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Thread: Sticky Keyboard

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    Sticky Keyboard

    Recently, my KB has been faltering with certain keys (a, e, r, maybe others). Mostly, it fails to register the keypress; other times, it appears to stick on "repeat mode" - "e" becomes eeeeeeeee for instance. The KB is part of a wireless combo set, so I don't wish to "just buy a new keyboard". Any ideas on what to check and possibly rectify this?

    Alan

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Oh boy <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

    Since this is a wireless, have you tried the manufactures site to see if they have any utilities to check the keyboard electronics out ? From your post, I presumed that you have no problems with any of the other keys. Do the keys that stick appear to be returning slower than the other keys ? If so, the keys may need to be cleaned out. I have not done this on a wireless keyboard.

    First, try blowing the keyboard out with a can of compressed air. Pressing and releasing the keys.

    If this doesn't work, I CAREFULLY, pry the keys off and use the can of compressed air. A friend swears by spraying a non-conductive three in one oil (light weight silicone spray/machine oil) before replacing the keys back on their posts. I have not done this and wouldn't recommend it - unless you reach the point where you will purchase a new keyboard anyways.
    Scott

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    It it your impression that the keys stick physically?

    If so, why not take the keyboard apart and immerse <the top part with the keys> in a sink-full of warm soapy water for 'a period of time' and wiggle all the keys (especially the problematic ones) in and out, followed by a good wash in clean water and an extensive drying session. Of course I am assuming that the keys don't all fall out but are held in...! Dell (and no doubt other) keyboards have a 'keyboard-sized' flexible plastic mat beneath the keys, which could also be carefully cleaned, preferably in situ.

    I haven't gone to the extent of spraying WD40 into the keyboard...!

    John
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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    The "sticky" was a figure of speech, like flakey or buggy. The "feeeel" of the offending keys is no different from the othrs. But you did give me an idea with that WD-40 thought. I have a cn of good ol' CFC-laden freon stuff, used (many moons ago) for cleaning electronic contacts etc. It might be a worthy way of disposing of it. <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>

    Alan
    <small>Note some uncorrected errors where keys "stuck"

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Thanks for the info Scott.

    > I presumed that you have no problems with any of the other keys. Do the keys that stick appear to be returning slower than the other keys ?

    That's correct - only those few I mention, which all seem to be clustered together, moe or less. All keys seeem "free" to the sam extent. Note the kind of errors that occur. Slowly driving me <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15>.

    Aln

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Try obvious: is there any physical barriers between the keyboard and the receiver? If so, try to move receiver and/or keyboard and see if the problem remains. In rare situations big physical objects can reflect the signal to the receiver and produce "multiple strokes" effect.

    If you have PS2/USB receiver, try to use USB only (you may get "no keyboard connected" error during POST on older computers).

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Alan,
    Careful with that freon laden contact cleaner stuff on keyboards. I think most KBs these days are a membrane type of switch and might not take kindly to that spray. <img src=/S/meltdown.gif border=0 alt=meltdown width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Having a long background at IBM Lexington, which used to be the Keyboard Kingdom for IBM, the difficulty with repairing and reconditioning keyboards and the economics involved therein, I'm of the mindset, maybe I'm a capitalist pig, that it just ain't worth the hassle or risk. Whenever mine get bad enough that I can't tolerate it any longer, I buy a replacement. Mine seem to "last" 2 - 4 years at most and at less than $100 I put up with it.

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    I'd be interested in how recently you have 'opened up' a keyboard, say one from Dell! The days when they were hard-crafted out of finest materials appear to have gone, and they are all built down to a price, to a large extent. So you aren't likely to lose very much if, by chance, you 'muck up' a keyboard by trying to clean it in the gentle and friendly manner that I suggested earlier, and, heh, you might even get it to work more betterer!

    John
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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Many years the keyboard of my Apple IIe used to do that every winter.

    To use it I needed to pull out a hairdryer and warm it up and dry it out.
    Regards
    John



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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Al, as a data point, I've been using the same keyboard at work since November 1997. It's not pretty to look at, but it keeps on ticking. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    (It is an original Microsoft Natural keyboard. The later "Elite" model seems much more cheaply constructed.)

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    I also have a old Microsoft Natural keyboard, and I have never had to apply the hairdryer to that.
    Regards
    John



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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Thanks for the hint. There may be something in that. We had an unseasonally warm day yesterday and it seemed to perform better. I'll keep monitoring it on that basis.

    Alan

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    I thought about that, but doesn't sem to be the case. It's only about 10cm away from the receiver, with nothing betwen. Still I'll try playing with receiver location and see what happens. I wonder if it's even possible to be too close?

    Alan

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    Re: Sticky Keyboard

    Given that today seems to be even warmer, maybe it is behaving itself again today.
    Regards
    John



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