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 Post subject: Please excuse my odd questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:55 am 
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I was recently inspired to undertake a mod far beyond my knowledge and capacity. I aim to achieve a very particular aesthetic effect without sacrificing the quality provided by a mechanical keyboard. Specifically, I'm looking to mod a mechanical keyboard such that each time a key is pressed, an LED behind a blank/translucent key will light. When the key is released, the LED turns off. The effect is a sort of futuristic or mad scientist series of flashes as one types.

It seems whichever keyboard I end up using will definitely have Cherry switches. I will at least be purchasing the Deck clear keycaps and associated blue LEDs. I am currently away from my initial idea of a starting from a Deck Legend, because I think it would be more practical and beneficial to my understanding to build up from a keyboard without LEDs rather than start with one and try to remove/change its functionality. That's not decided quite yet and I won't be starting this for a few months (while I learn).

I've read a decent amount about LEDs in this forum so far. I was wondering if anyone had any advice or resources relating to the electronic layout or construction of LED keyboards? Specifically, how an LED is wired to be underneath each key. Is each key its own circuit and how is it all tied into the USB power?

Sorry to pile on so many questions, but one more:
I'm told that Cherry Switches have a specific place for an LED to fit, which is convenient. Ideally, I'd like to just wire the LED to receive power when the switch is pressed utilizing the same power used for the key's signal. I assume a key's signal is rather low/weak. Would it make sense to put more power to the key's circuit, then connect the LED first in series with the switch... and somehow (again I'm lacking in knowledge) make sure that the LED uses up just enough power to not cause the keyswitch any problems (overload)?

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Ideally I would love to buy a Deck Legend and use some of its layout as an example while I build the mod by adding LEDs to another board. Then even if I screw up, I still have an awesome Deck to use.

I apologize for the odd questions and my complete lack of knowledge. Hopefully this is an acceptable place to ask, as I intend on using Deck parts, and possibly a Deck keyboard itself. If anyone knows of a good electronics enthusiast forum that would be more suited to these kinds of questions (and not be bothered by my ignorance and inexperience), I will gladly take my issues there instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Please excuse my odd questions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:44 am 
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Check out this forum topic. I believe the author did just what you want to do.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=478

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Please excuse my odd questions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:38 am 
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Real people asking real questions and getting answers from other real people but in all honesty, I think we could all see how it could go horribly wrong. Any time a large group of people gathers in the same place on the internet, there are bound to be problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Please excuse my odd questions
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:18 am 
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When changing from red LEDs to blue LEDs the procedure is a bit more difficult than just swapping out the LEDs. The resistors in series with the LEDs must also be changed because the forward voltages of red LEDs and blue LEDs are different.

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