Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

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Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby beeka » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:11 am

I recently bought a Mega ST which would appear to be a UK model with TOS 1.4 but came with a german keyboard. The keyboard is in great condition and is fully intact (which is more than I can say for the mega ste keyboard I have) but the layout does not match the TOS. This means that the Y key produces a Z and vice versa. There are other differnces, such as the umlout keys where some symbol keys are on a UK keyboard.

I was wondering if it is possible to turn this into a UK layout? Can i swap the Y and the Z around? Do they come off easily (unlike my experience with the mega ste keyboard)? Also, are the key caps compatible with a normal ST keyboard (I should have one of those spare, unless it is possible to buy the key caps cheaply)?

TBH, I thought the key mappings were in the keyboard, so I was slightly suprised to see UK characters come out.

Thanks,

Steve.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby alexh » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:20 am

If it is anything like an STe / Falcon keyboard the answer is no. The keys are shaped differently on different rows. All you can do is buy a set of stickers online to put over the keys.

Remember that UK Atari symbol keys do not match UK PC keyboards so you will either have to live with the differences to get a cheap sticker (£3) set OR have your own produced (£10).

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby wongck » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:58 am

beeka wrote:TBH, I thought the key mappings were in the keyboard, so I was slightly suprised to see UK characters come out.

The mappings are in TOS. So, swapping the keys, if they fit, will be a solution.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby beeka » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:18 pm

alexh wrote:If it is anything like an STe / Falcon keyboard the answer is no. The keys are shaped differently on different rows. All you can do is buy a set of stickers online to put over the keys.


Okay, so swapping the keys on the same keyboard doesn't sound like it will work... but I do have a spare ST with UK layout, so I could take the keys from that?

alexh wrote:Remember that UK Atari symbol keys do not match UK PC keyboards so you will either have to live with the differences to get a cheap sticker (£3) set OR have your own produced (£10).


Where are did you get the prices from, are keyboard stickers common? The keyboard looks really nice at the moment, with no apparent yellowing, so i'd rather not use stickers / tipex if I can help it.

Cheers,

Steve.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby alexh » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:28 pm

beeka wrote:I do have a spare ST with UK layout, so I could take the keys from that?

The MegaST's keys and ST's keys do not look to me to be the same shape.

HOWEVER on closer inspection the MegaST's keyboard looks to me to be much flatter than ST's keyboard so you might be able to swap keys from different rows. Give it a go.

alexh wrote:Where are did you get the prices from? Are keyboard stickers common?

eBay and yes.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Chandler » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:21 pm

the mega st keycaps on the older original type keyboards are unique to the mega, you cannot use keycaps from a normal ST

reason is the hole underneath is smaller on the mega for the switches they fit onto

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby tjlazer » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:58 pm

Another option if you want to do it right is to just order the necessary keys from B&C ComputerVisions or Best Electronics in the USA. I think they were selling them for $5 a key or something. I bought an ESC key from my Mega ST keyboard that was missing it. I also have a German keyboard and do not bother trying to change the keys, I usually just play games on it. :P
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby joska » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:52 am

beeka wrote:I was wondering if it is possible to turn this into a UK layout? Can i swap the Y and the Z around?


No, you can't swap the Z and Y. Or to be more precise, you can swap them but it will look and feel weird as the keys are angled differently on these two rows.

beeka wrote:Also, are the key caps compatible with a normal ST keyboard (I should have one of those spare, unless it is possible to buy the key caps cheaply)?


The keycaps are not compatible with ST keyboards.

It would be better to swap the keyboard or caps with a UK keyboard. Nick at 16/32 Systems might have new keyboards. I remember him selling UK Mega-keyboards at NAS 12 years ago :-)
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby wongck » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:42 am

tjlazer wrote:Another option if you want to do it right is to just order the necessary keys from B&C ComputerVisions or Best Electronics in the USA. I think they were selling them for $5 a key or something.


$5 a pop 8O .... don't you think it's a bit pricey?
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby blackpanther » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:41 pm

I mite have the keys you need. Give me a few days and I'll have a look through my spare parts box.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby beeka » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:41 pm

I finally got around to trying to swap keys on various keyboards, only to confirm what other have said... ST, Mega ST and Mega STE key caps are not interchangable. I am quite suprised by the variety: different shapes, attaching to the keyboard differently and even having colour markings on them. Each rows of keys on the same keyboard are also different shapes.

To change *all* the different keys at $5 each would be quite expensive (there are 18, if I have counted correctly). Paying $10 for just a couple of key caps (e.g. Z and Y) seems like half a job and using labels for them might be simpler (or give up the idea of an Atari keyboard and get an Eiffel). There is probably a happy medium, but I don't know what that is yet. The Mega ST keyboard it is in pristine condition: it's just a shame that it is German.

So I am still looking for ideas (or a donor Mega ST keyboard :-) ).

Regards,

Steve.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby joska » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:58 pm

beeka wrote:So I am still looking for ideas (or a donor Mega ST keyboard :-) ).


I have a UK Mega keyboard. It's not in pristine condition, but if you're desperate for a UK keyboard we could swap keycaps.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Desty » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:21 am

Could this help?

Replacement Keys for ST Keyboards

Models Included

ST - STFM - STE - Mega ST- Mega STE - TT


Please note this are replacement keys not keyboards.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby tjlazer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:35 pm

Bump

Looking to convert my German Mega ST keyboard keys to US layout. Anyone want to swap keys? Don't think $5 a key is worth it.

Also, what are some good stickers to use on these?
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby 1st1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:45 pm

There are stickers for PC keyboards to change the layout.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Bikerbob » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:45 pm

joska wrote:
beeka wrote:I was wondering if it is possible to turn this into a UK layout? Can i swap the Y and the Z around?


No, you can't swap the Z and Y. Or to be more precise, you can swap them but it will look and feel weird as the keys are angled differently on these two rows.

beeka wrote:Also, are the key caps compatible with a normal ST keyboard (I should have one of those spare, unless it is possible to buy the key caps cheaply)?


The keycaps are not compatible with ST keyboards.

It would be better to swap the keyboard or caps with a UK keyboard. Nick at 16/32 Systems might have new keyboards. I remember him selling UK Mega-keyboards at NAS 12 years ago :-)



I did it on my MEGA STE keyboard and the Z and the Y are identical, so at least on the Mega STE .. not an issue.

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Bikerbob » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:47 pm

1st1 wrote:There are stickers for PC keyboards to change the layout.



This is what I did for my mega STE keyboard. Looks and feels ok. I think the keycap stickers cost me $14.. they are high Quality .. wont been wearing out.

James

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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:51 pm

Bikerbob wrote: I did it on my MEGA STE keyboard and the Z and the Y are identical, so at least on the Mega STE .. not an issue.


James; How did you extract the key? Is there a risk of breaking something?
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby joska » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:03 pm

Bikerbob wrote:I did it on my MEGA STE keyboard and the Z and the Y are identical, so at least on the Mega STE .. not an issue.


...but this is a completely different keyboard. The Mega keyboard is like the ST keyboard - keys are differently shaped for each row.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby Desty » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:17 am

You can get a keycap puller on ebay that should make it easier to remove the keys without damaging them.
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Re: Converting a german mega keyboard to UK?

Postby tjlazer » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:07 am

I got a set of USA key caps for $50 from Best Electronics and converted mine. I had that extra key next to left SHIFT key, I just left the <> key there!

You can easily remove the keys. They way I do it with no damage ever is to use a butter knife wrapped in a thin cloth to protect the keys, and pry on one side while using your fingers on the other side to gently wiggle the key cap off. Works well.
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