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

Wazrach

24 Jun 2020, 13:34

darkcruix wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 13:25
Wazrach wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 13:12
How would I do that? I'm a newbie to this sort of thing. xD
Download this PDF: https://static.wongcornall.com/ibm-caps ... odel_f.pdf
Updating the firmware is described on page 15

What you need:
Download dfu-programmer from here: http://dfu-programmer.github.io/
The firmware is attached here as zip file: Archive.zip
Put the controller into the boot loader (start the IBM Capsense USB Util, clikc on Tools and Boot Loader). At this point you will need a secondary keyboard attached ...
Then run the commands described on page 15,
-.-
Attachments
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darkcruix

24 Jun 2020, 15:32

libusb-1.0.23.7z
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Open the compressed file, navigate to .\MS64\dll and copy the 3 files to e.g. c:\Windows\system32

Wazrach

24 Jun 2020, 15:45

Of COURSE it still doesn't work, of course. xD Did just that and still getting the errors.

Thanks though.

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darkcruix

24 Jun 2020, 16:35

Wazrach wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 15:45
Of COURSE it still doesn't work, of course. xD Did just that and still getting the errors.

Thanks though.
I did a test run on Windows and did the following:
  • Unpacked the dfu - program
  • Installed the driver by right-clicking the inf file in teh subfolder dfu-prog-usb-1.2.2
  • Copied the dlls from amd64 sub-folder to the folder, where the executable is located
  • opened a command line as admin
  • opened the ibm capsense and put the keyboard into bootloader mode
  • opened the On-Screen Keyboard
  • typed the dfu command as shown in the command line
  • all worked as expected
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Wazrach

24 Jun 2020, 17:16

darkcruix wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 16:35
Wazrach wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 15:45
Of COURSE it still doesn't work, of course. xD Did just that and still getting the errors.

Thanks though.
I did a test run on Windows and did the following:
  • Unpacked the dfu - program
  • Installed the driver by right-clicking the inf file in teh subfolder dfu-prog-usb-1.2.2
  • Copied the dlls from amd64 sub-folder to the folder, where the executable is located
  • opened a command line as admin
  • opened the ibm capsense and put the keyboard into bootloader mode
  • opened the On-Screen Keyboard
  • typed the dfu command as shown in the command line
  • all worked as expected
testrun.png
Thanks again, I appreciate it! I'm going to give that a go. What do you mean by inf file? There's nothing with that file extension. Do you mean atmel_usb_dfu?

Wazrach

24 Jun 2020, 17:17


Ellipse

24 Jun 2020, 18:06

Wazrach, thanks for recording that typing test video!

Here's an alternative step by step guide with screenshots at each step, using the Windows program Atmel Flip (the program I use to load all the new Model F firmware):
https://imgur.com/a/kth6dHt#O0IArSE

Sp33ls

24 Jun 2020, 18:42

Man, these look so nice! The wait is reeeaalllll. :)

Is that next shipment batch still tracking on-time? Sorry if you touched on this recently @ellipse, I didn't see anything in the past few pages in this board.

Ellipse

24 Jun 2020, 19:32

The factory is still working on the QC as described a few weeks ago. It may take another month to finish before the second container shipment of the early bird round can go out. As noted earlier, the factory fixing the QC problems that have slowed me down significantly this year (described on the project blog) will help increase my throughput in getting these keyboards out going forward.

Sp33ls

24 Jun 2020, 22:15

Got it, thanks for the clarification!

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AlpsComeback

25 Jun 2020, 02:11

I also recorded a typing demo the other day, here it is:

https://youtu.be/TBMQ2V_o7xc

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darkcruix

25 Jun 2020, 09:51

And while we're at it ... typing test with and without solenoid (stolen from a Beam Spring 3278)

troglotype

25 Jun 2020, 14:05

Scarpia wrote:
21 Jun 2020, 10:34
Interesting size observation, and cool pic of the siblings!

Were the F77 and FAT contemporary?
Edit: completely misunderstood your question. So the links were not relevant.

And yes, they were available contemporaneously.
Last edited by troglotype on 26 Jun 2020, 10:05, edited 3 times in total.

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arcanius

25 Jun 2020, 22:46

troglotype wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 14:05
And yes, they were available contemporaneously.
Well, not really available, but they were contemporaneous. I imagine IBM wouldn't sell you a 4704 if you weren't a bank.
I believe the Model F XT (before it was the XT, shipping with the 5150) would have been available over a year before the 4704 was released. I also think the 4704 was available well into the life of the IBM PS/2, so some of its keyboards could have been contemporaneous with Model Ms, even grey badge ones.

russypt

25 Jun 2020, 23:04

Sorry I haven't been able to provide a nice detailed review. The fact I've been using my F77 to do all the day job development work that's kept me away from the forum can be taken as a positive review in itself though.

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Scarpia

26 Jun 2020, 08:34

arcanius wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 22:46
troglotype wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 14:05
And yes, they were available contemporaneously.
Well, not really available, but they were contemporaneous. I imagine IBM wouldn't sell you a 4704 if you weren't a bank.
I believe the Model F XT (before it was the XT, shipping with the 5150) would have been available over a year before the 4704 was released. I also think the 4704 was available well into the life of the IBM PS/2, so some of its keyboards could have been contemporaneous with Model Ms, even grey badge ones.
Thanks! That’s interesting - but the real question is about the AT, isn’t it? I mean, the F77 makes sense if the AT hadn’t been created yet; but if they were overlapping, then why, when they seem to have the same size and reasonably modern layouts?

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tentator

26 Jun 2020, 09:11

it depends from the point of view and the use of it on the specific machine.. I'd say the F77 has a more modern layout for instance! :P

troglotype

26 Jun 2020, 10:00

Scarpia wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 08:34
arcanius wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 22:46
troglotype wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 14:05
And yes, they were available contemporaneously.
Well, not really available, but they were contemporaneous. I imagine IBM wouldn't sell you a 4704 if you weren't a bank.
I believe the Model F XT (before it was the XT, shipping with the 5150) would have been available over a year before the 4704 was released. I also think the 4704 was available well into the life of the IBM PS/2, so some of its keyboards could have been contemporaneous with Model Ms, even grey badge ones.
Thanks! That’s interesting - but the real question is about the AT, isn’t it? I mean, the F77 makes sense if the AT hadn’t been created yet; but if they were overlapping, then why, when they seem to have the same size and reasonably modern layouts?
It's reasonable to assume that both models make use of related usability data / design principles. But as Arcanius has pointed out, the AT and the F77 were built for very different markets / systems. What might make the keyboards for the 4704 system feel "modern" to us is the modular design of the entire series.

The AT seems to feel more "modern" because it's a less "messy" evolution of the XT layout. But afaik it was not part of a modular series of keyboards for the 5170 system. Modularity wouldn't have made sense for the PC market in the way it made sense for a banking system that needs different workstation layouts.

Oh, and the evolution of the Model F/M keyboards for the IBM PC is is also (or mainly?) about saving manufacturing costs. What I have read about original pricing makes me doubt IBM could have sold Model F keyboards for the 4704 system to 5170 customers.

This luxury (and it's still a luxury) we can afford only thanks to Ellipse

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arcanius

27 Jun 2020, 00:19

Scarpia wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 08:34
Thanks! That’s interesting - but the real question is about the AT, isn’t it? I mean, the F77 makes sense if the AT hadn’t been created yet; but if they were overlapping, then why, when they seem to have the same size and reasonably modern layouts?
The PC AT was released in August 1984, whereas the 4704 was released late '82. Kishy indicates that the F77 came in December of that year. So the F77 had been available for almost two years upon the release of the F AT.
I doubt the 4704 keyboards saw very high-volume production, and they were purpose-built for a different system. Let's not forget that the most common 4704 keyboard was the 107; the F77 seems to be the rarest. Troglotype gets the biggest factor here:
troglotype wrote:
26 Jun 2020, 10:00
Oh, and the evolution of the Model F/M keyboards for the IBM PC is is also (or mainly?) about saving manufacturing costs. What I have read about original pricing makes me doubt IBM could have sold Model F keyboards for the 4704 system to 5170 customers.
I don't have a reference for the cost of the Model F AT when it released, but the 1983 price list posted to this thread some time ago says that a 4704 F77 cost $375 whereas an F XT was $270. Considering that a 5160 cost $5000, 100 dollars (adjusted for inflation, that's $270 today!) isn't a huge difference, but I imagine that the margins on an F AT were better for IBM, since the production was higher-volume and material costs were reduced.

IBM doesn't strike me as the type of corporation that would pass all the savings on to the customer. :D They knew what they were making; the Model F remains one of the best keyboards ever made, almost 40 years after its initial launch.

Ellipse

27 Jun 2020, 05:58

Thanks everyone for posting updates of their new Model F keyboards!

darkcruix I like the solenoid video. I am aiming for ordering a custom solenoid that will be even beefier than the original solenoid - a variation of the solenoid that is on eBay, but customized with an adjustable throw of about 0.5 or 1mm to 5mm for people who want something plug and play, factory set to 1mm throw, without having to drill or adjust anything. Will let everyone know the update once I have more details.

russypt that is great news - always glad to hear people using these keyboards with their day jobs! Hope these keyboards hold up well for intense work usage.

On a somewhat related note to IBM pricing and approach with "full service" maintenance contracts I thought I'd summarize the project philosophy (was talking with someone about this recently) and how I share some aspects with IBM (importance of quality, a focus on an exact reproduction but with updates to allow usage with modern devices) but differ on the full service vs. DIY approach to maintenance and repairs. As always if someone wants to share a better way of wording it please do!


Model F Project philosophy: full user control of product maintenance and repairs

The Model F keyboard is a robust design. Every part is 100% user-replaceable / user-repairable, often needing just a couple tools:  screwdrivers, pliers, and at most a soldering iron.  Compared to other consumer electronics products, Model F repair is easy and even a complete beginner can get up to speed quickly on how to use the keyboard software and keep their keyboard going for decades to come.

To reiterate the project philosophy, this is a community type project where the goal is to have a product that you can use and learn to maintain yourself for decades from now, long after production has ended, with help from the community if need be.  The most basic recommended maintenance involves just taking off the keys with a wire key cap puller to clean them with mild soap and water every now and then.

I know I'm used to just bringing something back to the store if anything is wrong with it and for something complicated like a motherboard or graphics card that's probably the best option, but the new Model F project philosophy is for the users to be able to fix small issues themselves due to the simplicity and full repairability of the Model F design (many buyers come from the world of the original IBM keyboards that are decades old and almost certainly require some maintenance work, so they expect it and are used to it). This keeps costs down so I am able to offer these keyboards at less than half of what IBM charged for them (adjusted for inflation).  Also there's a great community of Model F keyboard fans, most prominently on sites like Deskthority and geekhack. You will never be out of reach of someone who can offer you advice and help in the coming years.

There are definitely markets for hardware with service contracts.  Not sure about a market for a +$100 more costly keyboard with full maintenance and technical support though.  IBM's 1980s price guides mentioned they would require charging banking customers a minimum of about $100 per year (not adjusted for inflation) for each original Model F keyboard in maintenance costs as part of a service contract.  However, if I had to hire staff to deal with "free" returns, more personalized technical support / phone support, and doing even the most minor repairs (re-seating keys, replacing springs and barrels, changing the USB cable, etc.), each keyboard would cost a lot more because of overhead costs, and these keyboards are already not inexpensive to begin with. And it would slow me down even further mailing out these great keyboards.  I believe that this direct to consumer, community type project is the best way to bring the Model F to as many people as possible and at the lowest possible cost.

dad

27 Jun 2020, 11:23

Ellipse wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 05:58

Model F Project philosophy: full user control of product maintenance and repairs

....

users to be able to fix small issues themselves due to the simplicity and full repairability of the Model F design...
...
For small (minor) issues (like single/few keys repair/replacement or software issues) only - agree(ordered a repair kit to be safe), but ... in case of major issues(rare, but still possible): keyboard or controller DOA, serious problems with finish quality (appearing after short term usage) requiring full re-paint of the case, etc - are the returns/replaces possible?

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darkcruix

27 Jun 2020, 16:07

Ellipse wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 05:58
darkcruix I like the solenoid video. I am aiming for ordering a custom solenoid that will be even beefier than the original solenoid - a variation of the solenoid that is on eBay, but customized with an adjustable throw of about 0.5 or 1mm to 5mm for people who want something plug and play, factory set to 1mm throw, without having to drill or adjust anything. Will let everyone know the update once I have more details.
As soon as I can order them, they will be on the list :)
btw: If you could also create some feet similar to the original 4704, I would order them as well. I've 3D-printed some, but have to re-work them. I only want a very slight angle :) I will post some pictures, once I am happy with the design here.

Ellipse

27 Jun 2020, 17:35

darkcruix did you post your 3d designed Model F foot on this thread? I can't seem to remember. I have ordered from Shapeways before and the components had good quality. I offer extra bumpers of varying heights (1/8 inch all the way up to 1 inch height). For everyone reading who may not know, the zinc cases have two holes in the bottom (on the "upper" bottom side near the top row of keys) for screw in bumpers and the compact cases have four holes. I think the bumpers with screws are quite durable.

dad, yes there is a limited warranty to exchange parts if the controller stops working within the warranty period or there is some shipping damage for example, but cosmetic issues are not part of the warranty as noted on the home page. On a related note, even other hardware products like LCD computer monitors specifically allow for a number of noticeable defects (stuck/dead pixels) unless you pay for a product with a higher guarantee option.

As mentioned many times on the forums, this project is designed to be a reproduction of the 1980s Model F keyboards and the cases are purposefully designed to match the 1980s IBM quality paint as opposed to the high end sealed powdercoating available today (check posts from a month or so ago for more details). Many of them will not have a show quality finish from the factory. Also, this paint and other Model F components like the textured key top surfaces wear down over time just like the originals - goes to the project philosophy that the zinc cases like all Model F parts are fully maintainable at the user's discretion - not that you first consider talking to the manufacturer if a part finish is not perfect or wears down after usage. If you prefer the non-original powdercoating there are auto body shops that can remove the old paint and replace it (have them use a scanner for the original painted case so they can custom mix the same color if you'd like). The first two Model F prototype cases had this new style powdercoating - very durable but not right for this project.

Even just carrying a zinc case in my suitcase with protective bubble wrap packaging (but without the original styrofoam packaging) caused some flaking of the paint. (carried around for the mechanical keyboard meetups I've been to over the years - NY, NJ, PA, CA, and Washington, D.C.). These keyboards are meant to be used daily and worn down over time - not meant to look the same as when you bought them.

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darkcruix

27 Jun 2020, 23:56

The feet I created are rather simple as you can see in the pictures below (these are printed in draft mode).
There is a cutout in the plastic that holds a M6 hex-nut. With that you can screw the feet to the bottom case through the pre-existing holes.
Find attached the STL file for 3D printing in the zip. The attached PDF contains the dimensions in mm.
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Wazrach

28 Jun 2020, 01:17

I will TRY to keep this short as I plan to elaborate in a video review at some point, but here are some things that are worth noting before/after buying a Model F Labs keyboard.

If the key feel isn't as good as you remember or just isn't matching up to your original IBM, there's a good chance you need to reseat or even replace springs. My parcel must have been knocked about pretty badly in shipping as ParcelForce had to repair the exterior of the parcel. That, and the fact I opted to install the keycaps myself, could mean the springs were allowed to move freely and perhaps loosen from their flipper nubs. The key feel was a bit underwhelming and not quite as good as my original Model F XT with degrading foam. After reseating several springs and TRYING to get the position of the spring fairly consistent across the board, more keys feel crisper and smoother than they did before. Thankfully, the WASD keys feel the best, but I can't seem to get the same result with some of the other keys just yet.

If keys aren't working properly, there could be a number of things causing the issue. I tried out the new firmware (thanks to darkcruix and Ellipse for giving me a hand), but this didn't solve my issue with the spacebar sometimes hanging or registering twice. The cause was actually damage to the spring, which I'm guessing happened because the spacebar was dislodged during shipping. I replaced it with one of the two spares included, and now I'm not having any issues at all.

Because the spacebar was dislodged during shipping, it obviously interfered with the metal tabs for the stabiliser wire - which Ellipse personally tweaks for the best sound. This means I had to do some of this myself and experiment for the best sound. I added dollops of Tribosys 3204 to the stabiliser tabs and brushed some lightly on the barrels (even the top), as well as the wire where it meets the clips spacebar-side. I carefully pressed down the tabs just enough so that the spacebar's play is reduced - but not too much as stop the spacebar from returning fully, and fast. If you give the wire enough room to retract, you should get a satisfying deep rattle on the return stroke. Again, it's still probably not as good as Ellipse could have done, but I think the spacebar sounds very nice now. It's nearly F122 level. What do you guys think?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMNPhBECNQ4

Ellipse

28 Jun 2020, 18:17

A follow up to my earlier "project philosophy" message (from a discussion over on GH):

In the below file, check out page 49, IBM 4704 section, 4662 and 4677 keyboards (F62 and F77): $21 a month minimum maintenance charges per keyboard as of January 1984. The F62 cost $340 and the F77 cost $375 in 1984 dollars which means $839 and $925 in today's dollars (4607 was the F107 model - page 48).
http://bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/serviceFor ... Prices.pdf

From what survived / what was in my collection, many of the 4704s in my past collection were refurbished at some point. They may have replaced the entire inner assembly for a bank if there was a bad key and then refurbished the old inner assembly on their side; I don't know. Many inner assemblies were newer than the production sticker on the cases. Some with new inner assembly PCBs were made as late as 1996!

troglotype

28 Jun 2020, 19:44

Ellipse wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 18:17
A follow up to my earlier "project philosophy" message (from a discussion over on GH):
Joe, thank you very much for sharing this document! I hope that your website will become a repository for exactly this kind of information.

Wazrach

28 Jun 2020, 20:21

Oh and, the things I noted may make it seem like I have a negative opinion on the keyboard, but that couldn't be further from how it is. I am in love with this keyboard. It is so beautiful, so heavy and so loud. It's FANTASTIC.

caltemus

29 Jun 2020, 23:38

What are the black pieces that look like stabilizers, and where do they go?

Ellipse

30 Jun 2020, 20:11

I wanted to share an important blog post from today:


PSA: A note on package theft and porch pirates - how you can help

Millions of packages are stolen every year, from what I have recently read.

Unfortunately the contents of a delivered Brand New Model F Keyboard order appear to have been stolen recently.  I am working with the buyer and through proper channels to investigate the matter and cannot comment further on it at this time.

There are some misconceptions on this topic, but if a package is delivered and then the package and/or its contents go missing (possibly from "porch pirates"), the seller is not held responsible for paying for a new order, and shipping insurance does not cover packages after they are delivered (though some of the big companies can afford to take the loss and decide to replace the order, or mandate buyer-friendly resolutions as a matter of policy so some buyers mistakenly believe they have no liability for any package theft from any company they order from).  It is a similar situation to someone breaking into your car or house and taking your property - the place you bought the item from is not responsible. I know this does not seem fair but that is the current state of the matter.  Obviously please do first check with those who live around you as someone may have taken in the package to help you.

How you can help:

1. Please email me immediately about any Brand New Model F listings that you see that are not mine, as they may be stolen property and I can first check the serial number and, if needed, alert the proper channels.  Each keyboard has a serial number I can track to a specific owner, and I know the serials that are reported missing vs. if someone is just selling what they ordered which is fine (a serial number not listed as missing is not a problem).  If the serial label has been defaced or removed, it may be a stolen item.

2. I will recommend again that everyone orders signature confirmation if someone is not able to be there to accept the package, or arrange to have the package held for delivery by USPS or at a UPS store (I don't think there's a cost to hold mail).  For signature confirmation please order 7 units of the store item $1 increments and note "signature confirmation" if interested in that option (this amount is for shipments within the US; contact me for international rates).  This way you prevent the package from being taken after it is delivered.  Given the low rate of package thefts I do not force everyone to pay more; it is optional though theft does happen and you could lose a lot more than $7 if your package is taken after delivery.  When you receive a package, make sure it is approximately the weight you ordered before signing for it and consider refusing delivery if there is a discrepancy.  In my order confirmation emails I add notes on what shipped and what has not shipped, and you can see on the package tracking page the exact weight of the shipment.  A note that your entire order may not ship in one shipment so please be aware that you may correctly be receiving only a portion of what you ordered in one shipment.  The shipping companies usually don't let you open a package to inspect it before signing, but if a package appears to weigh far less than what was on the label or it looks too small you do not have to sign for it.  A classic case keyboard box is 18 or 21 x 13 x 3 inches (depending on F62 vs. F77) and a compact case keyboard box is about 18 or 21 x 8 x 3 inches.

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