F104+SSK+122+62+77+50+Ergo orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards

Ellipse

05 Jun 2024, 05:31

Thanks for sharing that link.

Regarding floss mods - I was sent the following note:
I received some interesting feedback - "I immediately did the floss mod. I
didn't have that super-floss, but I did have waxed thread for leather
work. I used that instead. I can't compare to floss, but it works great.
I have needed to redo some keys that have redeveloped the ping, but I
believe that is because I cut the thread too short."

genericusername57

05 Jun 2024, 08:20

I tried the floss mod on mine but I found that it affected the key feel slightly. The clicks didn't feel as crisp as without it. Has anyone got a similar opinion or did I just do it wrong? I used Oral-B Super floss for it, which I think is the one people recommend. It's tempting to do it on my at home keyboard though since I have to switch keyboards when people start going to bed for obvious reasons.

User avatar
thefarside

05 Jun 2024, 12:25

I floss mod all my buckling spring keyboards and didn’t notice a difference in feel, but I use regular floss.

Ellipse

06 Jun 2024, 05:42

Project update:

The factory expects to complete assembly of all F104 and FSSK and to be ready to load the goods onto the container ship in two weeks from now. Some of the powdercoating finishes and PCB ribbon cable soldering needed to be redone, which added some weeks to the earlier plan of completion in May. I am currently getting quotations for the shipping containers.

Usually a container shipment takes about 8 weeks from departure to delivery, including the sailing time, ship unloading, customs processing, getting access to the container, arranging delivery trucking, etc.

The F122 will need about 5-6 more weeks. Everything is just about done; we are just waiting on the PCBs to finish, and then they can install them into the inner assemblies and wrap everything up. So as to get the two most popular models (F104 and FSSK) out to everyone as soon as possible the F122 is going to be in the next container shipment in a couple months from now, along with the Round 2 beam spring keyboards. Even though it is far more costly to split the shipments into 2 20' containers I did not want the project to be delayed any further so we can get everything out as soon as possible.

Quantities of all of the older production models are running low so I definitely recommend picking one up, especially while the big discount remains in place for most variations. These include the F62, F77, compact F104/FSSK, and Round 1 beam spring boards. There are still some F15's left. I have 1 F50 left and 1 or 2 split ortholinear boards left (please email me for details).

RedESC

06 Jun 2024, 12:21

Not sure if you have mentioned this before but what sort of stabilizer are you using for the F122? I ask as I was recently re-assembling an old model F XT and noticed that the spacebar on that is a nightmare to deal with. (Requireing the whole keyboard inner assembly to be taken apart to remove) Take it for the F122 you're going with a similar setup to your older boards with the bent metal tabs holding the stab wire?

Ellipse

06 Jun 2024, 19:17

Yes, the same Model M compatible spacebar is used on all the keyboards. All boards use metal spacebar stabilizer tabs welded to the top inner assembly steel plate.

Ellipse

08 Jun 2024, 05:01

I received some interesting feedback on repairing broken keys and modifying tweezers to insert springs - probably best to replace the key but if it is a rare/original key this may be useful:

"If a bit of a key breaks off, quick drying superglue won't work. The keys seem almost
made of the same material as the cap of the glue. But what does work is this:

One layer of epoxy two component glue on both sides, then the superglue that
attaches to the epoxy...Also, if you dip your tweezers in some glue or epoxy before using it, and dry it
out of course, it's much softer on the springs and easier to insert and press down."

Ellipse

09 Jun 2024, 04:28

Here is some feedback on working with Vial on Debian:

"In case it helps future travelers, this is how I changed the keyboard layout on debian:

sudo apt install python3 python3-tk tk-dev build-essential zlib1g-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev libbz2-dev libreadline-dev libsqlite3-dev liblzma-dev libncurses-dev libusb-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev git curl
curl https://pyenv.run | bash
git clone https://github.com/vial-kb/vial-gui.git
cd vial-gui
pyenv install 3.6.15
pyenv virtualenv 3.6.15 vial
pyenv activate vial
pip install -r requirements.txt
fbs run

At this point, vial-gui was able to detect both halves of the keyboard. Updating the keyboard layout ended up being a lot easier than I expected!

In the docs, its probably worth having a section for "checking if vial is already installed" (I think that looks like running vial-gui)

The vial.rocks website is absolutely awesome, but it wasn't able to connect to either keyboard half from firefox or chromium on Debian. Relying on the WebUSB/Web Serial to verify vial is already installed on the keyboard might not be as foolproof as vial-gui."

Ellipse

10 Jun 2024, 06:13

The latest blog update has just been posted on the project web site:

https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/blog/

Currently in stock: All F62 and F77, Ultra Compact F104, Ultra Compact FSSK, F15 Split Ergonomic, IBM NOS F50 macro pad (very limited quantity, see below for details)

Completed production and assembly; preparing to be packed on the container ship this month, delivery starting in late August once the shipping container is delivered to me: the metal case classic Model M style F104 and FSSK

Currently in production: the metal case classic Model M style F122 keyboards (expected to complete assembly in a month) and the Round 2 classic style Beam Spring keyboards (expected to complete assembly in a couple months, later this year)

Batch of Original NOS IBM Model F metal case 50 Key F50 keyboards, part 6019273 now up for auction (as mentioned a couple months ago)

Product page: https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product ... t-6019273/

Google Form to bid:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QVkCcH ... lHRdxBT1Q/

Recently one of my recycler contacts came across a batch of brand new old stock (NOS) IBM 4704 F50 50-key macro pad keyboards, part number IBM 6019273. They are without the original packaging and have wear/some paint loss from storage and handling not in the original packaging. It looks like most were manufactured in 1990. As is common with these keyboards, flippers/springs can be removed to fit larger keys, such as a 2U horizontal or 2U vertical key, so you could even make the rightmost block of this keyboard into the number pad block found on an IBM Model M keyboard.

The keyboards in this group buy will come with a USB-C cable, USB-C Pro Micro, and xwhatsit-based pandrew 4704 controller that you can use to get it working with modern computers (you have to solder this or pay someone to do this as I do not provide a soldering service). You only get what is pictured, no other keys and no relegendables are included.

In order to fairly allocate the few available NOS IBM F50 keyboards, a pay-as-bid auction starts today. In summary, everyone submits a best offer and I choose which offers to accept. The way this works is that you fill out this Google Form noting the maximum amount you are willing to pay and the quantity you want (quantities are strictly limited to a maximum of 2 keyboards per person). If you are selected as the winner, you pay the amount that you bid. I may allocate only 5 or so keyboards this year for the current auction, depending on the demand, with the remaining keyboards to be auctioned off next year and in subsequent years. The winners will be accepted at different times over the coming months based on the strength of the bid (the stronger/higher the bid, the more likely it will be accepted sooner rather than later), meaning you may not hear back from me for months on the outcome of your bid, if at all.

In terms of pricing, 25 new production compact F50 keyboards sold out quickly at the $399 price determined by reverse/Dutch auction, so the bidding for these keyboards will start there, but please do not bid $400 as I won't be awarding any keyboards near that level.

Original IBM keyboards have become extremely collectible in recent years. An original IBM F62 Kishsaver sold last month for $7,500 on eBay, and other models have sold for $1,000 and higher in recent months: https://www.ebay.com/itm/176368326890

Photos of one of these keyboards (all keyboards will vary in appearance and may have more or less scuffs, paint loss, and other damage but all are NOS): https://imgur.com/a/8jGOQuw

I would have liked to keep these in my collection since it is nearly impossible that I will be lucky enough to find these keyboards ever again as most have been destroyed by now*, but the proceeds from this auction will be used to help cover the tens of thousands of dollars in project cost overruns incurred over the years, including prototype costs and many express air mail costs from the factories.

*Many forum members remember all the efforts several years ago to deal with the bank manager who had the room full of original Kishsaver F62 keyboards but was difficult to deal with (for those who have not heard of this story before, the bank manager had the Kishsavers all put in a metal shredder and completely destroyed) - that story stands out most for me. Similarly, another recycler sold me some refurbished/repainted F50s many years ago, but when I had contacted them a year or so later, in the time since I contacted them, they had sadly sent all of the unsold F50 keyboards overseas to be destroyed and melted down for scrap metal.
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Ellipse

11 Jun 2024, 04:20

Pad print update: The factory is getting ready for the updated machine to be completed, expected in the next week or so.

As always please do sign the interest form to reserve your pad printed set. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1873Q9w ... h4XtN1DfNk

As everyone saw in the photo of the pad print test posted recently, the final plate was already made so those keys are the final keys. Since plates are costly, I noted in this month's blog update that future plates will require a minimum order quantity of 5 sets. One plate can have all of the spots for keys as shown below.

This first plate includes the regular US printed key set, HHKB 6 key set (green boxes in the attached drawing), Mac 6 key set (red boxes; text version only - they combine 2 printings of 3 keys each to get 6 keys so only 250 Mac sets are in the first batch), and some miscellaneous keys as shown (blue boxes). There will be no ISO sets as mentioned before; ISO Enter, Code, and PC AT Big Enter are not yet ready. Pricing is expected to be $80 to $100 for these sets, probably closer to $80 for the US sets and higher for the ISO sets.

So far we have about 250 sets' worth of interest expressed in the Google interest form (not just US but other sets of interest too); there will be around 500 sets in the first production run.

As soon as production is finished, ordering will be opened. I think you'll be able to choose to be in a batch air mailed to me (for $15 to $20 more, to defray air mail costs) or wait for the second container shipment later this year with the beam spring and F122 keyboards.
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Ellipse

12 Jun 2024, 09:28

I am trying to put together a list of the most requested modern layouts for some possible Model F small production runs. What are some of the newer layouts that are most popular, or classic layouts that have not yet been made?

The Preonic non-split ortholinear

The split ortho Ergodox style - hopefully another round can be made with some updates such as controller communication between halves or one controller that controls both halves

kmnov2017

12 Jun 2024, 10:27

Ellipse wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 09:28
I am trying to put together a list of the most requested modern layouts for some possible Model F small production runs. What are some of the newer layouts that are most popular, or classic layouts that have not yet been made?

The Preonic non-split ortholinear

The split ortho Ergodox style - hopefully another round can be made with some updates such as controller communication between halves or one controller that controls both halves
65%

User avatar
engr

12 Jun 2024, 16:01

As far as the custom pad-printed keysets with MOQ of 5: is white ink going to be the only option for these? Or will it be possible to do sublegends in different colors?

Ellipse

12 Jun 2024, 20:41

White ink only for now; multicolor on one layout would probably require additional plates.

JLan

14 Jun 2024, 17:45

Ellipse wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 09:28


The split ortho Ergodox style - hopefully another round can be made with some updates such as controller communication between halves or one controller that controls both halves
I think this would be popular (personally on the fence since I prefer the F15 style but the separate controllers is an issue)

Ellipse

15 Jun 2024, 06:14

Sharing (with permission) the first photo sent to me of the Russian Cyrillic layout on an F77, with F1-F12 front printed Russian Cyrillic keys and the HHKB layout.
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resonator

15 Jun 2024, 11:46

Regarding floss mods - I was sent the following note:
That was me. For the benefit of others, I'll share the complete full email with all the feedback I offered Joe.
Hi Joe,

I've been using my Model F for a few months now and I just wanted to
share with you my experience now that everything seems to have settled
in.

First, I'm the more I use the keyboard, the more I'm loving it. My
previous keyboard has Kailh Navy's so it's taken a while to adjust to
the comparatively featherweight Model F. But I think I'm now about
there.

I'm not sure whether you remember, but I ordered a scummyc layout and
assembled it myself. The assembly was more or less painless. I've made
custom keyboards in the past so I wasn't daunted at all. It was pretty
uneventful until I got to the assembly. I wasn't expecting to need to
sandwich the inner-assembly into place with the chassis. This could be
better explained in the manual (or maybe it's too late to matter).

I had a lot of trouble with the spacebar. It would stick and it wasn't
clear from the instructions whether to splay the stabiliser out or in.
After a few days of fumbling around, I would force the keyboard to
stick, then use the point of a knife to apply pressure to the stabiliser
until I found the point that would release the key. That was my
reference for how to adjust the stabiliser.

But the spacebar fun didn't end there. The correct adjustment for of the
stabiliser had the legs splayed out so far that during use it would work
it's way under the edge of the key to the right of space (which I use as
the alt modifier). When that key is next pressed, it also presses the
spacebar. To address that, I folded some tape around the stabiliser with
the edge butted against the edge of the retention clip. I did that on
each side and it no longer moves around.

The pinging was too much for me, so I immediately did the floss mod. I
didn't have that super-floss, but I did have waxed thread for leather
work. I used that instead. I can't compare to floss, but it works great.
I have needed to redo some keys that have redeveloped the ping, but I
believe that is because I cut the thread too short.

The cable was also a bit too cheap and nasty for me, so I replaced that
with something a lot more authentic.

I've also noticed that pressing capslock on it's extreme edge is rather
scratchy. It's like the key is binding in the barrel.

And finally, after a few months the paint is wearing out. It seems that
hand oils dissolve the paint to the point that it can be rubbed off. The
paint in areas of the keyboard that don't get touched is still hard.


I hope that this information can somehow make the future keyboards
slightly better. Cheers and thanks.

Take a look at this.

Here is a video of the paint issue.

https://u.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... 7bA0TY2Kk7

And here is a photo of my keyboard.

https://u.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... QQHpGL2lS7

Jon

Ellipse

15 Jun 2024, 20:21

Layouts update:

We were talking about possible new layouts for the Model F: Model F Preonic and Planck style keyboards have gotten 25 poll submissions over on reddit over the past few days from someone who was interested in them. I may do a more official interest check with collecting emails in the near future.

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you are liking your new Model F! This is one reason I am wary of sending out keyboards in kit/unassembled form as I did with this one (there is just one scumnc keyboard left and it is also only available unassembled). It makes things a little trickier and take a bit longer to assemble, though you noted that you did not have much trouble with assembly. As a general note, I do not recommend the troubleshooting steps that you noted.

abu nuwas

19 Jun 2024, 18:36

Hi! I am a little confused regarding special layouts. I ordered an M style F104 with Arabic keys - will this be available?

Ellipse

19 Jun 2024, 19:18

abu nuwas yes that set is available. All of the listed key sets are available to choose.

ModelMenjoyer

Yesterday, 04:40

just curious, are classic F104/Fssk cases compatible with original model m cases? It would be cool if i could put my model m's parts in there. maybe not.

Ellipse

Yesterday, 05:06

Unfortunately no. Also they are not compatible with the ultra compact F104/FSSK keyboards.

wim_board

Yesterday, 14:46

Sure this has been asked, but the thread is getting looong. Is it possible to adapt my m77, adding a split right shift? Involved, I'm sure, but possible?

User avatar
thefarside

Yesterday, 15:20

wim_board wrote:
Yesterday, 14:46
Sure this has been asked, but the thread is getting looong. Is it possible to adapt my m77, adding a split right shift? Involved, I'm sure, but possible?
I don’t think so. The HHKB split right shift has a different barrel plate and probably different PCB than the normal layout.

Ellipse

Today, 05:19

thefarside is correct that you can't change HHKB style split right shift and regular 2.75U right shift since the parts are different.

You can change to JIS-style split right shift (1U+1.75U) but not HHKB style split right shift (1.75U+1U).

Given the current sale right now it's more cost effective to get a new board entirely and sell the old one instead of ordering all the various different parts.

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