Unitech K-973 IBM I aint battle ship keyboard

ntv242ver2

20 Apr 2021, 11:03

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I havent seen this board posted on DT, nor documented in the Wiki so I thought I would share. Now to start, yes the actual name of the keyboard is IBIMAINT Junior, which is a legit company
https://www.trademarkia.com/uk/ibimaint ... 431788.htm

According to this, it seems that IBI MAINT was an Italian company which did installation, maintenance, and repair computer hardware&software. I imagine that this keyboard was made for them. Still find it hilarious that an anagram from the name is "IBM I AINT". Yes my sense of humour is juvenile, let's move on to the keyboard

First off, don't worry the board is now not the same as the pic you see above. That was how I got it initially, it is in a much better state now I reckon
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What i did do to it:
Spoiler:
Take everything apart
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The innards is not so bad, a good wipe would clean it nicely
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Retrobriting caps and case. Thanks god for the (lack of) UK sun. Took me quite a bit. But then again i didn't want to bleach things so I called it somewhat immaturely. That is alright, a bit of yellow left in the case and the caps but i can live with that
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Done, get a few more spare SP caps and it is good to go
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The keyboard has 5 pin cherry mx switches, which honestly is a pleasant surprise. Because of the presence of the plate, initially i thought that this just another 3 pin cherry switches. Wonder what was going on here

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Also on the PCB you can see DYTCOM, which is abbreviation of Dah Yang Tech Company. Dah YAng did manufacture lots of Unitech stuffs in the past, so it makes sense. See the K-260 for another reference of Unitech board made by Dah Yang
wiki/Unitek_K-260

So I believe that this board can be categorized as Unitech K-973. Of course in the picture of the pcb you can see K973, also on the back of the label.
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Stabs are cherry style, not costar. woo hoo, i do believe that this was rather a high end product from Unitech. Whether or not this is high end enough to you, that is up to preferences i guess.
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Keycaps were pretty well made, and in cherry/DSC profile. Thinner than og double shot cherry, but the print quality is very good. Maybe it is printed, i am not sure yet. The caps were obviously yellowed, which suggests that they are made of ABS. However, it is definitely not pad printed, and the letter does sink in the cap. Over all, very sharp and nice quality i have to say
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User avatar
Muirium
µ

20 Apr 2021, 13:19

The extra pins are for diodes. These switches shipped with diodes preinstalled by Cherry.

The caps? I dunno. The closeup on the X key looks nice, like dyesub, but they yellowed like ABS, and even whitened back up in peroxide, too. Doesn't seem like PBT.

Speaking of which: nice job on the case. Those bikini marks are gone!

ntv242ver2

20 Apr 2021, 14:11

Muirium wrote:
20 Apr 2021, 13:19
The extra pins are for diodes. These switches shipped with diodes preinstalled by Cherry.

The caps? I dunno. The closeup on the X key looks nice, like dyesub, but they yellowed like ABS, and even whitened back up in peroxide, too. Doesn't seem like PBT.

Speaking of which: nice job on the case. Those bikini marks are gone!
On the pcb picture, you can see two plastic legs from the switch going into the pcb. Hence 5 pin. PCB mount switch

User avatar
Muirium
µ

20 Apr 2021, 14:14

Ah, that's what you were pointing out.

The more the merrier! Nothing wrong with PCB mounting *and* plate mounting the switches. One PCB design can be used with or without a plate that way.

ntv242ver2

20 Apr 2021, 14:18

Ah yeah not really questioning that. Normally 3 pin vintage cherry mx black is less favoured than 5 pin, and personally i have found the former to be of lesser quality, smoothness wise. And it is more often to find boards with mx made in the East back in the day with plate mount switches. Thus why this comes off to me as a surprise.

kelvinhall05

20 Apr 2021, 14:22

Muirium wrote:
20 Apr 2021, 13:19
The extra pins are for diodes. These switches shipped with diodes preinstalled by Cherry.

The caps? I dunno. The closeup on the X key looks nice, like dyesub, but they yellowed like ABS, and even whitened back up in peroxide, too. Doesn't seem like PBT.

Speaking of which: nice job on the case. Those bikini marks are gone!
No way to know if they're diodes without metering them or visually inspecting the opened switches. Cherry also put straight wire jumpers there.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

20 Apr 2021, 14:28

I'd be surprised if they're just jumpers. A quick metering ought to tell the truth.

ntv242ver2

20 Apr 2021, 14:29

I really think they just fill the holes with solder here guys, also what Kelvin says is true, but this pcb was not a cherry product.

Lanrefni

22 Apr 2021, 11:02

If you have a pen light you can shine it into the hole for the LED,there should be enough room to see if there is a diode in the switch.

ntv242ver2

22 Apr 2021, 13:07

Lanrefni wrote:
22 Apr 2021, 11:02
If you have a pen light you can shine it into the hole for the LED,there should be enough room to see if there is a diode in the switch.
Ya im fairly certain that the diode is on the pcb and not in the switch. It is very visible if so. I will open it up once i am done with the cable

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