Looking for help Retro Fitting a computer keyboard

  • Thread starter vskjck
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Long story short I want to Mount a Computer inside an Antique typewriter maintaining the look and feel of the antique. My initial plan is to dissasemble a Toshiba Satellite and disgard any thing I don't need (plastic housing, Maybe the speakers, and any chassis' I can do without) I have so far stripped the keyboard down to Flexible circuit board, and am looking for ideas on how to make the keys of the old typewriter activate the corresponding keys on the circuit board. This is The biggest problem I have with the project, I see it being very do able. underneath there are arms of metal that move about 3 -5 MM and I could make small contact swithces, very easily.What could I use to translate the contact switch to the digital keyboard that would be long lasting with minimal maintence? and where is the cheepest place to acquire such material, and what kinds of tools will I Need, I have basic tools, and can acquire specialty tools with in financial reason.
 

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  • #2
NascentOxygen
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Hi vskjck! http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5725/red5e5etimes5e5e45e5e25.gif [Broken]

Long story short I want to Mount a Computer inside an Antique typewriter maintaining the look and feel of the antique.
A novel idea, certainly. But speaking as one who typed his thesis on a manual typewriter, can I suggest you re-consider the nostalgia for the "feel" of tender nails as the heavy keys push the nail away from your finger with sustained typing! :frown: Apart from the discomfort of bleeding nails, depressing heavy keys on a manual typewriter is a real drag on ones pace of typing.

I don't have suggestions, apart from think carefully before plunging in too deep. :smile: Time has not dimmed my memory of those frightful keyboards. https://www.physicsforums.com/images/icons/icon11.gif [Broken]
 
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  • #3
dlgoff
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A novel idea, certainly.
Well, not really. :biggrin:

300px-Michael_Holley_Computer_1978_NWCN.jpg


The original Selectric mechanism was designed and manufactured by the office equipment division of IBM, and was not engineered for use as a computer terminal. Adapting this mechanism to the needs of computer input/output was nontrivial. Microswitches were added to the keyboard, solenoids were added to allow the computer to trigger the typing mechanism, and interface electronics were also needed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Selectric_typewriter
 
  • #4
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all I want to do is basically extend the keyboard switches. each key has a simple I/O switch that is activated by completing a circuit. I would like to solder wires to both ends of the I/O swithch contacts and allow them to complete there actions in a remote location that is traversed via wire.

Can I do this?

my guess is that I am going to run into power issues.

i suppose another option would be to build an entire new circuit system, however interfacing that back to the computer and creating a driver to make the new circuit funtional is a bit beyond my abiility at this time.
 

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