clockworkpi

Keyboard sticky, heatsink extra

hi! Just got my A06 system and very much enjoyed building it.

Just two comments:

  1. There seems to be a large heatsink included. Should I stick this somewhere?

  2. The keyboard seems sticky on the left hand side: the Esc, Tab (especially), Shift and Function keys are all definitely not as good as other keys. Is this just the way it is? It’s not like I’m going to typing War and Peace on it.

Oh, and if anyone has gotten VirtualT (the Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 emulator) to compile, I’d love to hear how you did it. Looking forward to running the emulator and freaking people out.

p.s. Has anyone put screen protector material over the LCD to save it from everyday crud.

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From the social media photos its the a06 core heatsink
image

And for the sticky keys, as I don’t have the unit yet I can’t say but for the GameShell, usually taking them out and filling bits of leftover plastic did the trick

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Thanks! Hadn’t seen that picture. I shall stick it immediately!

Looking a little more carefully it’s not extra plastic, it’s just the larger keys need pressed exactly in their center or they squidge slightly. I simply need to be more accurate with my giant sausage fingers.

Hal tweeted a picture running VirtualT a while back. No details on what it took to compile though.

These are my notes for compiling on Fedora x86_64:

git clone https://git.code.sf.net/p/virtualt/code virtualt
sudo dnf install fltk fltk-devel fltk-static fltk-fluid libXinerama-devel libjpeg-devel
export FLTKDIR=/usr/lib64
make
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Thanks! Almost compiled :slight_smile: The linker has multiple definitions of something and is sulking. Good progress though, thanks!

If you figure it out post the details. I don’t have mine yet but definitely want to run VirtualT

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Do not run a A06 module without the heatsink!

It may not damage the SoC, but it will spend all of its time throttling because it will get really hot.

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Maybe the otherwise kick-ass instructions should mention that.

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If the keyboard gets too sticky to type your War and Peace, try take off these screws:

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The instructions I received has multiple duplicate copy of the same pages. I wondering if they included repeat pages instead of the one with real instructions on how to install the heatsink? Now I’m wondering how powerful the A06 should be? Mine can play up to 480p on youtube and can’t run 720p or 1080p.

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Maybe its not running at full gear, check this!

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Thank you! That did seem to make a difference!

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I too am bothered by the sticky keys. The Esc, Tab, and Shift keys on the left are very annoying. In r/mechanicalkeyboards parlance, these keys are binding on the switches. The problem affects a lot of switches on the edges of the keyboard, including the Y, X, B, A buttons on the upper right, and also some of the mouse buttons.

I’m tempted to try and disassemble the keyboard, maybe apply lubricant or shave off plastic wherever it can help, but I would like to know if replacements are available beforehand.

it’s a rubber dome keyboard. there’s nothing to lubricate.

I did end up making one minor modification however: initially the ABXY buttons needed to be pressed very hard to register. I opened the keyboard up and discovered that the rubber stems the buttons were mounted on didn’t get pressed far enough for the rubber dome to contact the PCB because the bottom rim of the button pressed into the rubber sheet too early. The solution was to use flush cutters to cut off small pieces of plastic from the sprues and put them inside the buttons to raise them on the stems by about a half millimeter, allowing them to depress fully.

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smart! thanks for the tip.

I also was experiencing some binding of the keys on my keyboard. I ended up taking off all the keys, trimming excess plastic “chaff” where it existed, and put a very very light bit of silicone grease on the surfaces where the keycap snaps in to the keyboard.

Maybe its a red herring / certainly its not the kind of thing the Clockwork folks could officially recommend, but for me it has basically eliminated binding and made the typing experience MUCH better.

I’ve touch-typed this entire post on my devterm, with very few errors \o/

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When I opened up the keyboard and took off my binding escape key, I saw there were white marks where the keycap and dome cover were scraping each other. My camera isn’t very good but I tried to show where these are between the pink dots in the two photographs below. It looks like this area is actually where the injection mold creates a seam. I used an exacto knife to file away some of the plastic and lubricated with a little PTFE grease.

I gave a light application of PTFE grease to any key with a binding issue, and also to the ones that use stabilizers (left shift, backspace, and the space key). Below is a picture of the space key out and thin application of PTFE grease to the stabilizer wire and other places where moving pieces make contact.


Practically all of the binding issues were eliminated following this. The downside is the keys where binding was a serious issue required slightly more lubricant, which has eliminated most of the tactile feedback of the rubber dome mechanism on those keys. So instead of struggling to press the keys because of a binding problem, now it’s a struggle to tell if they’ve reached their actuation point, meaning I still have to be slow and deliberate in the way I press them. :sweat_smile:

Also, I don’t know if PTFE grease is a good recommendation here or not. It’s just what I had on hand.

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