Unicomp SSK from Ultra Classic, anyone? - Yes!

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Mattr567

14 Dec 2016, 02:52

Damn that looks factory.

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Chyros

14 Dec 2016, 03:40

In all honesty it's the absolute seamlessness of the design that impresses me most of all. I've seen chop jobs before, some pretty cool, like the recent job someone pulled ona Pingmaster, but that break always stared you in the face. I honestly thought the top case on this was factory-made, at first.

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khirin

14 Dec 2016, 04:42

ohaimark wrote:
Chyros wrote: Fuck me, that's amazing! How did you get the seam to disappear so well on the case? =o
I think he filled it with something and painted the case. Could be wrong, though.
Thanks :mrgreen:

OK, I used the 2-ton clear epoxy glue A+B, Alteco brand, on the seams. Then sanded them down with 320-500 grit sandpapers. The rest was with normal spray painting procedure, the primer, flat black and clear top. The whole things were the first time for me, though.

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Parjánya

14 Dec 2016, 05:09

You are a wizard, sir. Now I want two of this :'(.

[Though the keycaps still look meh to me, but replacing them with proper IBM ones, with two parts, should still be possible...?]

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khirin

14 Dec 2016, 05:42

Parjánya wrote: You are a wizard, sir. Now I want two of this :'(.

[Though the keycaps still look meh to me, but replacing them with proper IBM ones, with two parts, should still be possible...?]
:lol:

Definitely possible. Any IBM model F or M keycaps, either one or two parts should be compatible with this. The Unicomp two-tone gray-and-white keycaps, as shown on the Massdrop looks very nice too.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/unicomp-ultra-classic

I just used whatever originally came with the cheap, broken Unicomp I got lately.

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micrex22

14 Dec 2016, 06:43

Parjánya wrote: You are a wizard, sir. Now I want two of this :'(.

[Though the keycaps still look meh to me, but replacing them with proper IBM ones, with two parts, should still be possible...?]
IBM never made the special key caps needed for that 104 layout (because 104 was a Microsoft kludge), so you'll only find 101 keycaps that won't fit between Ctrl and Alt. Unicomp also retired this returning to regular sized Ctrl and Alt keycaps with a shorter spacebar and a very bizarre layout:
Image

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Parjánya

14 Dec 2016, 07:25

That’s exactly what I feared. This new plastic feels so fake : /, even in the case. Why they refuse to make a TKL version (that I suppose would outsell everything) and instead keep doing weird things like that layout, micrex22, even for a short while, is beyond me.

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khirin

14 Dec 2016, 10:11

Yes, I should mention that the keycaps replacement should be ok, except for the main bottom row, where Ctrl, ALT, space, etc. are not the same size as IBM Model M 101. Quality-wise, these 1x1 Unicomp keycaps are still the same two-pieced PBT, just with a different color, and probably made from their worn-out machine.

andrewjoy

14 Dec 2016, 11:08

khirin wrote: Yes, I should mention that the keycaps replacement should be ok, except for the main bottom row, where Ctrl, ALT, space, etc. are not the same size as IBM Model M 101. Quality-wise, these 1x1 Unicomp keycaps are still the same two-pieced PBT, just with a different color, and probably made from their worn-out machine.
Did unicomp not switch back to IBM sized spacebar and Ctl and Alt with 1x1 meta keys ? I know they did on there classic style case but not sure on this type.

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khirin

14 Dec 2016, 14:31

andrewjoy wrote:
Did unicomp not switch back to IBM sized spacebar and Ctl and Alt with 1x1 meta keys ? I know they did on there classic style case but not sure on this type.
I think you are right. Mine looks different from the current Unicomp classic and ultra classic 104 keyboards on their website.

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t!ng
Awake Sheep

14 Dec 2016, 21:24

Nice project, I have a unicomp laying around. Maybe you could tell us how you did it precisely, sir?

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E TwentyNine

14 Dec 2016, 21:59

Nice work.

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micrex22

14 Dec 2016, 22:42

khirin wrote: Yes, I should mention that the keycaps replacement should be ok, except for the main bottom row, where Ctrl, ALT, space, etc. are not the same size as IBM Model M 101. Quality-wise, these 1x1 Unicomp keycaps are still the same two-pieced PBT, just with a different color, and probably made from their worn-out machine.
They've for sure had to create new molds for their shorter spacebars and unique modifiers, but since the modifiers are now discontinued it's anyone's guess.
andrewjoy wrote: Did unicomp not switch back to IBM sized spacebar and Ctl and Alt with 1x1 meta keys ? I know they did on there classic style case but not sure on this type.
They're still using up their shorter spacebar in the existing 104 layout (in conjunction with a terminal left shift to fill the gap on the right side of the spacebar in which would otherwise be a 103). I don't know if this is to use up the last of their short spacebar stock in which they'll ultimately switch to 103... or if they're still making that spacebar if not the modifiers.

I'm sure someone could reach out to clarify.

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khirin

15 Dec 2016, 03:26

t!ng wrote: Nice project, I have a unicomp laying around. Maybe you could tell us how you did it precisely, sir?
I was a long time lurker and have been absorbing information here. I'll try to explain, so this will be useful for others as well.

I'm breaking tasks to be done and will fill in more details later during the next weekend. The order is irrelevant, start with anything you feel more comfortable with, something like:

0. The bolt-modding:

This is the pre-requisite. Any meddling with IBM or Unicomp Model M internal, must deal with this step. An excellent source is here, workshop-f7/ibm-model-m-screw-nut-and-b ... t9169.html

1. The cutting:
I used the Dremel rotary tool with cutting bit for the curved steel backplate, and a lightweight Jigsaw for all the plastic pieces. Then, sanded the rough edges with 100 grit sandpaper. After that, 2-ton epoxy glue seemed to do the magic.

2. The painting:
Nothing special, just three basic steps for spray painting, apply primer, apply the spray paint, and then apply the fingerprint resistant clear coat.

3. The wiring:
The Model M uses an 8x16 matrix, 8 rows and 16 columns for the max possible of 8x16=128 keys. However, since the keyboard controller connecting the membrane for this Unicomp is located on the right side over the numpad, cutting the numpad means there will be no membrane connectors. There are 24 lines, 16 for columns and 8 for rows that need to be intercepted somewhere on the membrane. I use copper tape to reroute the membrane circuit out to its new controller as seen in some of my pictures.

4. The controlling:
I actually started with this step. I have been making converter and controller using AVR controller, atmega32u4 in particular for years. Teensy 2.0 is always a preferred choice and easiest to programming with. For me, an Arduino Micro is just as good and a bit cheaper. Anything with atmega32u4 chip with enough i/o pins (24 port pins in total) should work. Beware that the Sparkfun Pro Micro, being the cheapest atmega32u4, doesn't have enough i/o pin for Model M, though.
Arduino Micro Pinout.png
Arduino Micro Pinout, notice the i/o pin names, pc7, pb1,pb3, etc.
Arduino Micro Pinout.png (365.57 KiB) Viewed 615 times
For the firmware. I'm a big fan of Soarer. So, my Unicomp SSK has Soarer's controller under its hood. Please see details here: workshop-f7/soarer-s-keyboard-controlle ... t6767.html

And here is my Unicomp SSK config file for the Soarer's Controller:
The i/o pin names correspond to the pinout diagram above.

Code: Select all

# Unicomp Full -> SSK 
# - 8 row by 16 column
# - strobe the rows and sense the columns
# by Khirin 12/2016
# https://deskthority.net/keyboards-f2/unicomp-ssk-from-ultra-classic-anyone-t15238.html


matrix
    scanrate 1
    debounce 5
    blocking 1

                    #0          #1          #2          #3          #4          #5          #6          #7
                    #8          #9          #A          #B          #C          #D          #E          #F
                    
    sense           PB2         PB0         PD3         PD2         PD1         PD0         PB1         PB3     
#0
    strobe  PD4     Q           ESC         BACK_QUOTE  TAB         1           A           UNASSIGNED  Z
    strobe  PC6     LCTRL       UNASSIGNED  APP         CAPS_LOCK   UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  RCTRL
#1
    strobe  PD7     UNASSIGNED  INSERT      F4          UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  LALT        RALT        UNASSIGNED
    strobe  PE6     UNASSIGNED  F3          UNASSIGNED  DELETE      UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED
#2
    strobe  PB4     F           4           5           T           R           G           V           B
    strobe  PB5     2           F1          F2          PAGE_DOWN   PAGE_UP     W           S           X
#3
    strobe  PB6     H           6           7           U           Y           J           N           M
    strobe  PB7     K           3           8           E           I           D           C           COMMA
#4
    strobe  PD6     RIGHT_BRACE F5          F6          BACKSPACE   EQUAL       BACKSLASH   LEFT        ENTER
    strobe  PF0     LSHIFT      PAUSE       UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  RSHIFT
#5
    strobe  PF1     UNASSIGNED  SCROLL_LOCK UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  LGUI        UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED
    strobe  PF4     UNASSIGNED  RIGHT       SPACE       RGUI        UP          UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED
#6
    strobe  PF5     UNASSIGNED  PRINTSCREEN UNASSIGNED  HOME        UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED
    strobe  PF6     UNASSIGNED  F11         F12         END         UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED  UNASSIGNED
#7
    strobe  PF7     SEMICOLON   F9          F10         DOWN        0           QUOTE       SLASH       P
    strobe  PC7     O           F7          F8          MINUS       9           LEFT_BRACE  L           PERIOD
  
end


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