Alps Appreciation

dss

01 Sep 2019, 00:33

//gainsborough wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 00:22
nice! I just got a NIB one off eBay as well - also whites. NIB whites though are still pretty nice! Does yours work well, BTW? I have to hot-swap mine in to actually be able to type on it. Generally, I'll start my PC with like an omnikey plugged in, then once it's booted up I'll unplug the omnikey and plug in the k104. It's very annoying.
Oh does yours also have the Northgate badge? I hadn't seen that anywhere before so I thought I'd post it here.

I only hooked it up once to test using a soarers converter but I didn't notice any issues.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

01 Sep 2019, 00:35

mine doesn't have the badge. I'm pretty jealous of yours! Hahaha. BTW nice to see a fellow Oregonian =) Blazer fan?

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Chyros

01 Sep 2019, 00:38

Very nice find! I love how even THIS one has a part number starting with 555 xD .

cli

01 Sep 2019, 01:26

dss wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 00:08
In fact I'm not sure I could tell the difference between these switches and the Blue Alps in my Northgate 102.

My Northgate 102 is in excellent condition but I suppose its not new like this one.
Think you get some yummy early whites..
wiki/Alps_SKCM_White

Curiously, it appears that the very first white Alps switches retained the dry lubricant and return spring material of blue Alps, indicating that the blue–white transition was not a clean break but itself a series of transitions; here, the older dry-lubricated version is held to be superior.


I have put the switches in a SGI Bigfoot ... it's sounds better than on my Monterey K102 board.

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zrrion

01 Sep 2019, 01:27

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What a coincidence but I also got a nib omnikey recently!

The only thing I'm not liking about it is the print screen key must be tapped twice. I've looked through the manual but I don't see any way to disable that, which is a shame as I would like to remap that key.

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Polecat

01 Sep 2019, 01:41

dss wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 00:08
Check out this keyboard I picked up NIB from ebay recently...

A Monterey K104 with a Northgate (!!) badge.

It has SKCM White Alps and feels really excellent.

In fact I'm not sure I could tell the difference between these switches and the Blue Alps in my Northgate 102.

My Northgate 102 is in excellent condition but I suppose its not new like this one.
Nice! I saw that one listed, very glad it went to someone here. And thanks for the photos; the ones in the ebay listing were pretty bad. The early K104 is a really top notch keyboard.

The paper label matches the ones seen on Northgate models from other vendors, and this supports my previous guess that these labels were added by Northgate once the keyboards were delivered. And that also explains why the manufacturer's serial numbers don't correspond to the ones on the paper labels. I'm not sure what the "555" was about, but Northgate seemed to triple-up the digits on the vendor numbers, at least on the early models. Gen1 have a vendor number of 111, Gen2 was 222, 333, or 777. Some of the internal parts (PC board, etc) on Northgates seem to have numbers beginning with "555", so perhaps that was their designation for "keyboard" or the starting prefix on all their part numbers?

Like the Northgate-branded Liteon/Silitek 0002 I found this was probably supplied with a system rather than being sold separately like the Omnikeys. The "90" in the Monterey serial number is probably the year, 1990. The big (Datacomp) arrow keys means it probably has double shot caps. Your feelings about the early white Alps switches agree with mine; all else being equal I can't tell them from blues.

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Polecat

01 Sep 2019, 01:47

//gainsborough wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 00:22
nice! I just got a NIB one off eBay as well - also whites. NIB whites though are still pretty nice! Does yours work well, BTW? I have to hot-swap mine in to actually be able to type on it. Generally, I'll start my PC with like an omnikey plugged in, then once it's booted up I'll unplug the omnikey and plug in the k104. It's very annoying.
Please share some photos. I just found a NIB K104 also, actually a K104W with windows keys, which I posted in the Gallery a few weeks back.

My old K104 never had any compatibility issues. I used it as native AT/PS/2 and also with a Radio Shack USB dongle and Soarers converter. Which position are you using on the slide switch? It should be in the center for AT. The two side positions are for XT, either normal or with caps lock latching (like a typerwiter).
Last edited by Polecat on 01 Sep 2019, 02:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Polecat

01 Sep 2019, 02:06

zrrion wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 01:27
Image
What a coincidence but I also got a nib omnikey recently!

The only thing I'm not liking about it is the print screen key must be tapped twice. I've looked through the manual but I don't see any way to disable that, which is a shame as I would like to remap that key.
Northgate did the double-press on print screen on purpose, so you didn't accidentally do a screen shot if you bumped it. That was before the OS ignored that key unless you used the shift modifier. Unfortunately I don't know of a way to disable that.

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zrrion

01 Sep 2019, 02:20

Well, that is a shame. I can always map the macros I was wanting to put on print screen/scroll lock/pause onto insert/home/page up and it will work just fine. Still, its weird that there isn't a dip switch to control that behavior (or a jumper or something)

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Polecat

01 Sep 2019, 02:28

zrrion wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 02:20
Well, that is a shame. I can always map the macros I was wanting to put on print screen/scroll lock/pause onto insert/home/page up and it will work just fine. Still, its weird that there isn't a dip switch to control that behavior (or a jumper or something)
Don't know if this helps, but looking at the book they say, "All other functions accessed by this key are performed normally." So you don't have to press twice if you're using Alt-Print Screen or Shift-Print Screen.

cli

01 Sep 2019, 02:41

Ok, I got a turd
Keyboard is NOB, looks gorgeous, was hoping it had Alps switches. Ended up with some mehhh Alps clone switches (Xiang Min MX).
Only Alps is the touchpad.

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zrrion

01 Sep 2019, 03:32

Polecat wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 02:28
Don't know if this helps, but looking at the book they say, "All other functions accessed by this key are performed normally." So you don't have to press twice if you're using Alt-Print Screen or Shift-Print Screen.
I was planning to remap it to F13 and have Ctrl+F13 be a macro (I like macros on F13-F24 since nothing uses those by default) but It is not likely that Ctrl+print will conflict with anything so that might work. I'll have to test that out.

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swampangel

01 Sep 2019, 15:11

zrrion wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 01:27
The only thing I'm not liking about it is the print screen key must be tapped twice. I've looked through the manual but I don't see any way to disable that, which is a shame as I would like to remap that key.
Wow, this had me baffled for a long time, I never even considered it was built into the keyboard and not something weird with my windows install

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Polecat

01 Sep 2019, 17:26

swampangel wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 15:11

Wow, this had me baffled for a long time, I never even considered it was built into the keyboard and not something weird with my windows install
No, it was quite on purpose; they thought they were doing us a favor! I don't remember if the Gen1 (gold label) Northgates had that feature, but the Gen2 and Gen3 versions did. It's been too long for me to remember when it changed, but early versions of MSDOS did a screen dump to the printer with a single press of that key. Later versions used shift-print screen instead, for the same reason Northgate used a double press, to prevent accidental use. You wouldn't think it was such a big deal, but back in the day of daisy wheel and dot matrix printers a page dump could take several minutes.

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Chyros

01 Sep 2019, 18:34

Polecat wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 17:26
swampangel wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 15:11

Wow, this had me baffled for a long time, I never even considered it was built into the keyboard and not something weird with my windows install
No, it was quite on purpose; they thought they were doing us a favor! I don't remember if the Gen1 (gold label) Northgates had that feature, but the Gen2 and Gen3 versions did. It's been too long for me to remember when it changed, but early versions of MSDOS did a screen dump to the printer with a single press of that key. Later versions used shift-print screen instead, for the same reason Northgate used a double press, to prevent accidental use. You wouldn't think it was such a big deal, but back in the day of daisy wheel and dot matrix printers a page dump could take several minutes.
Off the top of my head, gold label ones don't.

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Polecat

02 Sep 2019, 05:39

Chyros wrote:
01 Sep 2019, 18:34

Off the top of my head, gold label ones don't.
Just confirmed that to be correct.

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flowerlandfilms

02 Sep 2019, 07:28

Sometimes you get lucky.
Nabbed my self a drop in replacement for a One Per Desk Australian Telecom machine for $25 AUD.
In the mail as we speak.
s-l1600.jpg
s-l1600.jpg (297.85 KiB) Viewed 692 times
http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/201 ... epair.html

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CountNoctua

02 Sep 2019, 21:43

flowerlandfilms wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 07:28
Sometimes you get lucky.
Nabbed my self a drop in replacement for a One Per Desk Australian Telecom machine for $25 AUD.
In the mail as we speak.
s-l1600.jpg

http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/201 ... epair.html
Gorgeous keycaps!

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flowerlandfilms

03 Sep 2019, 19:25

CountNoctua wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 21:43
flowerlandfilms wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 07:28
Sometimes you get lucky.
Nabbed my self a drop in replacement for a One Per Desk Australian Telecom machine for $25 AUD.
In the mail as we speak.
s-l1600.jpg

http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/201 ... epair.html
Gorgeous keycaps!
Yeh they are something special.
Nice thick Chocolate and Red doubleshots in Alps mount.

SpacemanToby

05 Sep 2019, 14:10

Alps mount? Dang those might be the coolest alps caps I've ever seen.

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Mattr567

06 Sep 2019, 02:32

New build, still a WIP

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flowerlandfilms

06 Sep 2019, 20:06

SpacemanToby wrote:
05 Sep 2019, 14:10
Alps mount? Dang those might be the coolest alps caps I've ever seen.
I also have a set of grey Alps sphericals in a similar style.
These ones just arrived and aren't as bright as the picture so will need a bit of retro brighting i think.

Rauha

11 Sep 2019, 21:04

Received today two sets of Krepublic's new blank PBT Alps keycaps.

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They are the fullest option sets with both ISO and ANSI support and plenty of '3U space bar and split shift' type of options for small children and mentally ill adults.
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Not a huge fan of XDA profile, but still nice to have options for Alps. Especially like the ISO support.
Thickness is decent.
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Being the idot that I am, I did not even think about stabilisers when making the order. It turns out that they have Cherry mounts for (all) stabilisers.

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Also got two Taihao greens in the same order. They are indeed as insane as the 280g weighting implies.

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ppCircle

11 Sep 2019, 22:27

Unitron keyboard with Alps Green switches

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PCB has cherry mount
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(more photos later)

maxpower56

11 Sep 2019, 23:12

Anyone got a source for NOS SKCL Yellow? The old taobao links seem to be out of stock.

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