[Photos] Datadesk Switchboard

Today I would love to introduce the switchboard, which picked up from taobao.com several weeks ago, to you folks.

As you can see from the picture, its box are almost the same as the MAC-101E. So I am not so sure if it’s the stock box. And it’s made in the 36th weeks of 1990, in Taiwan.

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This kbd comes with Alps SKCM white Switch and double shot keycaps produced by Tai Hao. I would say it’s in used condition with some mild shiny caps, but still in pretty good shape.
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And it provides several interesting features.
The kbd consists of three parts (the 60% part, number pad part and arrow part), If you want to take any part out, just push the buckle under the kbd then take the part you want out. You can connect each part back to any area of the pcb by Flex Cable as you wish. So the kbd allows users to have up to 6 different layouts.
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A set of DIP to adapt the board to different computer and OS, is located in the upper area of the kbd. User can follow the instruction printed on the cover.
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Two additional keycaps is provided to swap ctrl key and capslock key.
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Another feature is the plastict feets. They are almost the same way like HHKB. Two lower feet are embedded into two higher feet.So you can get different angle by flipping different feet out.
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Last edited by Drclick on 12 Jun 2017, 17:08, edited 1 time in total.
Drclick
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Unread post12 Jun 2017, 17:02

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Very nice Drclick thank you for sharing, I see Daniel Beardsmore created a wiki page for this keyboard in February 2014‎, it would be nice if we could add yours to that page also?

wiki/Datadesk_Switchboard
seebart
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Unread post12 Jun 2017, 17:06

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That is quite the board. Even more amazing is that you found a nice alps board that was ANSI and not some bigass enter garbage.
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 04:43

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seebart wrote:Very nice Drclick thank you for sharing, I see Daniel Beardsmore created a wiki page for this keyboard in February 2014‎, it would be nice if we could add yours to that page also?

wiki/Datadesk_Switchboard

OK, I'll try to edit it.
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 05:05

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Drclick wrote:
seebart wrote:Very nice Drclick thank you for sharing, I see Daniel Beardsmore created a wiki page for this keyboard in February 2014‎, it would be nice if we could add yours to that page also?

wiki/Datadesk_Switchboard

OK, I'll try to edit it.

You can, but you don't have to if you feel it's too much work.
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 08:53

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Awesome! I have to track me down one of those! Very cool with all the pictures/demo!
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 12:29

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Really intriguing design, could you share the link please?
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 14:46

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Mr.Nobody wrote:Really intriguing design, could you share the link please?

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1...l8don26a5a
The other one.
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1...6260669432
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 15:35

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Very interesting. I could see a modern approach to this with hot-swappable parts and/or the 60% part becoming a standalone keyboard that you can take with you on the go.
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j0d1 wrote:Very interesting. I could see a modern approach to this with hot-swappable parts and/or the 60% part becoming a standalone keyboard that you can take with you on the go.

Exactly, in fact, they had a rather good idea, but the design was a little bit before its time. Hope someone could borrow the idea and make a "Transformer" out of it.

@drclick
Thanks man!
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Unread post13 Jun 2017, 23:38

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Curiously, Tai-Hao feel certain that these aren't Tai-Hao keycaps. So if they're not, then nor are Focus or Northgate keycaps. The main difference is the eight-way support struts inside, which are different to what Tai-Hao sell now. Strange.
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 08:46

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Curiously, Tai-Hao feel certain that these aren't Tai-Hao keycaps. So if they're not, then nor are Focus or Northgate keycaps. The main difference is the eight-way support struts inside, which are different to what Tai-Hao sell now. Strange.

That would be a major revelation / upset to me Daniel. Not because Focus or Northgate are not Tai-Hao but because we then don't know who manufactured them. Of course we really don't know anyway for sure. :roll:
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 09:57

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I'm waiting on a confirmation about visual recognition. Focus were a customer of Tai-Hao (before they fell silent) but apparently Focus got near identical-looking keycaps made by someone else.

If they're not Tai-Hao, whoever it was did a good job at copying them, including the keycap shape, the typography, and the shape of the arrow on shift keys.

TH-5539 keycaps will indicate what Tai-Hao's look like, but most of those have the old TH series Cherry-style keycaps, instead of the newer (and still current) TI series. I don't know that I've ever seen the bottom of a TI series TH-5539 keycap.

Besides, we don't know who made the clone switches in Focus keyboards either.
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 19:19

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Drclick wrote:As you can see from the picture, its box are almost the same as the MAC-101E. So I am not so sure if it’s the stock box.

This would not be the stock box. This is (pilfered from an eBay auction):

Datadesk Switchboard.JPG
Datadesk Switchboard box


I've been on the hunt for a reasonably priced one as I find it intriguing. I have a Datadesk Mac 101-E if you need some key cap pics for further inspection.
snuci
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 21:12

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I really admire DataDesk for attempting a modular design. Additionally, it's Mac and PC compatible (is there any another keyboard with this feature?) and features Caps/Ctrl switchability. Lovely! Easily one of my favourite vintage keyboards.

So, who got the one that just sold on eBay?
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Unread post14 Jun 2017, 22:22

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Posted some pics of the Datadesk Mac 101E in the wiki here: wiki/Datadesk_Mac-101E
I thought we already had a wiki page but it was a MAC 101. I''ll have to add some more internal pics.
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Unread post15 Jun 2017, 20:19

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