by Henrique Olifiers
I really appreciate the extra mile the team has been going, Thanks for your tenacity! I look forward to my Speccy-Next!!
The decision for compatibility with the old case and keyboard comes back to haunt the team and its backers. I'm sure it will all work out eventually but this must be very annoying for those having to deal with it. Seeing how difficult it is to get the keyboard parts right, I propose to include an option for a spare parts package with key keyboard components as part of the second kickstarter for the Next.
Apple have been shipping Macbook Pros with known keyboard issues since about 2016. Glad this team is taking it seriously! (Posted from my 2013 Macbook Pro...)
Normunds, the ZX Next PCB was designed to accept the original rubber Speccy's 8 rows x 5 columns = 40 keys' matrix. Also compatible with the Plus/128K/+2 where the composite function keys were achieved with 3-layer membranes, which introduced reliability problems, finally solved by Amstrad in the +3/+2A generation where they expanded the matrix to 11 x 13 to cover all composite functions in single keypresses.
Since the 90's, combining 2-into-1 keypress in keyboards (membrane or mechanical) is a lost art, with modern microcontrollers able to handle much bigger key matrixes.
If the Next Team (including Rick Dickinson with his experience) knew 2 years ago, how big a trouble they would be in right now, maybe they would've given up on compatibility with older ZX cases/keyboards and went with a larger matrix with individual keys for all functions.
But that's not the case, so yes in essence they are indeed trying to reinvent a wheel forgotten for 30+ years. As backers, can we blame the team for this and other decisions turning out to big delays? Sure. But so far they surely took the best decision based on the best knowledge they had in each occasion. Nobody is happy with the delays, but I believe we all will be happy with the final result.
I'm sorry, I will be a little bit ironic here.
There are made thousands of keyboards in the world every day: oldscool mechanical (preferred by gamers) - with a different key-press sensitivity from soft to hard, typical PC keyboards for everyday using, notebook keybords with their specific "butterfly" mechanics. Why it is so hard to make a keybord for the next? Why don't you take an existing working prototype and use it? Is it really necessery to invent a wheel again?
Thanks for the update, better to get the keyboard issues resolved now before shipping
So what if the GND would be on the other layer (with caps/symbol) and the specific key would be doing bridge between? or do they must form two separate circuits (caps-gnd / key-gnd, not connected between)? Or is it impossible to trace gnd on the other side, I guess? or what am I missing...
I don’t want to be repeating other comments, but I have to. I want to thank to all in this project for such dedication to make great product.
If you had been the other crowdfunded retro speccy group, then by this time you'd be like: 'screw it, we'll just get it out of the door and if the keyboard doesn't work properly, meh'. Their unresponsive keys are the laughingstock of the scene.
Therefore I admire your resilience. Never give up!
I’m going to say this every time, Thanks to All for the massive effort involved it bringing the Next to life!!
Thanks for the update. I feel your pain, and we are in this together.
Thanks for the update. The team's going to win in the end with a smash right out of the park, your persistence will pay off and you'll be make history bringing joy to thousands. Having had a go on Jim's Next with Baggers in Space at Play Expo (using his original 1980s joystick!) I can say the Next's going to be an absolute treat.
Good honest up date … That Melkhior’s Mansion looks fantastic :)
Thanks for the update! I am shure, everything will be fine and You guys will get it right!
Thank you for being so persistent to get the keyboard right and for keeping us updated. You'll get it and it's going to be great!
Thanks for the update; I’m sure it wasn’t one enjoyable to write, but I thank you for doing so. Getting it right has been the goal so far, so cannot fault that. Stay strong, home stretch now. :)
Henrique, thank you for the very humble update. Your frustration and angst are clear to read, and I can only imagine how much you and the team are trying to get everything resolved.
Through personal experience I understand how difficult it is to design/manufacture/validate complex, customer interfacing products, and I'm happy to wait as long as it takes to ensure the final product lives up to all our expectations...
Great update guys, it’s a shame about the issues, but I know you guys will get the Next perfect for us.
Thank you for the update. The main thing is to get it right. Stay the path, it’ll all work out 👍
Fair play to you guys for this, it's disappointing but I'm sure nobody genuinely doubts the commitment and determination of the team to get this right.
Thanks for the update, Henrique.