IDENTIFY THE KEYBOARD thread

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Polecat

03 Mar 2021, 17:59

4_404 wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 06:29

I have an ANSI "Staff-K101" with model number Staff K9AX, and SKCL greens. K101 style case, but with blockers instead of filler keys on the bottom row. Not the same, but thought it was similar enough to mention.
Awesome, thank you for sharing that. An unwatched plot never thickens! This one seems to tie it all together--old and new Monterey model numbers, K101/K102 case and model designations, and the K101/K102 case styles and keycaps.

Early Montereys had the K9AX style model numbers. So far I have K2, K7, K8, and K9 on record. The prefix seems to indicate case style and layout. The suffix letters were XT (XT only), AT (AT only), or AX (AT/XT switchable). Until now I had only one K9AX on the list, and it was an odd German version. Apparently the K9AX became the K101 (ANSI) and the K102 came after that, with BAE and the two added switches in the bottom row Later versions of the K101 probably used the blockers so the same case could be used on K101 and K102 models. Eventually the K104 version came out using the K102 layout but in a different case. (There was a K103 also, in a curved bigfoot-style case) There's probably more to the story still, but it's starting to make sense now.

So...the ANSI one first asked about is probably an earlier K101. Switches could be green or blue Alps, or possibly Mitsumi as used on other early Montereys.

Datacomp had a similar evolution with blockers, and the bold arrow keys used on the Montereys are a common Datacomp feature. Perhaps Datacomp made more than just the caps for the early Montereys?

Now what the heck was "Staff"? Was that a computer company that used Monterey keyboards, or was it a marketing name used to sell the keyboards separately in retail stores? There seem to be a lot of Staff-branded Montereys out there.

User avatar
Willy4876

03 Mar 2021, 20:21

4_404 wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 06:29
Polecat wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 03:27
Willy4876 wrote:
02 Mar 2021, 18:56
Yeah that's what I thought too but I didn't see mention of an ANSI version on the wiki. The legend placement on the numpad 0 is pretty distinctive though. Especially when combined with the bold arrows. If I manage to get it then I'll try to post an update.
Just checked my database, and there is a K101 listed with ANSI Enter, no filler keys on the bottom row, and "K102 style case". Switches are blue SKCM. Rebranded as "Staff". No promises, but this could be a nice find.
I have an ANSI "Staff-K101" with model number Staff K9AX, and SKCL greens. K101 style case, but with blockers instead of filler keys on the bottom row. Not the same, but thought it was similar enough to mention.
Appreciate the extra info but the apparently it had sold before I even saw it and the guy just never updated the ad. Guess I'll never know for sure.

User avatar
amigastar23

03 Mar 2021, 23:30

Someone know this Keyboard? And is it real White Alps or just Clones?
Image
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4_404

04 Mar 2021, 02:01

Polecat wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 17:59

Awesome, thank you for sharing that. An unwatched plot never thickens! This one seems to tie it all together--old and new Monterey model numbers, K101/K102 case and model designations, and the K101/K102 case styles and keycaps.
It certainly seems like that. This Staff-K101/K9AX (not mine) has an older serial than mine, SKCM blue and the case without 'winkey' spaces:
https://i.imgur.com/HjgjMq7.jpgg
https://i.imgur.com/gAYxzCm.jpg

Have any ANSI K101s not been Staff branded? Maybe Staff was a marketing name for early Monterey boards for the US/Western market? Based on this, maybe the K101 was their first 'enhanced' layout, and started as a Model M clone in a standard 101 key 'winkeyless' case for sale in the US, at a time Asia was still mostly using AT. The K102 could then have been developed as BAE by merging the 'new' ANSI K101 with the 'old' AT layout boards, to match what others in Asia were doing at the time, and removing the 'winkey' tabs from the old case, to create a single board to cover the US and Asian markets. They could then have just put leftover ANSI K101 internals into the 'new' K102 case with blockers, as you said. That may sort of explain the 'Monterey' layout. If you were already selling ANSI boards but wanted to start selling 'Asian 101/BAE' boards for Asia (Their main market, I assume), you may not want to change the layout drastically if you want to keep selling them in the US. The Monterey BAE is a pretty good compromise (a big improvement from AT for Asia, only a little bit 'backwards' from ANSI for the US), evidenced by the fact that many today consider it much better than standard BAE. Also, coming from ANSI, the only design change would be adding the two switches in the spaces in the bottom row, and removal of the ANSI "\", which may have been easier than splitting the backspace into two switches? That might be reaching a bit, but possibly an interesting thought.

User avatar
Polecat

04 Mar 2021, 05:18

Thanks once again for the other K101 photos. I've been playing with Alps keyboards for thirty years, but I've learned more here in the past two or three years than in all the ones previous combined.

I have so few K101s on record that it's hard to determine anything meaningful. And that's complicated by incomplete data and notes, and by more than one model having an FCC number with the K101 designation. For instance, some of the K103 models with the curved bigfoot-style case used the K101 FCC number. No doubt because they used the same PC board (the plastic case wouldn't affect RF interference, presumably). So when the only OEM model number appearing on a rebranded or unbranded Monterey keyboard is the one in the FCC code what do we call it? It seems like Monterey based the model number on the case style, but that's speculation at this point.

Specifically I have only 5 records (not counting the two new ones in this thread) listed with a K101 model number. Two of those are also listed as K103, with bigfoot-style curved case and Mitsumi switches. The K101 is from the FCC number on those. Two are Staff-branded, with blue SKCM switches and "K102 style case". One of the two is listed as ANSI, the other does not have the layout specified (my fault). That one is from an ebay listing, so I may have saved the photos. The last one just says blue SKCM, no notes on branding or switches or layout. In comparison I have more than 100 K104 models listed, which shows what was happening with the PC market at the time. I'll see if I can find photos of the other K101, but I'm guessing it was ANSI also. Pretty sure now that the K102 was the BAE model in the same case, with the two extra bottom row switches, with that layout continued on the K104, but in a different case.

Strange to me that I don't remember ever seeing the Staff name when this stuff was new. I worked at a surplus/recycler, and had tens of thousands of keyboards go through my hands, and I noticed *anything* that smelled or tasted like Alps. "Laser" was a fairly popular rebranding, and there were others also. But you may be right about Staff being one of Monterey's retail brand names, at least in the early days. I don't have a single Staff-branded K104 on record. An earlier Staff-branded K8AX says Yin Lung Enterprises, Taipei,, for what that's worth.

Several keyboards at the time used the same PC board for different layouts, with just the plate (and keycaps) being different. I've seen that on Focus and Costar keyboards, and also on some Northgates. There was definitely a trend for sharing parts to save manufacturing costs. I'm not sure who did the "Asian" layout first, but Focus and DTK also used it. We called it the "Any key" layout, because DOS batch files would say "Press ANY key to continue..." on reaching a Pause command, and the blank key on the bottom row would indeed satisfy that request. In fact that was the only use for it at the time. Northgate made a big deal about the BAE and 2u backspace in their ads, and that might have influenced the competitors. I can tell you for a fact that once the 101/102 layout came out *nobody* wanted keyboards with the earlier 83/84 key layouts. We shovelled them into the dumpster by the hundred because we couldn't give them away and they had no recycling value whatsoever. I'm not sure which is worse--the nightmares about throwing all those keyboards away, or the nightmares about the mountains of them that we would have had if we had saved them all.

User avatar
Polecat

04 Mar 2021, 05:47

amigastar23 wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 23:30
Someone know this Keyboard? And is it real White Alps or just Clones?
I don't see any markings at all on the upper housings, and I can't see the side tabs to tell whether there are two long ones (usually Alps) or four small ones (most clones). Can you get a better photo of the switch?

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amigastar23

04 Mar 2021, 06:58

Polecat wrote:
04 Mar 2021, 05:47
amigastar23 wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 23:30
Someone know this Keyboard? And is it real White Alps or just Clones?
I don't see any markings at all on the upper housings, and I can't see the side tabs to tell whether there are two long ones (usually Alps) or four small ones (most clones). Can you get a better photo of the switch?
No, unfortunately not.
But i did brighten up the image. Look like Clones to me, right?
Image

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Keybug

04 Mar 2021, 08:21

Not a good photo angle to judge from as most clones have two 'tabs' on each side, which this photo doesn't show.

"Four-tab clone - Deskthority wiki" wiki/Four-tab_clone

Jimi14

06 Mar 2021, 13:04

Can anyone help me identifying what the upper board this guy is selling is? It appears to have no branding, and the label just says it being manufactured in 1988 with a model number off E03418210. (while also having a FT04 label on the case, no idea what that means)
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Keybug

07 Mar 2021, 21:35

The four little nibs holding the LED panel in place are a giveaway for KeyTronic boards.

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Go-Kart

07 Mar 2021, 22:23

That looks like a KeyTronic to me too. Made in Ireland, etc..

Findecanor

07 Mar 2021, 22:37

Yep. That one must be a Key Tronic foam-and-foil keyboard. I've had one just like it.
Mushy, if the foam has not deteriorated completely. NKRO though because it is capacitive.

Rhododendron

09 Mar 2021, 22:52

The papers say it's from 1979 or earlier, no idea what it is. The brand is "Hausmann-Tasten"(?)
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ZeFritz

10 Mar 2021, 02:49

Hello,
on EBay is an IKL TK126006 keyboard for sale, with a missing key cap.

https://www.ebay.de/itm/143940114036

Can anyone
- identify the switches
- tell me if there is a source for matching key caps?

Thanks!

Findecanor

10 Mar 2021, 04:52

The ICL keyboard has one keycap missing, exposing the slider which looks like a Fujitsu slider-over-rubber dome. That type is mushy and not worth getting IMHO.
If it is badged ICL, it is made by Fujitsu ... The FCC ID on the badge on the bottom also identifies it as being made by Fujitsu.
Fujitsu made a few different models of keyboards with the same slider-over-dome switch with similarly shaped keycaps, except for that space bar. Sun Type 5 and 6 also had the same switch with the Type 6 having similar keycaps I believe. I dunno about colours though.

ZeFritz

10 Mar 2021, 05:13

Findecanor wrote:
10 Mar 2021, 04:52
The ICL keyboard has one keycap missing, exposing the slider which looks like a Fujitsu slider-over-rubber dome. That type is mushy and not worth getting IMHO.
If it is badged ICL, it is made by Fujitsu ... The FCC ID on the badge on the bottom also identifies it as being made by Fujitsu.
Fujitsu made a few different models of keyboards with the same slider-over-dome switch with similarly shaped keycaps, except for that space bar. Sun Type 5 and 6 also had the same switch with the Type 6 having similar keycaps I believe. I dunno about colours though.
Thank you!

And, yes, my opinion is also that in this case the keyboard isn't worth spending money on it. Even if I wouldn't had to get a spare key cap, either as spare or from another keyboard.

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Lalaland124

11 Mar 2021, 06:56

Does anyone know the keyboard/switches for this model?
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Lalaland124

11 Mar 2021, 16:24

Also found this one:
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John Doe

11 Mar 2021, 17:10

Cool find, is alps skcc?

Hausen

20 Mar 2021, 14:12

Hey guys,

does someone know this keyboard from 'Lenco Computer'? I have never seen it before. The FFC ID is FSQ028058. I wonder what switches the keyboard has. Thanks for your help in advance.
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User avatar
Bjerrk

20 Mar 2021, 14:59

Hausen wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 14:12
Hey guys,

does someone know this keyboard from 'Lenco Computer'? I have never seen it before. The FFC ID is FSQ028058. I wonder what switches the keyboard has. Thanks for your help in advance.
Image
Looks essentially like a rebranded Focus FK-8200

wanderhoden

20 Mar 2021, 20:04

hiho guys i found a beauty someone know somthing about it and if its possible to convert to ps/2 or usb
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Tahoma

20 Mar 2021, 20:14

Grüẞ Gott! Greetings!

Very cool keyboard; would it be possible to show the connector type for it? Might help in figuring out if it is convertible to PS/2 or USB.

wanderhoden

20 Mar 2021, 20:16

look plz under spoiler the last pic :D

Tahoma

20 Mar 2021, 20:35

Oops, I'm a newbie here and missed the spoiler button. :+)
Thanks!!

Based on almost nothing, I think so. Pretty sure Amphenol makes a connector that will mate with that plug, and also the IC pictured is similar to one of the IC's on the Model M I am working on.
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Spockmaster

21 Mar 2021, 02:04

This is more of an "identify the switch" thing, but does anyone know which switches the ALPS MCL-101 keyboard comes with? Its hard to find info on it, I think it might come with blacks but I'm not really sure? I'm trying to figure out if its worth paying $175 for a NOS one if it does come with blacks.

This is the listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NIB-Vintage-AL ... Z&LH_BIN=1

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raoulduke-esq

21 Mar 2021, 02:49

Spockmaster wrote:
21 Mar 2021, 02:04
I think it might come with blacks but I'm not really sure?
Found an old Reddit post that showed black and the owner speculated they were simplified to boot.

I spend stacks on keyboards but would not personally spend $175 on that one.

motoko

21 Mar 2021, 08:38

That's really not worth $175 - the seller is gouging here; also - single unit backspace is horrible

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Go-Kart

21 Mar 2021, 12:36

Bjerrk wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 14:59
Hausen wrote:
20 Mar 2021, 14:12
Hey guys,

does someone know this keyboard from 'Lenco Computer'? I have never seen it before. The FFC ID is FSQ028058. I wonder what switches the keyboard has. Thanks for your help in advance.
Image
Looks essentially like a rebranded Focus FK-8200
That's pretty sweet. So is an FK-8200 the same as an FK-9200 but without the big stupid trackball? I almost got a NIB 9200 a weeks ago but it was the trackball that put me off.

wanderhoden

21 Mar 2021, 14:09

oh i found pics its a linotype crtronic 340
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now i just ned the manual not that easy to find :(

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