Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
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grshaw

by grshaw posted Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:40 am

Hi there

I am really intrigued by the idea of being able to build a new Amiga 2000 keyboard from scratch. This would join two of my passions, Amiga and Mechanical Keyboards.

Has anyone done any work on A2000 keyboards?

I know that the very first iteration of the A2000 keyboard did in fact have Cherry MX ( black ) switches. Perhaps it would be possible to create a PCB layout file using one of these in a similar way to the Rejuvenator Project? Perhaps something similar has already been done? These Cherry MX A2000 keyboards are as rare as hens teeth I believe. Not as rare as Rejuvenator boards though.

I guess another complication would be Amiga Keycaps? Although there is the initiative from A1200.net ( which I have backed ), I believe these would not be compatible because these would fit on Mitsumi Switches? Perhaps it would be possible to 3D print some kind of adaptor? Ideally I would love to get new Amiga MX key caps. But such a thing does not exist.

Cases and base boards would also be needed. Perhaps it would be possible to use a modern PC mechanical keyboard components for these?

I would be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on this subject.

I know that Kipper2K has done a lot of great work in this area and in fact I have contacted him directly also.
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:23 pm

Kipper2k is already working on that. He will have replacement keyboards, including keycaps, with cherry switches, for all Amigas, including the big box ones. All you’d need is a case to put it in, if not using an original housing.
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grshaw

by grshaw posted Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:22 pm

Yes, you are correct. In fact Kipper2K got back to me. What a nice chap.

As far as actually building your own A2000 keyboard, options are limited / non-existent. AOTL hold the license for the Kipper2K PCB, so these will not be released into the Public Domain.

Even if you could get a PCB printed somehow you still have the issues with the keycaps and case.

Has this put me off the idea? Not completely. However, until I can get my hands on a 1st gen A2000 keyboard then I guess it may need to be postponed.

Another, easier option may be to build a modern mechanical keyboard but with Keycaps which look as much like Amiga Keycaps as possible. You could get a long way with this I think. How easy it would be to interface to an actual A2000 is unknown ( by me at least ). Another complication would be the so called “Big Ass Enter Key” . Very few modern keycap sets contain this key. I don’t know of any keycap set which has the beautiful Amiga colour scheme and also has the Big Ass Enter Key.
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Bulletdust

by Bulletdust posted Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:46 pm

This Amiga user has a mechanical keyboard with Amiga key caps that he uses on his X5000, looks trick if you ask me. I wouldn't mind one for my MorphOS rig.

http://amigax1000.blogspot.com/search?q=keyboard
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:03 pm

I used a WASD brand keyboard with cherry switches, which they sell bare of keycaps. If you buy the one that has the UK layout (or maybe it’s the ISO one) it will have he proper spacing for the big ass enter key. Not that long ago, a guy made a run of cherry keycaps with the Amiga keys. Last time I checked, he was considering a
New run. I think WASD also has OS keys, and one of the is the Amiga key.

Anyway, I used some of the above keycaps and built it as above. I then use a Lyra keyboard adapter from
IComp to connect it to my Amiga.

Here it is, in old school workbench color scheme :)

872409D2-4088-4240-B718-617297CA202C.jpeg



Also, if you’re wanting to do something from scratch, check out MtnBuffalo’s mechanical keyboard design over at breadbox64.com. It might guide you in your design process. Best of luck!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:55 pm

omg obitus1990 I LOVE that. Wow! I've got some serious keyboard envy. Which WASD keyboard is that? And do you have the product page of the Amiga caps you got last time? Maybe I could sign up somewhere to be notified if he goes for another run.

UPDATE:
Oh wow. To use the Lyra adapter with a 2000 or 3000, I'd have to create a pretty crazy chain of adapters. Regardless, I love what you did there.
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Bulletdust

by Bulletdust posted Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:42 pm

I wouldn't mind an Amiga themed keyboard for my main PC..
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:45 pm

intric8 wrote:omg obitus1990 I LOVE that. Wow! I've got some serious keyboard envy. Which WASD keyboard is that? And do you have the product page of the Amiga caps you got last time? Maybe I could sign up somewhere to be notified if he goes for another run.

UPDATE:
Oh wow. To use the Lyra adapter with a 2000 or 3000, I'd have to create a pretty crazy chain of adapters. Regardless, I love what you did there.



Thank you. Yes, it would be quite a chain to use it with the 2000 or 3000. I use this KB with my A4000-CR replica computer I built last year.
The link for the barebones keyboard is this.

This is where I got the keycaps originally. I think the guy who made them is on the Amiga Facebook group...a fellow named Loriano Pagni.
User avatar
grshaw

by grshaw posted Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:03 am

Thanks for your help everyone. I think the combination of the Amiga Keycaps from Loriano Pagni and the WASD Barebones Mechanical keyboard would be a really good combination.

I will contact Loriano Pagni and see if he is going to do another run of the Amiga Keycaps anytime soon.
User avatar
grshaw

by grshaw posted Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:49 am

Hey there.

So - potentially good news. I contacted Loriano about doing another run of his keycaps. His response was as follows:

"I am not sure there is going to be a great deal of interest for a full production run but I can order a few sets for you guys over at amigalove. Please let me know how many are interested or ask them to contact me. I can then take orders, all the special editions with the language layouts listed can still be made, same for the special keys (full colour Amiga Boing Ball for example). "

I then went on to ask him about the cost of a full keycap set ( this being what I am after ). Loriano responded with some more details:

"Regarding the cost I can't say for sure, it is going to be dependent on how many sets we order. £35 (GBP) was the entry level price four years ago. As a rough figure maybe £40?! Can't say until we have numbers. Special combinations and limited editions (WB1.3, Spellbound32 etc...) a bit more. Same for the special keys (full colour Boing Ball etc...). Have a look at the Kickstarter page for reference. Languages: Italian, U.K., Spanish, German, Swedish (Finnish), Norwegian, American (ANSI), American (ISO), French, Serbian-Latin, Dual Greek-American, Danish, Russian, French-Canadian, French-Belgian. Shipping cost to be added too. Let me know how it goes. Thanks again. Loriano"

NB - £40 is approx $50. I believe that Loriano is based in the UK - so for those in the US ( or elsewhere ) - then there would be additional postage costs too I guess.

So - it sounds like the way forward here is for us to try and work out how many full keycap sets we might want as a group. We could do that just by replying to this thread I guess. Once we have the numbers - then we could just contact Loriano directly via the kickstarter link above. ( That's all I have been doing - he is very good about replying ).

If anyone can think of any other way of collating numbers - then please feel free to suggest also.

Failing that - I can kick of the bidding with three standard amiga colour keycap sets. :D

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