Alps Appreciation

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ppCircle

13 Apr 2020, 17:46

Long ago i pick up some alps keyboard from school (alps dome), it was nothing special so i put it into my basemement. Few days ago my friend reminded me about it by accident. So i put keycaps from it to my fk-2002.
Keycaps are made by alps it's polish set with really cool legends. Some keycaps i couldnt use because of crappy mout. But i think it looks amazing.

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Updated version:
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More photos:

DaOver

02 May 2020, 01:30

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It took me several year to source Blue ALPS for this build but I finally finished it.
- Switches SKCM Blue ALPS (sourced from a old non-salvageable board)
- Hasu ALPS64 PCB
- AEK plate modded for ANSI layout
- Costar stabs from old vintage ALPS keyboard.
- Vintage Tai Hao ALPS doubleshot keycaps
- NPKC 60% Wooden Wrist Rest Keyboard Case from Drop.com

kelvinhall05

02 May 2020, 01:47

Such a weird case...I like it.


Also, why is your alt key so angry? grrrr.... :lol:

Sturmtiger001

02 May 2020, 02:45

From an Apple IIC.
Just got my first taste of actual alps in a board, gotta say I'm legit surprised, I just got it today so I haven't had much time to get a proper feel for the switches.

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User avatar
ppCircle

07 May 2020, 22:19

From reddit:

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Prices of TB2581P Threebond if you gonna find any



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mode1ace

30 May 2020, 14:39

Spent today cleaning up an Azerty M0118 with SKCM orange, curiously a couple of switches had Salmon springs, slightly heavier and gold coloured, not shiny silver like the rest. It's hardly like springs fail so I'd be surprised if it didn't come from the factory like this.

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This is the before shot, looks worse than it is, just light keyboard chow and some coffee stains, no abrasive hard dirt. Still typed ok, about as scratchy as MX, no binding.

I'm hopeful this'll turn out pretty nicely.

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flowerlandfilms

09 Jun 2020, 20:12

4_404 wrote:
18 Mar 2020, 00:34
Not at the moment, plus I'm in Aus so the shipping would likely be pretty bad, but give me a message as I do need to clear out/sell some stuff soon.

I did try making them ANSI with a couple of SGI dyesubs, but unfortunately the different fonts, colours and keycap shapes didn't really work that well together.
I'm in Aus too, and my SGI AT-101 is my daily driver.
So sell to me first! :lol:

4_404

10 Jun 2020, 01:38

flowerlandfilms wrote:
09 Jun 2020, 20:12
4_404 wrote:
18 Mar 2020, 00:34
Not at the moment, plus I'm in Aus so the shipping would likely be pretty bad, but give me a message as I do need to clear out/sell some stuff soon.

I did try making them ANSI with a couple of SGI dyesubs, but unfortunately the different fonts, colours and keycap shapes didn't really work that well together.
I'm in Aus too, and my SGI AT-101 is my daily driver.
So sell to me first! :lol:
I'm keeping the NEC for now at least, as I like the whites in it more than the dampened creams in the SGI I have and it makes for a great desktop aesthetic, but I'd rather sell here rather than internationally anyway.

mode1ace

26 Jun 2020, 11:56

Took delivery of an ISO (qwertz) SGI granite today and it surprised me by having a switch I've never seen before. Bamboo cream damped.

The sliders are kinda greasy like pine cream damped, and honestly the board feels pretty nice despite being dirty, very similar if not a bit better than my SKCM pine cream damped AEK2.

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User avatar
Willy4876

26 Jun 2020, 22:50

I just checked and my ANSI SGI Granite has the same thing.

mode1ace

26 Jun 2020, 23:00

Huh, I won't feel so bad about splitting it up then if it's not as rare as I first thought, I bought to to combine the qwerty caps from an ANSI granite to make an ISO qwerty granite with a spare pcb/case/plate I have along with a full set of SKCM amber.

User avatar
bsdice

29 Jun 2020, 11:41

Hey there. I am trying to wrap my head around the useful- or uselessness of doing myself with SKCM Orange Alps what Scarpia (viewtopic.php?t=19491) has done with regard to modifiers, i.e. use SKCL Green Alps. Does anyone else run such a "mixed switches" keyboard and does it make sense? Why?

I googled for like two hours now, but keep circling GH/DT forums with no answers. Target will be a NOS AT102DW from '98 so I don't need any below-keycap LED capabilities. Also I am thinking about wirewrapping it with a custom controller, provided the PCB isn't necessary to hold everything snuggly in place. Overall key feel should be "light" and not as fatiguing as reportedly SKCM Alps Brown (I'm a tech guy and do type alot).

I think I watched all videos by Chyros concerning Greens and Oranges (and then some...awesome), also studied actuation force curves by HaaTa. Grateful for any insight. Thanks!

User avatar
mcmaxmcmc

30 Jun 2020, 14:12

mode1ace wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 11:56
Took delivery of an ISO (qwertz) SGI granite today and it surprised me by having a switch I've never seen before. Bamboo cream damped.

The sliders are kinda greasy like pine cream damped, and honestly the board feels pretty nice despite being dirty, very similar if not a bit better than my SKCM pine cream damped AEK2.

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Is that really a Granite? The picture looks very yellow if it is.

I'd love to see more pictures! :D

Sturmtiger001

30 Jun 2020, 20:37

My most recent find, though it's not exactly the usual Z-150 as it is from a "portable" computer version, nevertheless I'm mighty happy with what I got, I did score some other stuff as well, but frankly, I feel this Z-150 is the one worth mentioning in the meanwhile, might do a little post about the cleanup process that was involved, but until then here is a pre-clean photo of the board when I got it.
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BadCrab

01 Jul 2020, 01:17

That is a great board, and looks to be in good condition, too. Dig the layout with capslock pushed to the right of the spacebar, so weird.

mode1ace

01 Jul 2020, 18:23

mcmaxmcmc wrote:
30 Jun 2020, 14:12
Is that really a Granite? The picture looks very yellow if it is.

I'd love to see more pictures! :D
It is, it's just the warm light of the room though, the case isn't yellowed at all. I'll post pics once it's done :)

User avatar
kakan

01 Jul 2020, 19:17

That board looks great! I really enjoy the linear Alps a lot! Hope you do to

User avatar
bsdice

04 Jul 2020, 08:22

Yesterday I finalized my AT102DW with all SKCM Orange, my daily driver now. 210 solder spots to remove, 105 switches to remove, 210 solder spots to reapply. Ouch. It paid off to invest in a TS100 soldering iron (temp control, big ass tip from a 9-tip set), a Soldapullt desolder pump and braided wick to remove all solder relatively cleanly. And get all those bent pins ready for extraction (thanks, Dell!).

All in all I am satisfied. The board has a satisfying sonorous "thock" sound when keys bottom out, because of the combination of ABS caps, Orange switches, PS plastic case, steel plate, PCB. Key feel is alot better than stock, "cleaner" and much lighter than with SKCM Blacks. I skipped the SKCL Greens for modifiers, couldn't make up my mind. Not enough and clear precedent or success stories to warrant this complication. Also wanted to finish the project without waiting another few weeks for more switches to arrive. Maybe on my next keyboard.

The Oranges do ping more than Blacks, but that's what you get when you solder 30yr+ old switches into a 22yr old new old stock keyboard.

Out of 120 switches, 2 were bad. One I could fix using Chyros' YT guide by bending the contact spring legs a bit outward. No idea how long that would be good. The other requires a ridiculous force on the contact leaf to register at all. Tried canned air from all sides. Guess it is gone for good. Using it to test Ballistol Teflon Spray with PTFE on effect of dry lubing scratchy Oranges. It's wet at first but dries within seconds, leaving only a thin PTFE film. Working good and smoothed up the dead switch alot. No idea for how long.

One bonus for me is the repairability of this board.

And on a personal note, I started using the Internet back in 1991 when there wasn't even WWW yet, only FTP and Gopher. Gets me sentimental thinking that back then the switches I am using today already existed, somewhere.

User avatar
bsdice

04 Jul 2020, 10:28

Two further notes concerning my attempts at switch repair:

1) Left cursor key was pinging like crazy. Sounded like "pliiing" after every up stroke. Removed top housing, put tiniest bit of "GPL-205 G0" on bottom and top of spring with brush, also put tiniest bit of same on tactile leaf /backside/ (facing away from slider), finally added piece of paper between tactile leaf and upper housing. Reassembled, pinging gone, only slightest of click remaining on up stroke.

2) I think I also fixed the one dead Orange switch. Disassembled switch fully, i.e. took contact assembly out of casing (needs pretty much solder-free pins). Removed contact spring and where that was I put the tip of a toothpick between layers on top side really carefully, just enough to open the contact sheets up a tiny bit. Held it with tweezers and flooded it with "Kontakt LR" over trash bin. LR is German Leiterplattenreiniger, PCB cleaner. Contains 2-propanol, ethanol, volatile hydrocarbons and some other stuff I can't make out from the security data sheet. Then dried it with canned air, and presto, only small force again necessary to activate switch. Put back together.

I also took the opportunity to closer inspect the tiny details in the plastic of the bottom and top housing. Really great japanese engineering from the 1980s, very admirable. Among the world's best, even 30 years later.

mode1ace

Yesterday, 12:52

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I tried mounting a hybrid set of ANSI and ISO-DE keycaps on my ISO granite and It looks alright!

Now I have a kinda weird looking ANSI qwertz set and board, which leaves me wondering if there are any qwertz ansi fans out there who this'd be just the thing for?

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