Possible to get a run of "datanetics-style" Key caps manufactured?

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Joined: Nov 21 2009
Posts: 15

I've been thinking about the problem of getting vintage key caps remade.

I read this intriguing sentence on "Cameron's closet" - http://cameronscloset.com/category/apple-1/ii-interface/

"Now that I have an Apple II keyboard properly wired for an Apple 1, Wendell took it a step further and created custom key caps for the Apple 1. These key caps are double-shot injection molded black plastic, with a custom layout for the Apple 1"
custom key cap photo

Is this even feasible if you need less than thousands of key caps? I'd like to make a layout that is not "bit-paired" like the Apple ][+, but has the more modern ANSI layout used in the Apple //e and Macintosh.

__________________

II+: ("Darth"): B&H Apple II plus (CFFA, Transwarp,Apple-Cat) //e: ("Dopey"): 1985 unenhanced Apple //e
//e: ("Doc"): Platinum Apple //e (CFFA 3k, CB fpga, Apple-Cat) //gs:("Leia"): Apple //gs

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Joined: Nov 21 2009
Posts: 15
Re: Possible to get a run of "datanetics-style" Key caps ...

Keycaps for Modern "Cherry MX" keyswitches seem to have a similar design, a mechanical switch with the "plus-shaped stalk" that is designed for the key. Has anyone tried getting Datanetics/TKC keyswitches to work with Cherry MX keyswitches?

__________________

II+: ("Darth"): B&H Apple II plus (CFFA, Transwarp,Apple-Cat) //e: ("Dopey"): 1985 unenhanced Apple //e
//e: ("Doc"): Platinum Apple //e (CFFA 3k, CB fpga, Apple-Cat) //gs:("Leia"): Apple //gs

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Joined: Jun 5 2008
Posts: 381
Re: Possible to get a run of "datanetics-style" Key caps ...

The Datanetics and Cherry keyswitches have slightly different sized fittings. There is a company (offhand, I can't remember their name)that will make semi-custom runs of keycaps, but to make it cost effective, you will need to get about 20 or so sets. I forget exact pricing, but I think for 20 sets, it would be somewhere around 25-50 dollars per set, so you might be talking about a $1000 investment and you'll have to find 20 friends to share the expense. When I say semi-custom, what I'm saying is that there no new tooling and all the molds for the characters you want, already exist.

All that said, at some point, I'll probably make a set for the reproduction Datanetcs keyboard PCBs that I've made.

regards,
Mike W.

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Joined: Sep 5 2009
Posts: 80
Re: Possible to get a run of "datanetics-style" Key caps ...

I got 8 sets from Signature Plastics at about $50 per set.

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Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 794
Re: Possible to get a run of "datanetics-style" Key caps ...

I would try Unicomp first.