Apple M0116 w/ Matias Switches
A few months ago, I purchased an Apple Standard Keyboard (M0116) on Ebay for quite cheap considering the popularity of vintage Apple keyboards for their "clicky" value. However, upon arrival, I realized how much work the board would require that I didn't expect (even though I knew from the photos it was in pretty bad shape). Notably, the ALPS SKCL Salmon switches felt especially gooey considering they were supposed to be tactile -- though ALPS are known to get mushy over time if not properly taken care of.
I was not surprised after taking the board apart to find my worst fears were manifest: there was dried shiz up and down the metal backplate, and it was festing amongst the nooks and crannies of the switches. It looked like a 12 year-old had decidedly rubbed their boogers all over the plate (and this particular kid having had surprisingly hairy nostrils). Regrettably, I didn't take photos of the disgusting state of affairs, but I imagine you, Dear Reader, would prefer not to gag while reading somebody's blog.
Nevertheless, I marched on. In whatever free time I had while at home from uni I methodically desoldered the switches, scrubbed the plastic housing and caps with soap, and then took a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a brush to the plate and PCB after separating the two. However, those bastard engineers (or whoever) at Apple in that time period decided to do something dastardly. For about half the ALPS switches, they bent the pins over after locking them into place. So not only did I have to suck up the solder, but had to painstakingly bend each pair erect again so that I could remove them from the plate/PCB housing without damaging anything. Suffice to say, I not only endured bodily harm in this process more than once, but also damaged the pcb itself. While bending the pins, I had scraped off more than my fair share of contacts on the board. One of them I even destroyed completey and so had to dig around in my spare parts bin to find a small bodge wire I could use to connect the new Matias switch and the trace on the keyboard. Here's a photo of my fine hacker handiwork:
Pretty ghastly, but it works
After I got into the groove, the actual soldering of the new switches was a breeze. It took me only about an hour's work, which was pretty speedy since I was simultaneously eating breakfast and playing a few games of Hearthstone. In case you're wondering what the board looks like with Matias' translucent switches, here's a pic to satiate your desire:
dead people CLACK CLACK CLACK
To my delight every key worked when plugged into my dad's PowerMac 9500 (praise Cthulhu)!
So yeah, a pretty informal post for today. I have finals coming up next week so I've got to find as many ways as possible to
procrastinate calm my nerves. Also! I hope to have a video up within the next month of my homebrew NES cartridge, since it needs to be done prior to my trip to MIT this January.
To wrap up, here's a short video demonstrating the brand-spanking-new Matias switches in my keyboard: