[Photos] "KEYBOARD" SKB-5150 (Tai hao?) F AT clone, Key World switches

OK, due to being cooped up in the house all day yesterday for hurricane irma, and miraculously not losing power, I figured I would try to get through my backlog of boards to document. I think this will be a rather fun one :)


So a little bit of back story. This was an ebay score, in a lot with a leading edge DC-2014. Lets just say I got a good deal :) The most interesting thing about this, was that the DC-2014 was in pretty mediocre dirty shape, while this thing was brand new. The DC also came in one of the exact same "KEYBOARD" boxes, and that caused the seller to think they were both the same thing! This particular board is "brand new" in box.(you will see later why I put that in quotes)

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So enough of the boring box, lets get inside.


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I will do my best to get some scans of the manual... it has some fun chingrish in it :)


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As you can see, it is a model F AT clone board. Also, by that end shot you should be starting to get an idea of the quality of QC that we are dealing with here :lol:


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A nice metal back indicates the serial number and the made in taiwan sticker.

And now finally for the real interesting bits.


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Yes... key world. a very inspired name if you ask me. They feel like scratchy mx blacks. nothing to write home about.


The caps on the other hand...


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Hell yeah. Tai hao(???) cherry clone doubleshots. Pretty sweet if you ask me. As with the Tai hao FAME cherry profile keysets, some of the mods are pad printed thinner ABS.



And some shots of the pcb and other guts. Here is where what I said about bad quality control and its "newness" come in.


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Look at that shoddy ass work. Nice soldering job eh? I had to reflow a few cold solder joints straight out of the box, that is why I am shy about calling it brand new still. Also... on a more interesting note of shit QC, one of the switch housings was really really bad. bad to the point that the top housing was not completely molded! 2 of the tabs on one side were completely missing. And they weren't broken. oh no. they were just not there! luckily enough a regular old cherry top fits fine and got that switch fixed. You can also see some of the terrible quality of this board in the jumpers on the pcb, look at how mangled they are!


All in all I think this board is a shining example of a early cherry clone. I don't believe that these switches have been documented anywhere before, and the wiki page for the model number displays a completely different board. I will be working on a wiki page, and any info any of you dudes can add is much appreciated.
mike52787
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Unread post11 Sep 2017, 17:03

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Nice one, the pro world clone strikes back, I had this one here for a short while:

wiki/SKB-5150C

Hope your doing OK with the "weather"... :o
seebart
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Unread post11 Sep 2017, 17:31

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seebart
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seebart wrote:Nice one, the pro world clone strikes back, I had this one here for a short while:

wiki/SKB-5150C

Hope your doing OK with the "weather"... :o

Yeah, weather's all cleared up now! So... do you think that the "key world" and "pro world" switches are made by the same company? I have heard that the pro world switches are clicky, so possibly these are their linear variant?
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Unread post11 Sep 2017, 17:34

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mike52787 wrote:
seebart wrote:Nice one, the pro world clone strikes back, I had this one here for a short while:

wiki/SKB-5150C

Hope your doing OK with the "weather"... :o

Yeah, weather's all cleared up now! So... do you think that the "key world" and "pro world" switches are made by the same company? I have heard that the pro world switches are clicky, so possibly these are their linear variant?

Since we don't know for sure I won't speculate but I think we can assume its the same clone from the same manufacturer.
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Unread post11 Sep 2017, 17:38

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Well, for seebart's example there are no photos of the top of the PCB or the controller. It's possible that the "87" in the serial number indicates the year.

seebart's has "PD-17-1" on the PCB, and the serial label begins "PD". This could be short for either "ProWorld" or "Podworld". (Far East abbreviation seems to be first and last letter in capitals, e.g. "FD" for "Forward (Electronics)", instead of "Fwd".)

The one above seems to have little in common, except for where the PCB says "TA-7", suggesting that they are indeed related. Here's another Key World keyboard marked similarly:

TTI TA-14

Here, the suggestion is that TTI is the brand, not TA.

This is externally identical to a ProWorld switch keyboard with a similar PD serial number label. The only example (one of many possible designs) of HEU 292 on Podworld 292 has a similar IC marking as the TTI TA-14, but the PCB is labelled "PDC" instead of "PD".

Progress on these is very slow. I don't know what's with the missing diagonal corners, but the Tai-Hao TH-5150 did use this design.

Tai-Hao apparently never sold TH-series (Cherry-style) keycaps to anyone, so these could in theory be Tai-Hao OEM products.

What's curious is that there are just so many differences — if they are from the same company, they were burning through PCB suppliers!

And that heavy (?) Key World switch is new.


Unfortunately most of the examples of these keyboards are missing from the wiki and the original photos are all disappearing forever. If anyone wants to crack this mystery they need to get as many details as possible (top and bottom of PCB, ICs, PCB inscriptions, everything) for every model added to the wiki.
Daniel Beardsmore
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Unread post11 Sep 2017, 21:12

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