Best vintage keyboard or relic

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Wild Duck

06 Dec 2017, 20:15


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Voters have a chance at winning a New 75 and a ViBE keyboard from Vortex!

The official nominees in the Best vintage keyboard or relic category were:

  • REVENGE's 4412501 / 4978 Display Station Keyboard
  • JP!'s fat brown Alps board
  • IBM 6112884 "Pingmaster"
  • JP!'s IBM 3741 Data Station / System 3 Barn Find
  • Hansichen's G80-2100 HAO prototype find

The Wingnut, as voted for by the keyboard community, goes to...
JP!'s IBM 3741 Data Station / System 3 Barn Find
Another collector's dream, the IBM 3741 Data Station has a beam spring keyboard which is integrated into a desk. JP! found one in a barn and is in the process of restoring it to former glory. Wouldn't this look great in your living room? I'm sure your significant other would agree!

The IBM 3741 Data Station in yet unrestored state.
2nd place: JP!'s fat brown Alps board
JP! received a Texas Instruments Business-Pro Keyboard with customizable layout. Morever, it sports a newly discovered switch variant made by Alps Electric Co, currently dubbed Fat Brown Alps. The switches are clicky and tactile - nice and smooth with a light clicky sound.

This keyboard is one big array of switches! Removing one of these plastic caps reveals the extra switches. One can experiment with different layouts.

3rd place: REVENGE's 4412501 / 4978 Display Station Keyboard
REVENGE posted a teardown of his IBM 4412501 / 4978 Display Station Keyboard. It took him a few years looking high and low to finally get one on these beamships. This might be one of the most impressive and rare beam spring keyboards.

Normally such an artifact can only be found in a computer museum.
Honorable mentions:
IBM 6112884 "Pingmaster"
IBM's 6112884 keyboard is a vintage board with Chinese or Japanese legends, double-shot keycaps, and clicky green Alps, which, with the plate, produce an extreme pinging noise, hence its nickname "Pingmaster". Many have found their way to keyboard enthousiasts, and a lot ofthese were even new in box!
IBM 6112884 "Pingmaster" review by Chyros

Hansichen's G80-2100 HAO prototype find
Hansichen obtained a Cherry G80-2100 HAO, which is a rare prototype which features HAO caps with English sublegends. The build quality of the board is insane, the PCB is screwed to the case, the metal backplate is screwed to the case too. In total this boards has 23 screws until everything is build together.

This G80-2100 HAO prototype from 1989 is a G80-2100 in a G80-2000 case.

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Member of the Beam Spring cult

06 Dec 2017, 20:24

A well deserved victory! I hope we can see it in its full restored glory one day.


06 Dec 2017, 20:26

Congratulations! That is a great relic.

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06 Dec 2017, 20:29

Runner up is better but still. Awesome finds JP!
Well deserved.

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06 Dec 2017, 22:28

Congratulations JP!, you really deserved this one. Now get the thing up and running!!!

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06 Dec 2017, 22:45

and high six for the restoration!


07 Dec 2017, 01:00

Yay, 2nd one I nominated that won!

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07 Dec 2017, 02:37

Thanks for the nomination and votes everyone. The 3741 will be alive before the end of the year thanks to the support from members here in this community.

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07 Dec 2017, 10:26

Was this contest about "the dirtiest keyboard ever"?


07 Dec 2017, 11:02

JP is kicking it out of the park !

Honestly did not expect my nomination of the pingmaster to get so far , and i think that its fair that it got a honourable mention, it is fantastic and its a good price if you ignore shipping. A true hidden gem that the cool kids have not made overpriced yet.

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07 Dec 2017, 11:36

I personally thought the pingmaster will take the lead but what JP dug out is also quite nice. Congratulation!


08 Dec 2017, 01:12

I'm happy to have shared my find with everyone, but congrats to JP for the best furniture discovery of the year! :) Also happy to see the fat brown ALPS up here, I voted for both of them.

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