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Series 80 keyboard cleaning
02-19-2016, 06:22 PM
Post: #1
Series 80 keyboard cleaning
Dear all:

It happens sometimes that some keys on a Series 80 computer (85, 86, 87) remain temporarily stuck for a few seconds and then come back into place.

I tried to clean with compressed air, but without appreciable results.

Tips for cleaning these keyboards?

Thank you.
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02-19-2016, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 02-19-2016 11:52 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #2
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
1. Remove all the keycaps by pulling straight up, preferably using a keycap puller.
2. Clean each keyswitch using isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab. Operate the switch several times during this step.
3. Clean the switch contacts using DeoxIT Gold and a cotton swab.
4. You may lubricate the plastic parts of the switch mechanism using a plastic-safe lubricant. Armor All even works however some folks have an aversion to the product.
5. Take all the keycaps and wash them in a solution of mild detergent. Dry thoroughly and optionally shine them up with Armor All.
6. Reinstall keycaps.
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02-19-2016, 07:10 PM
Post: #3
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
Thanks Dave, very well expressed ...
I will take a bit 'of time to do a good and clean job.
Cheers.
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02-19-2016, 08:03 PM
Post: #4
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
(02-19-2016 06:59 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  1. Remove all the keycaps by pulling straight up, preferably using a keycap puller.
2. Clean each keyswitch using isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab. Operate the switch several times during this step.
3. Clean the switch contacts using DeoxIT Gold and a cotton swab.
3. You may lubricate the plastic parts of the switch mechanism using a plastic-safe lubricant. Armor All even works however some folks have an aversion to the product.
4. Take all the keycaps and wash them in a solution of mild detergent. Dry thoroughly and optionally shine them up with Armor All.
5. Reinstall keycaps.

I suggest this additional step.

0. Take a photo of the keyboard with your phone.
Step 5 becomes much simpler....

--Bob Prosperi
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02-19-2016, 08:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
If you have keys that are sticking one common cause is the square tube that the key top fits into splits at the corner and they spread a bit and bind. I have not found any reliable way to repair them once they have cracked, I have yet to find a glue that will bond to them. The keyboard technology used was pretty common so it is not impossible to find a donor keyboard for replacement parts. One source is the early black TI-99 at least some used the same technology, the white ones do not.

Paul.
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02-20-2016, 07:29 AM
Post: #6
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
Definitely there are some square tube not in nice shape.
About TI-99, that's good news as I have half dozen of that machines.
I can try that way, too.

One more question: Can I swap keyboards between the same model series? Ie 86A with 86B or 87A with 87XM?
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02-20-2016, 09:03 AM
Post: #7
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
(02-19-2016 08:30 PM)Paul Berger (Canada) Wrote:  .... I have yet to find a glue that will bond to them.Paul.

I've had good luck with products that need ultraviolet light to cure such as Lazer Bond or RapidFix

Tom L

Tom L
...other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?
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02-20-2016, 01:51 PM
Post: #8
RE: Series 80 keyboard cleaning
(02-20-2016 07:29 AM)gferluga Wrote:  Definitely there are some square tube not in nice shape.
About TI-99, that's good news as I have half dozen of that machines.
I can try that way, too.

One more question: Can I swap keyboards between the same model series? Ie 86A with 86B or 87A with 87XM?
I would expect you can as I believe the 86A and 86B have the same layout, and even the 87s may have the same layout, but I only have a 86B so I cannot compare them.

The square tube are easily swapped, they have clips on the bottom that hold them in and you take them out by pulling straight up on them. There is apparently an official tool for doing this, but I use pliers to grip them. There is a spring under them, so watch it does not go flying off into a corner under you workbench. When putting them back in make sure the bar that separates the contacts is oriented correctly. The contacts are pretty easy to replace too, desolder on the bottom of the board and pull them out through the top.

Paul.
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