Datanetics Keyboard Reproduction Project

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Joined: Jun 5 2008
Posts: 381

The Datanetics keyboard was the most common keyboard used with an Apple 1. You can see several of them in photo’s of original Apple 1’s. I am working on a reproduction Datanetics PCB.

There were several versions of the Datanetics keyboard. In fact early Apple II keyboards were made by datanetics and have basically the same design as the Datanetics keyboard. The version of the original Datanetics keyboard that I am working on is the REV b.

This board has no solder mask or silkscreen, so it looks rather primitive. Parts are extremely hard to find, especially the MM5740/AAE keyboard encoder. Keyswitches are also nearly impossible to find, except by parting out early Apple II plus keyboards. Keycaps are another problem, thought the Apple II plus keyboards used similar keycaps. Because of this parts problem, I am planning on building only 1 batch of probably 10-20 PCBs. My current plan is to sell only bare PCBs, and the purchaser will have to deal with finding components. If you are interested in obtaining one of these bare PCBs, let me know, The artwork for the PCB is nearly done, so I may be pulling the trigger on this batch fairly soon. What I can’t sell right away, I might possibly try moving on ebay. At this time, I’m thinking of a price of around $75 to $100 for one of these bare PCBs. This is subject to change.

A couple of things about this PCB
1) there is an error on the original PCB, that requires a couple of cuts and a jumper. I’m leaving this error in my reproduction.
2) The matrix of vias in the upper left corner of the PCB should not have plated through holes. Plating some holes and not others results in a special order that costs extra time and money. In order to save money, I have decided to have the holes made plated and also drilled smaller than the original. In order to make this board work, the plating will need to be drilled out of these holes.

Speaking of components, the stiffeners are kind of a unique problem for me, because I haven’t had to deal with sheet metal fabrication, since junior high school. If one of you has experience with sheet metal fabrication, let me know – we can possibly work out some kind of special deal for you.

A picture of an original Rev B and some information about it, including schematics and the dimensions of the stiffeners can be seen on the datanetics keyboard page on my website. http://www.willegal.net/appleii/apple1-datanetics.htm

If you are interesting in this project let me know, so I can build the right number of boards to suit demand.

Regards,
Mike Willegal

email:

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Jordz95's picture
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Joined: Oct 2 2009
Posts: 6
Re: Datanetics Keyboard Reproduction Project

Hi, I might be interested in purchasing one of these Datanetics Keyboard if you are still making them. The reason I might want to buy one is that I might start working on a hand made wired Apple 1 Replica board, (since I can't afford to buy an original at auction or eBay) and might need to buy a replica Datanetics keyboard for the Apple 1 replica, that might only be able to use a ASCII Keyboard.

P.S. Will you be able to ship to the UK if I buy one, (since I live in the UK).

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Joined: Jun 5 2008
Posts: 381
Re: Datanetics Keyboard Reproduction Project

At this time, I have 3 bare Datanetics PCBs plus brackets left - no other parts. Cost for the PCB plus brackets is $79 plus shipping. I also have reproduction Apple1 PCBs and kits for sale.

Please contact me via email:mike@willegal.net

Regards,
Mike Willegal