Compaq foam rot keyboard SOLVED

Randy Dawson rdawson16 at
Tue Jan 24 02:24:54 CST 2017

I posted yesterday about my attempt to weld a IBM PC keyboard to my Compaq model 1 - the 'luggable'.

Well, it did not work, even though I saw clock and data on both Compaq and IBM keyboards that looked the same.  I did not dig into the decoding, but somehow they are different.

OK so I already cut into the PC keyboard, a BTC 5100.  I let my son play with it and a screwdriver, and as he gets it apart, I see capacitive foam pads inside.

Well guess what, they are the same size and fit for the Compaq Keytronics keyboard!

I popped out all the pads and transplanted them, you push them in and snap the plastic disk in the guides with an exacto, and they work perfectly.

I think a lot of these early keyboards before the switch to elastomeric rubber have these foam pads, and they are a standard size.

If you are stuck with a Tandy, Lisa, Sun with keyboard foam rot, take a look in you junk bin for a IBM PC compatible keyboard, it worked for me.


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