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AEK & AEK II restoration

ants

Well-known member
Hi all,

I finally got some time off work, so I took the opportunity to clean up some Apple Extended Keyboards I had. They turned out almost immaculate!

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The AEK II was from 1989, and was in pretty good condition already, but the original AEK was badly yellowed and really filthy.

My retrobrite technique of choice is to immerse the parts in a solution of Spa Peroxide (35%, it's really strong!) and water. Then I let the hot Australian sun do the rest. I've never had a failure doing it this way.

PXL_20211230_043716317.jpg

After a few hours at 30° Celsius, the plastics were like new.

PXL_20211231_025422534.jpg
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I'm going to try using the original AEK with my work PC and see how I go (via an ADB to USB adaptor). The key switches are fantastic to type on!
 

Johnnya101

Well-known member
Looks good! I know my Datadesk 101e ADB keyboard works great on my Windows 10 PC, so you should have no issues (with an adapter, of course).
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
I have two of these keyboards as well, but one has clicky Alps switches, and the other has silent Alps switches. Not sure when/why Apple made the change. I like the clicky switches better.
 

jessenator

Well-known member
Fantastic resto :)

How were the guts?

My AEKII wasn't too bad, considering it was the PO's computer for grandkids. My AEK was absolutely atrocious—just completely filthy. Had a second life post-thrift-store, and was likely never cleaned...

I was fortunate enough to get extended keyboards that were used in a salt mine or something, because they didn't need a retrobrite bath, despite the grime inside.

I'm one of those AEKII folks ;) During cleaning I used the DeskThority wiki and found out I have Mitsumi switches (though I suppose I could've just looked where it says "Made in Japan" 🤦‍♂️ ... They're nice and quiet, which is more my thing.

Again, nice resto!
 

CC_333

Well-known member
This is making me want to use one of mine for my main machine instead of the okay Logitech one I'm using now, but I'd need an ADB to USB adapter (I got one of those Wombat things many years ago, but I'm not sure if it works because I never got a chance to try it out).

And it would match my machine's yellowed-beige case better!

c
 

aeberbach

Well-known member
Thanks Ants - I was not aware of spa peroxide and from the pool shop it looks a lot cheaper than the hair stuff, and of course is much stronger! I should get around to mine.
 
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