Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

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Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby rwap » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:28 pm

Looking for new project ideas for 2016, I was wondering how much interest there would be in getting some new replacement keyboard membranes (mylars) made for the Mega STe / TT Keyboards, as I understand that this is quite a common failure.

One of the main questions has to be whether there is just the one membrane used in these keyboards, or if (as I found out with the Commodore Amiga) there are actually several different types depending on the manufacturer and what mood they were in at the time...

There needs to be quite a bit of interest to justify the costs of manufacturing and investment required - based on the membrane being a similar size and complexity as the Amiga membranes, you are talking of a minimum production run of 250 membranes and an end price of around £25-£30.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby bugs » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:11 pm

Best Electronics have them for $30.

MegaSTE Internal US Keyboard Mylar. This is a Best made Upgraded/Better replacement MegaSTE Keyboard Mylar with protective Silkscreened circuit trace covering and extended Keyboard connection mylar strips. Replaces Atari MegaSTE Mylar internal part number 56B625A. CB102045 $29.95

MegaSTE Internal PAL QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY Keyboard Mylar. This is a Best made Upgraded/Better replacement MegaSTE Keyboard Mylar with protective Silkscreened circuit trace covering and extended Keyboard connection mylar strips. Replaces Atari MegaSTE Mylar internal part number 56B625B. CB102129 $29.95

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/MegaST.htm#Mega Click
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby joska » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:36 pm

.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby rwap » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:55 pm

DELETED - Duplicate post.
Last edited by rwap on Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby rwap » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:22 pm

I did spot that Best Electronics were selling them, but for users outside of the USA, it works out very expensive as they have a minimum paypal order of $50 and shipping to the UK is around $25.

People may want to band together to put in a bulk order to save on shipping, but then you have to bear in mind that you will probably incur customs charges (import duties, VAT and a £10 handling fee) so that bumps the price up.

I did approach Best Electronics about potentially a discount on a large order for re-sale, but unfortunately their minimum order requirements for this were that high it would be impossible to meet.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby shazzner » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:21 pm

I think a mylar/backplane with solder-able cherry mx switches would be the absolute best. I would swear off my Amiga forever if I could get my Atari going with a mechanical keyboard :)
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby galax » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:26 pm

shazzner wrote:I think a mylar/backplane with solder-able cherry mx switches would be the absolute best. I would swear off my Amiga forever if I could get my Atari going with a mechanical keyboard :)

Mega ST keyboards have Cherry MX black keyswitches, and are interchangeable with the Mega STE/TT keyboards. I've considered swapping the MX blacks for blues for a bit more click, it would be fairly easy but a bit expensive. Can also be plugged into an all-one-box ST with a simple adapter.

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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby joska » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:05 pm

shazzner wrote:I think a mylar/backplane with solder-able cherry mx switches would be the absolute best. I would swear off my Amiga forever if I could get my Atari going with a mechanical keyboard :)


As Galax says, the Mega ST keyboards are mechanical. I refused to believe that for years as they feel pretty much the same as ordinary ST/E keyboards, but they are indeed mechanical. The TT/MSTE keyboards are a lot better to type on.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby rwap » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:42 pm

There does not seem to be any need for more replacement membranes - I guess users in Europe are happy to pay Best Electronics $29.99 + $25 or so shipping (I was actually quoted $25 if I sent the payment by paypal as a gift - min $50 order, otherwise shipping would be $48!)

Maybe people prefer to club together to buy their membranes in bulk and save on shipping and just take the risk of customs adding on 20% VAT + £10 handling fee + customs fees...

As Best Electronics are not willing to negotiate a price for bulk orders unless I place an order for over $15,000 (!) the other option might be to offer something different - such as replacing the membrane with a thin PCB with proper micro-switches, such as has been done for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum - http://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/detail ... 128k-10922

Would there be enough interest in that?
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby hercule12 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:20 pm

I believe Keychange, closing down, has a small stock of complete mega st and mega ste kbds.....

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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby shazzner » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:22 pm

galax wrote:
shazzner wrote:I think a mylar/backplane with solder-able cherry mx switches would be the absolute best. I would swear off my Amiga forever if I could get my Atari going with a mechanical keyboard :)

Mega ST keyboards have Cherry MX black keyswitches, and are interchangeable with the Mega STE/TT keyboards. I've considered swapping the MX blacks for blues for a bit more click, it would be fairly easy but a bit expensive. Can also be plugged into an all-one-box ST with a simple adapter.

Welp, now I know my next keyboard project! :)
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby Silly_Pony » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:14 am

Best's asshole international shipping prices strike again.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby galax » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:38 am

joska wrote:As Galax says, the Mega ST keyboards are mechanical. I refused to believe that for years as they feel pretty much the same as ordinary ST/E keyboards, but they are indeed mechanical. The TT/MSTE keyboards are a lot better to type on.

'Mechanical' doesn't always mean 'clicky'; depends on the keyswitch ;) I've been saying for years that I prefer the positive feedback of the TT/MSTE keyboard but most people seem to think that they must suck because they use a membrane- those inverted rubber cups give them a great feel though.

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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby joska » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:49 am

I agree. The TT/MSTE keyboard is much better than the Mega keyboard. I'd dare say that even the build quality is better - yes, it's a membrane keyboard but that doesn't mean it's bad. I have three TT/MSTE keyboards now, and have had another three previously and have never had a single problem with these.
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Re: Mega STe / TT Keyboard Membranes

Postby mfro » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:21 am

I still like my TT keyboard for its tactile feedback which is just as I like it (might be biased due to early conditioning ;) ).

The only complaint I have is that its designers obviously didn't expect it still to be used after 25 years. Its showing signs of wear (Control and escape keys sometimes don't react anymore. Too much vi over the years, probably).


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