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AU$ 8,890
pledged of AU$ 70,000pledged of AU$ 70,000 goal
73
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, December 4 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Commodore Amiga 500 / 600 / 1200 - New Mechanical Keyboard

Do you like your Amiga but not very happy with the keyboard? Now you can upgrade it to a mechanical one!

Commodore Amiga 500 / 600 / 1200 - New Mechanical Keyboard

Do you like your Amiga but not very happy with the keyboard? Now you can upgrade it to a mechanical one!

AU$ 8,890
pledged of AU$ 70,000pledged of AU$ 70,000 goal
73
backers
22days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, December 4 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Mechanical Keyboard for the Amiga 500 / 600 / 1200 computer

Dear Amiga 500 (and also A600 and A1200) owners, we are excited to present to you our mechanical keyboard replacement, with better tactile response and brand new keycaps. These were some of the most popular vintage computers worldwide and users remain very active even till now. We believe some of you want to upgrade the keyboard to give your Amiga a new look and new life. Our mechanical keyboard will give you unprecedented operational pleasure. If you ever used a mechanical keyboard, you understand what we mean. Our video shows the prototype we already have.

Why would you like to upgrade? There are multiple reasons to do this.

  • Mechanical keyboard gives you the best typing experience.
  • Your original keyboard is broken.
  • Your keycaps become yellowish.

The keyboard we offer will have:

  • Standard Cherry MX compatible switches. These switches are used in the majority of the modern mechanical keyboards.
  • Standard keycaps for the switches. It means you can use any Cherry MX compatible keycaps. Exception are some of the modifier keys which are not standard length.
  • Sockets for all of the switches. It means the switches are not soldered and can be easily replaced by you (this is also known as hot-swappable switches).

Keyboard will be easy to replace and will not require any soldering. Our video shows the prototype we have and the most of the replacement process.

Our Prototype

We already have the working prototype of the keyboard. We tested it and it works perfectly. We used standard off the shelf keycaps just for the testing, but for production we are going to make the keycaps which look as close as possible to the original ones. PCB will be black.

Our prototype PCB with switches.
Keyboard on Amiga 500. Note, the final PCB will be in black color.
Keyboard on Amiga 500. We used standard Cherry-compatible keycaps for the demo. Most of the modifier keys require custom made keycaps, so they don't exist yet

What about keyboard layout?

Our keyboard will be "L-shape Enter" type. If your keyboard has Big Ass Enter, you can still replace it without any problems - because they both use the same membrane. We already tested this.

Big Ass Enter
L-shape Enter

We will provide extra keycaps for the UK users to match their existing keyboards. Here are all the keycaps you will receive. 

All the keycaps you will receive

We will also produce German keycaps. At the end of campaign, we will ask you to choose: German or UK/US.

We do not plan to produce keycaps for other languages. If you need them, please:

  • Let us know you want it. If enough people want any particular language, we can produce the keycaps. Contact us here or on our website.
  • You can still buy our keyboard and use your own Cherry MX compatible keycaps (you need to use our keycaps for the modifier keys).

Switches

Our keyboard will use sockets for the switches. It means you can easily replace switches (for example with different type) without any soldering.

Which switches do you need to choose? Different people like different types. In general, linear switches are better for gaming, and tactile switches are better for typing. We offer a choice of switches, however since our keyboard will use standard Cherry MX switches, you can use any of the switches available on the market. No soldering required. If you want to read more about different kinds of switches, you can start with this Wikipedia article 

We offer you to choose from the following switches:

  • blue (tactile clicky, good for typing)
  • brown (tactile, good for typing and gaming)
  • red (linear, good for gaming)
Sockets for switches

Keycaps

Most of the keycaps are standard Cherry MX compatibles, but some of the modifier keys are not standard size and will require a custom mould. There are significant up-front costs for making custom moulds, this is why we need to start this campaign. We already found the manufacturer and get the prices.

Our keycaps will be made of modern ABS plastic, and will not become yellow later.

Will it work with your Amiga?

To our knowledge, Amiga 500 was manufactured with two types of the keyboard controller / membrane. Our replacement keyboard can replace both of them. Your keyboard controller board need to be working (it’s the small board attached to the top right corner of the metal plate).

Amigas 600 and 1200 were manufactured with only one type of the keyboard, and our keyboard will be able to replace them.

If you are in doubt or just want to be sure your Amiga is compatible with our keyboard, feel free to send us the pictures of your keyboard (you can do it on our website,  this thread on the English Amiga Board forum, or upload it somewhere and send us the link) and we will check it for you.  

Amiga 500. Type 1 keyboard. The controller board has only one connector for the membrane.
Amiga 500. Type 2 keyboard. The controller board has only two connectors for the membrane.

What is included

Keyboard PCB with full set of Cherry MX compatible switches. All switches are socketed (easily replaceable). You can choose switches of the following types: blue, brown, red.

Keyboard PCB with switches (prototype)

One set of keycaps of your choice: for the UK/US or German layout. 

Keycaps

Flat flex cables for connecting it to the keyboard controller board of your Amiga. Keycap stabilizers for all large keys. Nuts and bolts for securing the keyboard on the metal plate. We will use existing holes on the metal plate of your Amiga, so no drilling is required.

Questions?

Any questions or suggestions? You can send us message here, post on our forum, or in this thread on the English Amiga Board forum.

Risks and challenges

We already have working prototype. The only challenge left is to produce the keycaps. However, we already found the manufacturer specialised in keyboards and got the quotation. If this project is funded, we will have enough money for production.

Even though this is our very first project, we are not amateur as we spent our entire life working as professionals on projects of very broad spectrum, and many orders of magnitude more complex than this one. Together as a team we have all the necessary expertise to bring a new product to life, from initial design to final delivery. We have extensive experience in electronics engineering, software development, procurement, risk management, supply chain management.

We are very confident that our project will become a success if our fund raising target is met. Since we do all design and management ourselves, the funds collected from you will be spent on the manufacturing on the keyboards first. This is in contrast to some of the projects where all money is spent on salaries and in the end nothing is left to make the product. We don't take a cent from your money until after the successful delivery. And we will definitly keep you posted as well.

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    Full Keyboard Kit - early birds

    PCB, one set of switches, one set of keycaps. All necessary cables, keycap stabilizers, nuts and bolts. You will be able to choose from the following switches: red, brown, blue.

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    Pledge AU$ 135 or more About $93

    Full Keyboard Kit A500/A1200

    Keyboard PCB (for A500/A1200), one set of switches, one set of keycaps. All necessary cables, keycap stabilizers, nuts and bolts. You will be able to choose from the following switches: red, brown, blue. You will be able to choose from the following keycaps: UK/US or German.

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    Pledge AU$ 165 or more About $114

    Full Keyboard Kit A600

    Keyboard PCB for A600, one set of switches, one set of keycaps. All necessary cables, keycap stabilizers, nuts and bolts. You will be able to choose from the following switches: red, brown, blue. You will be able to choose from the following keycaps: UK/US or German.

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    Pledge AU$ 200 or more About $138

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