[Photos] Univac F-1355-00

I'm finally starting to work at my pics backlog (it's huge :mrgreen: )...

To start off, one of the super awesome keyboards I received yesterday, a Univac F-1355-00.

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This beast is from 1971, predates both the buckling spring and beam spring mechanism, and is clicky. Very clicky. :mrgreen:
It's cap sense, and uses magnets to achieve the tactility and obnoxiously loud clickiness.

Here's the patent assigned to Sperry Rand -> http://www.google.com/patents/US3696908

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Why hello Motorola IC from 1969 :shock:

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Unfortunately that PCB was glued on...had to resort to some flat-head screw drivers :cry:

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Sandwhich? Reminds me of IBM stuff (and one really obscure HP keypad).
It goes PCB, some sort of heavy duty smooth rubber (not even remotely disintegrating), steel plate, strong plastic casing.

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Not entirely sure what this is, but it is a sort of inductor. Probably an impedance matching transformer.

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Keycaps are identical to my Licon/Cortron Uniscope keyboards, but these switches are soooooo much better :mrgreen:

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Capsense matrix

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Metal washers, magnet strips and switch assemblies in the steel plate and plastic housing.

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Slider and spring casing.

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Switch mechanism. Includes magnetic strip.

Full album -> http://www.flickr.com/photos/triplehaata/sets/72157635465105408/

I have another keyboard (got it a few weeks ago) that also uses magnets for capacitive sensing switches :D But in discrete form. Feel isn't as nice, but the case design is omgwtf complicated (and tool-less). Pics for this one when I get around to it (did I mention it's complicated to dismantle...).

I'm going to try and release keyboard pics every few days if I have time to post.
HaaTa
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Unread post10 Sep 2013, 22:19

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bloody hell, wow !
nourathar

Unread post10 Sep 2013, 22:22

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Great photos. I always wonder how you found your keyboard sources for these.
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Unread post10 Sep 2013, 22:32

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.. he's just a poor kid from the stupid ages.
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
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Unread post10 Sep 2013, 22:41

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Im going to be selling off a lot of my collection in the next weeks, keep an eye on my thread in the marketplace.
Ascaii wrote:Fucking magnets, how do they work?

At least when he drops something small and metallic onto his carpet he can sweep this baby along until it picks it up :D .

Very nice photo's although the ripping apart of the pcb which was glued, had me wondering if it still works?
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Unread post11 Sep 2013, 02:04

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Obligatory:

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Unread post11 Sep 2013, 03:46

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You don't mess around, Haata, I'll give you that. What a board!

I can take a guess what the inductor is about. This keyboard is chock full of electromagnets. Those buggers kick back a voltage spike into the electronics every time they're released. Unless your electrics can handle the surge, it's toast. So this keyboard has some appropriate damping.

Thanks for linking to the patent. The abstract sounds ingenious:
This is a capacitive keying device suitable for use in an electronic keyboard. Depression of the key drives a stem which stresses a spring beyond the release threshold of a magnetic latch. A projectile is then fired, impacting upon a flexible sheet capacitor electrode. The resulting electrode deflection causes a momentary increase in capacitive coupling.

I can only imagine the noise. If it's still working, could you make a recording? This should be one highly distinctive sounding keyboard.

Incidentally, I've been thinking about a keyswitch design of my own, based on solenoids. I'd like a way to adjust the force curve on switches, and the weight of them, on the fly. So keyboards with electromagnets are something I love to see already out there. Forty years ago!
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 02:31

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What an amazing switch mechanism. It must be incredibly loud on press and on release.
Do you feel a jolt of upwards force from the magnet when you release a key?
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 08:30

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Fuck you Google for ruining YouTube!
What does it feel like? It seems to me you could get a good Selectricky feel (insert Holy Grail emoji here) with the right springs and magnets.
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 15:21

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The washer is held to the magnetic strip at rest. When the press begins you are building up force on the spring (which transfers to the washer). This is linear, until enough force is applied to separate the washer from the magnet strip.
Since the magnetic force attracting the washer is exponential the washer slams down into the PCB as the force is now decreasing, making a loud slapping sound.
I wouldn't call this switch "Parabolic" as there isn't really a parabola, but it's definitely tactile. As there is a distinct change in force

On the return, since the washer is still attracted to the magnetic strip, it slaps back into place at an increasing force (damn, this is using magnets the right way :D). And since there is a coil spring damping the slider, you don't get a harsh return (or bottom out).

There are some mechanical issues with this switch (namely the constant washer slapping on the PCB, which is why it has a special coating and second thick pcb glued on), but overall I very much like the design of this switch. It has LOTS of room for adjustment, and even after 40 years, non of the switches seem broken or worn.
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 17:59

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This is just awesome, I second the request for a video / recording of this beast.
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Wow very cool. Find me one too and I can start an even more obscure USB capsense project!

I don't think the inductor is for preventing spikes. There are no actual electromagnets per se, right? Maybe just a common-mode choke for RF?

I love the hand-drawn PCB.

Beautiful!
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 03:43

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What people are looking for?



One of the switches seems to not be seated correctly, though it may be the one spring that was forced incorrectly into the slider (unlikely me, so it's been sitting with the spring in a bad position for years...).
Last edited by HaaTa on 13 Sep 2013, 09:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 06:49

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Click-click-click-clickidiclick!
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 07:30

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All click and no twang. Sounds like it could match the loudest IBMs on noise as well as clicky feel. Needless to say: I like it!
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 11:47

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Really like that sound! Sounds like real work getting done. Might have to loop the sound at the office today :twisted:.
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 14:55

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.. he's just a poor kid from the stupid ages.
It's got a very deep click, and a wonderfully clean sound.
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 22:15

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I no longer have a place here.
Sounds like a telegraph key! Or a LOT of telegraph keys. Except for those 2 dead ones over on the far right top row.

Thanks for the photos and video. Just awesome.
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Unread post14 Sep 2013, 05:30

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this is friggin awesome. i really like those clicks. i wish i had this thing so i could torture my manager.
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Unread post20 Mar 2014, 22:09

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Oh golly. What a beauty! Sounds and looks gorgeous!!!

As an aside, do you do anything with the surface corrosion on the springs? I've been using a tub of citric acid to soak rusty parts in and decided to try a bag of springs that had a touch of corrosion. Soaked for about a day, rinsed them off, soaked them in alcohol and then let them dry. Kind of handy if you can't source replacements for a particular size.
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Unread post29 Mar 2014, 01:54

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This is now my "Holy Grail" of keyboards that I MUST get.

(...along with my other "Holy Grails" vintage computing: IBM 5100 APL, ADDS Envoy, IMSAI PCS-80, Uniscope 100 ...and various others)
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Unread post29 Mar 2014, 03:08

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I still need the Knight keyboard and the SAIL keyboard.
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Unread post29 Mar 2014, 03:36

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I don't particularly care to OWN one of these, but I'd love to try it out. If everything is tuned right, it could feel downright amazing.
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Unread post29 Mar 2014, 12:19

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I just found this in a 1970 Univac brochure:

Univac.jpg

(Univac keyboards in their "natural habitat")

There's also a fancy "action photo":

Univac action photo.jpg
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Unread post24 Nov 2014, 17:12

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Taken with a long exposure while whacking a zoom lens from one extreme to the other. Groovy, baby!
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Unread post24 Nov 2014, 17:41

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Man I can't find one anywhere. They must be really rare.
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Unread post17 Feb 2015, 22:44

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Better music than a piano. I must have one one day. Thank you for sharing. I love me some clicky!

PS My hobby is magnets. Kudo's if you get the quote.
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Unread post18 Feb 2015, 21:25

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Unread post18 Feb 2015, 21:44

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It seems this keyboard wins the clickiest keyboard award.
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Unread post18 Feb 2015, 23:56

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Hello all, I have a keyboard very similar to this one. It is model f1308-00. Does anyone have any information on these, there is very little to go by searching Google. Thanks
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