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alternatives to the key extractor tool? 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:47 am
Posts: 4
Post alternatives to the key extractor tool?
I recently purchased a keyboard second hand. It did not come with the tool to extract the keys. I emailed support and they can mail me a new one at the cost of $50 for the piece of plastic. The keys with actual electronic components are just $25?!

Does anyone here know of an alternative extractor to use and is safe? If this was a $100 keyboard i would just go ahead and use my car keys. As this is much more expensive like to hear what everyone else thinks.

Thanks


Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:03 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Italy
Post Re: alternatives to the key extractor tool?
Dmiao wrote:
a new one at the cost of $50 for the piece of plastic.


I find this almost incredible to believe ... are you really sure ? They told you that by email ?

Dmiao wrote:
The keys with actual electronic components are just $25?!



"just" 25 ? I hope they are cheaper... I seem to remember they said (around the period of the launch) the keys were about 10$. 25 is more than double...

Yes, this article http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/20 ... t-plan.ars reports the price was 10$ in 2008.
BTW you can see a small picture of the extractor there, it is the orange plastic thing.

Anyway...

Dmiao wrote:
Does anyone here know of an alternative extractor to use and is safe?


In your place I would try to build something equivalent by myself. It doesn't have to be "U" shaped in my opinion if you have a little tact and patience using it.

I would go for a piece of hard plastic, thin enough to slide between two adjacent keys, and with a file I would cut away enough material to make the needed "dent". The "dent" is needed to grab the perimeter of the transparent key from below.

Then I would put it near the key I have to extract, and I would start to pull up a millimeter (I'm from Europe :)) on one side, then switch side and pull up a millimeter there. Repeat until the key start to wiggle and then it will come off. If you ever pulled a IC from its socket... it's the same thing. You must pay attention to not bend the pins.

I certainly avoid flat screwdrivers or other hard tools, the transparent plastic can be ruined pretty easily... or broken.

Go with plastic.

If you want / need a picture of the original extractor I can provide one to you, maybe can be of some help.

Do you actually have bad keys you need to replace ?


EDIT: attached the images of the extractor with a ruler in metric spacing.

Every little notch is a millimeter, every big one with the number right below it is a centimeter.

1 centimeter = 0.393700787 inches


Attachments:
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1.jpg [ 68.96 KiB | Viewed 15163 times ]
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2.jpg [ 83.51 KiB | Viewed 15163 times ]
3.jpg
3.jpg [ 134.98 KiB | Viewed 15163 times ]


Last edited by luis on Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:03 am, edited 5 times in total.

Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:16 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:47 am
Posts: 4
Post Re: alternatives to the key extractor tool?
I wish the numbers I stated were a joke but this came earlier today in an email from support at art lebedev.

If you could send a hires photo of the tool with a ruler next to it, that would be great!

I have a chip extractor that has metal tips not plastic. I just don't know if it is the right shape or thin enough to fit in between keys. Don't want the metal to come in contact with any pins as well.

Some of the keys have ghosting going on, I have reversed the keys in color to try to even it out. The issue is some large clumps of dust or dirt on the inside of the keys between the key and screen. Would love to open if i can and blow it out.

I may have to fashion a tool based on your photo.

Thanks!


Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:37 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Italy
Post Re: alternatives to the key extractor tool?
Wooops, just upped, look if this is enough.

I can put one with a ruler but don't know how much could help you... after all sizes are not much important, you can go by eye, it just have to fit. But if you prefer tell me the measures you want to know and I'll give them to you.

Just tell me what you need.


Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:42 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:27 am
Posts: 13
Location: Italy
Post Re: alternatives to the key extractor tool?
Edited original post with the new images as requested ;-)


Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:13 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:47 am
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Post Re: alternatives to the key extractor tool?
very very awesome and grateful! thank you!


Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:47 am
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