putting it together

The next task was to solder wires onto the terminals of the circuit board left over from the keyboard. This was a nightmare- each one was maybe two milimeters from the next so getting the solder to stay on just one was a task in itself. Then I found that a few of the wires had lifted the conductor right off the board so I had to scrape off the green insulation a little further up the circuit to redo it (the diagonal one in the illustration), like a junkie looking for a new vein. And half the time fixing one solder job would heat the one next to it enough for it to come loose. Ah, memories...

A few words of advice for anyone trying this themselves: use electronics solder- it doesn't stick to breadboard. I later got curious and tested regular solder on an old NIC and it stuck everywhere. Watch what you buy.

At this point there were wires coming from the crossbar, wires coming from the levers, and wires coming from the circuit board. Time to connect them.

Like I said earlier, each key is a connection between two terminals. Some terminals have lots of keys connected to them. For example, connecting terminal 4 and terminal 19 might produce "A" but connecting terminal 9 and terminal 19 might produce "F". Since 1-13 always connected to 14-26 and vice versa (i.e. no terminal from 1 to 13 connects to any other terminal from 1 to 13), I arbitrarily decided that the levers would all connect to 1-13 and the crossbar would connect to 14-26. Next I physically grouped all the wires by terminal, so that everything going to terminal 1 would be bundled together, everything to 2 would be together, etc. and labeled the bundles with masking tape and a marker.

By the way, should you ever do this yourself, it would be handy to start off by marking on the underside of the typewriter which lever coresponds to which key. I thought of this rather late. Duh.

With all the wires bundled, it was time to connect them to their corresponding wires from the circuit board. These were crudely soldered and covered with shrink-tubing or, when I forgot to put on the tubing first, more gaffer's tape.

Fortuitously, the circuitboard fit nicely in a little space at the back of the typewriter. I made a little insulated nest of gaffer's tape and slid it in, where it fit perfectly- nice and snug. One more round of gaf tape to hold it in place...

and it was DONE. We don't talk about the several hours I spent troubleshooting it after it was declared done, including the stuck C key on Christmas morning. Ahem.

More pictures, anyone?

home first steps the basic keys
the special keys pictures

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