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21 votes
Accepted

Troubleshooting and reparing an Atari 800XL with a single key not working

In the end, I decided that it had to be easier to take the keyboard apart than to de-solder the 4051's and so I carefully removed the 18 tiny screws from the back of the keyboard. It wasn't nearly as ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
17 votes
Accepted

Why did the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum use a membrane keyboard?

On the one hand it was clearly down to cost - being very much cheaper than a conventional keyboard. However, remember that the Spectrum was the replacement for the ZX81 and ZX80. These had ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 8,141
15 votes
Accepted

Did the Oric-1 improve on the Spectrum's keyboard?

Having both an Oric Atmos and both a rubber Keyed and later plus Spectrum I can tell you the the Oric keyboard is vastly superior with a firm and positive action to each key. The feel of the keyboard ...
AndyF's user avatar
  • 584
14 votes

Why did the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum use a membrane keyboard?

As simple as that: because it is the cheapest solution. Mechanical keys, separate circuit boards to hold the switches, etc, add costs to the final product. The ZX Spectrum case is slighly bigger than ...
mcleod_ideafix's user avatar
10 votes

Did the Oric-1 improve on the Spectrum's keyboard?

The Oric-1 improved somewhat over the ZX Spectrum's unusual chiclet keyboard. I guess the keyword too look for is "somewhat". Did it actually improve on the Spectrum's keyboard? If so, how? ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
10 votes
Accepted

How do I replace a ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard membrane?

For the keyboard itself: Undo the screws from the bottom of the case. Lift the top of the case gently off. Disconnect the ribbon cables from the keyboard (CAREFUL fragile) Slide out the keyboard. ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 8,141
9 votes

Troubleshooting and reparing an Atari 800XL with a single key not working

I've found that the old Atari keyboards can lose conductivity and that pressing they key repeatedly, not necessarily with a lot of pressure, can revive them. I've had Apple II keys start working again ...
Tim Locke's user avatar
  • 4,820
8 votes

Membrane keyboard robustness

It depends on a number of factors, a major one being the material that the membrane is made from. Various types of plastics can be used, with different properties. Some will age and become brittle, or ...
user's user avatar
  • 15.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Atari 400 Faulty Keyboard - Some columns work, most do not

Chip checking time! Pull, inspect, and re-seat the 4051s (two of em, the small chips near the center of the board) and the POKEY chip on the motherboard. Hopefully they are socketed and not soldered, ...
driph's user avatar
  • 356
5 votes
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How to fix a TI99/4a membrane keyboard?

According to jdv's answer to another question, cotton swabs and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol will do the trick. Try to keep the alcohol away from plastics, use it sparingly and be gentle when you rub ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 18.7k
5 votes

How to fix a TI99/4a membrane keyboard?

A pink pencil eraser is a reasonable contact cleaner for this sort of thing. Just scrub the black dots a bit and see if they will respond to softer pressure.
silver's user avatar
  • 71
5 votes

Troubleshooting and reparing an Atari 800XL with a single key not working

After finding this community just in the last couple days, some of these questions bring back great memories from my younger days. I used to repair the ATARI computers and did modifications to bump up ...
LewinskyS's user avatar
  • 549
4 votes
Accepted

Membrane keyboard robustness

Some early computers used a membrane keyboard (ZX80, ZX81, Atari 400), or semi-membrane with minimal keys (ZX Spectrum). Not just early ones. Membrane keyboards are still made and used today, usually ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes

Cost of a chiclet keyboard

As is usually the case with manufacturing, the selection of a component/construction type (the keyboard, in this case) is not so simple as just knowing the cost per manufactured unit. This is because ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.9k
4 votes

Did the Oric-1 improve on the Spectrum's keyboard?

Having programmed on both, the Spectrum keyboard is much better. The Oric 1 keyboard gave a positive feel with a hard click, but required force that became painful to use after a short while typing. ...
Lauren's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes

My Amiga 500 "Enter" and "Return" keys wont work... possible causes?

I'll give an answer as it's been a while and no one has answered this. Since I posted the question I have done some debugging and I'd like to post it as an answer as it may help others debugging Amiga ...
scm's user avatar
  • 1,059
2 votes

How do I replace a ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard membrane?

Yes it is pretty easy. Dataserve is a great site, devoted to retro computing. And if you want a video showing you how, to minimise getting it wrong, here is one from Mark Fixes Stuff on YouTube ...
popeymon's user avatar
  • 423
2 votes
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Cost of a chiclet keyboard

Intuitively, I would be inclined to think either the keyboard matters more to your target market than cost or it doesn't, and in the latter case you might as well use a membrane keyboard, being the ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
1 vote

Why did the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum use a membrane keyboard?

I had a ZX81 before I had my Spectrum. I am sure I am not alone in being grateful for the huge improvement, at minimal increased cost of the Speccy compared to the 81. The 81 membrane was very ...
popeymon's user avatar
  • 423
1 vote

Troubleshooting and reparing an Atari 800XL with a single key not working

I have an 800XL that does this once in a while though the keyboard in my rig seems 100% mechanical. Others seem to be less so with a sheet of mylar in there. Anywho - in my case I'll simply pop the ...
Damo's user avatar
  • 11

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