Leonardo and Jaime Padial have started a joint development of a mechanical keyboard for the Panasonic MSX2+ and MSX turbo R computers. It is based on the LM Keyswitches from the well known Cherry manufacturer and, of course, keeping the original keyboard keys.

When a key stops working we only need to replace the faulty one reducing the maintenance cost. The connection to the mainboard will also use two flat cables. The price of a full keyboard is 350€ but even it may be about half of that money depending on the amount of orders.

Relevant link: LM Keyswitches series

Comments (19)

By doraemonppc

Master (245)

doraemonppc's picture

24-06-2015, 21:26

350€? OMG!!

By st1mpy

Hero (519)

st1mpy's picture

24-06-2015, 21:57

great, its exactly what I want.

By karloch

Prophet (2068)

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25-06-2015, 00:00

For half the money I would be really interested Smile

By wernerkai

Champion (357)

wernerkai's picture

25-06-2015, 01:09

Don't you have keyboard membranes' manufacturers in Europe ? To make brand new ones ?

In the beggining of 2015, we joined and ordered a batch for SONY and a batch for Panasonic:

List of buyers

Unit cost was:

90 BRL for Panasonic ~ 26 Euros
96 BRL for Sony ~ 28 Euros

plus shipping...

The organizer of this all was PalMal, he knows the membrane manufacturer.

By o.geerdink

Hero (544)

o.geerdink's picture

25-06-2015, 07:22

I think this is something else than a new membrane. Maybe you have evert encountered the model-m keyboards (part of the IBM PS/2 system series, like model 55, model 56, model 76 etc. computers with mca architecture and tokenring network). There are also used inside the base of the Stargate movie and series.

Also known as the clicky keyboard. If you type as fast as I do it will sound like a machinegun (and you will also get complaints from your neighbours). The great thing is that you can hear multikeypress typo's . And once properly trained you can even hear it if you hit the wrong key cause they all sound just a little different.

I had a lot of these keyboards but they all died and I haven't been able to buy new ones. I remember when they were sold en mass for only 5 guilders (about 2 euros) on the PC Dumpdag a man had containers full of them. Now you can get about 100 euro for them on ebay Big smile

If my turbo-r can have such a keyboard I'm interested but only if it will have a US layout and not the shitty retardlayout japan uses.

By wernerkai

Champion (357)

wernerkai's picture

25-06-2015, 15:08

Ahh ok understood. Keyboard "hard" clicking is nice too. Agreed.

Smile

By tvalenca

Paladin (728)

tvalenca's picture

25-06-2015, 18:36

o.geerdink wrote:

If my turbo-r can have such a keyboard I'm interested but only if it will have a US layout and not the shitty retardlayout japan uses.

Well, this isn't related to the keyboard itself. but to it's keymap and keycaps. The trickier part is the keycaps, as we already have some info on changing keyboard key mappings on BIOS and patching it would be a piece of cake on a Turbo-R machine (using DRAM mode)

if you're BRAVE, (I mean pretty-f*ckin-badass-brave. You have been warned!) you can re-do the keycaps by sanding or using some paint-remover on the top of the keys, then painting them again (or using one of those letter-decals) and apply a top coat (could be nail polish or wood/plastic veneer). Then, you can write a program to patch the keymap (using DRAM mode), or you can make it permanent replacing the Main ROM with an EPROM with a patched version. Even if I would want a more comfortable (to me) keyboard layout on my beloved GT, I would NEVER do that. Your call.

By Sander

Ambassador (1847)

Sander's picture

25-06-2015, 21:24

By doraemonppc

Master (245)

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26-06-2015, 12:56

@wernerkai Makinavaja tryed to clone the Turbo-R membrane with bad luck.
The manufacturer did a lor of revisions and never worked as desired Sad
The full story (in spansih) here http://www.msx.org/node/46310

By Meits

Scribe (5737)

Meits's picture

26-06-2015, 19:53

I understand why it's priced like this. I do hope as well that the creators understand why people might find it a tad too much as well...
If it were at least cheaper than the machine itself, I might consider something like this as I do really think it's a great piece of work...

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

RetroTechie's picture

29-06-2015, 01:24

The nice thing about mechanical keyboards is their individual key switches, which can be wired / re-wired or replaced individually. Keyboard membranes can only be replaced for the entire keyboard at once.

IBM Model M uses a specific mechanism ("buckling spring") to give nice tactile feedback, and annoying typing noise to go with it. Tongue But it's not a mechanical keyboard in the above sense, as the 'switches' are a membrane underneath.

Just the other week I found an old mechanical PC keyboard in a 2nd hand store, and disassembled / modded / rebuilt in into a ZX81 keyboard. Looks like crap, but it's among the best keyboards I've ever used with a ZX81 (and some 50+ spare key switches left over Smile ).

Problem is mostly the work required. Or price in the case of a ready-made product. Or those key caps.

For lowest cost (= maximum # of buyers), a simple replacement for original membranes would be preferable I think. Would probably outlast the electronics.

By SkyeWelse

Champion (470)

SkyeWelse's picture

30-06-2015, 05:13

This does seem like a fantastic project and while I'd love to own one for my Turbo R, my wife would never let me spend this kind of money on more MSX treats like this. If there were a way to get it around 150 Euro, that would probably be my max and it doesn't sound like that's possible if the price is currently estimated at 350 Euro.

-Thomas

By gdx

Prophet (3226)

gdx's picture

03-07-2015, 16:34

The thickness of the micro-switch do not he change too much the feel of the keyboard?

By usuario_msx2

Paladin (745)

usuario_msx2's picture

08-07-2015, 21:46

I have one, no "click" sound when I press the keys typing
some commands.
I could say about it that key touch is nearly ti the original

By sniper22477

Master (235)

sniper22477's picture

01-08-2015, 23:01

Is this means that I can order the black Keboard of Panasonic MSX2+ and replace it with the current gray keyboard in turbo R GT, in order to have a special black turbo R GT ... If so ... Then I am ready to order now.

Regards,

Sniper

By usuario_msx2

Paladin (745)

usuario_msx2's picture

03-08-2015, 16:39

You need send the keyboard to him and he adapt the original keys to the new keyboard.
Ask price and availability to L.Padial.
Best Regards.

By karloch

Prophet (2068)

karloch's picture

03-08-2015, 20:56

@usuario_msx2: what is the current way to contact Padial? His website last update was in 2011.

By usuario_msx2

Paladin (745)

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04-08-2015, 11:22

you can find his e-mail here:
http://msx.deneb.nl/page6.HTM

By MSX4

Supporter (6)

MSX4's picture

11-11-2015, 21:43

How to swap membrane for gold switch keyboards. You can see it at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGHNy6TmX7g&feature=youtu.be