Olympia People Microcomputer keyboard

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Mar 2016, 22:55

This is the keyboard for the Olympia People microcomputer system. The keyboard was built for Olympia by Fujitsu. I cannot find a date on the PCB, the Olympia People Microcomputer was sold in the mid 1980's.
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The layout is interesting with the arrow keys way on the right by the num block, the keyboard having one CTRL key and two vertical return keys, tiny backspace and DEL. "ß" and "_" got mixed up in this picture! :oops: Sorry. I'm not sure what the "3/2" key above CTRL is for. Anyone know?
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The case consists of two parts both made of sturdy metal. The PCB is screwed to the top part of the case at six points. The Fujitsu Leaf Spring switches are PCB mounted, these are the linear 1st generation variant.
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On my very relative smoothness vintage switch scale these Fujitsu Leaf Spring 1st gen. switch comes in third after Micro Switch and Honeywell Hall Effect.
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The sliders have the same crazy sharp metal bit sticking out the top like on my other vinatge Fujitsu Leaf Spring keyboard. The base of the switch also reads "F". The LED switches and the spacebar have the adapters on top of the slider.
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Also worth mentioning is that these switches have very little "wobble", they mount very firmly on the stem, not sure if that little sharp metal bit on top of the slider adds to that
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The spherical double-shots have the Fujitsu typical inserts on the back, these are thick and quite yellowed.
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In fear of breaking a cap I will not attempt to take off the plastic inserts on the back of the keycaps but I think these parts do come off.
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The spacebar is stabilized by two plastic inserts and a metal bar which is clipped onto the PCB.
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Here is my other vintage Fujitsu keyboard with the same switch but the clicky varaint which looks exactly the same:

wiki/Fujitsu_Limited_N860-6116-T011_03A

Here are some info's on the Olympia People Microcomputer Sytem:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/ ... ia-People/

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Chyros

08 Mar 2016, 23:01

Very nice pictures, awesome board! Is this the one with the red grounding sticker on it that I thought was magnetic reed?

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Mar 2016, 23:06

Thanks, no I think you mean another keyboard but I'm not sure? There is a small red sticker on the PCB plate though, I'm not sure if we mean the same sticker? Let me get a pic...
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That little sticker in the top right corner? It's some strange Japanese hand symbol, I don't think that's the one you mean.

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Halvar

08 Mar 2016, 23:38

It means "ground your hand (finger) when touching these parts", so Chyros probably does mean this.

Interesting board, and great pictures again, Seebart!

So most of the key caps are in fact double shot after all! The state of the (obviously not doubleshot) right hand "RETURN" key was something that kept me from bidding on this because it looked suspiciously like a crappy board.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

08 Mar 2016, 23:49

Thanks Halvar, my picture showing the bottom of the keycaps, the middle keycap is the faded "return" key! The keycaps for the LED switches and the spacebar do not have the insert as they are mounted on that "adapter" that's already sitting on the keycap.

This is what all the keycaps are like except for the two LED caps and the spacebar. The black insert sits at an angle in the keycap BTW as you can see in my second picture here:
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Chyros

09 Mar 2016, 00:10

Yes, that's the symbol I meant. The wiki mentions that only Fujitsu magnetic reed boards have this symbol, so that should probably updated. It probably doesn't extend past 1st gen leaf spring, though.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 00:14

OK, I will update that then. Unfortunately I have yet to try Fujitsu magnetic reed, but my other Fujitsu keyboard that I linked has that same "ground your hand (finger) when touching these parts" sticker. Have we ever had a Fujitsu magnetic reed keyboard here? HaaTa probably owns one. Well at least we have it in our wiki:

wiki/Fujitsu_Magnetic_Reed

jacobolus

09 Mar 2016, 01:42

seebart wrote: On my very relative smoothness vintage switch scale these Fujitsu Leaf Spring 1st gen. switch comes in third after Micro Switch and Honeywell Hall Effect.
Um, “Micro Switch” and “Honeywell” hall effect switches are the same. Micro Switch was/is a division of Honeywell.

Anyway, awesome keyboard. Love those thick Fujitsu keycaps.

User avatar
Invisius

09 Mar 2016, 04:01

Great looking board, the simple case design really suits the caps. What kind of connector does it use?

My third gen tactile board doesn't have the sticker, so I think you guys may be right about that being a first-gen deal. Also have a magnetic reed board (Sony OA-S3300) but have yet to tear into it.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 14:11

jacobolus wrote:
seebart wrote: On my very relative smoothness vintage switch scale these Fujitsu Leaf Spring 1st gen. switch comes in third after Micro Switch and Honeywell Hall Effect.
Um, “Micro Switch” and “Honeywell” hall effect switches are the same. Micro Switch was/is a division of Honeywell.
I'm sorry they are not the same at all as you can see here, the components don't even look the same. The only aspect they share is that Micro Switch was/is a division of Honeywell. I'm pretty sure that aspects of Micro Switch keyboards were later implemented into Honeywell keyboards.

keyboards-f2/micro-switch-sw-10591-t943 ... o%20switch

keyboards-f2/micro-switch-custom-t11720 ... o%20switch

Invisius wrote: Great looking board, the simple case design really suits the caps. What kind of connector does it use?

My third gen tactile board doesn't have the sticker, so I think you guys may be right about that being a first-gen deal. Also have a magnetic reed board (Sony OA-S3300) but have yet to tear into it.
Unfortunately the cable was cut on mine, I do have a picture of another one here with a connector. I'd love to see that Sony OA-S3300 of yours.
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jacobolus

09 Mar 2016, 19:48

jacobolus wrote: Um, “Micro Switch” and “Honeywell” hall effect switches are the same. Micro Switch was/is a division of Honeywell.
seebart wrote: I'm sorry they are not the same at all as you can see here, the components don't even look the same. The only aspect they share is that Micro Switch was/is a division of Honeywell. I'm pretty sure that aspects of Micro Switch keyboards were later implemented into Honeywell keyboards.
keyboards-f2/micro-switch-sw-10591-t9434.html
keyboards-f2/micro-switch-custom-t11720.html
Both of those keyboards were made by the same company. If you look again, they both have “Micro Switch” written all over them. Micro Switch was originally an independent company, but was bought by Honeywell in 1950, well before hall effect keyboards were made (~1968–??).

There may be two different types of Micro Switch (a division of Honeywell) hall effect switches (actually, there are several variants; to quote the Deskthority wiki, “there are 26 confirmed variants of the switch, probably more unknown variants exist.”). Labeling one type “Honeywell” and another type “Micro Switch” is nonsensical and extremely confusing though.

Anyway, sorry to drag your thread off topic. :-)

User avatar
Chyros

09 Mar 2016, 20:41

"Micro Switch Hall effect" is a community-chosen name for these switches to contrast with "Honeywell Hall effect", even though they were made by the same company. Honeywell had acquired Micro Switch way before the started making these switches so technically the distinction is rather irrelevant and arguably misleading. There's no chronology involved either as the Micro Switch ones started earlier and ended later than the Honeywell ones; they completely engulf the Honeywell timeline, so they're neither older nor newer in a way.

I don't use it, myself. I refer to them as "Honeywell Hall effect" and "Honeywell dual-magnet Hall effect", which is much more informative and not misleading.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 21:13

Yes Chyros I agree but simply saying both are exactly the same is simply wrong. They are similair yes but not the same, the construction of the keyboards is not the same at all. I'm sure you have seen my "Honeywell dual-magnet Hall effect" thread and other threads. And yes jacobolus you are right in that the name "Micro Switch Hall effect" is slightly problematic in that way, possibly it should be called "Honeywell dual-magnet Hall effect", I'm not sure because "dual-magnet Hall effect" might also just be an "applied" name. Now I would be very interested in the timeline, I don't have the specific years here. Also interesting that many of these keyboards that I have seen have Micro Switch labels on them, not Honeywell labels. Anyway I'm sure you all agree with me that these two in question are not the same switch:
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Alright let's get this name problem out of the way. We all agree that this is essentially one company: Honeywell. But we also agree that these keyboards have Micro Switch labels on them. So what are we going to call these? Chyros, jacobolus I'd like some feedback on this please. I need to ask some other people also so that I can change the entry in the wiki.

Look how Honeywell labels their own documentation on this:
Honeywell • MICRO SWITCH Sensing and Control
From the PDF "HALL EFFECT SENSING AND APPLICATION":

http://sensing.honeywell.com/honeywell- ... 5-2-en.pdf

More from that PDF:
With the advent of semiconducting materials in the 1950s, the Hall effect found its first applications. However, these were severely limited by cost. In 1965, Everett Vorthmann and Joe Maupin, MICRO SWITCH Sensing and Control senior development engineers, teamed up to find a practical, low-cost solid state sensor. Many different concepts were examined, but they chose the Hall effect for one basic reason: it could be entirely integrated on a single silicon chip. This breakthrough resulted in the first low-cost, high-volume application of the Hall effect, truly solid state keyboards. MICRO SWITCHSensing and Control has produced and delivered nearly a billion Hall effect devices in keyboards and sensor products.
Last edited by seebart on 09 Mar 2016, 21:47, edited 2 times in total.

Slom

09 Mar 2016, 21:40

How about cage and plate mounted :D

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 21:49

Yeah good one, I actually called those metal leafs a cage once which is wrong also. This construction is open, a cage would be closed.
Chyros wrote: "Micro Switch Hall effect" is a community-chosen name for these switches to contrast with "Honeywell Hall effect"
Actually "Honeywell Hall effect" may also be a community-chosen name. If you google it our wiki is the only time it shows up that way! The other hit is some video... :mrgreen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37tdDoC7rGA
Last edited by seebart on 09 Mar 2016, 22:01, edited 1 time in total.

jacobolus

09 Mar 2016, 21:55

All of these switches and keyboards were made by the Micro Switch division. I haven’t ever seen one that didn’t have “Micro Switch” written on it.

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Halvar

09 Mar 2016, 22:03

Exactly. Some of them were used in Honeywell branded terminals for example, but the keyboards are still Micro Switch.

We should search literature first for how the two switch families should be called. There's too much baptizing of old things going on in this forum for my taste.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 22:04

jacobolus wrote: All of these switches and keyboards were made by the Micro Switch division. I haven’t ever seen one that didn’t have “Micro Switch” written on it.
Yes exactly jacobolus! Yet we call it Honeywell Hall Effect because the parent company is called that? So what do we do? Leave it the way it is or change the name? Having both is not a good idea in my opinion.
Halvar wrote: Exactly. Some of them were used in Honeywell branded terminals for example, but the keyboards are still Micro Switch.

We should search literature first for how the two switch families should be called. There's too much baptizing of old things going on in this forum for my taste.
Yes I agree Halvar! But we must eventually agree on a name.
Last edited by seebart on 09 Mar 2016, 22:06, edited 1 time in total.

jacobolus

09 Mar 2016, 22:06

HaaTa says he called them “Honeywell hall effect” because “Micro Switch” would be confusing, since they’re not microswitches (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature ... ion_switch ).

If you want to distinguish these two types of Micro Switch / Honeywell hall effect switches, you need to pick a different pair of names. Maybe you could find some official part numbers for the switches?

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 22:09

jacobolus wrote: HaaTa says he called them “Honeywell hall effect” because “Micro Switch” would be confusing, since they’re not microswitches (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature ... ion_switch).
Right, I don't happen to agree with that but that is an argument. I believe we should go with the name on the label of the keyboard even if the parent company has a different name. The way I understood this is that Micro Switch was a division of Honeywell. This branch / division built those keyboards!
jacobolus wrote: If you want to distinguish these two types of Micro Switch / Honeywell hall effect switches, you need to pick a different pair of names. Maybe you could find some official part numbers for the switches?
Yes sure I can do that. I still find it odd that we call these keyboards Honeywell...when they were manufactured by a daughter company with a different name.

jacobolus

09 Mar 2016, 22:18

It really doesn’t matter whether you call them “Micro Switch” or “Honeywell”. Either way, the company is unambiguous. I wouldn’t worry about that.

The part you should care about is picking names for the different types of switches. If you are going to establish some convention, you should probably try to find out what all the known Micro Switch hall effect switches are, and make sure that your naming scheme accommodates all of them.

You might try asking HaaTa or Dorkvader or other Deskthority members for examples or other information.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

09 Mar 2016, 22:23

That's going to be very difficult and lengthy since we are talking about quite old and rare hardware with a very limited amount of information available. I could just ask Honeywell, I doubt they will provide us with information. In this case I won't change anything.

Here is some background information:

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company- ... c-history/

http://www.hon-area.org/history.html
In 1955 a development in ’s Solid State Research Center in Minneapolis led to the development of “Hall” micro switch components, named after the phenomena known as the Hall Effect. Researchers discovered that when an integrated circuit chip was moved through a magnetic field (or vice versa), a minute electrical current would be generated. This development led to the introduction of keyboard pushbutton units for the first IBM? computers, technology predecessor to the keyboards we use today.

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Chyros

10 Mar 2016, 00:34

seebart wrote: Yes Chyros I agree but simply saying both are exactly the same is simply wrong.
I'm not saying that, I konw they're two quite different switches. But one of the main distinguishing characteristics from an engineering perspective is that one has one magnet, and the other has two. Hence why "Honeywell Hall effect" and "Honeywell dual magnet Hall effect". I agree with Haata that I'd avoid using Micro Switch in the name as they're not snap-action microswitches, which is confusing.

terrycherry

10 Mar 2016, 03:32

Good to see this keyboard have the 1st gen. Thanks for this information here.

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Halvar

10 Mar 2016, 10:17

seebart wrote:
In 1955 a development in ’s Solid State Research Center in Minneapolis led to the development of “Hall” micro switch components, named after the phenomena known as the Hall Effect. Researchers discovered that when an integrated circuit chip was moved through a magnetic field (or vice versa), a minute electrical current would be generated. This development led to the introduction of keyboard pushbutton units for the first IBM? computers, technology predecessor to the keyboards we use today.
Thanks for posting that. Seebart -- that's actually a different understanding of the effect used in a Hall switch than the one I had up until now. I'll have to read up on that again and look at the photos in the wiki. So far, I thought that the effect was that the magnet is near an electrical current in one position of the switch (which leads to a voltage perpendicular to the current) and far from it in the other position of the switch. If it's true that the actual moving of the magnet while pressing down or releasing the switch induces a short current that is detected and used, that's pretty different, but more consistent with how some of the switches behave electrically according to XMIT. That also would mean that it matters how fast the switch is pressed down, which seems strange.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

10 Mar 2016, 12:25

I'm not sure Halvar, I do still understand the hall effect the same way we have sofar. That quote describes an early part of the development process. The real problem I have is that we are possibly naming technical parts and describing technical processes wrong or partially wrong in our wiki since we do not have the full information and cannot verify. A lot of the data we have on many switches and keyboards is very clear and correct that is certain. I have not read through the entire 126 pages of the HALL EFFECT SENSING AND APPLICATION PDF.

http://sensing.honeywell.com/honeywell- ... 5-2-en.pdf

jacobolus

10 Mar 2016, 21:22

Anyone interested should definitely read the Honeywell whitepaper seebart linked in this thread. It’s very clearly written and accessible.

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Mr.Nobody

14 May 2017, 02:34

People computer, East Germany, Communism, as a Chinese I am really familiar with the tone, people's bank, people' s news paper, people's hospital...

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

13 Aug 2017, 09:47

Mr.Nobody wrote: People computer, East Germany, Communism, as a Chinese I am really familiar with the tone, people's bank, people' s news paper, people's hospital...
This keyboard has nothing to do with east Germany, but I get what you mean.

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