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Modding Project all-plexi keyboard --KONG is a god!! -- no really! he is!!!

Discussion in 'Modding' started by malcs, 30 Aug 2003.

  1. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    OK im planning an all-plexiglass keyboard :D from Zap's ideas :D i am going to use an existing normal keyboard's circuitry and some smds i havent found any way of powering the large amounts of leds and capacitors needed for the glowing keys -- i am going to try my hardest to make the small squares of plexi that will be the keys flush with the keyboard-- but im still trying to plan a way of making sure they stay in-- i thought about some kind of overlay, or how about just using one full sheet of plexi would that work? would it be able to overlay without triggering it's partners? i may have to work some kind of channel system into it, im not sure i would be up to creating lots of tiny channels on tiny plastic squares to inlay them on plastic-- although i will do it if it is the only way... this is My mod now people :) trust me it will be ok...... :)worried:) i am going to etch the letters onto the keys using my trusty dremel clone -- just need to get some practise in.. if that proves too difficult i might just use decals :)
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2003
  2. Guest-2808

    Guest-2808 Guest

    You might have seen those transparent roll-up keyboards. They are made or rubber or something like it. Waterproof too.

    Anyway, you could either build a solid plexi frame around one, or at least use it as the base for your plexi keys.

    As for powering loads of LEDs, keep in mind that LEDs are quite low power, say 10mA each, or 20mA for very bright ones. You can go lower with modulation. Anyway, 1A of current is enough to power 100 10mA LEDs. Just add some 1A wire to the PS2 cable and stick a molex or whatever on one end.

    Oh, and another handy thing to know about LEDs. If you have a bunch of same-voltage rated LEDs in series, you don't need a resistor if they add up to the supply voltage. So, if you have 6 2V LEDs in series running from 12V, no resistor is required.

    MoJo
     
  3. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    Malcs, I don't think you can use a solid plexi sheet if that's what you mean. You should cut out each key. To make it really professional, you could print decals (mirror reversed) and stick them to the back (underside) of each key. That would be cool.
    Are you going to do like Zap has suggested, and have LEDs to light each key when you write, leaving a glowing trail of your fingers, or are you just going to have a "backlight" on it?
    I suppose you can use the 5V and ground wires already found in the PS/2 or USB cable. You can get 500mA from those (the keyboard requires only 150mA or something).

    Great idea anyway.
     
  4. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    want to do what zap had in mind ideally but still... beggars cant be choosers ;)
     
  5. Crim

    Crim What's a Dremel?

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    It's do-able. If I had the money I would make a project out of it, sadly I do not for I am a 16 year old about to start college with no job.

    If done well could become well known across the net ;)
     
  6. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    im working on it :) now ive got my psu crisis out of the way :)


    think i will use a cheap £5 keyboard and just take the circuitry, the actual PCB will be hidden in a frosted area need to find my sketchbook tho and work out some ideas :) ZAP!! got any ideas on how to do the LEDs?

    i was thinking having all the LED's and capacitors in parallel is it possible to get a smd capacitor? i think i would need something around 100ìF to get a nice after glow
     
  7. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    There are SMD capacitors, yes. Just look inside a random electronic device. They are full of them. Not sure how many µF they can be, though.
     
  8. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    *looks inside pc thru window*


    ah!!


    *stops looking and returns to forum*



    yeah i see what you mean RS is my friend there i think i will just see how many ìF i can get for my £
     
  9. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    [​IMG]




    aha!!! theyre ì19 which should be plenty for these LEDs::


    [​IMG]

    anyone got an idea how long the glow will last for if the leds are 20mA blue??
     
  10. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    ì19, do you mean 19µF? That's not going to last long... When I use a 2200µF capacitor on a blue, it lasts a couple of seconds.
     
  11. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    yeah i just want it to fade really quick but to be enough that its not like it's just been switched off
     
  12. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    Ok, might work then. But I think Zap is the one you should talk to.
     
  13. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    lol yeah i need his all seeing wisdom :lol:
     
  14. Pflumingo

    Pflumingo givem the bird.

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    a i19 cap (which is pico Farads)will only last .03 seconds, or too fast to notice that it was even faded... at 20ma. You need more than that, and the smd type are not going to provide that. You will need to use network caps, they have a common cathode and multiple annodes, look at your mobo again, and it looks like a strip of plastic with a bunch of leads going to the mobo, usually leading to the parallel port and such. Network caps, and network resistors are one way of getting a bunch of single caps (or resistors) in a smaller package, and they can do a bit more than 19pF.

    BTW, if you are using 20ma LED's, you will be blind long before you can even type the first sentence, plus you could use your keyboard to warm your hands in the winter... You will be disipating more than 30W in heat just with the circuitry, (102 key keyboard * 20mA LED's, + other circuitry, (loss to caps etc.)) you'll really be drawing more than 2.5A at 12V... Pretty hefty if you ask me.
     
  15. A13n0rma1

    A13n0rma1 Wannabe

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    I can recommend those old mechanical switch IBM keyboards as a PERFECT base to this project.

    Y'know the keyboard I'm talking about, it makes that awful, loud clicking as you type. But sounds wonderfully nostalgic.

    And the use a solid PCB instead of those sillicon keypad things, as well as solid momentary switches instead of the sillicon pads onto traces.
     
  16. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    Pflumingo, you say that an i19 cap can fade an LED for .3 seconds. What if you parallel connect three i19 caps? Would it fade the LED for .9 seconds then?
     
  17. Miku

    Miku What's a Dremel?

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    I wanted to do that keyboard:wallbash: Well, I'll do it anyway:p
     
  18. malcs

    malcs oops! i put a hole in the ***** :(

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    how about i use 10mA smds instead-- they are smaller as well!! i am going to experiment with different kinds of switch to see which one works best-- i want the keyboard to look as good as possible, i think the mats will help achieve that more than switches
     
  19. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    And the mats with traces are clear as well. It will be really cool. When are you starting, Malcs? :)
     
  20. Pflumingo

    Pflumingo givem the bird.

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    Not .3 secs, 0.03... But to answer your question, Yes, caps work like batteries in parallel... as you add more in parallel you gain current, not voltage, so if you have the same voltage drop on all 3, then they will add capacitance and end up with 57pF. Still not much for a timing circuit that you can see the change.
     

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