which they didn't have the tooling.
Yeah, exactly. I've never seen it on "standard" keys.

I have! All of the colored modifiers on a really shitty clicky foam and foil board, in addition to ESC, used colored pad printing over top of black doubleshotting.
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Huh, Deskthority rotated those images on its own. Dangit!

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Chyros

22 Jul 2019, 20:38

It may well be because they were coloured.

EDIT: I guess that'd only make sense if they couldn't get coloured plastic though, which seems unlikely Oo .

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flowerlandfilms

22 Jul 2019, 20:51

Chyros wrote:
22 Jul 2019, 20:38
It may well be because they were coloured.

EDIT: I guess that'd only make sense if they couldn't get coloured plastic though, which seems unlikely Oo .
Maybe they couldn't justify the price just for the modifers?
Like it's only worth it to invest in coloured plastic for bulk runs of a certain number volume.
I wonder if the cheapskates of yesteryear stopped to consider the confusion their penny-pinching would cause the keyboard fans of the future.

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CountNoctua

25 Jul 2019, 00:47

Finally managed to snag a Zenith off ebay for a reasonable price after checking ebay and bidding periodically for a few months, a black badge Z-150 (admittedly I could have found one quicker and cheaper if I weren't specifically looking for the black badge... so sexy :P). Which converter(s) will work with it? I thought I read Soarer's would, but then I read that it doesn't work properly with it.

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Muirium
µ

25 Jul 2019, 01:29

XT Zeniths can be a bit weird:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12972&start=90

Soarer’s converter could work but could also be flaky. Hasu’s TMK does a better job with these particular boards. It runs on the same Teensy hardware anyway, so you can choose accordingly.

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SneakyRobb
THINK

25 Jul 2019, 20:17

I just got a Chicony KB-5161A in great condition with blue alps.

I got this Chicony board because my Leading Edge DC-2014 also with blue alps doesn't have arrow keys etc and this can make light gaming a bit lacking. I dislike switching boards. Also I wish to acquire more blue alps boards.

The games I play require a lot of buttons arrows, numpad, function keys etc. So a full sized board made sense. So I got one.

For games that require a lot of fast presses and intensity I still use a topre real force. Which is a great board.

Even though the switches feel the mostly the same from the Chicony to the Leading Edge, the sound and even feel is shockingly different. The KB-5161A sounds very good, but it is worlds apart from the DC-2014

I knew before it wouldn't sound as good and I did start with one of the best sounding alps boards, but holy hell. I have to like suspend disbelief to use the KB-5161A so I don't notice it.

I told my wife I wouldn't buy anymore boards after some beamspring parts and these blue alps boards. Now the white whale becomes the Leading Edge DC-3014 with blue alps. Must acquire.

Alps switches are honestly like to me a symphony instrument player. The keycap is the instrument, and the case/plate is the auditiorium. Take the exact same player, give them a stradivarius violin in the Vienna concert hall and oof. Amazing.

Give them a plastic trumpet in a campsite bandstand. Technically great, but your experience is not as great

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