newRPL keyboard template for HP 39gs, 40gs and 50g
I recently discovered newRPL, and before I knew it, I find that I own an HP 39gs, HP 40gs and (most recently) an HP 50g with newRPL installed! I can't explain how this happened, but I'm sure many of you understand how such a thing could happen.
After using newRPL with a handy printed mock-up of the keyboard nearby, I decided to design a keyboard overlay with updated legends to match how newRPL works. I used OpenSCAD to produce an outline with all of the keyboard holes in the right places (or at least pretty close!) I then imported that as a layer in Inkscape to add legends around each key for the left- and right-shifted functions as well as alpha characters. The key tops also have correct labels, too.
In a feat that probably will never be repeated, I somehow convinced my wife that, really, she needed to add a Cricut Maker cutter to her collection of scrapbooking tools. And that it was her idea, at that.
So after printing and cutting about a dozen variations and tweaks, I printed on vinyl and cut some overlays that are installed on my 39gs and 40gs calculators, including keytops. The printing bit happened on a Brother laser printer on a matte finish vinyl material.
Now I'm in sort of a testing phase, to see how durable the printing is, especially on the keycaps. I'm at some sort of "minimum viable product" stage where this is workable and I need to play a bit before continuing any further refinement.
Here's a thumbnail image of the keyboard tempate:
The full resolution file is newrpl_keypad_v2.png that's rendered as a 2400 DPI PNG file. The bit that needs to be cut out is transparent; this seems to make the Cricut Studio software the happiest. If you'd like to try to use this file, ensure that it's scaled such that the vertical dimension is 111 mm so it's printed at the correct size. (Please ignore the extra transparent width in the image; must have screwed something up doing the export..)
I am asking for feedback on what's missing (or wrong) with the key annotations that ought to be corrected in the next version.
Right now the keycaps can be removed the the overlay that sticks to the calculator surface and applied to keys. At present, this is the same color as the background. This is a consequence of this file being imported as a single layer from the export in OpenSCAD and left together as one object. Severing the keycaps from the background means I can't easily import an updated template and I may still want to fiddle with the spacing of things, so I've resisted splitting these things apart which would make it diffcult to update.
Once this has settled down, I'll post the OpenSCAD script and Inkscape file if you'd like to reproduce this for yourself. Right now the process involves way too many manual steps, so I need to make sure I capture all of them. It's too bad that I can't figure out how get OpenSCAD to emit SVG files with color information.
Comments welcome on the Museum of HP Calculators thead.