Vintage Cherry - Solid State Capactive Key Switches

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

10 Jan 2016, 16:55

Pictured here is a Cherry based terminal keyboard but I don't know what it originally connected to. It was part of a lot that had two other terminals. It is an example of a pre-PC Cherry keyboard with solid state capacitive key switches with foam and foil pads. They look to be in terrific condition.

Other then the key switch type, there are some oddities and neat things about it. The "Next" key is different from "Enter", "Return" or even an symbolic arrow. It's rectangular and rounded. The key switch stems are also "barbed" so that key switches would not come off They click when put in place. You might also notice the green dummy switches for multi-switch enlarged keys. The springs used for these are actually lighter. I believe this to be the case so that the force of both springs is equal to one spring and it would not be any harder to press than the other keys.

If anyone knows any more about this or the switches, I'd love to know more. I know the Wiki has reference to an Adds terminal used with the synthesizer that shows as the example for this key switch so this might be an Adds keyboard for a different model but I have not been able to find it.

Here are some pics:
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front.jpg (213.75 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back.jpg (166.68 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - keyboard mechanism no key caps.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - keyboard mechanism no key caps
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - keyboard mechanism no key caps.jpg (238.31 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back PCB markings.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back PCB markings
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - back PCB markings.jpg (434.06 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front PCB.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front PCB
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - front PCB.jpg (360.52 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - capacitive PCB close up.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - capacitive PCB close up
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - capacitive PCB close up.jpg (380.72 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - solid state capacitive switches.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - solid state capacitive switches
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - solid state capacitive switches.jpg (492.98 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB componets 1.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB components 1
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB componets 1.jpg (459.97 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB components 2.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB components 2
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - PCB components 2.jpg (477.79 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - no key switches or springs.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - no key switches or springs
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - no key switches or springs.jpg (242.87 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Key switches.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Key switches
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Key switches.jpg (219.97 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - key caps.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - key caps
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - key caps.jpg (230.44 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Next key.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Next key
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Next key.jpg (243.28 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile.jpg (243.54 KiB) Viewed 887 times
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile 2.jpg
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile 2
Cherry Terminal Keyboard - Profile 2.jpg (243.78 KiB) Viewed 887 times

User avatar
scottc

10 Jan 2016, 16:58

Wow, very very nice find. I'm quite jealous. I love those vintage keycaps. I wonder did Signature Plastics manufacture them? I once saw a picture of an early Cherry XT keyboard with what looked like Signature Plastics DCS keycaps on it so I suppose it's possible.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

10 Jan 2016, 17:05

Awesome vintage Cherry keyboard snuci. The nicest keycaps I've seen in a while. What do you make of the production date on that label? 1977?

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

10 Jan 2016, 17:09

seebart wrote: Awesome vintage Cherry keyboard snuci. The nicest keycaps I've seen in a while. What do you make of the production date on that label? 1977?
Are you referring to the Cherry label? I don't know how to read those but the components and case are 1983/1984 so I wonder if their labeling code scheme maybe changed after this?

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

10 Jan 2016, 17:13

snuci wrote:
seebart wrote: Awesome vintage Cherry keyboard snuci. The nicest keycaps I've seen in a while. What do you make of the production date on that label? 1977?
Are you referring to the Cherry label? I don't know how to read those but the components and case are 1983/1984 so I wonder if their labeling code scheme maybe changed after this?
Yes I am:
Unbenannt.JPG
Unbenannt.JPG (29.34 KiB) Viewed 861 times
1983/84? Wow I would have thought it to be older.

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

10 Jan 2016, 17:17

seebart wrote: 1983/84? Wow I would have thought it to be older.
I would have made the exact same assumption given the construction but Key Tronic was almost identical at the time (Apple Lisa keyboard) so it does make sense. The key caps makes it look older but the keyboard case is newer. It's a weird mixture for sure.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

10 Jan 2016, 17:20

Right, well in the vintage Cherry universe this is quite an important find. photekq needs to see this. Another one for our wiki, the todo-wiki list gets longer all the time.

User avatar
Chyros

10 Jan 2016, 18:48

Very nice find indeed, I knew Cherry made discrete foam-and-foil switches but I've never actually seen them. Caps and PCB look great!

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Jan 2016, 02:47

I really like the way old PCB's look. It's like art.

terrycherry

11 Jan 2016, 12:18

I'm jealous it too. Your Cherry capacitive keyboard is awesome rare. And it has the case housing!
Your keyboard MFD should be 1984.01 because the IC(CS 2014 "8401")means that. And the evidence is the GI brand IC(305M 9103 VANILLA REV C "8345") always including the date code on the IC housing.

I looked at the all of the Cherry catalog carefully. There's only one described that switch but different keyboard and without case housing.
[US Booklet][1982.05]Cherry Catalog no.KB79-2R Page9-10
http://deskthority.net/w/images/4/49/Ch ... 982%29.pdf

Could you show me the switch under the space bar? And what is that green housing of three strange switch?

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

11 Jan 2016, 13:45

terrycherry wrote: Could you show me the switch under the space bar? And what is that green housing of three strange switch?
The switch under the space bar is the same as the others. The only switches that are different are the green ones. These are "dummy" switches that don't actually do anything but are there to balance out long key caps like "Next" key. Both springs used on these double switch keys are thinner and balance out the long key as well (so the spring on the working key switch is not any different than the dummy key switch). The force needed on the long key caps equals the force on a single key switch key, as a result.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the under side of the keycaps on the mounting plate. Like the Key Tronic foam and foil boards, there are many screws that hold the PCB in place.

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

12 Jan 2016, 03:53

After much searching, this keyboard is from Control Data Corporation and is part of the CDC 721 Terminal also known as the CDC 721 Viking terminal.

Pictured here in the lower left in a slightly different colour scheme from http://www.couperus.org/Albums/Bayview/Denizens.html

Image

Manual (large file) is located here.

Now I need to find the terminal :)

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