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SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

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IBMfan700
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SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

#1 Post by IBMfan700 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:33 pm

I have a question about the SK-8835 Thinkpad keyboard.
I was wondering, is it possible to buy a foreign language 8835, and then swap some of the keys from a US-language 8845, to turn it into a US language 8835?

atagunov
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Re: SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

#2 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:10 am

SK-8835 is probably using same keyboard as some Thinkpad models, but I'm not sure which ones. It seems to be missing the Windows key so it's probably older than T60. BTW I understand keyscaps pop off on this kinds of keyboards so it might be possible to swap the keys without swapping the actual keyboard. However you might need to match the manufacturer exactly.. In the era of Thinkpads I deal with the manufacturers were Chicony, ALPS, NMB.

Interesting topic came up with search: viewtopic.php?t=123120
micrex22 wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:50 pm
SK-8835 and SK-8845 assemblies can be swapped.
They are manufactured by LITE-ON and are not compatible with T6x ThinkPads--therefore it is not possible to get a Windows key
So it seems you may be able to swap either the keyscaps or the whole keyboard units between these. Or perhaps you could somehow purchase just SK-8835 and a matching Thinkpad keyboard and avoid buying a 8845
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Re: SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

#3 Post by rkawakami » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:48 pm

My guess is that it's not as simple as changing keycaps. The keyboards output an internal scancode (sequence of bytes) when the key is pressed and released. How that translates to what comes out the USB plug, I'm not sure. You probably also cannot simply change the keyboard setup in Windows and get what you want.

A good reference on how keyboards work is here: http://www.quadibloc.com/comp/scan.htm
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atagunov
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Re: SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

#4 Post by atagunov » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:33 pm

rkawakami wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:48 pm
You probably also cannot simply change the keyboard setup in Windows and get what you want.
Hmm.. but why not?

I'm typing on an old Microsoft Natural keyboard now in Windows 7.
My keyboard has got UK layout printed on it.
I have UK layout configured in Windows.
All works fine.

The key marked ":" and ";" on my keyboard would have had an additional marking of "Ж" on a Russian keyboard.
My keyboard has got nothing to do with Russian layout, but if I switch to Russian layout in Windows that key produces exactly "Ж".
In fact I can use my Russian touch-typing skill just fine with all keys if I switch to Russian layout in the OS.

This makes me believe that say X220 keyboards with Russian and UK layout differ only in what is printed on the keycaps
It does look like the scancode produced by a key depends only on the location of the key not on keyboard layout

I would still think that swapping keycaps between a US layout keyboard and a keyboard with any other layout will work just fine. Instead of swapping keycaps I imagine you should be able to swap something I would call a "keyboard unit".

Initially I thought you could take a "keyboard unit" from some T42 but apparently not. These "keyboard units" are seemingly unique to 8835/8845 family.. No idea if regular keycaps would fit.. Perhaps not..
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: SK-8835 keyboard- US language?

#5 Post by lulujyc » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:20 am

Yes you can achieve it.
Teardown the Sk8835 keyboard and you'll found the main keyboard is identical to Sk8845s except for different key carvings (no num lock)
So you might want to swap the main keyboard of Sk8835 to the Sk8845 keyboard and change those keycaps that have different carvings on.
Then you get a US language Sk8835 and foreign language Sk8845.
All Sk883x and Sk884x keyboards are Silitek manufacturered so these are all compatible.
Install the one missing connector on Sk8845 keyboard controller you get a Sk8835 keyboard controller.
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