Got the parts today that Corey was kind enough to send me (thanks Corey!!!). I decided to go in on my II+ foil tab keyboard. I hesitated initially because after repeatedly fighting it I had finally gotten it previously to a point where the only issues were a dead - key, a space that appeared after 3 was pressed, and a sometimes flaky D. But Corey was kind enough to send me a nice long foil strip so I thought I could pull it off.
Boy was I wrong.
I think I officially hate this keyboard. And I mean hate it. I replaced the 1 and 2 keys that I'd jury rigged with replacement foil tabs. Also replaced the broken tab where the right arrow key was. There was also a broken tab a ways down the third row. It was part of a very long continuous line of foil tabs. I didn't have a long enough one here to replace the whole thing, so I carefully cut a piece off and replaced the broken piece with it, making sure there was a tiny bit of overlap for continuity.
Wow.. what a mess. 1234 keys gave me nothing. 5 gave me a minus. 6789 worked. Almost none of the letters did anything. Third row letters produced left cursor movement.
I think I've traced the problem somewhat. The new foil tabs I've had difficulty getting to lie fairly flat. The tops kind of end up bent outward and I think this is causing a short that changes output. When I completely removed the foil tabs for 1 and 2, I got 345 back again, and some letters started working. I'm assuming I need to have the little foil 'fingers' bent up to contact those tiny contacts beside some of the bigger key contacts?
Does anyone have any advice on how to get the foil to lie flat otherwise? I find they just don't like to stay down. If I can master that, I can hopefully get back to where I was before I royally buggered this up. And then I am never taking this thing apart again.
I'm glad the parts found you. Hopefully I sent enough keystalks also.
Don't over bend the contacts out too much or you will short the matrix. Learned that one the hard way also my first time. To hold the foil down if it doesn't fit in the little nubs on the keyboard use a drop and I mean a drop of gel based crazy glue from Loctite. Loctite puts it in a special applicator thing for control and the gel will only go where you want. With two kids and lots of breakables I always keeps it around.
Don't forget the toothpick aligning trick for the whole assembly and the plastic sheeting.
Yes my first repair of keyboard of this type drove me mad for a week. Now I can fix one in a couple of hours, but afterwards I still need a stiff drink. The older style key switch keyboards are way easier but much more expensive to find. Especially the datanetics.
Yes really appreciate it. I think part of the problem is the strips are so long and most of the problem keys seem to be on those ones. I'm assuming there is a reason certain keys are linked together?
My problem is just getting the metal to lie flat. I've been very careful not to bend but it seems to like to flex up. I wish I could heat them a bit and flatten them out. I'm starting to understand how it works. I just hate it.
My foil keyboard is in pieces in a box awaiting the day I need a healthy dose of aggravation. Having only worked with the switch kind before, I had no idea what I was getting into. Fortunately I had a spare from a machine with a dead motherboard, but I ever want to get that one working...