After two 12-plus hour days of work on my beat, I got to work at about 7 tonight with the parts I mentioned in my last post.

To recap

+

+

is somehow supposed to equal

A keyboard… the monitor part will have to come later.

Now, before I even got to the first picture of the censor board, I had to insert all of those black pieces in there. You would not believe how long that took. The prongs on the black pieces, seen here

Just didn’t want to fit. So I futzed with that for an hour.

Then I tried a soldering iron that was laying around in the garage on a test piece, and it wasn’t nearly precise enough. So trip to Home Depot 1: Soldering iron and fine electrical solder.

welcome to my Thursday night

If I had to guess, I’d say I made close to 200 tiny little solders tonight. I think I have burns on seven fingers, mostly because I’m a moron.

Now, the one thing http://www.usbtypewriter.com doesn’t tell you, is that the “feather contacts” that you have to make out of resistor leads, are unwieldy little bastards. You basically hammer the resistor leads so that one end is round and will fit into the solder hole,  and the other end is flat so it can make contact with the underside of the key hammer.The problem is, hammering out metal is not an exact science. Sometimes it bends to the right. Others to the left. Sometimes you get weird skinny bits. Other times, you’ll hammer too far down the lead and you won’t be able to insert the thing into the hole on the circuit board. And sometimes, just for fun, the damn thing will break.

I ended up with this monstrosity, I’ve dubbed “Frankencircuit”

If this thing had a neck, there would be bolts sticking out of it.

Then I soldered the interface board together. That didn’t take as long, and I was feeling pretty good about my soldering abilities for about 2 hot minutes. Then gently stabbed my finger with a soldering iron. It didn’t bleed, but I also discovered the joy of instant cauterization.  Sweet.

In the end, it looked something like this.

Circuits united can never be divided, unless you're solders aren't great.

With my circuits complete, I bounded up the stairs like a puppy whose master has just come home… and broke a solder joint. Back downstairs to fix it…

but then! Nearly 5 hours later…  I came upstairs again, plugged it all in and got this:

Victory! I think...

Sorry for the crappy picture, but it means that the board is assembled and communicating with the computer. Next comes creating my reed switches, which I’m still dealing with, and then connecting everything to Underwood.

I think when the time comes and I’m finally calibrating the keys, I might just die of happiness.