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Replacing disintegrated pads in keyboards - tip for cutting the pads

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  • B Degnan
    I am working to restore a Visual Technologies 1050 computer. The keyboard has the same problem as others have reported for their SOL 20 s and TRS 80 model
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 25, 2010
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      I am working to restore a Visual Technologies 1050 computer. The
      keyboard has the same problem as others have reported for their SOL 20's
      and TRS 80 model II's.

      Taking Mike's advice I bought a strip of the Woodland Scenics 5mm foam.
      I also bought a Stanley Grommet Kit of 1/2" (12mm) to make the pads.
      The punch that comes with the grommet kit is perfect for making
      consistent holes in 5mm foam. It's a relatively cheap kit too, and easy
      to do.

      After disassembling the keyboard

      1. Remove all of the disintegrated pads, clean out the key holes
      2. Clean off and set aside the metalic pads
      3. Punch 92 or so pads from the Woodland Scenics foam sheet using the
      1/2" (12mm) Stanley Grommet Kit. I used a hammer to the back of the punch.
      4. Use my fingers to hold up three or four keys
      5. Apply rubber cement to the bottom of a pad and stick the pad in one
      of the raised keyholes for each of the raised keys.
      6. Repeat step 5 until you have about 20 or so new keypads in place.
      This gives the rubber cement of first few a chance to dry
      7. Apply rubber cement to the top of the new pads in the order they
      were installed, and stick a metallic pad on top so that the metallic
      surface is facing up. I chose the best of the pads for most-often used
      keys.
      8. Repeat from step #4 until all of the keys have been replaced.

      This is slow methodical work. I totally agree with the choice of
      Woodland Scenics foam. I tried an alternative but it did not work as
      well and I had to start over.

      In the case of the Visual 1050 I noticed that the keyboard action is
      much stiffer than before, as there is a lot less space between the key
      pads and the keyboard PCB that makes the connection and send the key
      stroke to the computer/display. If there was such a thing as 4mm foam
      I'd get that instead, but none of the new pads is taller than the
      keyboard hole, it's just a little tight.

      Here are some pictures
      http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/

      Bill
    • Dan Roganti
      I would suggest using a fresh razor blade to slice off 1mm after you punch out the pads. That be another painstaking task but it can help. I ll have to pickup
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 26, 2010
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        I would suggest using a fresh razor blade to slice off 1mm after you punch out the pads. That be another painstaking task but it can help.

        I'll have to pickup a Stanley Grommet kit too.

        =Dan


        On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
        I am working to restore a Visual Technologies 1050 computer.  The
        keyboard has the same problem as others have reported for their SOL 20's
        and TRS 80 model II's.

        Taking Mike's advice I bought a strip of the Woodland Scenics 5mm foam.
        I also bought a Stanley Grommet Kit of 1/2" (12mm) to make the pads.
        The punch that comes with the grommet kit is perfect for making
        consistent holes in 5mm foam.  It's a relatively cheap kit too, and easy
        to do.

        After disassembling the keyboard

        1.  Remove all of the disintegrated pads, clean out the key holes
        2.  Clean off and set aside the metalic pads
        3.  Punch 92 or so pads from the Woodland Scenics foam sheet using the
        1/2" (12mm) Stanley Grommet Kit.  I used a hammer to the back of the punch.
        4.  Use my fingers to hold up three or four keys
        5.  Apply rubber cement to the bottom of a pad and stick the pad in one
        of the raised keyholes for each of the raised keys.
        6.  Repeat step 5 until you have about 20 or so new keypads in place.
        This gives the rubber cement of first few a chance to dry
        7.  Apply rubber cement to the top of the new pads in the order they
        were installed, and stick a metallic pad on top so that the metallic
        surface is facing up.  I chose the best of the pads for most-often used
        keys.
        8.  Repeat from step #4 until all of the keys have been replaced.

        This is slow methodical work.  I totally agree with the choice of
        Woodland Scenics foam. I tried an alternative but it did not work as
        well and I had to start over.

        In the case of the Visual 1050 I noticed that the keyboard action is
        much stiffer than before, as there is a lot less space between the key
        pads and the keyboard PCB that makes the connection and send the key
        stroke to the computer/display.  If there was such a thing as 4mm foam
        I'd get that instead, but none of the new pads is taller than the
        keyboard hole, it's just a little tight.

        Here are some pictures
        http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/

        Bill



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      • Kelly D. Leavitt
        I found a punch on ebay that is much simpler to use. All you have to do is push it through the material with a twist. I made complete set of replacement pads
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 27, 2010
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          I found a punch on ebay that is much simpler to use. All you have to do is push it through the material with a twist. I made complete set of replacement pads using a plastic seperator sheet from a 3 ring binder, a mylar "space" blanket from Wal-Mart, the track bedding, and rubber cement.

          Item 190387118723 is a similar punch.

          I actually purchased it from the guy selling 290202711392 but he doesn't have any 7/16 listed at the moment. It was $12 plus $4 for shipping.

          Kelly

          -----Original Message-----
          From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Dan Roganti
          Sent: Mon 7/26/2010 10:47 PM
          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          Cc:
          Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Replacing disintegrated pads in keyboards - tip for cutting the pads






          I would suggest using a fresh razor blade to slice off 1mm after you punch out the pads. That be another painstaking task but it can help.

          I'll have to pickup a Stanley Grommet kit too.

          =Dan


          On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM, B Degnan <billdeg@... <mailto:billdeg@...> > wrote:


          I am working to restore a Visual Technologies 1050 computer. The
          keyboard has the same problem as others have reported for their SOL 20's
          and TRS 80 model II's.

          Taking Mike's advice I bought a strip of the Woodland Scenics 5mm foam.
          I also bought a Stanley Grommet Kit of 1/2" (12mm) to make the pads.
          The punch that comes with the grommet kit is perfect for making
          consistent holes in 5mm foam. It's a relatively cheap kit too, and easy
          to do.

          After disassembling the keyboard

          1. Remove all of the disintegrated pads, clean out the key holes
          2. Clean off and set aside the metalic pads
          3. Punch 92 or so pads from the Woodland Scenics foam sheet using the
          1/2" (12mm) Stanley Grommet Kit. I used a hammer to the back of the punch.
          4. Use my fingers to hold up three or four keys
          5. Apply rubber cement to the bottom of a pad and stick the pad in one
          of the raised keyholes for each of the raised keys.
          6. Repeat step 5 until you have about 20 or so new keypads in place.
          This gives the rubber cement of first few a chance to dry
          7. Apply rubber cement to the top of the new pads in the order they
          were installed, and stick a metallic pad on top so that the metallic
          surface is facing up. I chose the best of the pads for most-often used
          keys.
          8. Repeat from step #4 until all of the keys have been replaced.

          This is slow methodical work. I totally agree with the choice of
          Woodland Scenics foam. I tried an alternative but it did not work as
          well and I had to start over.

          In the case of the Visual 1050 I noticed that the keyboard action is
          much stiffer than before, as there is a lot less space between the key
          pads and the keyboard PCB that makes the connection and send the key
          stroke to the computer/display. If there was such a thing as 4mm foam
          I'd get that instead, but none of the new pads is taller than the
          keyboard hole, it's just a little tight.

          Here are some pictures
          http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/ <http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/>

          Bill



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          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • B Degnan
          ... I can see how this would be easier. Another way to skin a cat.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 29, 2010
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            Kelly D. Leavitt wrote:
            > I found a punch on ebay that is much simpler to use. All you have to do is push it through the material with a twist. I made complete set of replacement pads using a plastic seperator sheet from a 3 ring binder, a mylar "space" blanket from Wal-Mart, the track bedding, and rubber cement.
            >
            > Item 190387118723 is a similar punch.
            >
            > I actually purchased it from the guy selling 290202711392 but he doesn't have any 7/16 listed at the moment. It was $12 plus $4 for shipping.
            >
            > Kelly
            >
            >
            I can see how this would be easier. Another way to skin a cat.
          • Dan Roganti
            I just noticed something here. Every time we order new circuit cards here, they re packed in static bags and also have a lining of static foam inside. These
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 4, 2010
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              I just noticed something here. Every time we order new circuit cards here, they're packed in static bags and also have a lining of static foam inside. These are 3mm , and might also work.
              I haven't realized it before that it could be useful for this. I'm not sure yet if 3mm is too thin. There are little 5" x 6" sheets, I only have a few since I started saving these. But if anybody wants to try it, I'll send one.

              =Dan


              On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
              I am working to restore a Visual Technologies 1050 computer.  The
              keyboard has the same problem as others have reported for their SOL 20's
              and TRS 80 model II's.

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