The Khers Story
Wall of text warning.
Enough of that, let’s have some photos! I’ve photographed almost all keyboards of my collection, but as it has happened over time, note that while I’ve tried to keep the white balance as accurate as possible the light conditions may vary. Also, during the course of acquiring these photos, I’ve realised that re-saving jpegs as jpegs is a crappy way to do this and gone full raw. Kudos to those who can spot which keyboards were photographed in raw.
What you are looking at is: NB: This shot is getting a littlevery out of date as I continue to accumulate keyboards while I've managed to off a few.
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IBM 1391411 (Swedish M) IBM 1390131 (M) Apple Extended Keyboard II (SKCM Cream) IBM 5291 (F "Bigfoot") RealForce 87UB Low Noise Ducky Shine 2 (MX Brown) IBM 1391472 (M SSK) RealForce 23U Raptor Gaming K1 (MX Black) IBM 1392934 (M SSK) Leopold FC 210TK (MX Blue) Cherry G80-1800HAD (MX Black) 2x HHKB Pro 2 NTC KB-6851EA (SKCM White) HHKB Pro 2 Type-S
PFU Fujitsu Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2
My first HHKB! Fell in love with the look, stayed for the layout.
My latest HHKB, and current daily. While I got the black one first, I prefer the look of the white one today.
Type-S: perfect work keyboard when you don't have your own office. The lack of legends is a constant source for discussion... Almost makes me want to put some printed caps on it so that people leave it alone. It’s always fun to watch others try to use my workstation though.
Bluetooth is always nice, I guess. Honestly, I don't really know why I bought this, but I like it none the less. Also, I guess any HHKB collection needs one. Having said that, if this was a true collection of HHKBs, I'd want it to include a Pro 1 Rev. A0 (my preference would be towards blank black, but they are hella rare) and a HHKB HG (dream on, baby, dream on).
My first taste of Topre. I got hooked, but I ultimately prefer the feel of the less rigid HHKB to this.
For when I need to write a lot of numbers, like when the tax assessment is due. Spends most of its time in a drawer. The difference in colour between this and white HHKBs triggers my OCD.
Wife’s board. Hypersphere’d and lubed (the photo was acquired before this was done, as you can see by the intact label), wearing Granite as it was the only keycap set I had on hand with Swedish legends. Hypersphere's rings and lube did wonders for the feel adding some much needed finesse to the Nova.
The Buckling Springs:
IBM Beamspring 5251 Terminal Keyboard
Nothing special in terms of Beamers, but it’s mine and I adore it. WIP: currently disassembled, waiting for renewal of the surface treatment of the metal parts. Find out more here
My one and only Model F. Will be joined by an FSSK, an Ellipsesaver and another Bigfoot soon though. (Update: No Bigfoot, fuck you berserkfan) I actually rather like the look of the Bigfoot in all its absurdity. It’s way too large for a permanent place on my desk and the XT-layout is a bit unfortunate (i.e. completely unusable). But the feel is absolutely sublime.
While there is very little in it, square labels really are superior to their pill-label counterparts. I got this one NIB from Cindy. The cable (not pictured) is porn.
Swedish layout M. Barely sees any use as I can't use ISO any more. However, a Swedish IBM keyboard fan should have a ISO-SE IBM! Has some weird rubber things attached to the bottom by the previous owner that I haven’t bothered removing.
This was my first Model M and also the oldest one I have. Look at those legends! Marvelous. Almost as good as the Bigfoots, but in a useable layout. Bolt-modded but I've been about to screw-mod it for what seems like an eternity. The one who did the bolt-mod was not very good at it, as can be seen below. Unfortunately I find Model M a bit on the stiff side (puny fingers, I guess), but this is my prime FSSK candidate.
Got this NIB from Cindy’s NIB SSK haul. Pampered garage queen.
LZ CLS s x h, 60g Nixdorf Black
The latest addition to the stable (Dec 2018). Sat on a shelf for half a year before I found the time to do the preparatory work and build it. In a single word, it is amazing. Due to it’s configuration, I call this the DanielT homage edition. You’d have to ask him for the specifics (did anyone say Ivan?), but he’s got a soft spot for LZ, GON, TMK, Nixies, light springs, GMK and Miami Nights. This keyboard has it all. It’s just not got his exact preferred layout. The switches are Nixdorf Blacks with 60g gold plated SpriT springs, polycarbonate switch films and tribosys lube. The keycaps, as hinted above, are GMK Miami Nights.
Kin’s a master, what more is there to say? 2.3kgs of amazing keyboard, but the finger l3 is a little bit of a let down. Has been my daily driver from when I built it to when I built the LZ above, and a very good answer to the question no one was asking, namely why it took so long between receiving the CLS s x h and building it. This keyboard is just so good. Built with Nixdorf Blacks, 60g gold plated SpriT springs, polycarbonate switch films and Krytox lube. The keycaps are a mix and match between a couple of old and recent WoB GBs, because icon mods are what I crave.
Founders Edition 20/30. It's not often that I'm as hyped as I was for this keyboard when the GB launched. A bumpy ride and endless delays later, most of the hype was gone when this puppy was delivered. I was in for a surprise, it's a beautiful little board. CNC'd custom 60 that takes any and every Poker-compatible PCB. Mine uses a GON NerD 60 Mekanisk edition in mint green, running TMK by virtue of DanielT's excellent guide. Switches are Nixdorf Blacks with 60g gold plated SpriT springs, polycarbonate switch films from Kin25 and Krytox lube. The keycaps on the pic are SAU, but they’ve since been changed to GMK 9009. The SAUs are destined for something rather special.
More to follow later…
A keyboard I built for work. Coloured case, because why not. Really rather silent, much more so than the generic rubber domes that my colleagues are using. The Silent Blacks are from the infamous GB that produced black Silent Reds with shitty springs. Fortunately, I swap springs anyway, so... 57g Kin-springs in this one, together with polycarbonate films and some lube. One distinct area of improvement on this keyboard is the mounting, tray-mount just isn't as nice. Brass plate improves the sound slightly, at least in my experience, which is good as, while silent, the tone produced by this case is not the nicest - probably solvable by filling the oddly shaped resonance chamber with some high density foam. The keycaps are ePBT BoB. They're nice in isolation, but something like PBT from the likes of Cherry and Topre just blows it out of the water.
This was supposed to donate the case to the 1800-project, but I realized that beige is prettier at least when combined with the right (beige) keycaps (Hyperfuse on Beige looks like vomit).
My perfect 1800-layout keyboard. It’s got a fully programmable Leeku PCB with some PCB-mounted, really smooth, Krytoxed, vintage blacks with 62g springs. The case and caps were harvested from a G81.
Got most of this one off of DanielT (ace guy, btw), I only added the caps (harvested from a G80-1800HAU) and the case. Purple plate (well, honestly it looks rather pink in many light conditions), Nixie escape and gold plated stabs add some understated bling. Really very smooth MX Blacks made in ’98. The case is a tray style iQnix Lambo. Full on HHKB-layout is the way to go.
Really quite cool banana; the stand out feature is the DK/US-hybrid legend keycaps. If I decipher the date codes in the board correctly, this is from ’85 (most of the ICs I understand the date code on claim to have been made during ’84, bar one that says ’85).
Woefully uninspiring switches. Ruined looks due to the unwanted extra girth from the magnetic card reader.
But the keycaps, oh, the keycaps.
Nan Tan Computer KB-6851EA, SKCM White
Second ever Alps keyboard. This was NIB without a box and the old SKCM whites feel considerably better than worn creams.
Eventually got hold of the perfect Alps Party after having missed out on the GB. Originally it came with Matias Clicks, but they were soon swapped for some SKCM blue. The keycaps are from an SGI board and the keyboard is in a Hammer replica.
I liked my first 60% Alps board so much I decided to get another one. This one, in contrast to the one above uses a plastic plate (thanks, scottc) and a plastic TEX case for some plastic on plastic goodness. Keycaps harvested from an AEK2, some of the nicest one around if you ask me. Except for the annoyance that Apple put homing bumps on D and K.
I figured I didn't use the Blue Alps Party enough, mostly due to me liking the HHKB layout too much. So I built another one. Got a plate (thanks for the design, emdude!) cut and media blasted with Lasergist, PCB once again from master hasu and the case had to be the blue Hammer clone from the Blue Alps Party above, while that one is in search of a new one. SKCM Blues, because I happen to like them. They don't sound particularly nice in this implementation, however. Almost as bad as the supposedly SKCM Blues in Chyros' intros. Keycaps are from an AEK and an ASK. Spacebar's got jaundice.