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Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000-> Mechanical Conversion

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is currently my old keyboard, I have replaced it with a Steel Series 7G. It is pretty beat up and I am pretty sure I am on the verge of wearing out those poor little dome switches, but currently it is sitting around doing nothing.

I'll post a picture of the current condition of the keyboard, however if things work out I happen to have a newer fresher copy of it in the house which I can just move the parts into and convert if all goes according to the lack of plan.



I do not have a set time span for this conversion, nor do I know if I'll actually accomplish this seemingly ambitious goal, there really is no purpose other than to combine mechanical with my favorite keyboard layout. This project will be on and off, so there won't be frequent updates unfortunately.... and it doesn't help that I am going into this moderately blind.

I am planning to use Cherry MX Brown switches and I've already sourced where to buy them:
http://ca.mouser.com/Electromechanical/Switches/Keylock-Switches/_/N-5g2u?Keyword=cherry+mx&FS=True

However if anyone else knows of a better place please let me know by posting.

Ideally in the best case scenario I'll be able to recycle the logic board on the Microsoft 4000 and directly wire the mechanical switches into it with little modification to the plastic key caps. Worst case scenario would be having to make my own circuit board which shouldn't be too bad, or do something neat with Arduino and to top it off I'll have to seriously modify the key caps.

If anyone else has any ideas or tips feel free to post them smile.gif
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post #2 of 4
And this is going to work, how? The height difference of the switch alone will make it look goofy. Then you have all the curved and shaped key caps. You have way too much time on your hands. tongue.gif

Still, if you do it, take pictures. Also take pictures of all the empty beer cans thumb.gif
post #3 of 4
I registered just to ask you if you ever successfully did this...I've been looking at geekhack and other sites and have yet to see something this simple yet, mechanical.

It's simple really...I'm just looking for the EXACT keyboard that is the microsoft natural 4000 layout...but with mechanical switches.

Maybe Microsoft has a patent on the actual design/layout, which is why you don't see mechanical versions of the same board...but in every office i've been in, I see this keyboard constantly. You'd think it's a no-brainer to sell an upgraded mechanical version to people looking for one...
post #4 of 4
Nobrainer suits Microsoft well right now.
Edited by ripster - 12/7/12 at 6:31pm
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