Model F Prices

User avatar
lhutton

15 Mar 2019, 01:52

So, lately I've been watching a number of eBay auctions for Model F ATs to get a feel for what they cost. I'm very familiar with restoring and repairing Model Ms at this point but the last time I saw a working Model F was in the early-to-mid-90s on a hand-me-down AT our family was given. Sadly I don't have that computer or keyboard anymore. With that in mind I'd like to find one in pretty good to needs just a little work condition as opposed to where I usually pick up Model Ms (dead, dying or for parts) for restoration.

It seems getting one for under $200 is rare as hen's teeth (I'm in America for reference, where we use dollars and other silly units). I also keep an eye on our local recycler but the few interesting things I've found there had been left out in the rain. :-/ I'm keeping my eye open on IBM keyboards in general in case one gets listed on an action by someone who doesn't know what it is. Long story short: what's a "let's not get ripped off here" price for an F AT these days?

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fohat
Elder Messenger

15 Mar 2019, 02:01

They go up and down, but if you find a decent working one under $200 you should consider yourself lucky.

For years you could hardly give an XT away, it has only been in the last 3-4 years that XT prices have climbed out of the $35 range.

Without data to back it up, I feel that ATs are at least an order of magnitude more rare than XTs, and at least an order of magnitude more desirable. AT prices have typically been around 3X prices of XT, and I think that is probably too low.

But that is only my opinion, and I am clearly prejudiced against the XT and for the AT, and probably because layout is far more important to me than it is to most other people.

User avatar
SneakyRobb

15 Mar 2019, 19:15

fohat wrote:
15 Mar 2019, 02:01
They go up and down, but if you find a decent working one under $200 you should consider yourself lucky.

For years you could hardly give an XT away, it has only been in the last 3-4 years that XT prices have climbed out of the $35 range.

Without data to back it up, I feel that ATs are at least an order of magnitude more rare than XTs, and at least an order of magnitude more desirable. AT prices have typically been around 3X prices of XT, and I think that is probably too low.

But that is only my opinion, and I am clearly prejudiced against the XT and for the AT, and probably because layout is far more important to me than it is to most other people.
If I recall and this is from memory

The IBM PC AT sold something like 100,000 units total.

The IBM Personal Computer (XT) sold something like 3 million units total

Edit:
Although I did find this infographic...

http://minuszerodegrees.net/images4/PC% ... 0MAR87.jpg

Regardless there were a lot more xts made than ats, something like 6 XT keyboards for every 1 AT keyboard

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

15 Mar 2019, 19:30

SneakyRobb wrote:
15 Mar 2019, 19:15

100,000 units total.
3 million units total
That looks like a 30:1 ratio to me.

Also, the majority of AT were probably sold with Model M keyboards.

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

15 Mar 2019, 19:52

Wow that's incredible. I always figured they were harder to come by since the layout is much more desirable. I guess it turns out the scarcity plus layout difference accounts for their rarity.

But yes, if you find one a hen's tooth for $200, definitely buy it. Wish I had one myself to sell you.

User avatar
SneakyRobb

15 Mar 2019, 20:05

snacksthecat wrote:
15 Mar 2019, 19:52
Wow that's incredible. I always figured they were harder to come by since the layout is much more desirable. I guess it turns out the scarcity plus layout difference accounts for their rarity.

But yes, if you find one a hen's tooth for $200, definitely buy it. Wish I had one myself to sell you.
That would be a good price yes. My numbers were from memory and not the best.

I do have that infographic but it is not detailed and we don't know where they get their numbers
Regardless they are contemporaneous.

Fohat makes a good point saying that the Computer PC AT shipped with Model M keyboards after a certain point. In something like April 1986 they started sending them with the 101-key keyboard.

So with the infographic if we think its truthful, they made about 950k PC ATs with Model FAT and Model M keyboards in some proportion. The PS/2 is related to the AT protocol of course which is why you can use the FAT on a modern pc with a at/ps2/usb thing.

So we can't say for certain how many Keyboards of the AT type were made, but it is a number that is significantly less than multiple million XTs

Edit: So for basically something of 7 million ibm PCs of which something like 5.5 million of them were with the XT Keyboard. The IBM PC predates the XT, but the keyboard is the same so we get to add the numbers. The PC AT had 950k units sold total. But for keyboards some amount were FAT and then the FAT was replaced with Model M, the earliest reference I have to this is November 1985. It was a bit longer than a year into the PC AT sales before one could use the Model M with it. Official full support was in April 1986.

So its ~5.5 million XT, vs some percentage of ~950k. If we assume half of the PC AT shipped with model Ms, which might seem likely as by 1985 the entire range of IBM PC sales slumped heavily, there are conservatively at least 10 XT keyboards for every AT keyboard and high end something like 20 XT keyboards for every AT keyboard

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