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> Best way to clean Gemini keyboard keys in place?, Hard to read certain keys in dim light
pdtpoet
post Oct 24 2018, 07:53 AM
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Hello all,

I've been attending conferences where the lighting is dimmed for presentations, and the light is sometimes so dim that the keys which I use most often (in English that would be e, a, s, d, r, t, i c and l) are so dark I can't read them. I use the hunt-and-peck system.

Can someone please tell me how to best clean the keys without removing them so they are shiny white and reflective again?

Thank you

Pdtpoet
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salvomic
post Oct 24 2018, 08:15 AM
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QUOTE(pdtpoet @ Oct 24 2018, 05:53 PM) *
Hello all,

I've been attending conferences where the lighting is dimmed for presentations, and the light is sometimes so dim that the keys which I use most often (in English that would be e, a, s, d, r, t, i c and l) are so dark I can't read them. I use the hunt-and-peck system.

Can someone please tell me how to best clean the keys without removing them so they are shiny white and reflective again?

Thank you

Pdtpoet


I'm cleaning with ethyl (medical alcohol) but someone said that isopropanol would be better. I'll try.
I don't think something will be removed as the key *should* be laser etched... Also if they are dimmed.

Salvo
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gidds
post Oct 24 2018, 11:21 AM
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Why ‘without removing them’?

I always remove the keys: it's much easier to clean them, and doesn't risk doing any damage to the important bits.

I use a blob of Blu-Tak to remove them.  Knead it until fairly soft.  Press down firmly on a key to cover it, then lift it up sharply: the key will usually come away with it.

It's a very safe method; I've used it over the years with all my Psions (which have almost identical keyboards), and never done any damage.  You have to be careful with the space bar and Enter keys, as those are attached to metal bars; but all the other keys can be easily removed, cleaned together, dried, and replaced.

And to confirm what salvomic says:

If for whatever reason you really don't want to remove the keys, then IPA (isopropyl alcohol, i.e. isopropanol) is probably the safest in-place cleaning agent: it's non-toxic, dissolves oils &c, evaporates quickly without leaving a residue, and won't damage most electronics.

This type of keyboard is made by using a laser to heat parts of the black plastic so that it turns white (and expands slightly).  So there's no print to rub off, and it's OK to scrub the keytops (as long as you don't do so hard enough to erode the plastic itself).

(If the lettering goes dark, it's probably due to grease, dirt, and oils from the fingertips.  I think that those can be absorbed into the plastic if left for a long time, so it's probably a good idea to clean the keys from time to time to prevent that.)

Also, I'd recommend learning to touch-type if you can (though that might be easier on a full-size keyboard).  As well as not needing to see the keytops, you'll be able to type faster and more accurately, and if you're copying something you won't need to keep looking away from it.  You don't need any formal lessons: just rest your hands comfortably with your fingers over A/S/D/F and J/K/L/semicolon.  Work out which finger is most comfortable for each of the other keys (e.g. your left middle finger is probably best for 5, R, D, and X), and then practice typing using only that finger for that key.  It feels strange at first, but it soon becomes a habit.
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salvomic
post Oct 24 2018, 11:31 AM
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thanks for good tips, Andy!
pdtpoet, I've just ordered This kind of IPA on Amazon. When it arrives I'll could tell you if is better of the normal red alcohol (ethyl).

Salvo
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pdtpoet
post Oct 26 2018, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE(salvomic @ Oct 24 2018, 12:15 PM) *
QUOTE(pdtpoet @ Oct 24 2018, 05:53 PM) *
Hello all,

I've been attending conferences where the lighting is dimmed for presentations, and the light is sometimes so dim that the keys which I use most often (in English that would be e, a, s, d, r, t, i c and l) are so dark I can't read them. I use the hunt-and-peck system.

Can someone please tell me how to best clean the keys without removing them so they are shiny white and reflective again?

Thank you

Pdtpoet


I'm cleaning with ethyl (medical alcohol) but someone said that isopropanol would be better. I'll try.
I don't think something will be removed as the key *should* be laser etched... Also if they are dimmed.

Salvo



Thanks very much for the kind and quick reply!
pdtpoet
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pdtpoet
post Oct 26 2018, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE(gidds @ Oct 24 2018, 03:21 PM) *
Why ‘without removing them’?

I always remove the keys: it's much easier to clean them, and doesn't risk doing any damage to the important bits.

I use a blob of Blu-Tak to remove them.  Knead it until fairly soft.  Press down firmly on a key to cover it, then lift it up sharply: the key will usually come away with it.

It's a very safe method; I've used it over the years with all my Psions (which have almost identical keyboards), and never done any damage.  You have to be careful with the space bar and Enter keys, as those are attached to metal bars; but all the other keys can be easily removed, cleaned together, dried, and replaced.

And to confirm what salvomic says:

If for whatever reason you really don't want to remove the keys, then IPA (isopropyl alcohol, i.e. isopropanol) is probably the safest in-place cleaning agent: it's non-toxic, dissolves oils &c, evaporates quickly without leaving a residue, and won't damage most electronics.

This type of keyboard is made by using a laser to heat parts of the black plastic so that it turns white (and expands slightly).  So there's no print to rub off, and it's OK to scrub the keytops (as long as you don't do so hard enough to erode the plastic itself).

(If the lettering goes dark, it's probably due to grease, dirt, and oils from the fingertips.  I think that those can be absorbed into the plastic if left for a long time, so it's probably a good idea to clean the keys from time to time to prevent that.)

Also, I'd recommend learning to touch-type if you can (though that might be easier on a full-size keyboard).  As well as not needing to see the keytops, you'll be able to type faster and more accurately, and if you're copying something you won't need to keep looking away from it.  You don't need any formal lessons: just rest your hands comfortably with your fingers over A/S/D/F and J/K/L/semicolon.  Work out which finger is most comfortable for each of the other keys (e.g. your left middle finger is probably best for 5, R, D, and X), and then practice typing using only that finger for that key.  It feels strange at first, but it soon becomes a habit.


Andy -

Thank you for providing all the options. Much appreciated!

pdtpoet
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salvomic
post Oct 29 2018, 06:20 AM
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I could compare ethyl with IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) and I can say the second is better, easy to use to polish the Gemini keys (and many other things), it evaporate after few seconds, isn't toxic and the keys seem less dimmed for some time. Better to use it when it is needed, every now and then.

Salvo
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pdtpoet
post Oct 29 2018, 07:25 AM
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QUOTE(salvomic @ Oct 29 2018, 10:20 AM) *
I could compare ethyl with IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) and I can say the second is better, easy to use to polish the Gemini keys (and many other things), it evaporate after few seconds, isn't toxic and the keys seem less dimmed for some time. Better to use it when it is needed, every now and then.

Salvo



Thank you, Salvo!

pdtpoet
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