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DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
10-09-2018, 09:17 AM
Post: #1
DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
Just been playing with my DM42 again and admiring the beauty of this software/hardware combo - yet still struggling with the hard feel of the keys.

I've followed the 'softening' procedure demonstrated by Logan West https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDxVxw6_SKU which has helped. Yet each time I press ENTER and have to use muscle groups in my arms (not just my fingers) in order to get the key to press, I wince and feel that twinge of disappointment.

Then I had an idea. Why not assign the ENTER key to one of the custom function keys. Is that even possible? Hurrying, I tried. SHIFT-ASSIGN-FCN-(then down arrow 11 times) ENTR then the softkey position of your choice (I chose position 6). Wow - it works!! Just keep SHIFT-CUSTOM mode on, and you can avoid having to do a gym workout each time you need to press the enter key.

Yeah, I know this workaround is not perfect - you can't always have your custom menu visible, e.g. when needing to use other menus. But its something that might help 60% of use cases.
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10-09-2018, 06:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
This issue stops me buying a 42
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10-09-2018, 06:44 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2018 06:44 PM by Logan.)
Post: #3
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
I don't think the problem is universal. Neither of my units are difficult to press ENTER on since I did the "softening" thing.
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10-09-2018, 06:54 PM
Post: #4
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
I had the same problem with my DM-42...
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10-09-2018, 09:53 PM
Post: #5
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
(10-09-2018 06:44 PM)Logan Wrote:  I don't think the problem is universal. Neither of my units are difficult to press ENTER on since I did the "softening" thing.

That sounds encouraging. Maybe I should do another round of ‘softening’. I might have been too conservative when I did it, for fear of breaking the plastic hinge or whatever.
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10-09-2018, 11:37 PM
Post: #6
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
(10-09-2018 09:53 PM)tcab Wrote:  Maybe I should do another round of ‘softening’. I might have been too conservative when I did it, for fear of breaking the plastic hinge or whatever.

The video that was posted to the SwissMicros forum, explaining the procedure, said to push the keys down to the point where their highest points were level with the faceplate, i.e. push them down quite a bit farther than they would go with everything in its fully assembled state, but don't let you fingertips go into the holes.

I did that, might have gone a tiny bit farther than that, but not a lot, pushing with my thumbs held flat against the faceplate.

Not only did it work quite well, but what really surprised me was that it completely fixed my Enter key. At first it had done this thing where it only worked right when you pressed it left of center, and anywhere else it would feel mushy and not even register reliably. After the treatment, the Enter key felt as light as all the others, and it felt good and registered reliably no matter where I pressed it.

I still don't understand how that could happen just by softening those hinges, but there you are. Maybe there was a mis-alignment that randomly got fixed by disassembling and re-assembling the machine? Either way, that keyboard went from feeling rather poor and disappointing, to something I wouldn't mind using all day.
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10-10-2018, 01:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
I had to do the Post-It Note fix for my Enter key: cut 2 or 3 small strips from the gummed area of the paper and layer them across the center of the left Enter key dome. This fixes the issue with the key being a bit uneven with the board underneath.
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10-10-2018, 12:04 PM
Post: #8
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
Do people think this might help with a key that doesn't reliably register?

I have a new DM42, and the shift key only works about half the time. However, the feel of the key is fine, not stiff, just doesn't reliably work.

some other keys have the same issue, but the shift key is by far the worst (and most annoying).

I've seen the note about cleaning, but assumed that shouldn't be necessary on a brand-new unit?

thanks…

Cambridge, UK
41CL, 12C/15C, DM15/16, 71B, 17B, 28S, DM42, 48GX, 17bII+, 50g (& newRPL), 35s, 30b (WP 34S), Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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10-10-2018, 12:38 PM
Post: #9
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
My experience is the same as cdmackay - my enter key seems fine but the shift key is unreliable. I posted in the swissmicros forum almost two weeks ago asking for support but still have no reply. Given the high price, I expected better.
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10-10-2018, 03:49 PM
Post: #10
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
I believe they are on holiday this week; although I have had two order-related emails go unanswered from before that…

Cambridge, UK
41CL, 12C/15C, DM15/16, 71B, 17B, 28S, DM42, 48GX, 17bII+, 50g (& newRPL), 35s, 30b (WP 34S), Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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10-10-2018, 05:19 PM
Post: #11
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
(10-10-2018 12:04 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  I have a new DM42, and the shift key only works about half the time. However, the feel of the key is fine, not stiff, just doesn't reliably work.

some other keys have the same issue, but the shift key is by far the worst (and most annoying).

I've seen the note about cleaning, but assumed that shouldn't be necessary on a brand-new unit?

It shouldn't be necessary, but when a key feels fine yet registers unreliably, dirt is the prime suspect. I think Michael provided instructions for cleaning the keyboard over on the SwissMicros forum a while ago; a few people found small pieces of plastic debris inside their units which appeared to be the culprits.
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10-10-2018, 06:34 PM
Post: #12
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
(10-10-2018 05:19 PM)Thomas Okken Wrote:  
(10-10-2018 12:04 PM)cdmackay Wrote:  I have a new DM42, and the shift key only works about half the time. However, the feel of the key is fine, not stiff, just doesn't reliably work.

some other keys have the same issue, but the shift key is by far the worst (and most annoying).

I've seen the note about cleaning, but assumed that shouldn't be necessary on a brand-new unit?

It shouldn't be necessary, but when a key feels fine yet registers unreliably, dirt is the prime suspect. I think Michael provided instructions for cleaning the keyboard over on the SwissMicros forum a while ago; a few people found small pieces of plastic debris inside their units which appeared to be the culprits.

thanks Thomas, yes, I read that thread, just didn't think it would apply to a new unit. I'll open mine and have a look-see.

Cambridge, UK
41CL, 12C/15C, DM15/16, 71B, 17B, 28S, DM42, 48GX, 17bII+, 50g (& newRPL), 35s, 30b (WP 34S), Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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10-10-2018, 09:31 PM
Post: #13
RE: DM42 keyboard ENTER fix
I didn't see any visible debris in mine, but a good cleaning definitely helped a couple of keys that were a bit fussy (though not as bad as some of the keys on my 30b).

I would agree that the keyboard quality is kind of disappointing, and a step back from the DM-41L, but at least softening the keys and cleaning a few domes makes it acceptable, if not good.
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