New Amiga 1200 keycaps arrive from A1200.net and we've reviewed them


A1200.net has done exceedingly well via crowd funding and more especially for the Amiga community throughout these last few years, as not only did they smash a Kickstarter success for their Amiga 1200 case crowd funding campaign, but during 2016 they also pushed through a successful Kickstarter for the Amiga Keycap campaign too, which delighted many of us wishing for a full Amiga makeover. Now I'm sure you remember Indie Retro News doing a big review of the black Amiga case, well you'll be happy to know as of right now we have for you an exclusive review of the keycaps as well!



The first thing that will arrive will be a very long box about the same size of an Amiga, contained within another box filled with not just the keycaps, but a full set of springs, two space bars, a key removal tool and two bags of Stabilizers holders which are meant for special keys having stabilizers bars. Like Shift or Enter. (Space bar also uses way larger ones which they couldn't provide as they would have needed another extra mold, pushing up keycaps set pledge even higher ).



Thankfully in the case of our review we were also supplied with two different keycaps with the same contents just the colours differing such as black or white. Do note however due to lighting the images may not be strictly accurate to the whiteness of the keys. Yes the keys such as the white set are pretty much spot on with the original keys that were attached to the Amiga all those years ago. In the case of this review however we will be reviewing the black set, especially as I had a black Amiga case from the first crowd funding campaign and they will replace my very yellowed originals.


Here you can see the keys compared to my own Amiga 1200, again noting that the keycaps will be exactly the same as my Amiga case kickstarter. It just looks different because of lighting and flash used - Hey it's still winter here :).


One of the first difficulities I had was removing the keys from the base plate, as although some of the smaller ones can be taken straight from the top, you'll have to use your own tool to remove them from underneath, as keys such as the large enter button wouldn't budge even with the key removal tool, there's just not enough space underneath. Thankfully holes underneath make this easier enough as I used a blunt screwdriver to push them up as not to scratch or break the keys.


Now you may remember my paragraph further up noting the bag of two space bars with each one differing in length. Well this is because the team behind the product made sure the extra space bar and some of the keys on the base were made compatible with an ANSI keyboard or ISO keyboards, as well as making sure the additional keys were made to be compatible with the Amiga 600 as well.


The next step and one that will most likely put fear into anyone who has never removed a key from your Amiga is using the key removal tool. This very neat device is able to grab the keys from underneath and with a rather hefty tug ( some keys come out easily enough ), is able to pull the key straight up from the board, including the old spring underneath. Now don't get me wrong without this device supplied i'd be at a complete loss probably doing some damage, but even with the tool pulling a key from the board was met with utter fear when I yanked the first one out! Something I never thought I'd be doing in my life time.


Here you can see the very first key removed and replaced with a black one beside the yellowness of the old keys, looking rather out of place to the new Amiga case Kickstarter.


With one key done it was on to the rest and thankfully my nerves were calmed with experience. As with every key removed, it became a much easier task and I knew how much force to use with the fact it was easier to pull the keys from each corner. Although hearing that crunch noise as a key was pulled gave me no satisifaction!



Now I know the box came with two bags of stabilizers holders which are meant for special keys having stabilizers bars, but what I didn't realize was the possibility of damaging the bar brackets when pulling them up using the key tool. Sure people who have done this before might know this. But for someone like me, there was every chance of pulling a key out with force if it wouldn't budge, and breaking the brackets the bars are held in. This isn't a fault of the team behind the Kickstarter campaign, but I would recommend they put in a warning to be careful when pulling the larger keys out such as the enter,shift button or space bar.



By now I was well on the way to fitting all the keys and with the knowledge in hand of refitting the larger keys and making sure the old keys ligned up as per my back up photo (QWERTY!), the Amiga case was nearly complete. Just make sure you don't try to fit the wrong stabilizers holders to any of the keys as in the case of when I tried to fit my shift button it wouldn't go back in (ooops).


With the final key in place my Amiga 1200 was done and what a beauty it was to behold. Every key fit perfectly and apart from the lightning from a darkened room, the colours with the case matched as spot on as I could ever wish for. In actual fact apart from my own inexperience of removing the keys and making sure the right stabilizers were used, I didn't have any frustrations! Something I did when trying to fit the case back together some time back.



Now a photo or video shoot wouldn't be one without a full on Amiga experience complete with original monitor, game/music playing and joystick ready to be waggled. So as in the case of this review, here is the Amiga case all done with a blue LED loading the most excellent Chiperia! Doesn't it looks so nice, and and as my girlfriend rightly said, "wow that looks swish"!


And that's the review done, and so to end it on a grandular note I wish to say a massive thanks to A1200.net for not only supplying the Amiga case but the keys as well which not only makes my Amiga look incredible and way beyond anything I expected as an Amiga owner, but I'll never have to deal with yellowed keys again YAY!

Ending Notes :
Time taken : 2 hours
Negatives : A small warning regarding using force via key removal tool and stabilizers bar brackets

Links :1) Shop Page 2) New Compatible Case for Amiga 500 & Plus

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