Sun Type 5

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Template icon--Illustration.png This article requires additional photographic illustration — need photos of the switches — what is a "standard" Fujitsu rubber dome? — and the rear case to demonstrate that "Type 5"/"Type 5c" are real Sun model numbers
Sun Type 5
Sun Type 5 UK.jpg
Branding Sun Microsystems
Manufacturer Fujitsu
Keyswitches Rubber dome
Interface Sun proprietary
Weight 1.75 kg
Years of production 1991—1997
Sun Type 5, U.S.A./UNIX layout, detachable cable
Sun Type 5c, Swedish IBM-like layout

The Sun Type 5 is a keyboard that was made for Sun SparcStation line. It is the successor of the Sun Type 4 and the predecessor of Sun Type 6. Earlier production units only had the Sun chain logo.


The keyboard internals are standard Fujitsu rubber dome with a curved backplane.

The exterior is in Sun's colour scheme of light grey and purple. The keycaps are of higher quality than typical Fujitsu keyboards: sharp-edged, dished and with dark blue letters. Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock and Compose each has a small window for a LED. All keys do not have the same hue: modifiers are in the same light grey tone as the case while the alphanumeric keys are white.


There are a few variants, with either:

Tenkeyless variants were also made.

To the left side, there is a cluster of named function keys:

Stop Again
Props Undo
Front Copy
Open Paste
Find Cut

The Space Bar row has keys:

Control (or Caps Lock) Alt Meta Space Bar Meta Compose Character Alt Graph

Cable and protocol

The protocol is Sun's proprietary. The signaling is based on RS232 at 1200 baud.

The first version had a connector for a detachable cable on the left and right sides, where the other port could be used for a Sun mouse. The Sun Type 5c has a fixed cable and dedicated Sun mouse port in the middle of the underside with cable channels for both cables going to the left and right.

Use with modern computers

  • Because the signalling is based on RS232, a typical serial port could be used together with the right cable and drivers.
  • Sun-to-USB converer for sale on VPI[1]
  • Sun-to-USB converter schematics and firmware by Brad Minch.[2]
  • Sun-to-PS/2 converter schematics and firmware by Ove Risberg available on the net.[3]

Hobbyist attempts have been made to reprogram a RS232-to-USB converter into a keyboard converter. Another Swedish enthusiast has made a new controller that speaks PS/2. Protocol converters have also been spotted for sale in a shops in the Akihibara district in Tokyo, Japan.


External references

  1. USB to SUN Adapter
  2. Sun keyboard to USB converter
  3. Sun Type 5 Keyboard on the PC