Rezene wrote: ↑
08 Dec 2019, 19:26
which models had pine alps? I'm not very familiar with omnikeys and the switches that they came in.
Aaaah, but this is the World of Alps, where nothing is ever that simple! There were internal changes to Alps SKCM blue switches, and to white SKCM within the Pine period, so not all were created equal. Add to that condition, and differences between keyboards that affect sound and feel. Plus differences in individual preferences. I have probably forty or fifty Alps keyboards here, including 14 Northgates, and there are some major differenes in sound and feel between the different models. Another keyboard of the same model, even with the "same" switches, may sound and feel completely different. You have to try a specific keyboard to see if you're going to like it. That said, most people prefer the earlier versions of the Alps switches. I don't think anyone knows the whole story of the changes in Alps switches, but there's some good info here in the posts and wiki if you dig for it. Maybe some day.
Strangely, despite having a big and loyal following, there isn't a lot of info available for the Omnikey keyboards. Basically they can be divided into four generations.
Gen1 was the gold label version, available only in the 102 model. Blue or white Pine Alps switches. F-keys on the left, and Ctrl above left shift. Double shot keycaps. Those had the (arguably) best switches, but the layout isn't for everyone. And being the oldest version, condition is especially important.
Gen2 had a blue/gray label and white Pine Alps switches, 3 or 8 dipswitches accessible through a slot on the back edge, and a detachable cable. Double shot keycaps. Some had ADB connections as well as PS/2. Models (spotted so far) were 102, Plus, 101I, OmniMac, Ultra, and 101NCS. Ctrl and CapsLock could be swapped by flipping a switch and swapping caps (provided).
Gen3 had a blue/gray label on a hinged door with dipswitches underneath. Detachable cable. Double shot keycaps. Switches changed from Pine to Bamboo (white) Alps sometime during this period, but to me the switches were already in decline before that happened. Ctrl and CapsLock again swappable by dipswitch. Models spotted are 102, Ultra, 101, Ultra-T, and Ultra-T OB.
Gen4 Omnikeys were programmable, with an LED for programming in the up arrow switch. No dipswitches, but the door on top is still there. This was the only version with Windows keys. The EEPROM which stored the programming frequently dies, but can be removed to restore normal (non-programmable) operation. Cable was not detachable. Simplified Alps switches (SKBM) on most or all examples. Keycaps were printed (not double shot) on later Gen4s. Some were branded Avant Prime (101) or Avant Stellar (Ultra-T). Avants were also available in black. Models were 102P, 101P, Ultra TP, and the Evolution ergo.
I'd post photos and more detailed info, but that should really go in the wiki and that's way beyond me on how to do it.,