Converting IBM 4980 Model F Battleship

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Wazrach

10 Jul 2019, 21:18

I bought this off Ebay, thinking it would be a strange F-122 with funny legends, but as Myoth pointed out, it's actually a very rare keyboard for the 4980 terminal - part number 4178208. Pictures: https://postimg.cc/gallery/xc931rkw/

The keyboard has only one stabiliser, and that's under the spacebar. It has plenty of weird keys, including a split right shift and relegendable keycaps on the numpad. The keyboard is very clean and appears to have seen little use. Strangely, some of the keycaps with thick, bold legends are mixed with keycaps with thinner, misaligned legends from another keyboard. There's also two B keys.

Sadly, the keyboard does not work with my Set 3 F122/M122 Orihalcon converter. How would I find out what protocol this keyboard speaks and how would I convert it? I really want to keep the cable.

Typing demo: https://youtu.be/TSBpUltuNIY
Last edited by Wazrach on 11 Jul 2019, 12:20, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Myoth

10 Jul 2019, 21:23

that's not a 4704 F122, that's a wiki/IBM_Model_F#IBM_4980_Keyboard

I've seen another one in the wild, so they are pretty rare
Spoiler:
photo_2017-10-08_16-25-12.jpg
photo_2017-10-08_16-25-12.jpg (99.17 KiB) Viewed 1044 times
please take more pictures of it since none has been documented

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Wazrach

10 Jul 2019, 21:47

I'll update the wiki with some pictures.

I wonder what protocol this thing speaks then.

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depletedvespene

10 Jul 2019, 22:01

When it comes to IBM Model F/M keys, that short right Shift with outer 0.25 step must probably be the rarest key of all, printed or otherwise.

GOOD FIND! (on the entire F127, not just that one keycap)

User avatar
Wazrach

10 Jul 2019, 22:02

depletedvespene wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:01
When it comes to IBM Model F/M keys, that short right Shift with outer 0.25 step must probably be the rarest key of all, printed or otherwise.

GOOD FIND! (on the entire F127, not just that one keycap)
Thanks! Just a pity I cannot really use it. D:

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depletedvespene

10 Jul 2019, 22:07

Wazrach wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:02
depletedvespene wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:01
When it comes to IBM Model F/M keys, that short right Shift with outer 0.25 step must probably be the rarest key of all, printed or otherwise.

GOOD FIND! (on the entire F127, not just that one keycap)
Thanks! Just a pity I cannot really use it. D:
Fine, fine, I'll take it and give it the love it deserves. Poor, unwanted keyboard. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Wazrach

10 Jul 2019, 22:09

depletedvespene wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:07
Wazrach wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:02
depletedvespene wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 22:01
When it comes to IBM Model F/M keys, that short right Shift with outer 0.25 step must probably be the rarest key of all, printed or otherwise.

GOOD FIND! (on the entire F127, not just that one keycap)
Thanks! Just a pity I cannot really use it. D:
Fine, fine, I'll take it and give it the love it deserves. Poor, unwanted keyboard. :mrgreen:
I may sell it, but I don't know yet. I'd love to get this working.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 12:23

took some pictures and did a typing demo

kmnov2017

11 Jul 2019, 14:12

This keyboard can be converted with the CY8CKIT-059 prototyping board sold by Cypress Semiconductor.

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Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 14:13

kmnov2017 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 14:12
This keyboard can be converted with the CY8CKIT-059 prototyping board sold by Cypress Semiconductor.
Christ. What the hell is that? And how do you know? :O

This?: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processo ... lsrc=aw.ds

What do I do with it?

User avatar
JP!

11 Jul 2019, 14:19

Whoa, I read about this is a manual as I have the 4978 terminal for the Series/1. Very cool. You could try an figure out how the protocol works or desolder the existing controller and replace with a Model F Xwhatsit. If you do that at least preserve the irreplaceable controller.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 14:21

JP! wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 14:19
Whoa, I read about this is a manual as I have the 4978 terminal for the Series/1. Very cool. You could try an figure out how the protocol works or desolder the existing controller and replace with a Model F Xwhatsit.
If all else fails, I'll just get an Xwhatsit. I find it bizarre how it speaks a different protocol. I just want to keep the original cable. It's really clean and looks amazing.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 14:22

JP! wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 14:19
Whoa, I read about this is a manual as I have the 4978 terminal for the Series/1. Very cool. You could try an figure out how the protocol works or desolder the existing controller and replace with a Model F Xwhatsit. If you do that at least preserve the irreplaceable controller.
And yes, I'll absolutely keep the original controller.

kmnov2017

11 Jul 2019, 15:00

Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 14:13
kmnov2017 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 14:12
This keyboard can be converted with the CY8CKIT-059 prototyping board sold by Cypress Semiconductor.
Christ. What the hell is that? And how do you know? :O

This?: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processo ... lsrc=aw.ds

What do I do with it?
Yes that, and thats what you do with it viewtopic.php?f=7&t=21899

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 15:07

Hmm.. that's a bit too advanced for me at the minute. I'll explore my other options before I dive into that.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

11 Jul 2019, 15:30

Indeed. I wish someone like Orihalcon did ready made Common Sense controllers. They’re too much for me to understand. And I’ve built my own Soarer and TMK converters; from soldering to firmware flashing. All that Cypress stuff, though, baffles me like an SDK for a games console.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 15:37

Muirium wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:30
Indeed. I wish someone like Orihalcon did ready made Common Sense controllers. They’re too much for me to understand. And I’ve built my own Soarer and TMK converters; from soldering to firmware flashing. All that Cypress stuff, though, baffles me like an SDK for a games console.
What is the advantage of Common Sense over Xwhatsit?

Does this keyboard actually speak a different protocol? Or is it because of the extra keys? If I cannot use my converter, I will probably just get an XWhatsit - if it's as simple as soldering it to the PCB and binding things with the Utility program...

User avatar
SneakyRobb

11 Jul 2019, 15:43

Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:37
Muirium wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:30
Indeed. I wish someone like Orihalcon did ready made Common Sense controllers. They’re too much for me to understand. And I’ve built my own Soarer and TMK converters; from soldering to firmware flashing. All that Cypress stuff, though, baffles me like an SDK for a games console.
What is the advantage of Common Sense over Xwhatsit?

Does this keyboard actually speak a different protocol? Or is it because of the extra keys? If I cannot use my converter, I will probably just get an XWhatsit - if it's as simple as soldering it to the PCB and binding things with the Utility program...
The wiki says that this keyboard was used with the Series 1 Minicomputer. Perhaps it has some differences in this way? There have been F122s found with dip switches and extra plugs that go into the controller. Normally the plug goes into the bottom row of pins, but yours has a plastic attachment in the middle if you notice the blue thing.

It would have gone here as in this image.
Spoiler:
f122 dip swtich.jpg
f122 dip swtich.jpg (186.01 KiB) Viewed 639 times
So I wonder if the controller is setup differently. Maybe at the factory they changed the dip setting if that is possible?

Regardless it is probably aside from that 100% the same as other F122s and easily convertable with xwhatsit or commonsense

kmnov2017

11 Jul 2019, 16:26

Muirium wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:30
Indeed. I wish someone like Orihalcon did ready made Common Sense controllers. They’re too much for me to understand. And I’ve built my own Soarer and TMK converters; from soldering to firmware flashing. All that Cypress stuff, though, baffles me like an SDK for a games console.
Its just additional solder points and nothing more.

I am happy to build you one if you ship me a controller.

But you'll still have to solder the PCB traces though...

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Muirium
µ

11 Jul 2019, 16:32

It’s the software side that I find the most daunting part. I like to remap my boards quite a bit, experimenting with layout ideas. Having it hard baked would be a downer.
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:37
What is the advantage of Common Sense over Xwhatsit?

Does this keyboard actually speak a different protocol? Or is it because of the extra keys? If I cannot use my converter, I will probably just get an XWhatsit - if it's as simple as soldering it to the PCB and binding things with the Utility program...
Xwhatsit will get the job done. It’s what I’d do. But, as I understand, Common Sense is much more programmable, actively supported and quite a bit cheaper too.

Actively maintained is vital as years go on and OSes change. At some point, Xwhatsit’s GUI won’t run any more on the Mac for instance. Fortunately, you only need it for initial setup and re-mapping, so my Kishsaver is all set. (I’ve already played around with cunning layers there aplenty.)

But Common Sense’s biggest immediate advantage is the key specific thresholds. Xwhatsit uses a single trigger value for every key on the board, which can get a bit hairy to say the least. Common Sense is aptly named that way. But more of a bugger to install (where's the edge connector?) and certainly more of a challenge in getting setup, software-wise. It’s fans say it’s “easy” then start speaking in flawless Abyssal. It’s the damnedest thing…

User avatar
SneakyRobb

11 Jul 2019, 16:59

So I believe according to this document

http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/ ... _Sep86.pdf

That this keyboard speaks "3270/BSC data stream." but I am not sure

"The IOCP and the data stream support make the 4978 or 4980 look like a 3277 to the operator and to the
programs that communicate with the terminal. " Not sure if this is done keyboard side or terminal side...

So this keyboard may very well be sending acompletely different protocol to the computer
I think the easiest way to get this keyboard to work if it doesn't immediately work with a soarer converter is to just use xwhatsit or common sense.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 17:58

Looks like it's XWhatsit then. Just so I know what to do when I get it, is it as simple as soldering it to the PCB and installing the Capsense GUI?

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 18:18

Also, if anyone wants to update the wiki with the pictures, you have my permission. I tried to do it myself, but it was a pain in the arse.

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SneakyRobb

11 Jul 2019, 18:23

Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 17:58
Looks like it's XWhatsit then. Just so I know what to do when I get it, is it as simple as soldering it to the PCB and installing the Capsense GUI?
Hi yes it would be that simple. It is a bit complicated but you should be able to figure it out.

Before that though, just to check. Are you able to confirm using this program

https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/hid_listen.html

with your orihalcon converter that no codes are being sent out by the keyboard?

You basically would plug it into the converter and run that program. You may need to reboot with the keyboard plugged in.

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 18:31

SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:23
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 17:58
Looks like it's XWhatsit then. Just so I know what to do when I get it, is it as simple as soldering it to the PCB and installing the Capsense GUI?
Hi yes it would be that simple. It is a bit complicated but you should be able to figure it out.

Before that though, just to check. Are you able to confirm using this program

https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/hid_listen.html

with your orihalcon converter that no codes are being sent out by the keyboard?

You basically would plug it into the converter and run that program. You may need to reboot with the keyboard plugged in.
Thanks for linking that. Nope, no scancodes.

User avatar
SneakyRobb

11 Jul 2019, 18:46

Spoiler:
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:31
SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:23
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 17:58
Looks like it's XWhatsit then. Just so I know what to do when I get it, is it as simple as soldering it to the PCB and installing the Capsense GUI?
Hi yes it would be that simple. It is a bit complicated but you should be able to figure it out.

Before that though, just to check. Are you able to confirm using this program

https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/hid_listen.html

with your orihalcon converter that no codes are being sent out by the keyboard?

You basically would plug it into the converter and run that program. You may need to reboot with the keyboard plugged in.
Thanks for linking that. Nope, no scancodes.
Ah alright then. I am not entirely sure. I may be totally wrong on this, maybe conversion is done terminal side and it is just sending normal codes, it is a normal keyboard and we are overlooking something...

User avatar
Wazrach

11 Jul 2019, 18:54

SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:46
Spoiler:
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:31
SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:23


Hi yes it would be that simple. It is a bit complicated but you should be able to figure it out.

Before that though, just to check. Are you able to confirm using this program

https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/hid_listen.html

with your orihalcon converter that no codes are being sent out by the keyboard?

You basically would plug it into the converter and run that program. You may need to reboot with the keyboard plugged in.
Thanks for linking that. Nope, no scancodes.
Ah alright then. I am not entirely sure. I may be totally wrong on this, maybe conversion is done terminal side and it is just sending normal codes, it is a normal keyboard and we are overlooking something...
I was just about to strip it down and clean everything, ready for a foam replacement. If there's a chance it will work with my converter, I'll wait. :P I won't be able to test it afterwards, and I don't want to waste money on an XWhatsit if I don't need one

It would be bloody strange if it did speak a different protocol.. I mean, it uses the same plug as other F122s... Surely the plug would be different if it was another protocol?

User avatar
SneakyRobb

11 Jul 2019, 19:05

Spoiler:
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:54
SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:46
Spoiler:
Wazrach wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 18:31


Thanks for linking that. Nope, no scancodes.
Ah alright then. I am not entirely sure. I may be totally wrong on this, maybe conversion is done terminal side and it is just sending normal codes, it is a normal keyboard and we are overlooking something...
I was just about to strip it down and clean everything, ready for a foam replacement. If there's a chance it will work with my converter, I'll wait. :P I won't be able to test it afterwards, and I don't want to waste money on an XWhatsit if I don't need one

It would be bloody strange if it did speak a different protocol.. I mean, it uses the same plug as other F122s... Surely the plug would be different if it was another protocol?
Hi you are probably best to wait. I can get carried away with researching things like this... when a model f doesnt work it is usually something simple you have over looked

User avatar
Wazrach

13 Jul 2019, 21:03

Sound test after foam replacement!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDnEvG4 ... e=youtu.be

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depletedvespene

14 Jul 2019, 04:41

Wazrach wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 21:03
Sound test after foam replacement!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDnEvG4 ... e=youtu.be
Excellent! :D

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