Converting a Server Rack Keyboard into a Desktop Friendly Format


#1

4 new photos · Album by Patrick Breen

Recently I came across an interesting pair keyboard that were used in a KVM unit that slid into a server rack. I removed the keyboard portions and was surprised to see it was mechanical, with Cherry brown switches and doubleshot Devlin keycaps!

I have been thinking about ideas on how to convert these keyboards into a more desktop friendly package. The PCB and plate are easily removed from the housing, and the trackball is on a daughterboard. Right now I have one of the keyboards with Jolimon to have him try and make an acrylic plate that will fit the keyboard and trackball, but I am interested to see if anyone else has some ideas on how these could be made more usable?


#2

I’d say keep the layout largely the same, but move the trackball off to one side.

Also, check out the Cherry G80-11800 for a similar rendition:


#3

Those are some really cool caps. Can Devlin even make keycaps in that variety of sizes any more?


#4

As I understand it, those are QS profile, the uniform profile with a slightly raised rear - so yes!


#5

I do not know much about Devlin caps, and I had not really heard of them till I came across this board. Here are some detail shots of the keycaps and more shots of the board that didn’t seem to make it into my original post.


#6

Cool! Had no idea that Devlin does indicator windows.


#7

SO I DID IT!

It took a while, but I now have the custom cases for these boards.


#8

I love the transparent acrylic - the perfect oversize PCB to show off some traces too.


#9

Nicely done! I also love the transparency so you can see all the PCB goodness :smile:


#10

How much does it all weigh?


#11

I need to get a better scale for measuring keyboards, but around 3.75 lbs