STRICTLY FOR AMATEURS
ANOTHER NEW add-on keyboard for the Spectrum is the K-Board from Kelwood Computer Cases. It has been designed as a direct replacement for the old 'dead flesh' original and fits onto the existing case.
Fitting the K-Board requires major surgery to the Spectrum keyboard. Once the two halves of the Spectrum have been separated the metal cover, which has the E-mode legends on it, is removed. The difficulty of that will depend on your Spectrum. After early complaints by owners of the glue holding the cover in place melting because of the heat, Sinclair used a more powerful glue from Issue 3 onwards.
Then the rubber mat and matrix are slipped out and the new PCB containing 40 moving key switches is put in its place. Onto this is placed a plastic housing and over the complete assembly goes the metal cover.
For each of the keys you are supplied with a new key cap. Each cap is hot-foil printed in two colours, gold and red, with the key legends. Unfortunately, as the original keys were smaller there is a small gap at the sides of all keys and the caps overhang and shadow the legends on the metal cover. It is doubtful whether the printing on the keys will wear well.
At £28.50 the K-Board is the cheapest replacement keyboard for the Spectrum on the market and is worth considering if you can not afford anything else.
For your money you get a keyboard that will, however, probably invalidate your guarantee and which retains the same, cramped, layout and does not include a full size space-bar. The keys used have negligible movement, and are not, as the advertisements claim, 'beautifully printed'. Neither is the replacement keyboard 'professional' in any sense of the word.
For further details of the K-Board contact Kelwood Computer Cases, Downs Row, Moorgate, Rotherham S60 2HD.