Flex-Key Corp was an American keyboard manufacturer. The company history is not clear. Flex-Key Corporation was founded on the 8th of December 1969 in Massachusetts. There is a suggestion that it was founded as F-K, Inc. and renamed to Flex-Key Corporation in December 1974, but another record card indicates that the name changed to F-K, Inc. in December 1974. Another Flex-Key Corporation appears to have incorporated on the 21st of January 1975. In March 1986, one of these businesses was renamed to Mektron Keyboard Corporation. In May 1987, Fley-Key Corporation changed its name from KTK2 Corporation. Advertisements in Electronic Engineers Master in the 1988, 1989 and 1991 editions list it as an Astronics company.
Flex-Key were an early adopter of elastomeric switching. In addition to flat-surface and solid rubber keyboards, they also produced full-travel keyboards with standard truncated keycaps. Very few details have been recovered thus far about their full travel keyboards, and not much information exists about the remainder of their product range either.
CEK-33 was an ASR-33 layout, full-travel 56-key quad mode ASCII keyboard advertised in February 1976 in Computer Design magazine. The keyboard is depicted with a photograph, but the image is too small to see any details clearly. It appears that the switch assembly is backed by a PCB, so the “conductive elastomer switching technique” presumably bridges contacts on the PCB. The matrix is ROM-encoded and the rated lifetime is 50 million cycles. Both 2-key and N-key rollover are supported; it is not clear which flavour of N-key rollover is intended here.
All documents were scanned by Bitsavers unless otherwise noted.
- Keyboard article, Electronics, March 2 1970
- DK-M/MS advertisement, Computer Design, Vol. 14 No. 7, July 1975
- FlexMatic CEK-33 advertisement, Computer Design, February 1976
- Relegendable keypad advertisement, Computer Design, September 1976
- Flex-Key advertisement, Electronic Engineers Master 1988-89 Volume B (better scan from the 1991–92 edition)