Community interest in a new 49G+ enclosure and keyboard



#2

This relates loosely to the OpenRPN project. Virtually all of the complaints I've heard regarding the 49G+ relate to quality of build issues. Our proposed retrofit kit would include:

*Hinged keys
*Molded labels on both keys and the keyboard fascia
*Voyager style keys (no more side-by-side shift labels)
*Optically optimized blue and orange shift labels
*Plain black finish
*A real double-width ENTER key and 48gx style layout
*New tactile domes
*Water resistant enclosure

The kit will likely cost in the neighborhood of $50. Profits will go directly toward equipment and development costs for OpenRPN (if this idea is successful our production facilities will be fully capable for OpenRPN hardware assembly and manufacturing!)

If you are interested in buying such a kit please send me an e-mail with "49G+ kit" somewhere in the subject heading and state how many you honestly anticipate buying.

Questions, comments and other ideas are welcome.

Best Regards,
HDE


#3

I wish you luck with this, but I find it extremely hard to believe you could sell such a kit for fifty dollars, and actually turn a profit. Also, how do you plan to connect this new keyboard to the PCB? If the layout is different it seems like a lot of effort for the average user to install.

.


#4

Considering I've spent over a year now designing production processes to make complete calculators with a price point of $100, the enclosure and keys are not the expensive part. Injection molding for the labels is being sidestepped by laser etching and filling with colored resin. Resin will be degassed and after filling will be allowed to set under high pressure to eliminate bubbles.

As for the change in keyboard layout, it should be possible using a thin one or two layer PCB piggybacked to make contact with the original pads. Only a few keys will be moved, so only a few traces will be needed to make the change possible.

This is more of a fundraising effort than anything else. In order to finance all of the equipment we need to produce OpenRPN hardware will require ~$40,000.

-HDE

PS- if anyone has a spare 49G+ left over from warranty replacement, broken, non-functional, etc. that you are willing to donate it would be greatly appreciated. We will be more than happy to pay for all packing, shipping, and handling (and perhaps even a free kit if this idea pans out).


#5

I would purchase one kit at that price, Hugh.

#6

A photo sequence showing the process will do wonders to jumpstart this. Testimonials from users whose units have gone from missing keypresses to functioning perfectly, although anecdotal, will also help.


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