[colug-432] Keyboard oddness

jep200404 at columbus.rr.com jep200404 at columbus.rr.com
Thu Aug 18 14:32:54 EDT 2011

On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:41:20 -0400, Rob Funk <rfunk at funknet.net> wrote:

> Maybe I just need to take apart the keyboard and clean it.

Maybe, but if the problem is due to dirty contacts, 
taking the keyboard apart introduces risk of dirtying 
other contacts. 

Do the easy stuff first. Others have already recommended the 
simple swapping stuff I would try first. Don't take the 
keyboard apart until you know that it is to blame. 

Most keyboards today are made very cheaply. They have three 
layers of plastic. The top layer has resistive ink circuitry 
on its bottom side. The bottom layer has resistive ink circuitry 
on its top side. The middle layer is just a spacer with holes 
where the keys are. When one pushes a key, one makes contact 
between the top and bottom layers. The resistive ink, which is 
the electrical contact, is very frail. If one spills liquid on 
the keyboard, it is easy for capillary action to pull the 
liquid into places where it causes damage. 

If you do take the keyboard apart, be super fastidious about 
cleanliness when messing with the layers. _Gently_ clean the 
suspect contact with a non-abrasive eraser. You might cause 
more problems than you fix. Of course, if the keyboard is 
bad, you have little to lose. 

There are keyboards that use capacitance sensing. They used to 
be common, but because of their expense are uncommon now. 
The good ones will last longer than your fingers. 
Explore http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/keyboards.html
They have both good and ok keyboards. 
Keep your fingers on home row with an M13. 


Unfortunately, those do not have a middle pointer button. 

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