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problem with key 'caps'

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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nofish
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:59 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

problem with key 'caps'

#1 Post by nofish » Wed May 11, 2016 3:32 pm

Hello, I'm having a problem with the keyboard of my (fairly old) T61, namely some keys aren't working anymore or I have to press them extremly hard.
Please have a look at this pic, where the problem becomes obvious.

http://i.imgur.com/D8Zr9S6.jpg
(not embedded due to being quite large)

Left key is working fine, right one is not working due to the missing 'top of the plastic cap' (being worn out I guess).
There are a few keys where this can be observed.

So, what are these 'plastic things' properly called, where can I get them and how would I replace them ?

Thanks.

Radioguy
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#2 Post by Radioguy » Wed May 11, 2016 6:37 pm

There is a a seller on eBay who does sell those (easily found) and even including the hinges below them.

However, it sounds as if swapping out the entire keyboard would be a better idea. It can sometimes be just as cheap if you hunt smartly on eBay too.

I'd recommend finding the NMB version of the keyboard, as it is (generally held to be) the best made.
  • T61 - 6465CTO - T9500 - 15.4" LG WSXGA+ - 8GB OCZ- 120GB EVO 850 SSD - X3100 - Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    X301 - 2774W8Q - U9400 - 13.3" BOEHYDIS WXGA - 8GB Elpida - 128GB C400 mSATA SSD - 4500MHD - Win 10 Pro 64-Bit

nofish
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Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: problem with key 'caps'

#3 Post by nofish » Thu May 12, 2016 5:26 am

Thanks for the reply.

I think you're right, I've searched a little on ebay meanwhile and replacement keyboards are not that expensive as I thought, so not sure if it's worth the hassle replacing those caps one by one.

Some additional questions though:

- If I go with replacing the caps, how are they attached ? Couldn't figure out so far. Do I have to take the keyboard out to replace them ?

- If I go with replacing the entire keyboard: I have a T61 widescreen version. Are the keyboards for widescreen and non-widescreen versions the same ?
Does any keyboard offered for T61 on ebay fit or do I have to look for one saying 'widescreen' explicitly ?

Thanks.

brchan
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#4 Post by brchan » Thu May 12, 2016 6:19 am

All T61 models share the same keyboard.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

nofish
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#5 Post by nofish » Thu May 12, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks, that's good to know.

Radioguy
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#6 Post by Radioguy » Thu May 12, 2016 1:50 pm

But there are three different versions with three different part numbers. ;)

In terms of quality, they are as follows: Chicony < Alps < NMB.

I have replaced Chicony's with NMB's, and immediately felt it worth the effort even had both been new.
  • T61 - 6465CTO - T9500 - 15.4" LG WSXGA+ - 8GB OCZ- 120GB EVO 850 SSD - X3100 - Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    X301 - 2774W8Q - U9400 - 13.3" BOEHYDIS WXGA - 8GB Elpida - 128GB C400 mSATA SSD - 4500MHD - Win 10 Pro 64-Bit

Shredder11
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#7 Post by Shredder11 » Thu May 12, 2016 3:12 pm

Another vote for NMB keyboards. Alps are also a good second but Chicony are more like other laptop brands, e.g. cheap and flimsy, with a not very pleasant key action and mechanism.
Z61p x3 (C2D T7600, 3GB, 500GB SSD, BCM70015, Advanced Dock x1, Mini Dock x2)
W520 (C2Q i7-2720QM, 8GB, 60GB SSD)
X61 (C2D T7500, 3GB, 250GB SSD, BCM70015)
X61s (2GB, 120GB SSD)
T43p (P M 760, 2GB, IBM Port Replicator II)
G40 (P4 2.6GHz, 2GB, 40GB)
G41 (P4 3.46GHz, 2GB, 40GB)

brchan
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#8 Post by brchan » Thu May 12, 2016 3:14 pm

I personally prefer Alps over NMB. The trackpoint buttons are especially firmer and not as 'soft' as chicony or nmb ones.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

nofish
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#9 Post by nofish » Thu May 12, 2016 4:51 pm

Radioguy wrote:But there are three different versions with three different part numbers. ;)

In terms of quality, they are as follows: Chicony < Alps < NMB.

I have replaced Chicony's with NMB's, and immediately felt it worth the effort even had both been new.
Oh, I was unaware that there are different versions.
Good info, thanks.

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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun May 15, 2016 9:08 am

Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#11 Post by Johan » Sun May 15, 2016 9:18 am

@ nofish:

I have several T61-keyboards available (= for sale!), both with English/US layout (incl. a brand-new, unused NMB w/PN 39T0928 & FRU 39T0958) as well as several with German layout. Let me know if any of these have your interest?

As to the difference between the different T60/T61 keyboards, see the thread T60 Keyboard Comparison (with embedded pics)

Johan
IBM T42p's (2373-Q1U & -Q2U): 2.1 GHz, 15" UXGA FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 128 MB FireGL T2, 128 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate
IBM T42 (2373-N1G): 1.8 GHz, 15" SXGA+ FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 64 MB Radeon 9600, 64 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate

nofish
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#12 Post by nofish » Sun May 15, 2016 10:49 am

Thanks for the offer, I've already ordered one on ebay though.

Radioguy
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Re: problem with key 'caps'

#13 Post by Radioguy » Sun May 15, 2016 6:13 pm

brchan wrote:I personally prefer Alps over NMB. The trackpoint buttons are especially firmer and not as 'soft' as chicony or nmb ones.
Personally, I think the balance of choice would be more toward comfort of keyboard use than trackpoint buttons. Although, unless I already had an NMB in hand to swap in, I wouldn't necessarily seek to swap out an Alps if it were in good shape. They are decent.

However, if I had a new Chicony, I would still want to swap it out for one of the others, and I might as well go NMB if I have the choice.
  • T61 - 6465CTO - T9500 - 15.4" LG WSXGA+ - 8GB OCZ- 120GB EVO 850 SSD - X3100 - Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    X301 - 2774W8Q - U9400 - 13.3" BOEHYDIS WXGA - 8GB Elpida - 128GB C400 mSATA SSD - 4500MHD - Win 10 Pro 64-Bit

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