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

Wazrach

04 Sep 2020, 12:26

If anyone is having issues with a rattly or shrill spacebar, try putting thin adhesive neoprene under the stabiliser wire next to the tabs on the barrel frame. This has made the spacebar quieter and more solid, without making it mushy. For some reason after disassembling the keyboard, the spacebar doesn't sound as massive or firm as it did before.

Aoeut

05 Sep 2020, 22:19

Got my F77 working with the QMK beta a couple weeks ago. Had some initial issues with keys not working and random keystrokes on the original xwhatsit firmware, but that all cleared up after switching to QMK. So big thanks to pandrew for his work on that.

Here are some pictures for anyone interested. All keycaps were taken from Model Ms. Also made a very minor mod to make the USB cable detachable.
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Bass

05 Sep 2020, 22:35

Wazrach wrote:
04 Sep 2020, 12:26
If anyone is having issues with a rattly or shrill spacebar, try putting thin adhesive neoprene under the stabiliser wire next to the tabs on the barrel frame. This has made the spacebar quieter and more solid, without making it mushy. For some reason after disassembling the keyboard, the spacebar doesn't sound as massive or firm as it did before.
I actually went and tried this on a different Model F and indeed it eliminated the rattling from my spacebar, but it also made it feel noticeably stiffer, so I am not sure if I like it. Curious if the neoprene sheet I have is too thick (1/16 in). What thickness were you using?

Admiral

05 Sep 2020, 23:37

I actually just bought an old IBM 5150 computer. It came with the keyboard and monitor (case didn't fare too well but it works). The keys pretty much feel the same other than more wear on the used keyboard. The reproductions really get it down pat. I'd say the biggest difference is the spacebar. The F77 I use daily has a way lighter spacebar (which may or may not be a con for you). For me it is very nice that it is lighter because when typing on the original I always pause and have to make sure I depress it. But with the heavier spring, plastic top housing, and larger spacebar it sounds a lot more thockier and nice. Also with the plastic housing of the original keyboard I think it helps to reduce the pinging sound. I think there is a charm to both sounds.

unxmaal

06 Sep 2020, 01:57

Just got my red F77! I think this board has QMK already, but I'll need access to the QMK beta site to do more with it.

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darkspider

06 Sep 2020, 02:49

unxmaal wrote:
06 Sep 2020, 01:57
Just got my red F77! I think this board has QMK already, but I'll need access to the QMK beta site to do more with it.
PM pandrew, then you get a document to configure your F77 which include the url for the QMK beta configurator.

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darkcruix

06 Sep 2020, 03:12

I wanted to do another shoutout here as well.
For the Model F Technical Reference, I would still require photos (with CC rights) for a bunch of original IBM Keyboards.
I have two pictures in the PDF http://linux-tin.org/ModelFManual.pdf of my XT and AT boards already, so you can see the approximate angle I shoot them of (Section 2.13 Photos of the Models - page 2-34 at this moment)

Models I own and won't need pictures for:
* Model F 'XT'
* Model F 'AT'
* Model F122
* Model F107
* Brand New Model F62
* Brand New Model F77
* Model F 'XT Portable'


Models I would love to get pictures for:
* System/23 Datamaster Keyboard (IBM 5322)
* System/23 Datamaster Keyboard (IBM 5324) “Bezelmaster”
* CS/9000 Keyboard [should look like the XT with a different badge]
* Model F ‘Bigfoot’
* Model F ‘104-key terminal keyboard’ or ‘Unsaver’
* Model F ‘4704 50-key’
* Model F ‘4704 62-key’ or Model 200 or ‘Kishsaver’ - Original
* Model F ‘4704 77-key’ or Model 300 - Original
* Model F ‘Displaywriter’
* Model F ‘Blue Button’ (all versions)
* Model F 127 ‘4980’

Ellipse

06 Sep 2020, 03:45

Some photos:
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Wazrach

06 Sep 2020, 14:43

Bass wrote:
05 Sep 2020, 22:35
Wazrach wrote:
04 Sep 2020, 12:26
If anyone is having issues with a rattly or shrill spacebar, try putting thin adhesive neoprene under the stabiliser wire next to the tabs on the barrel frame. This has made the spacebar quieter and more solid, without making it mushy. For some reason after disassembling the keyboard, the spacebar doesn't sound as massive or firm as it did before.
I actually went and tried this on a different Model F and indeed it eliminated the rattling from my spacebar, but it also made it feel noticeably stiffer, so I am not sure if I like it. Curious if the neoprene sheet I have is too thick (1/16 in). What thickness were you using?
I believe it's 1mm adhesive neoprene. The best part about this is that you can just order a "sample" of the material and you'll have plenty to use.

whitterbit

06 Sep 2020, 23:30

How can I get access to qmk beta?

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Tritian

07 Sep 2020, 04:16

Finally got my F77, and i'm super impressed.

I did have one major issue - I had the problem where I had large swaths of keys that were unresponsive, and the issue seemed to be the pins on the ribbon cable connection poking through the tape and shorting out on the case. I layered some scotch tape for a temporary solution until I buy some more electrical tape.

I feel like Ellipse should check to see what's going on here, might want to invest in some thicker tape. :)

The typing feel is amazing. I had heard the Model F had a lighter actuation than Model M but I was really surprised with how light they are. Even though they are light, they have a very satisfying tactile event. The more I use it, the more I love it.

It sounds like a bag full of nails and springs tumbling down a hill. The ping and general racket of it all is impressive to me but perhaps a bit much for my girlfriend. :D

Still, even she agrees, it's quite the looker:
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After ensuring the hardware was all working properly, I started my journey on the firmware side. It took me awhile to figure it all out for my particular board/firmware, so I'll post simple instructions for anyone who needs them here. I found the manual to be extremely thorough but overwhelming with the possibilities. Remember though, this was my path. Your mileage may vary.

--------------------------------------------------

My board came with QMK firmware installed, so I assume all boards coming out from this point on will??

I messaged pandrew who sent me detailed instructions showing many different paths that might be overwhelming. This is what I did. (Windows 10, QMK Firmware)

1) Go to the Online QMK configurator from pandrew (link in instructions).
2) Select your exact configuration from the dropdown, use the /wcass one, and then select the layout you have
- your entire default layout below might disappear at this point. There should be a link to a zip file with a bunch of different .json files, find your right layout and drag/drop it onto the online configurator. this will reset your defaults.
- you might now notice that your enter and left shift have iso splits - just ignore it. Double check that you choose an ansi layout if you are ansi.
3) Make your alterations to the layout how you prefer.
4) Click COMPILE button in upper right. The service may be down as it was with me, but after a moment it was back up.
5) Download the .hex file with the FIRMWARE button which is now lit up. It may say "are you sure you want to leave site" but dont worry, it wont take you away from the configurator. It will just download the file to your local.
6) Download QMK Toolbox, install it, run it.
7) Select the .hex file you downloaded from the configurator, and under MCU select atmega32u2
8) On your F77(62 also?), Hold LSHIFT+RSHIFT+ESC to reset, QMK will tell you that a DFU device connected
9) Double check your Local File and MCU are correct, and hit FLASH.
10) Profit.

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yuchipashe

07 Sep 2020, 10:03

Goddamn the red powdercoating looks really good. I thought that the red looked overpowering, but it really gives a British postbox vibe and looks better than I expected.

I wonder tho if someone already made a video with the new solenoid from Ellipse (or a comparison video with the new solenoid and other existing ones).

I really can't wait to unbox mine, but pretty sure that with waiting until the dyesub project to be completed + intl. shipping to Asia, I'll have to wait till next year till I get my hands on this. But with the layout that I've always wanted, the housing type and material that I want, the switch mechanism that I want, and a new solenoid to boot. This might be the best board I'll ever have and ever made, or even the best board in all aspects (especially in usability), period! I can wait another year I suppose hahahaha

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Tritian

07 Sep 2020, 11:14

On the color, the photo is a bit off, but not too far... it has the trademark samsung over-saturation. I'll try to get a photo with some natural lighting tomorrow. It's a really punchy red, a tinge on the orange side. When I unboxed it, i was taken aback at its vibrance and beauty. Such an amazing deal for the price, IMO. And the spare cases being $110 is great also. I picked up a black compact f77 aluminum case, but i havent inspected it that thoroughly yet... i've been too busy with this beauty. (and trying to stay cool... no air conditioning and a heat wave is killing me, especially with all the ash in the air making it difficult to open windows...)

Regarding the layout, I must say that this F77 layout with the three column filled nav cluster is the PERFECT layout for me. This has it all. I've got it set up like a TKL with some extra macro/media keys, but if you hit numlock it toggles the layer to be a numpad with all the math operators below, perfect for whenever i need to type some pin, authenticator code or whatever other number crunching my work throws at me.

The M13 keycaps I managed to score last week, so this all came together nicely in the last minute. Although... I almost like the M13 keycaps better on the model m... something about the design of the model m is quite amazing. I wouldn't mind a zinc model m with f assembly, Ellipse. :D

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tentator

07 Sep 2020, 11:19

Tritian wrote:
07 Sep 2020, 11:14
The M13 keycaps I managed to score last week, so this all came together nicely in the last minute. Although... I almost like the M13 keycaps better on the model m... something about the design of the model m is quite amazing. I wouldn't mind a zinc model m with f assembly, Ellipse. :D
well you could try assembling a model MF aka Mara :)

tent:wq

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Tritian

07 Sep 2020, 13:25

i was under the impression that project was dead.. :(

Also, would love this kind of powdercoated zinc body in model m form

kmnov2017

07 Sep 2020, 13:48

Tritian wrote:
07 Sep 2020, 13:25
i was under the impression that project was dead.. :(

Also, would love this kind of powdercoated zinc body in model m form
Start a group buy, and we'll buy it from you....

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Tritian

07 Sep 2020, 14:24

hmm, is the implication here that I shouldn't suggest such things unless i'm willing to devote the next several years of my life to making it happen?

lintmachine

08 Sep 2020, 08:55

Hello!

I have been using my Model F77 for about a week now and it's such a great feeling keyboard!

Mine came with QMK installed, but I wanted to customize it, of course. I got access to the QMK beta from pandrew (thank you!) and have it building locally. I'm experimenting with VIA support enabled in the firmware and have successfully edited the keymap layers with the VIA editor (no flashing required).

Enabling VIA also enables BOOTMAGIC ("lite", I think), which is incompatible with the capsense auto-calibration. While I can't actually use the features of BOOTMAGIC (no keys can be pressed when the keyboard is initialized), having it enabled doesn't seem to cause me any problems.
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Here's a screen capture of the VIA editor with my F77 keymap.
Here's a screen capture of the VIA editor with my F77 keymap.
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This one is mine.
This one is mine.
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Tritian

08 Sep 2020, 10:09

oh wow, nice - i'd love to be able to configure this with VIA.

did you have to do anything special? Or was it just a matter of following these steps and then compiling the firmware with command line utilities?

Sorry for my ignorance, the world of qmk is mostly new to me.

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Scarpia

08 Sep 2020, 10:27

Exactly two months with my F77 now, and I could not be happier.

I just flashed QMK on it this morning and all is well -- I actually had no problems with the original firmware for the first 6-7 weeks, but about a week ago, the 'k' key started acting up, sometimes registering multiple keypresses and sometimes not registering at all. So with pandrew's help and some contortionism to get pandrew's bootloader utility working on my Mac (bloody xcode), I got QMK flashed on it, and the problems disappeared.

So after two months, the status of my F77 is:
  1. SSK keycaps plus a DT logo cap
  2. Floss mod - worth it!
  3. Silicone lube under the space bar (to stop it squeaking)
  4. IBM badge from eBay - sexy AF: https://ebay.us/XVT1zQ
  5. QMK firmware with my slightly custom layout for Mac and PC use
  6. Both my Topre boards have gone into long term storage (and at least one will be sold)
All in all, minor tweaks to achieve peak performance of my endgame keyboard.

consensual-penis

09 Sep 2020, 05:03

I would cry tears of joy if I could use VIA on my model F.

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Pete

09 Sep 2020, 08:34

I have an F77 and an F62 still with the xwhatsit firmware. They are gorgeous to type on. Compared to my old Model F the feel is almost identical (except for the space bar) and even the metallic after-ping is very similar although it’s a slightly different pitch or tone (not sure exactly)... very impressive.

While waiting for the keycaps, I am using some from old keyboards but didn’t have enough of the correct ones so the layouts are a bit eccentric.

A couple of notes on my issues and resolutions:
  • The F62 worked out-of-box (almost). I carefully followed the instructions in the video for adding the keycaps but I still had some issues with sets of random characters for a couple of keys. In each case however it was fixed by redoing the key VERY carefully to ensure the spring was in the correct position. So... my fault.
  • The F77 was spamming lots of key press when plugged in. I tried it with a Dell and an Apple, with unpowered and powered hubs, and with USB ports on a thunderbolt dock. Same in all instances. Temperature made no difference. Fortunately I found an really easy solution that didn’t require reloading firmware or anything complex at all. I detailed that over on the Geekhack thread previously. It is perfect now.
Now I’m waiting for the printed keycaps and solenoid.
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The keycap donors. These were broken and very dirty:
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Theallknowingsause

09 Sep 2020, 09:09

I'm on the fence on buying one of these, can somebody help answer a couple questions I have about this keyboard?

Is using a function key to access alternate keys annoying? (IE escape, having to do ctrl alt delete)

How are the keys that you can buy from the website?

What things do you recommend me do to the keyboard when I get it (software, mods, stuff to be careful about, ect.)

And how does it compare to the original?

I'm new to the website (first post!) So sorry if I sound dumb

gianni

09 Sep 2020, 12:35

Theallknowingsause wrote:
09 Sep 2020, 09:09
I'm on the fence on buying one of these, can somebody help answer a couple questions I have about this keyboard?

Is using a function key to access alternate keys annoying? (IE escape, having to do ctrl alt delete)

How are the keys that you can buy from the website?

What things do you recommend me do to the keyboard when I get it (software, mods, stuff to be careful about, ect.)

And how does it compare to the original?

I'm new to the website (first post!) So sorry if I sound dumb

I didn't buy this keyboard, but I can say that I've incidentally seen a number of reports about it because I've been on the fence about buying it

- chipping paint. The new one seems way better, but I don't know if it can be ordered yet

- old firmware that didn't work perfectly. Qmk seems way better

- floss mod quite difficult, while with the original model f the results are much more consistent

- dyesub on keycaps not completed yet

Ellipse

09 Sep 2020, 21:55

Theallknowingsause wrote:
09 Sep 2020, 09:09
I'm on the fence on buying one of these, can somebody help answer a couple questions I have about this keyboard?

Is using a function key to access alternate keys annoying? (IE escape, having to do ctrl alt delete)

How are the keys that you can buy from the website?

What things do you recommend me do to the keyboard when I get it (software, mods, stuff to be careful about, ect.)

And how does it compare to the original?

I'm new to the website (first post!) So sorry if I sound dumb
Regarding function keys and function layers, people have gotten used to them through the popularity of 60% keyboards like the HHKB. Generally the layers are regarded by many as more efficient, as your hands do not have to move as much and you can keep the mouse far closer to the keyboard.

The keys on the web site are made from the exact PBT material used by IBM, as confirmed to me by one of IBM's 1980s supervisory engineers of Model F keyboard production. They have a textured top and are the same specifications as the originals.

Recommendations are to read the product manual over on www.ModelFKeyboards.com/manual as well as darkcruix's manual which is currently being updated and added to.

Regarding the note of paint, feel free to check back a number of pages for an explanation on the paint - it is designed to match the 1980s IBM keyboard paint which also chips and wears down over time. One can always powdercoat or clear coat the keyboard if desired, for a more durable, modern look.

Regarding a comparison with the originals, may I suggest you search around and take a look at the reviews, photos, and comments people have posted (including the YouTube video reviews)? I've posted links to a few dozen of them on the project web site blog.

In summary, if you like the original Model F, you should like the new Model F.

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Pete

10 Sep 2020, 10:25

Ellipse wrote:
09 Sep 2020, 21:55
In summary, if you like the original Model F, you should like the new Model F.
Can confirm. IMO it’s better than the original.

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darkcruix

10 Sep 2020, 14:41

I just came back from travel and I had my F62 with me in my backpack. I took some care of it, but not extremely.
My backpack was dropped once and I could hear the F62 slamming to the ground and the springs were ringing ... Guess what ... the keyboard had two keycaps to be re-seated, but zero issues with the powder coating... I still can be lucky, but that was definitely a good test.

procom32

10 Sep 2020, 18:40

^^^^ @darkcruix Hahaha, I think that is the closest to a drop test we are gonna get. ;)

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Tritian

10 Sep 2020, 23:13

Not to outdo darkcruix, but i'll be taking mine scuba diving next week. ;)

Seriously though, I tried to take a better natural light photo for the color red, but then this happened to our skies:

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But anyway, I decided to try my hand at photographing it again indoors. This time with better lighting/saturation, although i'm not actually any good at photography so bear with me.

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And with some Model M caps instead of M13
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@scarpia, would love to see a pic of yours with that ibm badge
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darkcruix

10 Sep 2020, 23:26

Tritian wrote:
10 Sep 2020, 23:13
Not to outdo darkcruix, but i'll be taking mine scuba diving next week. ;)

Seriously though, I tried to take a better natural light photo for the color red, but then this happened to our skies outside:
...
But anyway, I decided to try my hands at photographing it again indoors. This time with better lighting/saturation, although i'm not actually any good at photography so bear with me.
...
And with some Model M caps instead of M13
...
@scarpia, would love to see a pic of yours with that ibm badge
First of all - stay safe! I saw some posts of the sky earlier - frightening!
I love the red more and more ... it has something of the Ferrari of Magnum, P.I. ... yeah, an old TV show, I know...

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