Computer keyboard

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(thumbnail)
A bunch of scrap keyboards.

Modern Computer keyboards contains mostly plastics but there are a bit of precious metals in them. One part is in the small circuit board holding the components but usually that's not a rich source of gold, a few bond wires in the chip or under a black plastic blob. The main precious part is silver in the mylars that makes up the actual key switches in the keyboard.

Major components

There are a lot of different keyboard constructions out there, but since 1990 the majority is with mylars.

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The same keyboards dismantled and sorted in categories.
  • Keyboard cable, copper. Sometimes with gold plated connectors.
  • Controller, circuit board.
  • Mylars, screen printed silver on a plastic sheet.
  • Steel plate, scrap iron. Gives
  • Case and keys, plastic.

Older keyboards contains various switch solutions so instead of mylar sheet there could be

  • Reed switches operated with magnets in each key
  • Capacitive sensing, an aluminum foil that forms a capacitive connection.
  • Individual switches with gold plated contact surfaces

References

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