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PCB Example

For a long time I've wondered if it's possible to make a keyboard with PCBs similar to the ones used in NES controllers or just video game controllers in general. If it can be done with keyboards it'd be cool to do the same for a mouse or something, replace the clicky switches inside with 3 small button PCB, one for the left, right, and wheel clicks.

Anyway, I want to know if this is or has been a thing, if it's even possible, and if people make these so I can buy one, or better yet make it myself. I'll be honest, I love membrane keyboards more than mechanical (I know call me crazy) but I love the feeling of NES, PS1, and Xbox Controller buttons a lot more.

I was thinking of making long strips of PCB (or buy custom PCBs) with the button pads similar to the one on the image above, buy button contacts and modifying an old keyboard I have laying around. It seems to me like an easy enough job to do.

Another question I have is, if this has been possible, why haven't companies made keyboards like this yet? Would it have to do with the cost of making such a thing?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There are too many questions and some false assumptions which make the extra questions redundant. If it is possible to make these kinds of buttons for a device, then yes it does not matter which device it is, so making a keyboard with these buttons is possibl. Also computer keyboards and MIDI keyboards with this kind of buttons have existed, who knows maybe even stil made. If not made any more, it means that it is not economically viable to make these kind of keyboards. Maybe too expensive compared to quality and reliability. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Feb 10, 2022 at 5:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you go to the store and buy the cheapest keyboard and bring it home and open it up, you'll see it's made exactly this way. \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Oct 19, 2022 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ In fact I think what you're describing IS a membrane keyboard. \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Oct 19, 2022 at 21:02

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Yes it's possible, EG SEGA used this technique in the 1980s

https://www.leadedsolder.com/2020/03/23/sc3000-keyboard-repair-attempt.html

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This was something I was looking for to give that "go ahead" to try and make this myself. I have searched all over the internet but couldn't find anything related to the subject. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Losvaize
    Aug 6, 2020 at 2:07

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