Author Topic: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!  (Read 3601 times)

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Offline Gryzor

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So, I had this idea of creating small fridge magnets using CPC keys. The aim twofold: keep the bills on the fridge door (no kids drawings yet) AND be able to write (very) short messages for the Significant Other for her to see while grabbing for the juice.

For this I decided to use the tall 464 (first generation) keys. These not only look nicer, but also are easier to convert to magnets. Using the lower keys (or perhaps 664/6128 ones) would require filling their interior with something before gluing the magnets on. As it is, the tall 464 keys were juuuust perfect.

It's very easy to do. I took two key sets (you require at least two, for letter repetition) from non-working machines and gently prised them key caps off the board. I washed them in the dish washer to remove an grime and dirt, then laid them out on a newspaper sheet and sprayed them with high-gloss lacquer. Despite the name it doesn't give much shine, but they look very nice. So nice I'm considering of spraying an entire machine, but I digress. I let them dry for a couple of hours (it takes minutes, actually, but just to make sure) and sprayed again.

I had already bought some magnets off ebay. I found that Neodymium, 2mm-thick magnets (like these: 50 Strong Neodymium Disc Magnets 6x2 mm N52 Grade reborn craft models 6mm x 2mm) proved to be just perfect for the little project. They are almost exactly the diameter to fit on the keys' cross base, and they sit very flush to the cap bottom. Like made-to-order! (actually the 2mm magnets protrude by just a hair's width, but it doesn't show when in use - at all).

Just a tiny amount of superglue on the cross inside the cap, then gently placed the magnets on top and pressed down for a second. In a few seconds' time they were ready to use! DO NOT use a UHU-style glue: this will actually melt the plastic! Also, the six-milimeter magnets are a tiny bit small; 8mm would be the best, but didn't find any. Anyway, the result is pretty perfect as it is, but you may want to place them slightly off-center so that they more 'meat' instead of sitting on the empty cross. It won't affect the result.

Word of caution: keep your roll of magnets further away from the cap you're working on. It's fairly easy for the magnet you're working with to fall on the working surface; if it's got some glue on it, the roll of magnets will pull it and it will glue itself onto another magnet. I had to use a surgical scalpel to prise a couple of them apart, not very easy since the blade kept being moved due to the magnetic field. Also place the readied key caps a bit apart, so they don't draw to each other while the glue is still wet.

One word of caution: as I found, Amstrad actually had two versions of key caps for the firs-gen keyboards. The better one on the left, the other on the right:

* Front.jpg
(187.79 kB, 1601x303 - viewed 147 times)


You can mainly tell them by the fact that the white plastic that protrudes through the gray plastic to form the characters covers the entire inside of the second version. This second version is NOT of the same quality; the keys had some discolouring (yellowing?) already, and when placed in the dish washer they lost some more colour. So either don't go for them or don't put them in a dishwasher.

Result:

* Sideview.jpg
(229.41 kB, 911x911 - viewed 191 times)





* Tsk.jpg
(142.73 kB, 1279x351 - viewed 114 times)

(see how tight they sit on the fridge!)


 [ Invalid Attachment ]
(couldn't resist).


Yeah, a silly thing, I know, and probably not worth a 'tutorial', but I thought I'd share the concept, findings and results with you.


Now, if anyone wants to sell me a third set of keys... ;)

Offline ralferoo

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #1 on: 15:39, 31 May 13 »
It looks cool, but also makes me a bit sad to think the the 464s now with no keyboards... (especially as one of my CPC464 with tall keys is missing one)  :-\

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #2 on: 15:43, 31 May 13 »
There were no 464s to begin with, those were all from spare parts :)


Which one are you missing? If I haven't converted/ruined it yet I could maybe send it to you... (though all letters are done)

Offline ralferoo

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #3 on: 16:28, 31 May 13 »
It's the small enter-key (bottom right), so it's a bit iconic and you should probably keep it in your collection because it'll be one of the centrepieces of your collection. Besides, I've got enough other 464s (low profile style though) that I don't really need to fix it...

Offline beaker

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #4 on: 22:01, 31 May 13 »
I like it, might try it myself with my Amiga 1200...

Yeah, a silly thing, I know, and probably not worth a 'tutorial', but I thought I'd share the concept, findings and results with you.

Completely agree! Instead I think what we need is a whole new section to the Wiki, CPC Crafts, hosted by Gryzor where you could do the written descriptions as above and post a video so we can follow in real time!!!  ;D

Offline steve

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #5 on: 22:34, 31 May 13 »
You could turn the case into a model of an aircraft carrier. :D

Offline TFM

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #6 on: 22:54, 31 May 13 »
Hey great idea!!! But only use 464 keys please  :P
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Online Bryce

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #7 on: 23:07, 31 May 13 »
Completely agree! Instead I think what we need is a whole new section to the Wiki, CPC Crafts, hosted by Gryzor where you could do the written descriptions as above and post a video so we can follow in real time!!!  ;D

The most creative thing you can do with a CPC is to use it!

Bryce.

Offline Kris

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #8 on: 23:13, 31 May 13 »
+1 with Bryce !

Offline TFM

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #9 on: 23:44, 31 May 13 »
There are a million ways to use a CPC :P
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Offline TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #10 on: 13:01, 01 June 13 »
Finally, who can though that the 464 may be used today !  :-\
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Offline beaker

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #11 on: 20:11, 01 June 13 »
FYI, Atari ST keys are no good for this as they seem to be different heights depending on which row of the keyboard they sit on  ???


Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC464 keyboard mod - fridge magnets!
« Reply #12 on: 20:17, 09 August 15 »
To years after missing Beaker's post: yeah, the ST is not that good for that. Or the CPC Plus for that matter. But then again those key caps are not so retro or iconic as the original 464 ones!


Speccy rubber keys would also be nice :)