Amkey was an American keyboard manufacturer located in Massachusetts that specialised in capacitive keyboards. In 1977 Amkey filed US patent 4163222 “Synchronous phase detected keyboard” for their capacitive detection mechanism. This mechanism is based on the standard construction of a foam pad with foil applied. A later patent US4439647 filed in 1982 covers flat keyboards.
Around 1989, Cortron (the keyboard spin-off from Licon) was sold to Amkey. In the Boston Globe on the 2nd of January 1994 it was announced that Amkey and Cortron had merged to form Cortron Inc, although the merger was already announced in the 8th December 1993 issue. Evidence of this can be seen in the examples below, where model 106-0004 (formerly DIN-106) eventually changed to Cortron branding.
|PRO 100™||Solid-state capacitive, 99-key enclosed keyboard for Apple ][ and ][+||Ads: Hardware 1983 (apple2history.org)|
|MPNK-100||Depicted as a module; 5-mode||Computer Design 1980|
|MPNK-72||Replacement for Key Tronic L1660; rated life in excess of 100 million mean cycles before failure (MCBF); listed as both “capacitive” and “contact key switch”||Computer Design 1981|
|DIN-64||Solid-state capacitive, DIN-compliant, depicted as a module||EEM 1991|
|DIN 106-1||Solid-state capacitive, DIN-compliant, depicted enclosed (105-key)||EEM 1991|
|DIN 124||Solid-state capacitive, DIN-compliant, depicted enclosed||EEM 1991|
|MPNK 101||Depicted as a module||EEM 1991|
|MPNK 114||Depicted as a module||EEM 1991|
|SNK 16||RS-232C 16-key keypad with N-key rollover, depicted as a module||EEM 1991|
All the examples below are foam pad capacitive. This list includes Amkey models manufactured as Cortron.
|Unidentified||62||The model number is visible but unreadable||Time|
|SNK-58||58||75254||June 1982||T-Bar brand serial test equipment?||Deskthority|
|MPNK-106||97||77435||October 1982||Computek||The keycaps appear to be Comptec SA family||Flickr|
|MPNK-68||68||100648||Circa 1985||Computervision Corporation|
|MPTK 129||129||113837||Circa 1988||Reported to be from a B-52 Stratofortress||This appears to use adapters to fit Amkey keycaps to Micro Switch mount keystems, but this cannot be determined from simply the photographs available||geekhack|
|106-1004||84||114339||December 1988||Identical to DIN-106||Premier Equipment Solutions|
|106-0004||84||118107||1990-08-16||Identical to DIN-106||eBay|
|106-0004||84||122680||May 1993||Identical to DIN-106||eBay|
|106-0004||84||C61931||May 1999||Identical to DIN-106; branded Cortron||eBay|
All literature below was scanned by Bitsavers.
- Capacitive encoded keyboards advertisement, Computer Design, July 1979
- Capacitive keyboards advertisement, Computer Design, February 1980
- MPNK-100 keyboard advertisement, Computer Design, September 1980
- MPNK-72 keyboard advertisement, Computer Design, March 1981
- Electronic Engineers Master 1991 advertisement