Made an interesting buckling spring find this weekend....

mmcdowell

29 Jun 2015, 18:33

Genuine IBM buckling spring...

ImageIbm actionwriter by Micah McDowell, on Flickr

But, not a keyboard per se...

ImageIbm actionwriter by Micah McDowell, on Flickr

It's a 1985 IBM Actionwriter 1. Found at the thrift, and it works like new. I might try flipping it online to buy something more directly useful, but it sure is nice to type on. Thought that you all might find it interesting.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

29 Jun 2015, 18:36

Wow nice find. Thanks for sharing.

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Halvar

29 Jun 2015, 18:42

Interesting. If you happen to open it, it would be interesting if it is a capacitive or a membrane keyboard.

mmcdowell

29 Jun 2015, 18:55

Halvar wrote: Interesting. If you happen to open it, it would be interesting if it is a capacitive or a membrane keyboard.
The case is rather easy to remove (two screws). What would be the tipoff of the different type, short of disassembling the keybed itself?

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fohat
Elder Messenger

29 Jun 2015, 19:12

And it has the elusive "Code" key as well.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

29 Jun 2015, 19:26

Yep, there are a few variants of these. All of the ones I know are membrane based buckling spring. Some variants also have an arrow cluster at the lower right.

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Halvar

29 Jun 2015, 20:03

mmcdowell wrote:
Halvar wrote: Interesting. If you happen to open it, it would be interesting if it is a capacitive or a membrane keyboard.
The case is rather easy to remove (two screws). What would be the tipoff of the different type, short of disassembling the keybed itself?
If it's a membrane board ("Model M" tech), it should have a membrane "cable" coming out of the keyboard and connecting to the controller, kind of like this:

Image

mmcdowell

29 Jun 2015, 23:51

I took a look; it has the ribbon cable as you pictured, so it is indeed a membrane switch keyboard. It plugs directly into the main PCB of the device.

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Compgeke

30 Jun 2015, 02:54

I have a stack of boards from wheelwriters\actionwriters myself and they're all membrane. Unfortunately most are missing some keycaps but there are some cool keycaps such as triple legends or black letter with a blue or green function text.

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

30 Jun 2015, 04:33

These are fun, the feel seem like between an M and F, and I think a couple people have made them work.

False_Dmitry_II

30 Jun 2015, 06:43

All you'd need to use on a computer is a case and a controller.

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dorkvader

30 Jun 2015, 07:41

False_Dmitry_II wrote: All you'd need to use on a computer is a case and a controller.
yeah sethstorm converted his WW.

the actionwriter arrived in '85 but the wheelwriter was available before Q4 1984 (source). XMIT has a WW keyboard from mid 1984, showing that the buckling spring over membrane design did not originate on the enhanced keyboard. This might be the earliest known buckling spring over membrane KB as the source says the Wheelwriters were "new" in mid-december of '84, and his is from much earlier (though it's just an assembly and *might* have come from a different typewriter. THis is why I want to explore the early-to-mid 1980's IBM typewriter design)

Now I wan to see what KB the IBM electronic typewriters (65,85,95) used in ~1982 as they are a fusion of selectric and something else. I only see one youtube video on these and it doesn't have a good shot at the KB. All I do know is that it appears to have a PCB and *might* be capsense (model F).
vivalarevolución wrote: These are fun, the feel seem like between an M and F, and I think a couple people have made them work.
interesting. They are pretty much identical to a model M, though some have o-rings around the barrels, possibly to help bottomout. When I bolt-modded my Wheelwriter KB (10 series II) the take apart shows almost identical construction to model M (though I believe the shifts are linked on the WW KB). I am happily using my bolt modded WW KB with the WW it came attached to. I mainly use it for addressing envelopes.

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

30 Jun 2015, 15:36

Yea, I know the internals are identical to an M, but when I play around with the Wheelwriters at work, it has its own unique feel different than an M or F. Maybe it is the lack plastic case bottom, different springs, or thicker metal plate. I don't know.

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