I wanted a mechanical keyboard with Windows keys. I have an IBM Model M keyboard, but its lack of Windows keys makes using Windows 10 more annoying than it should be. I don’t hunt and peck around the start menu, I’ve learnt to press the Windows key and just start typing the program I want to open.
After a bit of poking around Amazon I found a keyboard that seemed to meet my requirements of being mechanical, but also not costing more than a “real” mechanical keyboard. It’s infected with RGB lights, but never mind they’re quite inoffensive. I fell down the rabbit hole of mechanical keyswitches, and eventually worked out I needed “blue” ones. They’re the kind that go “click” with a nice positive snap. I once had a Corsair mechanical keyboard but it was designed for hyper gamers and would register keypresses if you so much as looked at a key.
Anyway, my cheap Tecknet keyboard started acting weird the other day. The ‘Enter’ key wouldn’t always register a click the first time, it seemed to need pressing twice. Figuring it was probably dirty I started prying keys off to see what was under them…
Apart from a lot of cat hair and bits of biscuit I found some fairly standard looking Cherry clone key switches. The Enter key had one, and it went “click” when I pressed it. However it didn’t always tell my PC it had gone “click”. Something intermittent was going on. Further research was needed, somehow I needed to get inside.
Getting in is fairly easy if you know what to do. First pull all the keys off…
Then look closely at the board, amongst the dirt and food you’ve been eating will be a decent number of small black screws. They need to come out. After that the whole PCB comes out.
If you need to remove a keyswitch, a soldering iron is needed. Fortunately I didn’t need to. I was about to go and get mine to swap the evidently faulty “Enter” key for another key I never pressed like “Break” or “Scroll Lock” but after poking the PCB a bit I noticed a random blob of solder sitting between the Enter key and some other trace.
I guess the quality control person working at Shenzhen Unichain Technology Co., Ltd was having a tea break when my keyboard rolled past their station. Since picking it off the keyboard seems to work fine again.
For future reference, here’s the single controller chip. It does everything…
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