Mechanical Keyboards for the SAM Coupé

HEXdidnt

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One of the downsides to the SAM is that, despite having a good sized, 'proper' keyboard, it still uses a membrane at its core, just like the Speccy. Thankfully, the SAM's most prolific hardware genius, Quazar, now offers a true mechanical alternative:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/20486797963/permalink/10159425188417964/

It's built to accommodate the SAM's original keycaps (which are pretty easy to remove - some tend to fall off by accident), but there's a very limited edition variant that's a homage to the prototype.

Since my keyboard is getting a little glitchy in its old age, I'll be adding this to my Christmas list this year.
 

Mort

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My Prototype style is ordered already - 1 of 9. ... Perhaps some lucky Trekky will hopefully end up with 7 of 9 :)
 

CosmicCruncher

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I do like to see modern mechanical keyboards for original hardware. It should transform the typing experience over the old membrane keyboard.

Are the original key caps Cherry MX compatible? Looking at the photos on Facebook the switches look very similar.
 

HEXdidnt

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It looks very much as though they are - I'd guess that MGT went for the most widely available option, with a view to ensuring a supply of replacement parts? Would be a bit strange to reinvent the wheel on something as common as a keyboard, when the whole idea was to get as close to a 'professional' keyboard as possible. That said, the return key on the SAM is a bit non-standard, I think.
 

HEXdidnt

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Looks very cool - I've just ordered a replacement membrane for the time being, but aspire to getting a proper mechanical keyboard as soon as it's practical to do so.
 

Mort

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Finally had some time to myself!

So - out with the old keyboard - with not very reliable membrane....
1634767762146.png

And in with the new one - in Prototype style :)

1634767846221.png

My keyboard interface can be seen on the side - I wont need this very often now, perhaps just for shows, as the key response is really nice :)
 

Mort

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Interesting random fact though...

You may notice my SAM has the drive on the right side... machines sold originally had them on the left, SAMs sold later by "West Coast" (aka Format) switched to the right side.

Oddly enough the original prototype also had a right hand drive, so the Prototype keyboard is a great match :)
 

Retro

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Interesting random fact though...

You may notice my SAM has the drive on the right side... machines sold originally had them on the left, SAMs sold later by "West Coast" (aka Format) switched to the right side.

Oddly enough the original prototype also had a right hand drive, so the Prototype keyboard is a great match :)
That’s a big design change so I wonder what the reason was. I suspect perhaps a motherboard revision had the drive on the other side so they adjusted the case to match it, maybe.
 

Mort

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Correct - on the production machine you've the normal shaped keys.

Here's my removed keyboard with faulty membrane (above) and the new one (below) - just before I installed it.

1634934461268.png

The other model of Mechanical keyboard uses the keycaps from the original - but I prefered the Prototype style :)
 

Quazar

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That’s a big design change so I wonder what the reason was. I suspect perhaps a motherboard revision had the drive on the other side so they adjusted the case to match it, maybe.

No motherboard revision change, or changes to the case. There's only one motherboard revision across the commercial life of the SAM Coupe (1989 - 1999). Likewise, the case has drive bays at both sides to support two floppy drives. It's just the orientation of which drive was drive one, and which would be drive two that was changed. One signal to each of the internal drive connectors has to be flipped to change which drive is which.

The original publicity photos for the SAM had a single drive on the right, matching the couple of prototypes. But for some reason they decided to have the first drive on the left when released.
 

Quazar

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are there keys missing?
All 72 keys are present. With the original prototype keyboards, and my tribute keyboard, all the keys use standard 1x1 MX customisable caps, whereas there are larger keys on the production SAM keyboards. Here's a photo of two of the five original SAM prototypes:

1989proto.jpg

And my tribute, which is pretty much spot on using modern parts. Had to design the key letterings from scratch to match perfectly!

proto.jpg
 
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