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View Full Version : FAQ: How to repair the C64/128 Keyboard (big pics)



Raedon
01-10-2003, 05:51 PM
Well, here is the senario.. You're at a flee or goodwill, and out of the corner of your eye you see a classic computer. Not just any computer but a Commodore keyboard type computer! You go over, pull it out of the box and!! ....

http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/no_0_closeup.jpg

CRAP! Broken key! So you want to walk away, but you haven't seen one in a looong time.

Well, all is not lost! You can repair that computer! First off, make a 'it's busted' deal.. offer them .50 cents or something (you could use it for chips and stuff anyway)

Now, before you leave this is very important! Check to see if the broken keytop is still in the bin or box or around the unit! This will save you a lot of hassle in the future!

Ok, lets take the unit to our workshop.....
http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/Doh_no_0.jpg
So sad.. it's busted.. :-(

Here are some of the tools and parts you will need.

http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/tools.jpg
30 watt solder wand, Keytop/spring/plungers, philips screwdriver
the little U shaped tool is used to actually pull keytops out of the keyboard. You really don't need it if the key is broke off.

First, turn the computer over. You will find 6 screws (philips) on the c128. Three on the front, two in the back and one right in the center. Take those out. You will find there are two locking tabs on the 128 right above the keyboard. Push in the sides and the halves will open.
There will be three things to unhook; the power LED, a ground that needs to be unscrewed (philips), and a plug that connected the keyboard out to the motherboard.
Once those are off, You'll see this.

http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/keyboard_solder.jpg

There is no reason to take the keyboard completely off for this so don't bother removing it from the top c128 half. You will need to unsolder the 6 wires to the click keys (run/stop, Shift Lock, and 40/80 on the c128) These area's are what the arrows are pointing to in the picture above. Simple desolder, no way to kill anything. Now unscrew all those little philips screws.. there are like 24 or so.

Once you have desoldered the 6 wires and moved them out of the way and taken all the screws off take the contact board off. Clean it with alcohol sense you have it off. Your now looking at all the plungers that make contact with the board for keystrokes.

http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/keyboard_under.jpg

ok turn everything over and the broken plunger will fall out. No need to worry, none of the other keys can go anywhere. Put a new plunger in the hole and hold it in place with one hand.

http://home.cablelynx.com/~Tsouthern/hold_key.jpg

Now put the spring in place and align the keytop. Press down. you will here a *CLICK* as the keytop and plunger become one. and Voala!

http://home.cablelynx.com/~tsouthern/hold_key_finished.jpg

Now put the contact board back on.. remember to resolder those 3 click keys. everything goes back together easily (or should :/ ) and TADA!!!

http://home.cablelynx.com/~tsouthern/finished.jpg

Like new! heck, better then new!

Now I know you want to ask, "Well, where do I get the repair stuff??" Contact the Commodore repair guru Ray Carlsen. He's a great guy to know if your into classic computers. rcarlsen@tds.net He was selling the plungers and springs, though the keytops will cost you more as they don't make them anymore! but for $5 you can get enough plungers and springs to fix all your Oppsies.