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

Ellipse

24 Oct 2020, 20:35

Yes the ultra compact case works with the standard assembly. You just need to change the bottom plate which is included free if you order a spare case of the opposite type (e.g. classic F77 keyboard and compact F77 case or compact F77 keyboard and classic F77 case).

Thanks Toastrack128 for the kind words and thank you even more for joining the Deskthority community!

Toastrack128

24 Oct 2020, 23:03

Thank you Pandrew for access to the QMK beta; this F77 is now rocking a custom QMK-powered layout! Woo! :D

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shampoo

30 Oct 2020, 18:13

Hello @pandrew, would it be possible to have access to the QMK beta ? I have an F77. Thank you.

Ellipse

31 Oct 2020, 17:05

shampoo I recommend PMing pandrew directly so that he sees your request.

I want to thank everyone for their patience with me and with the factory. For those who have not seen recent updates, the current state of the project is below:
Orders are still being accepted.
More than 500 Brand New Model F Keyboards have been personally tested and shipped by me.
Dye sublimation quality is excellent but the factory is working on the alignment of the legends on the keys before I approve this last step of the project.
While we wait for the dye sublimation to finish, I am continuing to send out shipments without printed keys to those who want early delivery, with printed items to ship later.
If you want your order to go out within one month from now, there is a good chance that it is in stock because I ordered extra keyboards beyond what everyone ordered, and the first container shipment arrived a while back.
The only keyboards that are not going out are those who prefer delivery all at once (e.g. if they do not have extra Model M / Model F / Unicomp keyboards to borrow keys from) and those whose keyboards are in the second of two container shipments of the early bird round (mostly the remaining keyboards with installed, unprinted blue/black keys as well as the compact case keyboards), expected to arrive around year end.
PM or email me if you have a classic case keyboard and want to ask about the separate shipping option to get your keyboard in the next month or so. Also in stock (and able to ship ahead of keys) are some compact F62 keyboards (regular gray case color, ANSI only) and compact F77 keyboards (black case color, ANSI only).

dad

31 Oct 2020, 17:25

Ellipse wrote:
31 Oct 2020, 17:05
...
the second of two container shipments of the early bird round (mostly the remaining keyboards with installed, unprinted blue/black keys as well as the compact case keyboards), expected to arrive around year end.
...
So is it on the way to the destination(has shipped from the factory)? Was expected to "go out before the end of October" in Sep 30 update. What is the estimation of the dye sublimation finish?

Ellipse

31 Oct 2020, 17:42

No dad - the factory is still finishing up the repairs and wrapping up. Arriving later than expected.

I will let everyone know as soon as there is an update on the dye sub. I will not approve legends unless they meet my alignment standards.

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Scarpia

31 Oct 2020, 20:39

@Ellipse -- feel free to tell me to go to hell if this is too personal/sensitive a question, but I keep wondering, with all the (literal years of) delays and iterations and unexpected hiccups during production, as well as the incredible amounts of time you have invested into the project... is there realistically ever going to be a profit in it for you and your family? I have my glorious F77 sitting on my desk right now as one of my prized possessions and I can think of very few objects in my house for which I hope the creator was as richly rewarded.

I am aware that you've increased the price of extras (a little) and I'm sure having a fairly constant stream of orders has helped shift the economies-of-scale in the right direction, but it still seems like you must have burned through the buffer you originally built into the price, at least on Round 1. Round 2 will naturally require a lot less time and few iterations, but Round 1 alone seems financially daunting... are you ok man?

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

31 Oct 2020, 20:58

I am also interested in the answer to this question, since this project has been running for around 5 years and factory rentals being somewhere in the 4-2 year range. I know that the cost for a die cast mold are not cheap, and the same can be said for all the numerous keycap molds as well.

I'm already in for an F77, and look forward to receiving it! But I hope you can create these wonderful boards again without being financially in the hole. Thanks Ellipse :)

Ellipse

02 Nov 2020, 00:27

I spoke with the factory again and we are now looking at mid to late November for the second of two container shipments of the early bird round to leave the factory. They were delayed about 2-3 weeks from the 10/31 estimate due to a significant increase in demand for manufactured goods of higher priority (they are seeing this across many of the factories in China as you might have imagined) and the associated squeeze on the labor pool over there. The factory understands that quality control is the most important thing and they will not rush to meet any deadline if it means cutting corners.

Thanks for your everyone's support for this project. I do not want to get into too much detail about this but I will reiterate some points I have made before on the project web site and the forums, and over email / PM to many of you:
-Yes I am ok and thank you for asking. The project has been personally funded by me for a large part of the expenses and is in good financial condition. Not to worry, the project is in no way at risk of running out of funds in the future for this reason. It should be in even better shape once we are in the final round.
-The best way to support the project a little more is to order accessories like extra key sets/first aid kits/controllers, upgrades to custom/low serials and custom production dates, and letting other tech-minded folks know about the project. This will help cover the significant additional expenses running tens of thousands of dollars including in the areas of failed tooling, storage, quality control, lost parts, R&D, sampling, years of DHL Express sample shipping, significantly increased international shipping costs, and other areas. I have so far been able to prevent the keyboard pricing from increasing by increasing the pricing of accessories. However labor and raw materials costs have skyrocketed over the past 5 years so I'm unable to guarantee the same pricing during the final round.
-Despite all this, the project successfully achieved its goal of bringing the Model F back into production and has shipped out more than 500 keyboards so far (with many more to go!). I am continuing to ship these keyboards out without issue and accept new orders for keyboards and extra parts to allow everyone the chance to customize their own Brand New Model F Keyboard and order enough parts on hand to keep their keyboard running for decades, long after production has shut down.
-Right now the reason everything is not able to ship is that either it is set to be on the second container shipment or someone is waiting for their keys and keyboard to ship together rather than get their keyboard sent ahead of the keys (see my post from the day before for details on the project status).
-I've been mailing out lots of orders early while the factory takes care of the key sublimation to help reduce the number of keyboards that have to be mailed out later on while I have some down time now. If you could request early delivery (see the project blog for details) that would be much appreciated.
Last edited by Ellipse on 02 Nov 2020, 02:58, edited 1 time in total.

planedrop

02 Nov 2020, 01:22

Hey, posting here to hopefully get access to the QMK firmware. Have it on my second Model F I just got and seems to be more reliable so hoping to flash it over to my main one.

Ellipse

03 Nov 2020, 17:03

For all QMK access requests kindly PM pandrew directly.

dafoomie

03 Nov 2020, 23:17

I just got an F77 from ebay today, can I check with you to make sure it's not stolen? Didn't see your post regarding porch pirates until after I bought it, but the seller was a big company so I think it should be fine.

Ellipse

04 Nov 2020, 00:32

Yes it is my understanding that that is the very item that was lost/stolen that I was talking about - you will soon be in possession of what I believe are lost/stolen goods.

Cargo Largo, the seller on eBay, is well known for selling off "lost" UPS packages. That very keyboard configuration is I believe the exact one that a customer lost. It matches the configuration of a keyboard that was stolen.

(as an update we are talking over PM and I have reached out to UPS and Cargo Largo)
Last edited by Ellipse on 04 Nov 2020, 06:36, edited 1 time in total.

BucklingSprings

04 Nov 2020, 05:33

Scarpia wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 20:46
I can recommend doing a floss mod - reduces the pinging a ton. Get the correct type of floss and be a bit exacting getting the lengths consistent, and you’ll get a fantastic sounding keyboard.
I tried the floss mod right when I got my F77. But I had great trouble getting the
floss slide down the springs. Do you have a trick how you could force the floss
down? I got frustrated and gave up.

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Scarpia

04 Nov 2020, 07:40

BucklingSprings wrote:
04 Nov 2020, 05:33
I tried the floss mod right when I got my F77. But I had great trouble getting the
floss slide down the springs. Do you have a trick how you could force the floss
down? I got frustrated and gave up.
Actually I did come up with a trick: I took one of the cut off stiff ends of the superfloss (the part that’s like a long nylon needle) and used that to gently push down each piece of floss. I made sure the needle was pushing on the floss close to the lower end (if you push on the top the floss buckles just enough to get stuck).

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shampoo

04 Nov 2020, 15:25

My left shift key binds a little when I press on the far right of it.. Think right near the edge of the keycap. It's perfectly fine when hitting it dead centre or even the far left. I have reset the spring several times but not much change.

Any ideas ?

Thanks

J

Ellipse

04 Nov 2020, 17:51

shampoo please take a look at the manual posted on the project web site, as well as darkcruix's comprehensive Model F manual available here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24416&sid=c0f37fd28 ... 2f9251c550

It goes over matching Unicomp/IBM keys with Unicomp/IBM stabilizers, squeezing the key stem's two columns of plastic a bit, burnishing a specific part of the key stem, adding lubrication inside the stabilizer insert, and other ideas. And finally certain keys may be out of tolerance so you may need to purchase or use a replacement key, or wait for the new Model F keys as a last option.

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shampoo

04 Nov 2020, 18:24

Ellipse wrote:
04 Nov 2020, 17:51
shampoo please take a look at the manual posted on the project web site, as well as darkcruix's comprehensive Model F manual available here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24416&sid=c0f37fd28 ... 2f9251c550

It goes over matching Unicomp/IBM keys with Unicomp/IBM stabilizers, squeezing the key stem's two columns of plastic a bit, burnishing a specific part of the key stem, adding lubrication inside the stabilizer insert, and other ideas. And finally certain keys may be out of tolerance so you may need to purchase or use a replacement key, or wait for the new Model F keys as a last option.
Thanks for the reply.. I couldn't find that section you were referring to but, I did add a little bit of Syncro Superlube and that did it.

Thanks!

russcule

05 Nov 2020, 02:07

I have a non-functioning ‘o’ key. For reference, when I had my spaghetti-bomb-exploding-on-keyboard adventure a while back, I removed all keys; cleaned keyboard; replaced them all; a few keys were balky; reseated them as per video/manual and all was fine (didn’t need to do anything with springs) ... until my ‘o’ key failed me.

Re my ‘o’ key, I am stretching, then pressing down the spring correctly for that key location, so far as I know, without success. I also took it out, flipped it around, and reinstalled it that way. The instruction to keep spring between 12 and 1 o’clock seems a tad puzzling, but I think I’ve got that okay.

Now, true, I have not tried a new spring yet. Before doing that, I want to report that pressing the spring, while keyboard is plugged in, makes the ‘o’ work just fine. This makes me think it is something about how I am inserting the keycap ... but perhaps the problem really is the spring, and pressing the spring down with my finger doesn’t mimic its true operation?

Should I just try a new spring? (All my first-aid springs are attached to inner assemblies; perhaps I am just being fussy). Any insights on why (new) springs might malfunction, generally speaking?

Ellipse

05 Nov 2020, 23:22

Might be easiest to replace the spring and flipper and/or switch it with another key. I like to test the spring and flipper with a barrel and key outside of the keyboard when needed (hold the barrel with one finger and press down on the key). Maybe the spring was not pressed down far enough onto the nub or maybe it was stretched too much (once that happens, the spring cannot be repaired and must be replaced).

I have found that tweezers are easier than the chopstick method (more details in darkcruix's work in progress Model F manual viewtopic.php?t=24416 )

pandrew

10 Nov 2020, 18:14

Hello all,

I have reverted the following change in QMK firmware:
pandrew wrote:
19 Oct 2020, 05:13
* Switched by default to per-key debouncing
There has been a report that it makes at least 1 keyboard less stable.
Per-key debouncing would have been in principle better, because if you press many keys in succession at superman speeds, it's better able to maintain the order of pressed keys. However per-key debouncing is a slower algorithm to execute, and switching to it slows down the matrix scan rate. Slowing down the matrix scan rate means that per-key debouncing makes decisions based on fewer sample points of data, meaning it's more susceptible to noise.

If you are interested in debouncing algorithms, I have recently improved upon this documentation:
https://beta.docs.qmk.fm/using-qmk/soft ... ounce_type

You can always change the debounce algorithm (and debounce time) for your keyboards as long as you are building your firmware locally.

I have also configured the SOLENOID_DEFAULT_DWELL time to 4ms. (Seems to be a better, quicker default for most people.) This will not affect people who already have QMK on their boards, and are updating to new firmware, since the dwell time is stored in EEPROM. It will only change the default dwell time, which will be used after EEPROM erase, or when you install QMK the first time. In any case, if you use a solenoid, I always recommend adding HPT_DWLI/HPT_DWLD keycodes to your keymap to experiment with dwell time.

BucklingSprings

10 Nov 2020, 22:50

Scarpia wrote:
04 Nov 2020, 07:40
BucklingSprings wrote:
04 Nov 2020, 05:33
I tried the floss mod right when I got my F77. But I had great trouble getting the
floss slide down the springs. Do you have a trick how you could force the floss
down? I got frustrated and gave up.
Actually I did come up with a trick: I took one of the cut off stiff ends of the superfloss (the part that’s like a long nylon needle) and used that to gently push down each piece of floss. I made sure the needle was pushing on the floss close to the lower end (if you push on the top the floss buckles just enough to get stuck).
Good idea - thanks for sharing !

Ellipse

11 Nov 2020, 00:08

Thanks Scarpia.

If anyone has any other Model F tips and tricks not already mentioned in the darkcruix manual or in the manual on the project web site please do share them here! I hope to add them to the manual. I am hoping this thread can also continue to include a discussion on tips and tricks for new (and original) Model F Keyboards.

Ellipse

11 Nov 2020, 05:27

Dye sublimation of keys update:

The factory has made excellent progress over the past two weeks on sublimating entire key sets. They are DHL Express mailing me the key set samples for evaluation.

I will upload better photos after receiving the key sets in person.

The engineers report that the key sublimation quality remains excellent and they are working on the consistency of alignment.

As noted before, the goal is to get these keys in line with the 99th percentile example of the Model F, with the expectation that we will reasonably achieve the 50th percentile or better. From the prior keys received in hand I think we've achieved 99th percentile sublimation quality (hoping these hold up with the incoming samples!) and am hoping for 50th percentile or better alignment.

Some keys will always be slightly out of alignment tolerance - even so with IBM - so the goal is not perfection. According to my digital caliper measurements of an excellent, probably 90th+ percentile IBM XT keyboard example with outstanding sublimation quality, 24% of its keys aligned out of the bounds of the standard deviation (an amazingly tiny 0.15mm!). IBM's out of bounds on this set ranged up from 0.18mm to 0.46mm variance from the average alignment of the key set (still excellent results). As I've seen having owned and refurbed dozens of F's over the years, the standard deviation was far larger / looser on many of the other, later production units.

Looking at the compressed photos they sent me, about 16% to 21% of the keys were noticeably outside of tolerance of alignment. Will probably be more once I have looked more closely and am able to measure.

The goal is to get at least the alignment consistency to around what the typical IBM Model F alignment was over the life of the Model F (I wouldn't be holding up everyone's sublimated keycaps orders if we're at the 50th Model F percentile instead of the 99th percentile of alignment, for example).

Next steps: If I approve the sublimation quality, they are going to continue testing to determine the best settings for correct alignment while still maintaining the same sublimation quality. Once everything is approved, mass sublimation will start. They will be sublimating and inspecting thousands of key sets so it will take some time but we will proceed only if everything is right and the factory is aware that out of tolerance alignment is not acceptable.
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darkcruix

11 Nov 2020, 13:30

Thanks so much for the promising update ...thanks for sharing the progress pictures!

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robo

11 Nov 2020, 18:25

I have no idea how the dye sub process and equipment works, but it's interesting that alignment is such a difficult nut to crack.

russcule

13 Nov 2020, 01:03

Another episode of the F62 Novice ‘o’ key problem. First, a confession. I was feeling really irritated by this issue, to the extent I put the keyboard aside for a bit: “I’m not an idiot (well, I am, but ...), but I’m not a deskthority weenie, and I don’t want to spend my life fiddling with my absurdly expensive F62, no matter how sacred it is, blah, blah, blah.” Well, true, I don’t. But I get it. I am simply going to have to learn how to do the hobbyist thing with it.

So, I removed one of the precious new springs from my kit, and pressed it carefully into place, or so I think. See photo of the old spring next to new one, plus the new ‘o’ spring after insertion.

As before, pressing with my finger onto the spring produces lots of lovely ‘o’ letters. As before, after placing the keyboard into the correct orientation (spacebar up), nothing. So, I removed the adjacent ‘i’ key; removed the new spring from the ‘o’ key; pressed it onto the ‘i’ key. Lovely. Now, neither key works. Just for laughs, I took the just-removed spring from the hitherto working ‘i’ key, pressed it onto the ‘o’ key and, well, guess. Nothing. I have ‘advanced’ to having two non-working keys!

The spring has been, clearly tweezered down into place. I have carefully, but nicely, pressed the spring a bit to ensure it really is in position, or I think so. Since, ideally, I want to use my heirloom for, well, typing, can someone please give me some tips? Am I, perhaps, not pressing the spring down as firmly as I should? Should I stretch it first? I did that with the original spring, but wonder if that screwed it up (though, note, I began with some sort of spring malfunction).

The great news is the keyboard is probably just fine. It’s me. But whaa?

As for placing the keycaps, well, I placed those once before after cleaning the keyboard and all worked fine, including, importantly, the ‘o’ key. It seems like they only go down one way (?) and, yeah, I ‘think’ I did it with the spring between 12 and 1, though I find that a bit obscure.
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darkcruix

13 Nov 2020, 15:18

When you have both springs attached (tweezered) to the flipper, you wrote you get key presses registered for the i and o, if I haven't misread your post.
If that is the case, it is clearly a problem with the keycap. can you take two other key caps and attach them accordingly?

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Scarpia

13 Nov 2020, 18:32

If it were me, I would do this:

1. The spring on the right in the photo is bent. Bin it. You’ll have nothing but trouble with it.

2. Get the ‘I’ key working: Put a fresh spring in if you need to. Use the tweezer method to push it down. It takes more force than you think to get it all the way on, I definitely had to work up the courage to push and squeeze as hard as I had to. And listen for the click of the spring buckling as you test. If it sounds odd, it won’t work reliably. If it doesn’t buckle, pull the keycap off and put it back on. I don’t know how familiar you are with BS keyboards but there’s definitely a technique to putting BS keycaps on and even after a lot of practice I still have to reseat some keys 3-4 times before they click right. If it still doesn’t buckle, and you’re sure you put the keycap on right, either push the spring further down or pull on it to stretch it a little (depending whether the spring looks taller or shorter than the ones under working keycaps).

3. Armed with the positive experience with the ‘I’ key, move on to the ‘O’: put in a good (fresh) spring and put the keycap on. Maybe it’ll work with no further issues. If not, swap the keycap for another one — I also think there is a problem with the ‘O’ keycap — a bit of ‘flashing’ or a slight misalignment inside the barrel can make it not actuate. If you can make it work with another keycap, then it’s time to do the hobbyist thing with a flashlight and some tweezers or a scalpel inside the ‘barrel’ on the underside of the O keycap :)

Oh, and don’t trust the touch of your finger as any indication— the sense pads are capacitive and very very sensitive so whether it fires or not when you touch the spring really has nothing to do with the spring buckling or being seated correctly.

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ro0llo

13 Nov 2020, 20:49

russcule wrote:
13 Nov 2020, 01:03
Should I stretch it first?
No never stretch or strain the spring. That destroys the spring and you have to bin it.

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