Additional images of the metal prototype
The time has come… The MF Group Buy... Drop-in Kit for Converting the IBM Model M into an F
Group Buy ends on 2016-12-04 (Sunday)
For those of you that have been following our Workshop thread, (Model MF) Remodeling the Model M, this is our official Group Buy for a full DROP-IN REPLACEMENT for the Model M that retools all the inner workings into our updated version of a Model F. If you do decide to read the Workplace thread (good luck), this is considered Phase 1 anywhere you see that reference.
What does this mean?
You get to leave your existing M assemblies intact (no modification or bolt-modding), and literally open the outer shell, pull the existing assembly with attached controller out, and drop-in the new “kit” unit. Then seal the shell back up, plug-in your preferred USB cable, install your favorite buckling spring keycaps, and go.
What are we selling?
This group buy consists of MANY different parts that can be purchased individually, or as a complete “kit”. The “kit” is quick way to make sure you get all the core parts needed for this F assembly to work (MINUS BARRELS and FLIPPERS). Many of us have Model F’s laying around that we could salvage switches from, and we didn’t want to impose that switches be purchased as a requirement. I do have many spare barrels and flippers, enough for approximately 80 kits to have switches (aka... barrels and flippers) to be added as an additional option, but they are the limited commodity in all of this.
Note unlike any other "do it yourself" keyboard kit, there is absolutely no soldering. Even the connection from the PCB to controller is a slip-on style connector. From the controller, there is a USB daughter board that will allow you to pick from multiple USB connector options (and quickly change in the future should the need arise).
The following is the order form. Please fill it out as best you can, and PM to lot_lizard when complete. I will review it, and send an invoice. This is a little different than a typical GB where your order/request won't be considered real until paid in full before the GB closes (as opposed to collecting money at the end). The "kit" option is at the top, but all parts can be ordered individually in the lower half of the spreadsheet as needed. Subtotals including the projected invoice price and shipping are at the base of the spreadsheet.
Core "Kit" Parts: Everything you need (minus switches) to turn your existing Model M (offered in both the SSK and Full-Size form factors) into an F
- Steel assembly top plate powder coated that accepts either XT or AT style F barrels. Powder coat colors will be black, industrial SSK blue, green, red. The top plate can also be dipped in yellow chromate (similar to original Model F back plates). There is ONE one version of the plate which allows for both ANSI and ISO configuration, and that includes additional cut-outs for OPTIONAL keys, where unused key cutouts can be capped to prevent debris:
- winkeys - between Ctrl and Alt on either side of the spacebar
- Split backspace
- Split spacebar (not pictured in the prototype below) - using a right shift, "Code" key from a Wheelwriter, and a Ctrl/Alt key, the spacebar can be split into 3 keys (two 2.25u and one 1.5u). The split spacebar is not a layout option on the order form because it requires users have an existing "Code" key. If that is desirable, make a note to me in the comments fieldSpoiler:
- Steel assembly backplate offered in yellow chromate and powder coat (same color options as the top plate, but can be mixed and matched)Spoiler:
- Assembly Side Spacer available in white and black that acts as a debris shield and helps regulate the spacing between the assembly plates on the sidesSpoiler:
- PCB derived from i$'s FSSK/FEXT project with only minor changes to allow for optional keys and solderless "slip-on" controller. The PCB will be offered with color options in green or white for the SSK, and green or black for the Full-Size. Note the Full-Size will come with a replacement LED daughter boardSpoiler:SSK
- mini xWhatsit Controller modified by WCass using a solderless connection. The controller leverages a daughter USB board for case exit that will be offered in USB-B, USB-C, USB-micro, and USB-mini female port connection optionsSpoiler:Prototype above does not depict the new solderless connector
Shown next to the legacy F xWhatsit to provide scale
- USB daughter board that abstracts the USB connector type from the controller itself. Available in the following USB output options:
- USB port retainer clip that holds the daughter board in place and covers the empty space left by the SDL connectorSpoiler:
- "Foam" layer that has been redesigned to both stabilize the keys, eliminate unwanted audible feedback, and better seal the assembly from debris.
- Stabilizer clips with an updated design to cradle wire stabilizers on both horizontal and vertical keys throughout the board, allowing the use of legacy IBM keys that would have wire stabilizers
- Fasteners for bonding the plates and sealing the assembly, with o-rings provided for areas that would be tension sensitive like the middle of the board
- Switches (includes the spring, flipper, and barrel). It is the one limited commodity of the GB.
- Tribute Stickers that we put together as part of this projectSpoiler:
- Unicomp Parts like stabilizers that can be ordered on your behalf to save some shipping
This is NOT my day job, so please give me a little time to respond to any PM's. If you missed the order form, it's before the listing of parts in the core kit above.