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Author Topic: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod  (Read 30270 times)

Offline roads

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Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod
« on: 02:43 AM - 01/17/11 »
Right now the best analog gamepad is undoubtedly the Belkin N52te. Not the Razer Nostromo, not the G13 but the Belkin N52te.
Now the Belkin has crappy membrane keys and it does need cherrys to really make it the best.

Credit for the Idea goes to Ripster from Geekhack.
http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=7425

Needed:

N52te N52 much harder to do see Ripsters mod.
Screwdriver set
Good working soldering iron
High quality soldering tin (Radiolot is good if you live in Germany)
Cherry switches or a cherry Keyboard to tear down. I bought the Cherry G80-3000LPCDE-2
Mini screw driver Excato knife or surgical blade
Dremel to cut and model plastik (thin cutting tip and modeling cone tip.
Hot glue good Quality absolutely necessary, good hotglue pistol. For Germany this one is great and cheap from the inverntors of hotglue http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B000UXBMZ4/ref=s9_simh_gw_p60_d1_i1?pf_rd_m=A3JWKAKR8XB7XF&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=154TJFWMWHPR3GB288QZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463375193&pf_rd_i=301128


Step 1: Open up the N52te

Nothing special here, but there are two screws hidden under the rubber matts under the D_pad and the thumb button that changes profiles in standard settings of the pad. When you unscrew just remember that two screws hold the keypad. When putting the N52te back together later you will be tempted to screw them inside. If the pad does not close well, you did that fault. Inside only the middle screw holds the keypad in place.




Some pictures to show you the space relations and what you will be working with, there will not be enough room for hotglue, cables and the switches without modification of the switch, I will show you later.









Step 2:Make room for the switch

Remove the little carret boxes around the holes. Its quite a hard plastic. Make sure you dont damage the frame as the bigger holes we make later weaken it already. Its stil pretty sturdy at the end and with the keys in place rock solid but still there are thin points.




Step 3: Get a cherry

Get a keyboard to your liking. Cherry is said to loose quality nowadays so an old board may do it. The best gaming switches are said the cherry red stem switches. They can be bullt from black stem with brown springs. If you find brown stem switches please send some to me. The g80-3000 I used has black stems and they are OK but not as fast as the red ones.

Its all written down here

http://www.overclock.net/keyboards/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide.html

Desoldering the switches is a great training for the thumbstick mod and taking them all off is more than an hour and a real PITA. Best way is to take a micro screwdriver and press it between board and switch. Unsolder the nearest two points and when they are loose unsolder the other two while holding the switch on your fingers.











Step 4: Make those switches fit

Take a permanent felt tip marker and go around the rim you took down earlier, thatís quite the size (14mm) you need for the witch to fit but not to fall through. Dremel out these parts and always check the switch really sitting square.








Step 5: Modify the switch

As I said the switch is quite high but itís a tight fit. Remove the small stems but not the middle stem on the bottom with a Dremel and open the switch carefully and remove the the two small pins (U-form metal fixing wire ). The contacts you later need are the two not standing in a line. So the middle stem can stay but there should be no hotglue under it as it will touch the pcb. Heat up a torx screwdriver and make some room in the hotglue if needed. Be careful I had to resolder 2 out of 14 contacts.



Step 6: Get some wires to the PCB


This is the only hard part in the mod. You need to scratch the paint off the copper contacts on both sides of the grill contacts at least 2 mm long. Have a good light so you can see the shining copper when you hold the pcb right. If it blends, stop scrubbing. Solder two 5-6cm wires on the contacts. I did this with the N52te attached, not good but I am an impatient guy. Test the soldering by touching the the copper ends of the wires in a notepad window (have the n52te configured to a key on every key or nothing will happen!!) and immediatedly hotglue the point but as shallow as you can, dont make a high glue mountain or the switch will not fit later and you may rip off contacts if you have to do it again. Here is a good video but take thinner cables by all means!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVY-VYLoegs

When tested and done put on the prepared white plastig grid, pull the cable through the according holes and screw the middle screw on the back so the pieces hold together.







Here you can see how I made room for the middle stem:




Step 7: Get the switches in

Solder in the switch, make the wires as short as you feel comfortable, mine were about 3cm long. Put the switch in place and test it before hotglueing the borders of the switch. Yes you will burn yourself several times. I again did this on running system for the testing, you decide.









Step 8: Keys, back, you are done !

Take your favorite keys. I liked the F-keys as they are higher than the rest. Play around with the keys, some are angled or low. My fingers naturally fall onto the F1-F4. Back start X are also nice with B X S.

So have fun and dont hurt yourself! And as usual I take no responsibility for your hardware or your life.









OPTIONAL THUMBKEY MOD:


You can also mod the more than crappy thumbkey to a Cherry. Keep in mind that the thumbstick is very close if you did the analog mod. You will not press it but you may gently touch the key while playing. You will also loose the lights indicating the active profile. I dont care personally and prefer a better switch.

Cut the small PCB that is under the key, there is not enough room to keep it.

The first two contacts on the main PCB are the ones you need. Make them longer and bring them out of the hole you made for the switch. Do not cut the part I did. I am a bit of a guinea pig here and I have a sparepart but the key nicely hides the part i took away. Hot glue the switch in after testing and closing the device.










« Last Edit: 12:42 AM - 02/06/11 by roads »
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline roads

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #1 on: 04:06 PM - 01/18/11 »
Its done, its awesome and itís the device Belkin or Razer should have made. It is like this a perfect little gamepad. Enjoy the mod.
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline SILENT TRIGGER

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #2 on: 05:07 PM - 01/18/11 »

good job peter   
looks very good  :)
I would be sleeving the cable than it's perfect  ;D

Offline roads

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #3 on: 05:11 PM - 01/18/11 »
Cant sleeve them, one goes to the controller the stick is stolen from and the other One will connect to the xim3.
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline SILENT TRIGGER

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #4 on: 05:22 PM - 01/18/11 »
I mean sleeving both separately.
or only the gray cable.
The gray cable is the only ugly on the mod.
but that's just my flavor  :D
sleeved black would look very good.

Offline Markie_X

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #5 on: 06:38 PM - 01/18/11 »
That's crazy Roads, you are driving me nuts with all these irresistible projects > i hate soldering!!! ;D


Great job!  8)

Offline mikael

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #6 on: 10:02 PM - 01/18/11 »
@#$% roads, you are a freak. Your time seems to be going fast while waiting for xim3.

Offline roads

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #7 on: 11:11 PM - 01/18/11 »
I mean sleeving both separately.
or only the gray cable.
The gray cable is the only ugly on the mod.
but that's just my flavor  :D
sleeved black would look very good.

You are right Silent but this reminds me how stupid Razer and Belkin are.

LOL Thatís why I laughed Mikael when ‹bernoober started the please don't release the XIM3 yet. Would not have done the mods if not waiting.

Markie_X, This Mod is a biitch it is easy to do except the soldering of the wires to the pcb. No shaky hands there and be patient it takes some seconds until the solder binds to the copper after you remove the soldertip. Test if working and immediately hotglue! Very repetitive work.
« Last Edit: 11:17 PM - 01/18/11 by roads »
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline roads

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Re: Tutorial: N52te Cherry Key mod - Done and awesome
« Reply #8 on: 11:24 PM - 01/18/11 »
Oh Markie if you want you can have some switches I have a lot of them and you spare yourself the desoldering. Just pay me 0,50Ä per piece and postage (100 keys 50 euro Cherry KB).  I would just throw 20 in a jiffy and send them.
« Last Edit: 02:56 AM - 01/19/11 by roads »
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline mikael

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I need to start some kind of a project to keep my mind off xim3 lol.

Offline roads

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Comments added...
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline roads

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Needed tools added...
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline glenn37216

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Very well done roads.  ;)
-Now I'm wishing they had something like this for the right hand keyboad users out there.  :'(
IN WIN GRone/Gigabyte G1. Sniper 3/Killer E2200 Ethernet Controller/Corsair Vengeance16gb @ 1833/Corsair HX 1050 PSU/4x Sapphire 7970's @ 1135-1700/3770k @ 5.0ghz 1.428v(5.4ghz benches)/2X Gskill Phoniex SSD's Raid 0 - 1TB Raptor/XSPC RayStorm CPU Water Block/2X Redesigned XSPC Razor HD 7970 Waterblock's / XSPC fittings/Swiftech MCR-320/Swiftech MCR220/ MCP-655B Pump/Swiftech MCRES Revision 2/Swiftech 1/2 ID 3/4 OD Tubing/MayhemCoolant/Bitfenix Recon Fan Controller/Koolance RP-1005/3-27" Sams. @5760 X 1080/CM Recon/Razer Scarab/CM Trigger http://valid.canardpc.com/2731869

Offline roads

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Oh my you are a lefty, right. I may have an Idea that would make the righties jaleous :D
mittyz: that's my goal in life...get one of my comments/statements in someones sig.
Humble: But just a general rule, roads will never be satisfied


Offline glenn37216

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Uh oh. Don't hold back on me Roads. Us lefties get left out in the cold on everything .
Time to start another tutorial thread !  ;)
Edit. Sorry I just noticed the pm !
IN WIN GRone/Gigabyte G1. Sniper 3/Killer E2200 Ethernet Controller/Corsair Vengeance16gb @ 1833/Corsair HX 1050 PSU/4x Sapphire 7970's @ 1135-1700/3770k @ 5.0ghz 1.428v(5.4ghz benches)/2X Gskill Phoniex SSD's Raid 0 - 1TB Raptor/XSPC RayStorm CPU Water Block/2X Redesigned XSPC Razor HD 7970 Waterblock's / XSPC fittings/Swiftech MCR-320/Swiftech MCR220/ MCP-655B Pump/Swiftech MCRES Revision 2/Swiftech 1/2 ID 3/4 OD Tubing/MayhemCoolant/Bitfenix Recon Fan Controller/Koolance RP-1005/3-27" Sams. @5760 X 1080/CM Recon/Razer Scarab/CM Trigger http://valid.canardpc.com/2731869

 

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