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Re: [cosmacelf] Re: I'm thinking of cloning the VIP...

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  • Lee Hart
    ... The Grayhill switches I ve used in the past were expensive, but of excellent quality. They were used in test and industrial equipment where they needed to
    Message 1 of 62 , May 7, 2013
      On 5/7/2013 9:19 AM, darcy_ro wrote:
      > The Grayhill keypad is/was the 84BC1-004. It has 0.75" switch
      > centers, common bus and a molded-in legend with the same layout as
      > the VIP. The other Grayhill series are too small, and the
      > relegendable types are ugly.

      The Grayhill switches I've used in the past were expensive, but of
      excellent quality. They were used in test and industrial equipment where
      they needed to last. There was one that was a dead ringer for the one
      RCA used on the VIP -- maybe it *was* a grayhill part.

      > I have looked at other ways of building the keypad, including using
      > Cherry MX series switches and sourcing keytops from WASD Keyboards.
      > But of course it won't look like the VIP using those switches.

      I found the no-travel VIP switches a bit tiring to use, I think I would
      have preferred a taller keypad with some key travel instead. Sometimes
      copying the past means you are stuck with the mistakes and limitations
      of the past.

      > For the money, maybe a custom mylar overlay is still the way to go -
      > but makes it hard for others to duplicate.

      The problem isn't a lack of choice; it's too many choices! There are
      hundreds of switches to choose from; Everything from full-travel
      keyboard switches to tiny cheap tactile switches are available. Sure
      they cost money; but how much time and effort do you want to spend to
      save $1?

      Or, you can build your own. The VIP keyboard is mighty simple to
      duplicate. You could etch comb traces on the PCB, and stretch a piece of
      metalized mylar over it. Use tin plating on the board if you only want
      it to last a few years, or gold plate it to last. Lots of places will
      print custom mylar labels with any legend you want. A 3D printer could
      make the black plastic body.

      Or, you could use a resistive touch switch, where the skin resistance of
      your finger bridges two foil traces to close the switch. You can't get
      any cheaper than free! :-)
      --
      There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something!
      -- Thomas A. Edison
      --
      Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/MembershipCard.htm
    • jdrose_8_bit
      That sounds great. I hope you can find a hexpad that will work for you. Looking forward to your updates.
      Message 62 of 62 , May 8, 2013
        That sounds great. I hope you can find a hexpad that will work for you.

        Looking forward to your updates.

        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "darcy_ro" <darcy_ro@...> wrote:
        >
        > I haven't had a lot of time to pursue this. I recently purchased a VIP to use as a model, though. The keypad still presents some difficulty, to get the correct feel and appear professional. There is a Grayhill keypad very close, but purchase minimums mean I'd have to commit to a fair amount of money.
        >
        > When I'm done I'll release the artwork as a set of Gerber files and a BOM. That way everyone can make one. I have no interest in selling kits or keeping it for myself.
        >
        > regards,
        > Darcy.
        >
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