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#1 2015-10-05 00:29:15

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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The PDX acquisitions!

On my trip out to Portland this weekend, I picked up an Apple ///, Apple IIe, two DiskIIs, and a ProFile.  I haven't messed with them to see if they work at all yet.  Obviously, the keyboards need a bit of work.  The previous owner said he had replacement keyboards for both machines, but couldn't find them.  If he does find them, he'll mail them to me.  In the mean time, I'm contemplating the practicality of 3D modeling and printing some.
No cables were included, but I'm assuming a straight through DB25 will work for the ProFile.

36.jpg

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#2 2015-10-05 00:40:06

TheWhiteFalcon
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Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Wow, nice! Sometimes the ones you have to work on are the best.

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#3 2015-10-05 01:10:45

techknight
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Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 449

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Working on them is what makes it fun for me.

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#4 2015-10-05 01:36:40

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

A little elbow grease and a general checkup, the /// powers up:
37.jpg

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#5 2015-10-05 01:53:46

LCGuy
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From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 807

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Your images don't seem to be working on my end - at least on my home Internet connection anyway. If I disconnect my phone from my WiFi network and access ThinkClassic via 4G I can view them fine. Just wondering if there may be some kind of routing issue between your ISP and mine? I've noticed that it seems to happen quite a bit, at first I thought that your web server may have been down when I went to view the images...but it seems that its something else.

Anyway, nice score. Good luck getting the ProFile up and running!

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#6 2015-10-05 02:03:23

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Sorry about that, I've taken a draconian approach in my IP filtering and had blocked your ISP (among others).  I've removed the block so should hopefully be OK now.  If anyone else runs into something similar, let me know.

Thanks!  I'm pretty excited about it.  I hope the ProFile actually works, but haven't fired it up quite yet.
I relish the /// in a cynical kind of way, on several levels.  First, being a computer designed entirely by marketing without engineering input, coupled with its utter failure.  Second, the machine possibly being Apple's least successful computer, not only in sales, but in the opportunity cost of the machine.

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#7 2015-10-05 05:19:27

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 946
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

I've heard about how awful the profile drives are but while mine is as loud as a Lear jet on the Tarmac, it's worked pretty reliably. Same with my Widget in the Lisa II


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#8 2015-10-06 04:01:31

bbraun
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Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

I got ADTPro setup on the /// and transferred the Apple /// Confidence Disk.  That one is pretty slick, since it speaks to you.  It told me the machine has 256K RAM, so that's pretty good.

On the //e front, I started printing this keycap which claims to only be for the top row of keys.  The stem is the same, but I imagine the angle and possibly cupping of the keycap varies from row to row.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any models for the other rows, nor do I have an existing one that I could measure against.  So I just printed that key for all the rows:
38.jpg
I'm working on my own model for the wider tab/shift/delete/return keys, based loosely on the dimensions of that top row key model I've already printed, my own model for the stem attachment, and approximate key width based on the hole the key should fill and the relative width of the keys on the bottom row.  Based on pictures I've found of the //e keyboard, tab and delete are 1.5 times the width of a normal key, control and return are 2x, and shift is 2.5x.  Those are printing overnight, and with any luck, I'll have those by tomorrow.  The spacebar is a little trickier.  Like with the spacebar on the AEKII, it seems like there should be a metal bar and some clips.  I don't have those, nor do I have a picture of a working //e spacebar mechanism.  I'm going to have to think about how best to make one of those.

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#9 2015-10-06 04:04:18

TheWhiteFalcon
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Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Would it be possible to snag a bar from another keyboard?

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#10 2015-10-06 04:12:47

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Yeah, if I had one to snag it from.  There's someone on ebay selling any keycap you want for $4 or so.  I'd have to ask if the spacebar included everything.  But at this point, if I'm doing custom printed caps for everything, I kind of want to go all the way.  smile
I've run out of the gray resin, so the rest are going to be clear, which I'm hoping provides a nice contrast, but I'll see how it goes.  If the clear doesn't work out, I've got more gray resin on the way and I can reprint in that.

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#11 2015-10-06 04:20:39

TheWhiteFalcon
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Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

I meant from any keyboard, not an Apple III one.

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#12 2015-10-06 04:36:13

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Mmmmaybe.  I'm not sure how the stock one works, so I'm going based on the hole it's supposed to fill.  Here's a picture:
39.jpg

There looks to be some clips at the bottom that would accept rotating metal bar.  There's also those two holes on either side of the post.  I'm going to guess the ends of the rotating metal bar hook into a groove in the bottom of the spacebar, and there are supposed to be posts coming down off the keyboard that fit in those holes next to the post for stability.  Even if that's not the case, it should still work OK.  The details are where it gets sticky, since the length of the metal bar and the location of the grooves it fits into on the key are important.  The exact length shouldn't really matter, as long as I make the spacebar to match the bar I'm using.
But I don't think just any old spacebar setup will necessarily work as-is.  The + shaped keyswitch post is somewhat common, used by the Cherry keyswitches on modern keyboards.  However, modern Cherry keyboards typically use 3 keyswitch posts to support the keyboard instead of the metal bar setup AFAIK, and the Cherry post is set much lower than the //e's, so if I used one of those, the spacebar would be much lower than the other keys.  The Alps keyswitch uses more of a - shaped keyswitch post, so those won't work (like the one I did for the AEKII).
So, I might be able to use the metal bar from a different keyboard's spacebar assuming the diameter of the bar is close enough to fit in those clips, but probably not the keycap.  The keycap would need to be designed to use the same width metal bar.

Oh right, and although the Cherry switches use the + shaped post, the size of the + is different (both the length of the + and the width of the supports are different and don't fit the //e's posts).

This is on the //e, the /// on the other hand is missing 2 normal sized keys, but that uses a completely different set of posts that are more of a sideways T.  I'll need to come up with my own model for those as well.  To make matters worse, on my /// at least one of the two missing keys have broken off the post, so I'll need to make a new post too.

Last edited by bbraun (2015-10-06 04:39:23)

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#13 2015-10-06 16:25:36

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Actually, after messing with a spacebar model a bit, I think those wide rectangular holes on either side of the post are actually to allow the supports in the keycap for the metal bar to have extra clearance when the key is down.  That would essentially mean the length of the metal bar is somewhat fixed, since the "ears" of the bar would have to fit into grooves or clips there.

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#14 2015-10-06 17:10:41

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,391

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Interesting stuff once again. smile

Just looked at cheap ass unassembled printers. WTF are "wood" (sawdust and clear hot glue kinda deal?) and PLA/Flexible PLA filaments?

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#15 2015-10-06 17:37:18

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

I'm not sure about wood.  I know some folks "print" stuff by laser cutting wood and then assembling the structure from there, similar to acrylic, but that's about as much as I know on the subject.
PLA is for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers, which are what most of the lower cost printers do like the MakerBots.  Basically it has a filament of some material (usually PLA or ABS) that is heated up and extruded in an additive process.  I don't have an FDM printer, so I'm not super familiar with the filaments used and what to look out for.
Here's an article talking about the differences between PLA and ABS for printing.
Honestly, I've had some buyer's remorse over the Form1+ I've got, and SLA in general.  It seems pretty good if you're into super accurate models that are for visual inspection only.  The resins available aren't that great for practical applications.  Things like keycaps are fine, but definitely bad for snap-fit parts, and larger flat structures tend to warp and/or be brittle over time, so things like cases aren't that great, and I end up making things substantially thicker than they need to be in order to counteract some of that.
Mainly SLA is just super time consuming and messy.  And expensive.
For most of what I do, I think an FDM ABS printer would be more desireable.  But maybe that's just a 'grass is greener' view, since I don't really know much about those printers.

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#16 2015-10-06 18:11:58

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Some progress.  The spacebar needs to be a little wider, and mounted a little lower.  I'm still working out the details of how the leveling system will work out with the metal bar:
40.jpg

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#17 2015-10-06 18:58:50

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

If someone with an Apple //e spacebar could take a picture of the underside of the key, I'd appreciate it.

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#18 2015-10-06 21:45:51

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Well, I kinda sorta have it working.  It's OK, but not great:
41.jpg

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#19 2015-10-06 23:02:41

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,391

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Geeetech_GEEETECHI3PROB.jpg

No time to research it now, but it seems like sawdust and resin (clear hot glue equivalent) mix.

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#20 2015-10-07 04:44:06

sluffox
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Registered: 2015-07-08
Posts: 9

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

I just got a iie, it's missing a couple of keys but fortunately not the spacebar, i'll try the sawdust and hotmail trick.
space_Bot.jpg

space_Hole.jpg

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#21 2015-10-07 15:47:12

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Super awesome, thanks!  So there's essentially 3 stem connectors on the bottom of the spacebar, and pretty long supports that slide into the cross section of those holes on either side of the center post.  The metal bar hooks into those supports?

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#22 2015-10-07 17:13:01

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

sluffox: if you'd like I can send you a clear printed keycaps for what you're missing.  Unfortunately my models are for a top row key for the normal keys, and the wider keys probably have the wrong tilt and curvature, but they seem to mate to the keyboard fine and work.

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#23 2015-10-07 21:34:31

sluffox
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Registered: 2015-07-08
Posts: 9

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

you got it had a hard time getting it back in, your prototype is pretty close to what i would have expected to find. my keyboard needs a bit of work before it will be ready for those printed keys, great your making them available, thanks.

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#24 2015-10-08 01:23:21

sluffox
Member
Registered: 2015-07-08
Posts: 9

Re: The PDX acquisitions!

pulled it back off to have a better look
cross_Sect.jpg

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#25 2015-10-08 01:58:30

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: The PDX acquisitions!

Awesome, thanks.  I've made a new model that has that sliver integrated into it.  The print didn't come out very well and I'm reprinting it, but the part that did come out seemed to work better than what I was using before.  Hopefully the reprint will come out better.
I should also probably find an actual single piece of wire that's long enough for the metal bar, rather than two paperclips soldered together.  smile

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