Top cases/keyboards...

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Dave
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Top cases/keyboards...

Postby Dave » Sun May 13, 2018 4:20 am

If anyone has any retired old QL top cases with keyboards and they were thinking of throwing them out, could I have them?

I'm after the top cover, the keycaps, posts, and metal plate. I do not need any of the rest of the QL: the membrane, or even the section above the microdrives. It could be cut off to save shipping. It doesn't even matter if a couple of keycaps are missing.

They will all be recycled into new machines/cases/keyboards... And I don't mean melted down, either.

I'm happy to cover all mailing costs, plus a fair fee for the top cover.

Please, don't part out a whole QL for this, unless the QL is not repairable.

Have four, need sixteen more.


RWAP
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Re: Top cases/keyboards...

Postby RWAP » Sun May 13, 2018 8:05 am

I will see how many I have. I have plenty of metal backing plates.

It would also be worth asking Quanta if they have any - I could gather the UK ones and send them all together to save postage.


RWAP
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Re: Top cases/keyboards...

Postby RWAP » Sun May 13, 2018 11:35 am

I only have 2 spare cases (complete with keyboards) - various spare key tops but not sure if there are any full sets

Lots of the plastic pillars, original LEDs and backing plates so just let me know what you want.


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Dave
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Re: Top cases/keyboards...

Postby Dave » Sun May 13, 2018 6:53 pm

That would be helpful. Thank you.

This is coming together into something....Quite nice.

The better ones will be used as part of complete cases, just pleasantly different and based right off a Rick Dickinson sketch or three. Being individually printed they can be customised to individual request, so if there's a feature you don't like I can eliminate it. By the same token if there's a feature you really want, I can add it too.

The worse ones will be heavily refurbished and turned into keyboards.

There are two ways to restore the keys if they're shiny:

If it's just 1 or 2, rest 180 or 200 grit sandpaper against them and scribble on the back with a pencil. It will take away the shiny and give a matte finish, and it's good enough for photos.

If it's lots, you'll need a metal baking tray, spray vegetable oil, some fine soft sand, a tub of warm soapy water, the posts, some locking pliers/grips, and a chicken.

Sort the keys in order from best to worst. Put the posts in the back of them so you can pick them up. If any posts are loose, resolve that first.
Lay the sand in the tray, level it smooth but don't compress it. Next, spray with canola oil. Heat in oven until it just about starts smoking.

The glass transition temp of ABS is 105C. The smoke point of Canola is 107C.

Going from best to worst, lift the keyscaps up, and lower them into the sand, level, and depress them in until the keycap is level with the sand surface. Count a couple of seconds then pull it out and put it straight in the water. The stuck soft grains of sand will wash right off (unless your sand wasn't properly oiled) and you can check the finish of the key. If you're happy with it, do the next one. And the next one. Once you get into the shinier keycaps you might need to do 3- or 4- seconds. Remember, the sand is also cooling so you'll have to heat it up again to >110F or so. The worst worn keys are always the same: space, E, O, I, U, S, A, N, :, enter.

Once washed and dried the keycaps will not only be non-shiny, but they'll have a common and matching texture that's very similar to new keys.

Side story: I learned this skill in the 80s, at one of my college jobs for a small company nobody ever heard of called "Olivetti" in Milton Keynes - they would take in these old dumb terminals and keyboards and higher end typewriters, and we had to refurbish them. That was part of the refurbishment process.



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