[Photos] Goupil Cherry industrial keyboard G81-1236

This is a preliminary review. I rescued this keyboard on its way to the dumpster, and decided to take a few pictures before I start working on it.

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It is a G81-1236HBR from Goupil's line of 'industrial' keyboards, an informal name probably given because of its similarity to the color scheme of IBM's 'industrial' Model Ms. Goupil G80-1800s pop up with some regularity on Ebay; this one seems more rare.

The case is bluish dark gray; the keycaps also look different from the usual vintage beige and grey color scheme. Some of it definitely can be attributed to ABS yellowing. However, they do not really look yellow, and probably were different to begin with. There is a strong hint of green and brown, reminiscent of the foliage and earthen colors you would find in woodland camouflage. In fact the colors in such pleasant harmony with the dark case and the overall military-industrial theme that I am not sure if I should fire up the Retrobrite rig and see what it will do, or just leave them as they are.

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The layout is ISO UK English / Russian Cyrillic, and we can see clearly what is the problem with pad printed Russian legends, especially on a soft plastic like ABS. The most frequently used of them are beginning to disappear, and the keycaps are not even that shiny yet, the texture is still there. Well, it is a useful observation at least: pad printed legends will wear away before the keycaps get really shiny.

It seems that the previous owner took a pen and tried to scribble in some of the missing lines; these should wash off easily.

The cable was also cut off, and there appears to be a fair amount of dust inside; nothing I cannot deal with, though.

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The keyboard dates back to 1989 when the old-style GOUPil logo was still used. The logo sits in a recessed area, and the letters are raised above the surface. Next to it is the LED cluster which echoes the design, being enclosed with a recessed rectangle. No labels or inscriptions of any kind are to be found. The cool, spartan design really goes along with the understated look of an industrial keyboard, with its emphasis on powerful shapes instead of flashy colors or small details.

It is a 1000 series keyboard and as such the case is larger, more solid, and some say better built than the 3000 series case. On the other hand it is a G81 so MY switches; it will probably be a good idea to swap in an MX PCB.

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mbodrov
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Unread post15 Jan 2013, 21:41

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Lucky find. You are right the Goupil colorway is different base color than standard with industrial grey legend. You can see what they should look like in my Goupil thread. Even though the Russian is quite worn the set could still end up looking fairly nice after some retrobright.
IvanIvanovich

Unread post15 Jan 2013, 22:07

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Wow. A totally different Cherry MY … (and a much cleaner design, too)

You should add a close-up of one of the switches to the wiki: Cherry MY
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Unread post15 Jan 2013, 22:21

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Wow. A totally different Cherry MY … (and a much cleaner design, too)

You should add a close-up of one of the switches to the wiki: Cherry MY

These are browns, he swapped the PCB out. ;)
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Unread post15 Jan 2013, 22:28

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No. Follow the link to the Cherry MY wiki page that I posted. Compare. Report back.
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Unread post15 Jan 2013, 22:30

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I see, I thought you were referring to the last image he posted, not the second. You have a good eye.
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Unread post15 Jan 2013, 22:54

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Mbrodrov: may you please take a pic of the label? :)
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Unread post16 Jan 2013, 00:06

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Give me a break. Contact me by e-mail. Thanks.
If you ever think of parting with it let me know :)
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Unread post16 Jan 2013, 09:06

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dirge wrote:If you ever think of parting with it let me know :)

You have a taste for dead octopus, then?

How common is typing on dead octopuses exactly, anyway?

And yes, Cherry significantly redesigned the slider for MY switches. Sometimes I wonder if the staff at these companies lay awake at night thinking up ways to troll keyboard enthusiasts.
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Unread post16 Jan 2013, 21:02

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Surely has no interest in the MY aspect, just the case body and caps with MX 1000 pcb inside it. Even though I prefer ANSI, I would have gone for ISO in this case to use the full original keycap set.
IvanIvanovich

Unread post16 Jan 2013, 22:11

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Daniel, I'll try to add this switch to the wiki. I've already taken some photos of the insides in preparation for that, but right now after some leisurely days I'm suddenly very busy.

lysol - a modern MX 3000 PCB will work too, in fact that's what in there in that photo.
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Unread post17 Jan 2013, 02:40

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Daniel Beardsmore wrote:You have a taste for dead octopus, then?

:( still mourning Paul the octopus :(
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Unread post18 Jan 2013, 15:48

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I thought Paul was the walrus?

PIctures of the MY switch have been added to the wiki.
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Unread post24 Jan 2013, 13:46

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Cheers.
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Unread post24 Jan 2013, 17:32

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I've had some more time to work on this keyboard; adding pictures.

Today's topic: retrobrighting.

The retrobright rig is a crude but effective contraption built from some junk.

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The case, formerly a plastic reptile tank, was salvaged from a local dumpster. The upper half, originally transparent, has been lined with aluminium foil.

The lower half, the large red tray, is just wide enough to hold both the upper and lower parts of a keyboard case, laid out side by side. When working on something small, like keycaps only, I use the smaller inner tray I bolted together from old particleboard:

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I prefer liquid retrobright to the gel. With the appropriately sized inner tray, I need to pour in less of it to fully submerge the parts.

The keycaps are mounted on a holder. Without a holder, they would float and poke their heads above the surface.

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It is the metal backplate from a G81 keyboard, wrapped in adhesive tape, with the MY switches (minus their springs) installed. It is necessary to keep any metal away from the retrobright. Retrobright is a very potent oxidizer, and exposed ferrous parts would oxidize vigorously, with thick plumes of air bubbles rising. This needlessly depletes the oxygen in the chemical, and of course destroys the metal parts too.

For one set of keycaps, I use 5 L or so of peroxide solution of 1-2% strength, with 1/4 tsp Oxy. Such a strength is more than adequate, and works well. Maybe the stronger stuff can make the process go faster under the Texas sun, but under the dim UV lamp, this weak solution supplies oxygen at a sufficient rate.

Cost of chemicals: 1 L 37% hydrogen peroxide = 2 EUR, I dilute about 250 ml with 5 L of water = about 0.5 EUR total.

The liquid is poured in, and power turned on.

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While the hydrogen peroxide provides the chemicals necessary for the reaction, UV light provides the energy.

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Cost of equipment:
2 x 18 W electromagnetic ballast fluorescent fixture = 1 EUR on junk sale.
Two 18W T8 Blacklight Blue tubes (primarily UVA) made in China = 5 EUR each.

I take a photo of the keycaps, for later comparison.

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The air bubbles are starting to form immediately.
Compare the yellowed tops of the keycaps to their lower edges which have remained close to the original color. This difference is not so visible to the naked eye, but the camera can see it right away.

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Time = 0 h
Bubbling nicely, which means the reaction is going.

The rig will stay on overnight (with the lid shut, of course).

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A day has passed, let's take another look at the caps.

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Time = 1 day
Visible progress, but we're not quite there yet.

...

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Time = 2 days
Almost there. The much reduced quantity of air bubbles indicates that the oxygen in the retrobright has been almost fully used up.

Time = 2.5 days
Done.

The spent retrobright has taken on a distinct yellow hue.

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Before and after:

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Shade of white comparison:
(color difference has been emphasized with the Curves tool)

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Middle: Goupil industrial grey (1236HBR)
Left: Cherry vintage white (3000SAV)
Right: Cherry modern albino grey (3000HPMRB)

Apparently the red ink is also quite unique in this industrial color scheme. Instead of the normal deep red, it is somewhat of a carrot color.
mbodrov
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Unread post08 Apr 2013, 07:13

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Cleaned up really nicely, almost unrecognizable :D
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Unread post08 Apr 2013, 19:26

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Great result and nice box!
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Unread post08 Apr 2013, 20:42

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Really awesome, and a wealth of useful details. Thanks!
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Unread post09 Apr 2013, 06:36

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Great explanation of the whiting process. Thank you for it.
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Unread post09 Apr 2013, 17:36

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Really impresive result! Nice Job.
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Unread post09 Apr 2013, 19:28

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Poker II | NovaTouch TKL | Filco MJ2 | POK3R
Bonus picture
A keyboard case (another keyboard) being treated with Retrobright Gel in the large tray.

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Unread post13 Apr 2013, 21:56

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What an awesome setup (and result). I really wanted to go with the peroxide bath instead of the gel but unfortunately buying peroxide in large enough volume to submerge the whole case was going to be difficult for me.

Is there some reason you are trying the gel this time? Did you apply the gel with that spray bottle?
002
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Unread post14 Apr 2013, 01:06

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Tokyo Press
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I'm experimenting, learning about the different properties of the liquid and gel, and when to best use them.

The spray bottle is to moisturize the gel. If you let it dry out while still exposed to UV rays, it may have really unpleasant consequences for the plastic.
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Unread post15 Apr 2013, 15:13

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Nice work. Your setup reminded of the show "Breaking Bad" :)
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Unread post15 Apr 2013, 15:54

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would you please upload the photos instead of linking them to some unreliable server, cos half of them do not even load!
thanx
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Unread post15 Apr 2013, 18:14

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You're right, that server used to be very reliable but now, as it seems, not so much. I'd prefer to have the pictures reside on deskthority, but is there a way to inline them in forum posts? If uploaded as attachments, they get bunched up at the bottom of the post.
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Unread post24 Apr 2013, 12:56

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Once you've uploaded your pic(s), there's a section "Posted attachments" under the message you're writing. For each pic there's a button "Place inline" which will place the pic at the cursor position in your message. Note that you have to position the cursor just prior to pressing "Place inline".
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Unread post24 Apr 2013, 13:08

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mbodrov wrote:You're right, that server used to be very reliable but now, as it seems, not so much. I'd prefer to have the pictures reside on deskthority, but is there a way to inline them in forum posts? If uploaded as attachments, they get bunched up at the bottom of the post.

and that site blocked my ISP... :(
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Unread post24 Apr 2013, 13:23

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Give me a break. Contact me by e-mail. Thanks.
Wow, what a nice effort toward sustainable keyboards.
Retr0bright i love this stuff.
Thanks much for the photo story.

(now i know what i should have kept MY trash for)
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Unread post24 Apr 2013, 13:55

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