Ortek MCK-84 versions

So i've been searching for more info on this keyboard and there seems to be two or three versions??
There's the one with window keys ANSI, model MCK-84:

Image
Image
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There's one with no windows keys,ISO/ANSI?, model MCK-84FX:

Image
Image

Is there any difference between them, besides the number of keys, i'read about an mck-86 but i havent seen pics of it.
Last edited by maxrunner on 28 Jun 2012, 17:46, edited 1 time in total.
maxrunner

Unread post28 Jun 2012, 16:26

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that top one is a bit strange, more like a HANSI... that enter has no place on a true ANSI board! nothing interesting to add though
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Unread post28 Jun 2012, 17:02

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salt/sambal not included
This is the best keyboard I have ever used. My own MCK-85 has suffered from coffee-nose and other keyboard disasters over the years.

If anyone knows of a modern keyboard with comparably good layout I'd love to know about it.
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Unread post09 May 2013, 19:03

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Some of those pics are actually mine, love the keyboard and have one listed on ebay right now.

When I got a batch of them a few years ago there were some with and some without windows keys, the ones without win keys were ISO, note the blank key to the left of Z.
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Unread post12 May 2013, 14:20

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That's almost the same layout as the QTRONIX Scorpius in the movie Gattaca. When I first saw the above pictures, I thought it was the same keyboard.
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Unread post12 May 2013, 16:36

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Resuna wrote:This is the best keyboard I have ever used. My own MCK-85 has suffered from coffee-nose and other keyboard disasters over the years.

If anyone knows of a modern keyboard with comparably good layout I'd love to know about it.

Do you have pics of your 0rtek mck-85? what kind of switches does it use?
maxrunner

Unread post19 May 2013, 19:15

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Most likely to be either real Alps, or "Type II" (Hua-Jie/Xiang Min) clones. IIRC Ortek have also used some rarer clones, such as a Type I/II hybrid.

The only truly comparable keyboard would be a compact Matias, if you want those proper beefy vintage switches.
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Unread post19 May 2013, 21:53

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Yes i have two, but one of them had the type II/IV switches that are stiff and harder to press, so i swap them with complicated blues. The other i'm not sure but i do like them better then the one i swaped, i wonder if it can be identified ?
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Unread post19 May 2013, 22:05

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If you remove a keycap, it's trivial. Ortek's compact models are a bit confusing — it might be possible to figure out something from MouseFan's and Sandy's photos of them.
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Unread post19 May 2013, 23:04

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Here's another one with an extra port on the back and white clicky tactile switches I cannot identify:
Model No. MKB-84 FX / FCC ID: GM8MCK-84KBPD

MKB-84_FX-1-P1130409.JPG
MKB-84 FX

MKB-84_FX-2-TypeSerial_P1130416.JPG
serial & type

MKB-84_FX-3-Switch_P1130407.JPG
Switch

MKB-84_FX-4-Rear_P1130418.JPG
Rear with extra connector


Large images here, but don't kill me for the keycap abuse - it was my first mechanical board and I joyfully threw some of them into boiling dye, which resulted in a quite individual geometric design and a piggy tint :D
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Unread post29 Jan 2014, 11:07

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Keycaps are probably Tai-Hao.

Interestingly, I just started a table last night detailing the switches I am assuming to be Himake/Hua-Jie AK series:

wiki/Hua-Jie_AK_series#Variants_2

Obviously I've got more to add to it, as well as the second table for the reduced metal variants.

The bad news is that the only way to be sure what switch it is, is to open one up, but they're a nightmare to reassemble unless you desolder the switch and reassemble it in your hand, so don't take this decision lightly.

Odds are it's a Himake AK-CN2 or AK-C2.

Never seen "MKB" instead of "MCK" before … typo, or special variant? I've had no luck getting any information out of Ortek, sadly.
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Unread post29 Jan 2014, 21:26

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Aha!

That rear port is for an external numeric keypad. The MCK-84 was rebadged as a SIIG Suntouch Jr. and there was an external numeric keypad for it that connected into the keyboard:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181241268214

There are no photos left on the eBay auction but it does mention the 15-pin connector that a cached image on Google suggests is D-sub. From this topic, I am taking the Suntouch Jr. on eBay (that went with the keypad) to be the MCK-84 version:

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=49839.0

Edit: pinout here: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=13826.0

That may also explain why the MiniTouch and the Monterey-made Suntouch Jr. have modular jacks on the rear.
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Unread post28 Jun 2014, 21:41

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Still have two of these, one is the FX the other says something else, ill confirm later today at home.
Edit:Forgot to tell, that the FX had some bad alps variant switches, they're the ones where if you dont press in the center of the cap they get "stuck" and harder to press. I swapped those and changed with complicated blue alps which are much better, the other one has a nice white variant but i dont think they're complicated whites....
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My theory:

SX = Alps SKCM White
FX = Himake AK-CN2

This appears to be the case with both the MKB-84 FX and SX, and the MCK-84 FX and SX based on what I encountered when researching them. (My suspicion is that "MKB-84" was the older name and "MCK-84" the newer name, as both have the same FCC ID and look identical.)

It looks like the two were run in parallel.

Wiki page: Ortek compact series
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Unread post02 Jul 2014, 19:22

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Wow i don't know these names, which one is "better" between these two?
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Which names?

Sorry, SX is "real" Alps — older keyboards were SKCM White (complicated) and later ones were SKBM White (simplified).

FX is Alps clone switches, which in at least two instances has been confirmed as alps.tw Type T1, which I think is Himake AK-CN2 (ivory, clicky). Other photos just show four-tab clones which, without being opened, cannot be identified. I don't know that Ortek ever used AK-C2 (the cheaper Himake switch - 5M instead of 10M cycles IIRC) but other brands did.
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Unread post02 Jul 2014, 19:59

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The SX one doesn't seem to have the SX in the model name in the back of the keyboard.But the box it came in has the SX checkbox selected....
Edit: according to the box there's also a FT model....ill post pics tomorrow...
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 00:52

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I've never seen an FT one that I know of.
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 08:39

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Here's the images:
Attachments
IMG_20140703_195327.jpg
IMG_20140703_195214.jpg
maxrunner

Unread post03 Jul 2014, 19:57

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Thanks. Got a photo of a switch in your SX?
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 21:13

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Ill dot it now. Just give me a minute.
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:17

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Thanks. Got a photo of a switch in your SX?
Attachments
IMG_20140703_221935.jpg
switch alps
maxrunner

Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:21

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Interesting, another MCK-84SX with simplified Alps. (Notice how the writing on simplified Alps was always upside down …)
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:25

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Interesting, another MCK-84SX with simplified Alps. (Notice how the writing on simplified Alps was always upside down …)

Here's the photo of the switch i had in the FX model, i didn't like it and swapped for complicated blues:
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IMG_20140703_222523.jpg
FX switch
maxrunner

Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:29

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What's inside of it? There's a slim chance it might not be a type T1 switch after all.
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:39

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I haven't disassembled any switch of the FX model. I dont know how to reassemble it back lol
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:45

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Since you hate the switches, do you even care? ;-)

If you're holding one in your hand, they're pretty easy to put back together. If they're soldered in place, it's a nightmare.

You can get a good idea of what they're like inside here:

wiki/Xiang_Min_KSB_series#Gallery

(They're very similar inside to what you should have.)
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 22:49

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Since you hate the switches, do you even care? ;-)

If you're holding one in your hand, they're pretty easy to put back together. If they're soldered in place, it's a nightmare.

You can get a good idea of what they're like inside here:

wiki/Xiang_Min_KSB_series#Gallery

(They're very similar inside to what you should have.)


Ok i'll do it, but can you tell me what kind of switch should have been in the SX instead?
maxrunner

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Based on what I've seen so far, FX models are Alps clones, and SX models are real Alps. Yours was what I was expecting to see — I'm just nervous about making a proclamation based on limited evidence (that FX was the cheaper version with Alps clones), which is why every additional data point is important.

As regards the FX, my belief is that the mould numbering on the top indicates a Himake (now part of Hua-Jie) switch, but the same numbering was used by a several switch types, and within each type the numbering changed with time, with what appears to be three forms used with alps.tw Type T1. The internal parts have been shared between switch makers, too, so I'm always cautious. (The evidence for Monterey switches being SMK though is now very strong.)

My dream is to be able to find out who Strong Man, Focus, ELSA Communication, Ortek, Datacomp, and MacAlly bought their switches from, as each one would be another data point for or against T1 being Himake (they all used T1 and other similar types). I discovered Himake through asking Monterey whose switches they used; the other companies have either gone bust, maintain radio silence, or are just awkward and won't co-operate.

(I need better dreams … Well, I have better dreams, but I stand more chance with the above! However, none of them involve sth giving me a back rub.)
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Unread post03 Jul 2014, 23:33

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I managed to disassemble the switch, it was surprisingly easy, im talking the FX one, i also took pictures of the blue switch i put in. But the photos are too big to post here, i need to post them on imageshack or resize them.
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