IBM Model M keyboard search

User avatar
phinix

08 Jan 2020, 15:29

Hi guys, I'm not sure what exact model I'm after, as I'm not an expert in those IBM keyboards, so wanted first ask you for advice.

I would like to buy one for myself, but wanted to ask what should I look for exactly - I know there were different versions of it etc
I would like to get a proper vintage version of it, but be able to use with modern PC .
I'm guessing IBM version would be the best, 1391401 series are popular, not Lexmark or Unicomp?
I was thinking of SSK, but not sure, maybe getting a full M version would be better.
White label, blue label series? One like this?

What should I look for? What to watch, be careful not to get, where to look for it?

Please let me know :D

User avatar
swampangel

08 Jan 2020, 16:09

It should be relatively easy to get a wiki/IBM_Enhanced_Keyboard#1391401 in good condition with a PS/2 cable.

Model Ms differ somewhat by year and place of manufacture. Generally older == heavier/sturdier.

My own favourite is a 1391401 from 1988 made in Mexico. I have an SSK from 1987 as well, and it's equally sturdy but the keys are noticeably stiffer.

User avatar
phinix

08 Jan 2020, 16:27

Is £180 a lot for 1987 white label screw-modded refurbished keyboard?

User avatar
adamcobabe

08 Jan 2020, 16:48

phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 16:27
Is £180 a lot for 1987 white label screw-modded refurbished keyboard?
Kind of, yeah. Screw mod is the easier of the mods and arguably worse than the bolt mod IMHO. I bought a very early NOS square silver badge Model M for about that price. I'd recommend trying to find one of those. Basically, the older the better with most IBM keyboards. A little patience on eBay will work. Shipping to the UK is the only issue. So maybe it's a wash. :roll:

User avatar
swampangel

08 Jan 2020, 16:57

It sure sounds like a lot. Compare to what Redmaus is asking for rare NIB SSKs viewtopic.php?f=55&t=21975

I don't have a great idea what UK prices/availability are like, but I'd think you could get a decent Model M for £50-80 (see https://www.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/com ... l_cable_w/, https://www.reddit.com/r/mechmarket/com ... er_french/)

Fkazim

08 Jan 2020, 17:03

phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 16:27
Is £180 a lot for 1987 white label screw-modded refurbished keyboard?
It depends is this screw modded Model M you have seen got an ISO layout with the £ sign basically is it a UK layout?
Last edited by Fkazim on 08 Jan 2020, 17:04, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
phinix

08 Jan 2020, 17:04

I thought I could offer 180 for this one, but it sounds like really expensive?
I would prefer ANSI

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1987-IBM-Mod ... SwqMtdofQi

Fkazim

08 Jan 2020, 17:07

phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 17:04
I thought I could offer 180 for this one, but it sounds like really expensive?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1987-IBM-Mod ... SwqMtdofQi
Its got an ANSI layout so I would say no but then again it is screw modded which is a time consuming and finicky job. On the other hand if it had an ISO layout it would probably be worth that as ISO is much rarer than ANSI. I would say offer something like £77 to £90 tops IMO.

User avatar
phinix

08 Jan 2020, 17:41

What about this one?

EDIT: other one rejected my offer of even £140 :roll:

anmq91

08 Jan 2020, 22:13

Tbh in the 200+ USD price range I would suggest you try to go for a Model F AT - if the layout is doable for you. I find it far superior to the model M's typing experience. SSK's are amazing but generally cost around 300 USD. For a normal model M I wouldn't go above 150 (if bolt modded). If stock then not over 60 USD. Your best bet is eBay and some patience :)

User avatar
phinix

09 Jan 2020, 14:42

anmq91 wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 22:13
Tbh in the 200+ USD price range I would suggest you try to go for a Model F AT - if the layout is doable for you. I find it far superior to the model M's typing experience. SSK's are amazing but generally cost around 300 USD. For a normal model M I wouldn't go above 150 (if bolt modded). If stock then not over 60 USD. Your best bet is eBay and some patience :)
Understood, thanks for reply.
F AT is not my fav layout, I prefer standard full layout. All my keyboards are TKLs, so for this one I wanted to have full rail :lol:
I will aim for white label M board.
I've seen Kishsaver once, amazing, heavy as hell - Muirium from our forum here met me once and showed his Kish - really cool board, but I prefer at least TKL size.
I'm not planning to spend more than $100 on it, so will keep an eye for one.

kelvinhall05

09 Jan 2020, 15:55

Keep in mind that if you want to save a lot of money you can buy a terminal keyboard and convert it with a $5 pro micro and my guide

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/11 ... m-model-m/

All you lose with a terminal board are lock lights, a PS/2 cable (although you'll be converting it internally to USB so it doesn't really matter), and normal keycaps (although I personally think the terminal ones look kick-ass). The only layout change is a split numpad plus key.

User avatar
ShivaYash

10 Jan 2020, 21:29

phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 15:29
Hi guys, I'm not sure what exact model I'm after, as I'm not an expert in those IBM keyboards, so wanted first ask you for advice.

I would like to buy one for myself, but wanted to ask what should I look for exactly - I know there were different versions of it etc
I would like to get a proper vintage version of it, but be able to use with modern PC .
I'm guessing IBM version would be the best, 1391401 series are popular, not Lexmark or Unicomp?
I was thinking of SSK, but not sure, maybe getting a full M version would be better.
White label, blue label series? One like this?

What should I look for? What to watch, be careful not to get, where to look for it?

Please let me know :D
Keep an eye on Gumtree. I picked up a lovely Model M (ISO UK layout) for £20 not that long ago.

Rauha

10 Jan 2020, 22:31


kmnov2017

10 Jan 2020, 22:45

Local classifieds are the best place to look for these. You can get them for as low as 10/20 euros.

kmnov2017

10 Jan 2020, 22:46

Rauha wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 22:31
Unicomp, in UK layout from UK.

https://www.keyboardco.com/category.asp ... de&rtv=100
I intend to buy my Unicomp TKL/ SSK from them when they have them in a few months....

User avatar
Howard81

15 Jan 2020, 13:50

phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 17:04
I thought I could offer 180 for this one, but it sounds like really expensive?
I would prefer ANSI

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1987-IBM-Mod ... SwqMtdofQi
I'm the seller for that.. it's a heavy early board (simlar in weight to the earlier silver badge model) in really lovely condition that has over 7 hours in it for the refubishing and screw mod. I think it had a new membrane in it too. I would be happy to take £180 for it if you want to buy it here rather than eBay (and that includes postage in the UK which is about £15. If you're in London I could also knock that off if you collect) :)

User avatar
phinix

17 Jan 2020, 15:45

Howard81 wrote:
15 Jan 2020, 13:50
phinix wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 17:04
I thought I could offer 180 for this one, but it sounds like really expensive?
I would prefer ANSI

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1987-IBM-Mod ... SwqMtdofQi
I'm the seller for that.. it's a heavy early board (simlar in weight to the earlier silver badge model) in really lovely condition that has over 7 hours in it for the refubishing and screw mod. I think it had a new membrane in it too. I would be happy to take £180 for it if you want to buy it here rather than eBay (and that includes postage in the UK which is about £15. If you're in London I could also knock that off if you collect) :)
Thanks for the offer, but like guys suggested here, I shouldn't go over $150 for modded one.
I understand that you spent a lot of time on modding it, I'm sure you will find a buyer for it.
For me it's just too much.

User avatar
phinix

04 Feb 2020, 14:04

Well, some nice one cam up on ebay, so bought it :)

One of these beauties is coming to me, tomorrow :)
Image

It is not modded yet, but no cosmetic defects, looking all good, working 100%, so hopefully I'll keep her for a looong time.

I'll give her a nice bath, get the nails done and should be a real treat :lol:

User avatar
phinix

05 Feb 2020, 11:18

Guys, how do I know that my Model M needs bolt mod?
Should I feel some kind of inconsistency when pressing keys or something?
Should I open it up and check if there are no lose pins?
Jut asking as I bought a board that hasn't been modded and wanted to know if I should do it straight away, or check of any symptoms.

kmnov2017

05 Feb 2020, 11:56

If keys don't register, check the area for missing rivets. You can only do this by opening it up. If you are missing only a few rivets then there is no need to bolt mod. Bolt modding is the most talked about mod on a model M, yet 99 percent of model Ms will never need a bolt mod.
Last edited by kmnov2017 on 05 Feb 2020, 13:24, edited 1 time in total.

Fkazim

05 Feb 2020, 12:56

They definitely will need a bolt/screw mod if they have 22 broken plastic rivets as I found out the hard way.

User avatar
phinix

05 Feb 2020, 13:42

OK, thanks guys. It should arrive today, will check, but auction said it is 100% working, so will play with it and see how it works.
So the bolt mod is only if some keys are not registering?
No need to do it just like that?

Should I look for some kind of signs of wear or some kind of known quality issues?
Like if there is something obvious in model Ms?
Just want to know how to test my new keyboard and know that I bought a good one:)

Rauha

05 Feb 2020, 16:37

phinix wrote:
05 Feb 2020, 13:42
Should I look for some kind of signs of wear or some kind of known quality issues?
Like if there is something obvious in model Ms?
Keys not registering or uneven feel.
You can also just shake it a bit and hear the broken rivets moving inside the case.

Oh and, if you need to open it, the nut driver required for opening it comes in some strange american size. Like seven point five inches and three gallons or something. I would assume finding it in UK would be difficult, at least it was in Finland.

unoquepasa

05 Feb 2020, 19:22

Rauha wrote:
05 Feb 2020, 16:37
phinix wrote:
05 Feb 2020, 13:42
Should I look for some kind of signs of wear or some kind of known quality issues?
Like if there is something obvious in model Ms?
Keys not registering or uneven feel.
You can also just shake it a bit and hear the broken rivets moving inside the case.

Oh and, if you need to open it, the nut driver required for opening it comes in some strange american size. Like seven point five inches and three gallons or something. I would assume finding it in UK would be difficult, at least it was in Finland.
A 5.5 mm nut driver is required, like this one from a swedish company:

https://www.bahco.com/int_en/bahcofit-h ... 5-150.html

User avatar
phinix

05 Feb 2020, 22:18

20200205_205914.jpg
20200205_205914.jpg (2.96 MiB) Viewed 1131 times
.

I'm cleaning up my caps. Cant pull out capslock, how is it mounted there under?
Last edited by phinix on 05 Feb 2020, 23:46, edited 2 times in total.

Fkazim

05 Feb 2020, 23:18

It has a rod stabiliser it should just pull out. Are you pulling all your caps using a keycap puller?

User avatar
phinix

05 Feb 2020, 23:28

No, just fingers. Pulling outer caps, not actual caps with rods.
Cant pull off that outer cap from capslock. I'm guessing it is full cap, like enter?
No outer, just one full mold cap?
Other full mold modifier caps came off quickly, not this one.

I think I will have to open it to clean it as it is dirty under the caps.
Need to find this tool in UK.

Is there a special key puller for buckling springs?
How can I pull off those inner caps?

User avatar
zrrion

06 Feb 2020, 00:53

You can use two loops of thin string and get them looped around the sides of the cap you can use that to pull them up. Other method is to make a key puller from paperclips

User avatar
phinix

06 Feb 2020, 09:45

I have loads of key pullers in my drawer, like 20:)
I just didn't know you can use it on buckling springs too.
I guess it will work ok.
I'll try to pull this capslock tonight.

I don't have that 5.5mm nut driver, it would be easier to clean it, but I'll try to use brush and clean between keys that way...


This is first time in 20 years I used Model M...
It sounds amazing, feels a lot lighter than I thought/remembered!
Can't wait to bring it to my office and type on it :D Peeps will be like WTF! :lol:

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