F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards

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tentator

20 May 2020, 02:47

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..tonight is QMK-on-Beamspring testing night!

I'm writing this for the first time for humankind on a 3278 with QMK on board! :D

Will post results tomorrow..

tent:wq

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zetaomegagon

20 May 2020, 19:08

tentator wrote:
20 May 2020, 02:47
photo5918054696247997375.jpg
..tonight is QMK-on-Beamspring testing night!

I'm writing this for the first time for humankind on a 3278 with QMK on board! :D

Will post results tomorrow..

tent:wq
Sick!

troglotype

20 May 2020, 20:40

tentator wrote:
20 May 2020, 02:47

I'm writing this for the first time for humankind on a 3278 with QMK on board! :D

tent:wq
That's one small click for a man...

Ellipse

23 May 2020, 04:58

Apologies for the delay - I have processed all the early shipping requests through yesterday. Looking at 133 keyboards requested so far.

This early shipping option should be available on an ongoing basis until I can start sending out the sublimated keys.

Also as an update the QMK firmware porting process continues to progress nicely. I have seen the QMK online configuration tool and it is easy to use - the advantage is that you can update the keys while graphically visualizing the physical locations of the keys, unlike xwhatsit where you have to press a key to see where on the matrix it is, in order to adjust its value. Also planned is a GUI configuration tool for offline use on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Big thanks to the QMK team, pandrew, tentator, and everyone else involved in the project!

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Scarpia

23 May 2020, 09:27

Sounds great Ellipse! I’m not a native English speaker, so I hope you’ll forgive me for asking: does ‘processed’ mean you shipped them?

Ellipse

23 May 2020, 15:31

Not yet - just logging and replying to all the requests first. Hope to get these out in the next week or so.

russcule

24 May 2020, 04:15

To the chase: I have a printed keyset on order, but I absolutely couldn't wait. I received my serial number 004 keyboard in late January. It's sick awesome.

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Disposing of the obvious: this is the most ridiculously expensive keyboard evah. Yeah, I know, think 1980 dollars. Even so, this can never be other than an outrageously nostalgic 'conceit'.

As for me: despite my history, which goes back to the first IBM PC, I am not an IBM F or M cultist. I have liked, and used, a variety of distinct approaches for getting keypress to screen. DAS. Topre/Happy Hacking. Vortex Core. Ergodox-EZ. IBM M? Sure, them too.

It doesn't matter how much I paid, or how the vendor/product has been pimped, I end up gravitating to the board-in-hand that helps me overcome the only truly key (oops) obstacle: getting the words out.

Five months into this venture, my hands gravitate, invariably and by choice, to my F62.

It ain't because of the size. I went back-and-forth, again, and again, between the 62s and 77s. Ask Ellipse. I do appreciate the compact version, but I enjoy still smaller boards. It certainly isn't due to its hilarious bulk. I thought even my prehistoric IBM PCs had post-dated the Iron Age. I can't recall my earliest IBM keyboards having been this ... dangerous.

Well, then, why the gravitational pull?

It's ... so ... stupidly simple. Typing on this just feels great. Add me to the freaking chorus.

I don't know how to quantify this 'feels great'.

Sound? Sure. Love it. My wife's comment? "They should have added a carriage-return thingie like old typewriters." Having used IBM Selectrics in the 70s, I had to grin. When I asked her, "you mean, it's bothering you," she replied, "no, love it."

Crispness of keys? Yup. Big-time. But, ultimately, like all great designs and implementations, we end by trying to describe experiences that are unquantifiable, yet deeply satisfying.

Look, in the end, it's just a keyboard. Let's keep it real.

But, you know, this Ellipse guy seems to have pulled off this wackiest of all nerd fantasies, not counting the now unbearably delayed dye sublimation phase. Shouldn't we have known one, final, harrowing delay would not only be inevitable, but somehow required? (Note to self: don't forget that Ellipse never did, because he couldn't, commit to deliver product, and early-warned us that there would be no refunds.)

Hey, given that I am typing these very words on the nearly-final, and even-now-physical reincarnation of an, okay, disconcertingly black IBM F keyboard, I will cut Ellipse all the remaining slack he needs.

Oh, not to mention, I have already dropped my F62, the family heirloom, hard. Gulp. Fear. No effect!

Then, a few weeks ago, I spilled spaghetti into it. On it, sure, and in it. I swear (seriously) the bowl exited my hands on its own, flew up into the air, and turned itself upside-down. The delicate application of toothpicks, even cotton swabs, to nudge the 'residue' from the keyboard showed minimal value as repair tools. Still, no effect on typing! Hey, I won't say I was forgiven, but the F62 continues with me in mutual relationship. It's an, um, timely opportunity for removing the keys. real soon, and starting the maintenance that looks forward to ...

(Part of my own history in a very-past life entailed a hundred-plus reviews of PC hardware and software. I may, or may not, tack up a series of rambling posts here that kind-of review this project, and product, with my mishaps and discoveries, in more detail.)

Meanwhile, to Ellipse, and many others of you who have conceived, helped and supported this venture throughout: major gratitude.

Lagomorph

24 May 2020, 13:38

russcule wrote:
24 May 2020, 04:15
Sound? Sure. Love it. My wife's comment? "They should have added a carriage-return thingie like old typewriters." Having used IBM Selectrics in the 70s, I had to grin. When I asked her, "you mean, it's bothering you," she replied, "no, love it."
You're a lucky man, russcule. 8-)

Also thanks for the review/update. These kinds of posts help the rest of us through home stretch. Just please, do us a favour and keep the spaghetti at a safer distance. I swear to god my blood pressure spiked reading that story :oops: :mrgreen:

consensual-penis

24 May 2020, 23:49

I'm not gonna hold my breath, but I'm kind of hoping that Linus Tech Tips gets a hold of one of these and does a video (and Chyrosran).

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funkmon

25 May 2020, 02:38

Now here's the LTT problem: do we want James, the ergonomic freak, to do the review, or Luke, the normal mechanical keyboard guru who's a bit out of touch with the scene?

Neither are ideal. I bet Linus would love them though.

consensual-penis

25 May 2020, 03:39

If it wasn't Linus I wouldn't watch it, especially when he was the one that loves the model M.

Something tells me that he would complain about the sound of it.

xueyao

25 May 2020, 09:00

Hi everyone, anybody faced this issue? Realised it after 2 months of unboxing it. It's bugging me that the powder coating is such a low quality :(
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Dikkus

25 May 2020, 10:49

xueyao wrote:
25 May 2020, 09:00
Hi everyone, anybody faced this issue? Realised it after 2 months of unboxing it. It's bugging me that the powder coating is such a low quality :(
Yeah, unfortunately mine has quite a bit of chipping and problems as well. It wasn't damaged on my end, at least. It's mostly out of sight, though, so...

Ellipse

25 May 2020, 22:05

As a note on the powdercoating, early on in the project I had the choice of going with the modern, thick, protected powdercoating or the older IBM style 1980s powdercoating and I chose the latter because while it is thinner, it is authentic to the look of the originals. I have noted this issue again with the powdercoating factory so they can hopefully thicken the paint for the final round.

BucklingSprings

25 May 2020, 22:51

tentator wrote:
20 May 2020, 02:47
photo5918054696247997375.jpg
..tonight is QMK-on-Beamspring testing night!

I'm writing this for the first time for humankind on a 3278 with QMK on board! :D

Will post results tomorrow..

tent:wq
I am curious - how did it go?

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tentator

25 May 2020, 23:20

BucklingSprings wrote:
25 May 2020, 22:51
tentator wrote:
20 May 2020, 02:47
photo5918054696247997375.jpg
..tonight is QMK-on-Beamspring testing night!

I'm writing this for the first time for humankind on a 3278 with QMK on board! :D

Will post results tomorrow..

tent:wq
I am curious - how did it go?
Very good so far we've managed to let QMK run on two beamsprings 327x and one 5251!
But we need to be able to debug it better since different boards seem to calibrate in quite different way, and pandrei needs to be able to be reasonable certain that there are no major bugs around before releasing. Remember that he is basically blindly/remotely debugging by boards via git and chat messages!! :D :D
So far, also, we tested mainly Linux and Windows OS and have something ready for OSX but would need some tester for that as well.

Will give updates as soon as there are substantial news.

tent:wq

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E3E

26 May 2020, 16:41

Weak finish. What a shame. That doesn't look like the original finish at all, nor does it seem anywhere near as durable. Fading from use, from simply resting one's palms on the bezel while typing?

I've never seen a single 4704 owner complain about that. Most of the chips and dings on those boards came from the fact they were thrown into a junk yard heap, not from practical use.

Would be lovely to see future rounds have a more durable coating for these reproductions. It's a shame for everyone who's gotten in to the first round to have to deal with these problems.

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tentator

26 May 2020, 17:13

so far I did not have this issue and wonder if it's general or specific.. also: is there something that can be done by oneself in case?

russypt

26 May 2020, 21:36

E3E wrote:
26 May 2020, 16:41
Would be lovely to see future rounds have a more durable coating for these reproductions. It's a shame for everyone who's gotten in to the first round to have to deal with these problems.
May hit it with a non-toxic clear coat before it wears. If not, I can get the case locally powder coated again for about $50-75. Boutique product, lost production techniques, etc. Not telling anyone else what to do, but to me it's NBD. Ordered an additional keyboard actually.

Ellipse

27 May 2020, 05:31

Thank you russcule for the thorough review! Sorry to hear about the keyboard spill. If I were you I'd get all the keys in an ultrasonic cleaner to be 100% sure, plus wipe the outside of the barrels with a q tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.

In the coming days I will be sending out many of the early requested keyboards - will reply to the recent requests once I have sent out most of the current requests.

Inner foam update: the foam material I chose for the project was a far higher quality/durability type of foam than what IBM used. The foam has been known to last for many years and does not crumble with age like some of IBM's foam. The downside is that it is a little denser and therefore may make these keyboards ever so slightly less noisy. For the final round I am thinking about offering a more authentic foam that is very similar to the non-crumbly foam that IBM used in some of their Model F keyboards (the foam is so good that this 1980s foam still looks and performs well in these old keyboards today!). After a long search I finally believe I identified the right material. In the end I will probably offer the denser foam as a choice when getting extra foam in case people want an ever so slightly quieter Model F, but not as an installed option (would add too much complexity and probably not make a sound difference that most folks would notice).

consensual-penis

Yesterday, 07:15

Really hoping I'm one of those lucky ones

Ellipse

Yesterday, 16:45

xwhatsit question - what is the simplest way to clear the xhwatsit's settings while connected to a Windows computer, if it's already programmed - as soon as it's connected to a computer it outputs keys (possibly the wrong threshold setting).

I was thinking of entering bootloader mode and then running xwhatsit's EEPROM_eraser.hex file but wanted to double check.

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wobbled

Yesterday, 17:03

So what do we do if our paint job deteriorates as a result of crap powdercoat jobs?

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webwit
Wild Duck

Yesterday, 17:51

wobbled wrote:
Yesterday, 17:03
So what do we do if our paint job deteriorates as a result of crap powdercoat jobs?
Contact the complaint department. :twisted:

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User avatar
tentator

Yesterday, 17:55

:lol: :lol:

Ellipse

Yesterday, 19:17

Has anyone else noticed issues with the powdercoating, for those using these keyboards often?

Over 200 keyboards have been mailed, some of which were mailed last year and have been in use since then. So far one case has been shared.

I have been keeping in touch with many of you over email and PM and have not seen one other report of this.

User avatar
tron

Yesterday, 22:41

wobbled wrote:
Yesterday, 17:03
So what do we do if our paint job deteriorates as a result of crap powdercoat jobs?
"Internal White River" from Prismatic Powders is the closest stock powder I could find that even comes close to the original IBM beige (Prismatic sells powder in small amounts suitable for a keyboard). Ideally someone would work with Prismatic to come up with a close matching beige/industrial grey and share the chemistry with the community: https://www.prismaticpowders.com/shop/p ... hite-river

cap

Today, 02:41

My keyboard is only about a month and a half old, but it's my daily driver and the powder coating is still perfect.

Ellipse

Today, 03:28

Thanks for the feedback cap.

Looking back at my original 4704 keyboards, even my original F77 started to wear out exactly where I rest my thumb and also the texture was worn down by the left side of my left hand palm. It seems like many of the original 4704 keyboard paint jobs were uncoated which is the look I wanted to reproduce for this project.

Interestingly a number of the dozens of F107s formerly in my collection were refurbished at some point around 1996 or 1997, repainted with a thicker but less professional finish.

Here's a photo of my original IBM F77 showing the beginnings of wearing down (I did not use it much before using my new prototypes, but some of the wear may have been from the prior users at the bank teller windows). Definitely not the same as the previously posted Industrial Gray photo with more thorough usage but just a data point of comparison.

The factory has gotten back to me and they are going to pay more attention to the powdercoating thickness.
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Dikkus

Today, 05:50

Ellipse wrote:
Yesterday, 19:17
Has anyone else noticed issues with the powdercoating, for those using these keyboards often?

Over 200 keyboards have been mailed, some of which were mailed last year and have been in use since then. So far one case has been shared.

I have been keeping in touch with many of you over email and PM and have not seen one other report of this.
I wouldn't say mine has degraded from use per se, just that it had some issues when I got it. It doesn't really bother me too much, but I can absolutely see some people being quite miffed about it.

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