From the outset, we were exacting in our demands:
1. The space bar must be the full size. This is no small thing, because NO ONE makes a 19cm wide space bar any more, and the injection moulding tooling for such a beast would cost thousands of dollars on its own.
2. The graphics symbols MUST be on the front, not on the top.
3. The shift and caps lock keys MUST be nice and clicky.
4. The whole thing must not in any way break the magic spell of 8-bit-ness.
Oh, and of course we have no money up-front to get the tooling made.
So we had set a high bar, and almost impossible conditions, and yet our friends at GMK have come to the party. And oh, how they have come. There really isn't anything more to say. I'll just show you some pictures.
The cases you can see in the first few shots are our 3D printed prototype cases: There is no CGI here -- just real objects.
What first struck me when I saw the first images, was that unless you really knew what you were looking for, you would have no idea that this was not an existing Commodore 65 prototype. This is of course exactly the effect we want to create :)
Trade-mark fun and games means you get the MEGA65 logo on the "Vendor Key". You can also see here that we have put an LED on the shift-lock and caps-lock keys, in the style of the old Amiga keyboards.
Our volunteer team went to a LOT of work to match the type-face of the original C65 keyboards. These keyboards just look so fresh and crisp, and yet so 1990, all at the same time.
Across to the right hand side now, all the usual suspects are there. We have also dealt with the "right cursor key rubs on case" issue that many original C65s had. Again, the look of the keys is excruciatingly close to the original.
Now the whole keyboard from above (We have just noticed that Blogger has munged the image resolution. We will try to get higher-res images up soon).
Here you can see that we have a full metal plate in the keyboard. Combined with the CPLD and diodes, this will be a keyboard that has no ghosting when used natively (C64 and C65 ROMs will still have ghosting, if you don't change the keyboard scanning routines, because they don't have perfect provision for a non-ghosting keyboard mechanism. We might be able to work around this in the VHDL. We will see).