[Restoration] IBM 4704 F77 FINISHED

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 04:22

Hello everyone, my name is Carlos and I'm new in this amazing forum.
I want to show you my new find and of course, ask for advices.

The keyboard is an IBM 4704 F77, I got it from a Bank that threw all the IBM stuff to the street. I only got this keyboard.

Image

Gallery of photos: https://imgur.com/gallery/dizvviC

I was searching in the web and in this forum and I found that I can use an Arduino Pro Micro with the Hosu's firmware to make this keyboard work with usb interface.

Questions:
1) Is my idea of using an Arduino Pro Micro a good idea? In my country I can't get the teensy. And in the past, I made with the soarer's firmware a conversion to an IBM Bigfoot with an Arduino Pro Micro and the result was sucessful.

2) How rarer this keyboard is?

3) Can I get the buzzer work?

Regards

EDIT1:

I finished the keyboard's restoration, all the keys work well, but I have one problem to solve.
First, I show you the keyboard:

Image

Image

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The problem is about the solenoid, when I connect the keyboard to the computer I hear a beep, but when I hit a key I don't hear anything. I tried to move the potentiometer to adjust the "volume" but nothing happens. I did a research, and I found that the Arduino must send a command to the controller in order to produce the beep when I hit a key.

Once the keyboard is completely finished I'll create a guide and a video.

EDIT2:

DB-9 to USB adapter created!

Image

Now I can use the amazing original cable and the buzzer works!

Thanks!
Last edited by karlmartin95 on 21 Jul 2019, 01:12, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
User101

08 Jul 2019, 04:34

You can use xwhatsit to replace the controller, or common sense, pro micro works too.

Congrats you just found one of the rarest keyboard IBM made.

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

08 Jul 2019, 04:37

Holy.... dude this is absolutely amazing. It's astounding how good of a condition the innards look, too. The foam looks pretty good and the barrel plate looks cleaner than most IBM ATs! This is a legendary item drop in MMO terms - the rarest of the rare! Awesome find, dude!!!

Regarding your first question, you might be better off going with an Xwhatsit, though I honestly don't have much of an idea when it comes to converting model Fs. I assume, though, if you got away with using the soarer's firmware for the bigfoot that it would also work here.

Congratulations! And welcome to DT!

User avatar
depletedvespene

08 Jul 2019, 04:39

That inner plate looks better than I'd have expected. Seems you do have scored not just BIG, but BIG.

Getting replacement keycaps won't be difficult (except that one 1.5U stepped Ctrl key - ask Cindy!). I look forward to see this cleaned up and put into usage.

User avatar
subcat

08 Jul 2019, 04:40

Congrats, that's a really insane find!

As far as other 4704s and the unsaver go, the rarity should look something like this.

1 - F77 (4 units now)
2 - F62 (~50 units, most of which came from tinnie's 2012 haul from China)
3 - F104/Unsaver
4 - F50
5 - F107

I believe this is the first one to be found in 4 years or so, maybe more?. All the best for the restoration :)

User avatar
depletedvespene

08 Jul 2019, 04:54

Also, don't confuse the F50 with the M50 (which is the one you got, as seen on your other post). F50 units are rare, while M50 pads are not unrare (but not common, either).

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 04:55

depletedvespene wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 04:54
Also, don't confuse the F50 with the M50 (which is the one you got, as seen on your other post). F50 units are rare, while M50 pads are not unrare (but not common, either).
Alright, thank you!

Rezene

08 Jul 2019, 05:17

That is a crazy find. My favorite model f layout and layout in general. I don't mind dropping the F keys but having a nav cluster or numpad on the right is great without taking up much space. Reminds me of a tkl at layout or something even if that makes no sense

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

08 Jul 2019, 06:23

Wow, what are the chances. Awesome find, looks like you have a pretty good start with the cleaning of the plate.

Hopefully all the internals work properly! (chances are they will)

User avatar
Bass

08 Jul 2019, 06:58

Congrats on the find!

Curious if you just happened to find it on the street randomly while walking by the bank or if you just asked them first. I am a firm believer that it generally never hurts to ask when it comes to searching for relics like these, but I do remember several banks literally laughing me out the door when I asked them about 4704 keyboards a year ago :lol: .

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 07:45

Bass wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 06:58
Congrats on the find!

Curious if you just happened to find it on the street randomly while walking by the bank or if you just asked them first. I am a firm believer that it generally never hurts to ask when it comes to searching for relics like these, but I do remember several banks literally laughing me out the door when I asked them about 4704 keyboards a year ago :lol: .
Yes, banks here often threw all of the old computers to the street. "Banco Provincia" was the bank that threw this keyboard among other IBM stuff to the street.

User avatar
yuchipashe

08 Jul 2019, 07:55

Bass wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 06:58
Curious if you just happened to find it on the street randomly while walking by the bank or if you just asked them first. I am a firm believer that it generally never hurts to ask when it comes to searching for relics like these, but I do remember several banks literally laughing me out the door when I asked them about 4704 keyboards a year ago :lol: .
I was told by someone who hunts keyboards to just email as much banks, airports, and government facilities in your area as you can, and just hope that someone replies. He got a couple of keyboards that way.

A friend of mine had to go to a government office beside a church to take a piss, and found a couple of people in the building still using the old IBM monochrome display computers with the Model F. You don't know, maybe an office somewhere is trying to throw away a whole office of Model Fs just lying around in their stock room.

User avatar
yuchipashe

08 Jul 2019, 07:59

karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 07:45
Yes, banks here often threw all of the old computers to the street. "Banco Provincia" was the bank that threw this keyboard among other IBM stuff to the street.
Congrats on the find man, crazy how they just dump it out on the streets. I would assume it's cheaper to just throw it out the door than spend the effort bringing it to the junk shop. What other IBM stuff did they dump on the streets btw?

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 08:02

yuchipashe wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 07:59
karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 07:45
Yes, banks here often threw all of the old computers to the street. "Banco Provincia" was the bank that threw this keyboard among other IBM stuff to the street.
Congrats on the find man, crazy how they just dump it out on the streets. I would assume it's cheaper to just throw it out the door than spend the effort bringing it to the junk shop. What other IBM stuff did they dump on the streets btw?
Good idea, I'll contact to the banks in my area. Perhaps I could find another thing. If I have the luck of find another F77, how much could it cost?
Nothing more, all of the good things was gone when I went to the bank.

User avatar
Chyros

08 Jul 2019, 08:03

Haha holy shit, an F77! xD

How many of these are still known to be around now? Three or something, this one included? xD

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 08:11

Chyros wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:03
Haha holy shit, an F77! xD

How many of these are still known to be around now? Three or something, this one included? xD
Sorry, I'm new in this forum, I like the people here and all the tutorials that people made. But I can't understand if it's a joke or what, this is the fifth time that I hear in this forum that this is the fourth o third F77 known.

How is that possible? Did IBM produce less units of the F77 than the others, or all of the F77 was destroyed for some reason?

User avatar
yuchipashe

08 Jul 2019, 08:13

karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:02
Good idea, I'll contact to the banks in my area. Perhaps I could find another thing. If I have the luck of find another F77, how much could it cost?
Nothing more, all of the good things was gone when I went to the bank.
You should, hopefully you find others and save them from the landfill. To think that this was the one left out from the other good things, makes you wonder what other vintage IBM keyboards and computers you just missed, or lying around in a junk shop. Try asking any junk shops near your place, maybe someone brought the rest of the goods for some quick cash
Chyros wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:03
Haha holy shit, an F77! xD

How many of these are still known to be around now? Three or something, this one included? xD
4, for now. Hopefully more would pop out haha

User avatar
subcat

08 Jul 2019, 08:15

lots of them were destroyed because banks often go overboard when it comes to dealing with sensitive information. obviously no customer data is going to be stored on the keyboards, but that doesn't stop them from being shredded just to be safe.

User avatar
Scarpia

08 Jul 2019, 08:22

Wow, amazing find - congrats and welcome to DT!
As others have pointed out, the F77 is exceedingly rare, and while Ellipses recreation ‘only’ costs around USD 380, an original in any salvageable condition should easily fetch north of USD 1000, and could certainly go for USD 2000+ at auction on a good day. Perhaps much more.

It’s actually so rare that we don’t have a good way to estimate the value.

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

08 Jul 2019, 08:39

My hunch is more than 2k - and in fact, I expect Karl will be getting, if he hasn't already, PMs with offers for it, hahaha.

User avatar
Chyros

08 Jul 2019, 08:45

karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:11
Chyros wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:03
Haha holy shit, an F77! xD

How many of these are still known to be around now? Three or something, this one included? xD
Sorry, I'm new in this forum, I like the people here and all the tutorials that people made. But I can't understand if it's a joke or what, this is the fifth time that I hear in this forum that this is the fourth o third F77 known.

How is that possible? Did IBM produce less units of the F77 than the others, or all of the F77 was destroyed for some reason?
Not a joke at all, you just happened upon one of the rarest - and most desirable - keyboards ever made xD . I've seen some crazy finds man, but this one as a first.... xD

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 08:47

//gainsborough wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:39
My hunch is more than 2k - and in fact, I expect Karl will be getting, if he hasn't already, PMs with offers for it, hahaha.
If I get another F77 for sure It'll go for sale of for trade. I'll search in my country!

User avatar
User101

08 Jul 2019, 11:51

karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:47
//gainsborough wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:39
My hunch is more than 2k - and in fact, I expect Karl will be getting, if he hasn't already, PMs with offers for it, hahaha.
If I get another F77 for sure It'll go for sale of for trade. I'll search in my country!
If you put one on sale expect TONS OF money lol. Great find.

User avatar
Dingster

08 Jul 2019, 12:43

Welcome to the forum, what an amazing find man. Wish you the best of luck with the restoration of this thing :)

User avatar
depletedvespene

08 Jul 2019, 13:00

User101 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 11:51
karlmartin95 wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:47
//gainsborough wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 08:39
My hunch is more than 2k - and in fact, I expect Karl will be getting, if he hasn't already, PMs with offers for it, hahaha.
If I get another F77 for sure It'll go for sale of for trade. I'll search in my country!
If you put one on sale expect TONS OF money lol. Great find.
The only thing it's missing is the APL keycap set. :mrgreen:

(but I'd pay serious money to see the hilarity a banking system made with APL would cause! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: )

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

08 Jul 2019, 13:06

Very nice keyboard, congrats.

User avatar
Wazrach

08 Jul 2019, 13:16

I don't know if you just want to convert it completely to USB, but I don't see why you can't use Hasu's external converter for 4704 keyboards and keep that amazing cable!

User avatar
darkcruix

08 Jul 2019, 15:36

Amazing find !!!! Keep us posted on the journey to restore this fine keyboard.

User avatar
depletedvespene

08 Jul 2019, 15:45

Wazrach wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 13:16
I don't know if you just want to convert it completely to USB, but I don't see why you can't use Hasu's external converter for 4704 keyboards and keep that amazing cable!
Correct me if I'm wrong here: the adapter for the Pingmaster is also good for the F62, F77 and F107 keyboards, right?

User avatar
karlmartin95

08 Jul 2019, 16:08

darkcruix wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 15:36
Amazing find !!!! Keep us posted on the journey to restore this fine keyboard.
Yes for sure. When I finish the restoration I'll modified this topic with a tutorial of how to make this thing work on modern pcs. I'll not sand the keyboard, I prefer to preserve its original paint.

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