Tai Hao TH-5150-CAT

User avatar
Dra

19 Oct 2016, 00:34

Alright, I'm very excited to share this one, not only because it's something everyone got a little excited about, but because it's another one of Tai Hao's "special" boards.

Enough of the talk though, let's get to the board

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First off, the good ol' front

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Starting a bit different with the dismantled front view, showing the controller and general PCB

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Alright, here's the deal with the keycaps, similar to the Chicony KB-5170 that I reviewed a while back, this keyboard has doubleshots on all standard ANSI keys and pad-printed ABS on anything region specific

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Now for the switches, this is a special one.

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The Spacebar also features an all white version that is a bit harder to press

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The back has the indent for a label, but there is none, all that is there is the QC stickers

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Inside of the metal bottom, as you can see they took no risk of having anything short with the back, even if it meant gluing a strip of plastic in there :lol:

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The PCB already has vague similarities to the FAME TH-5539, with huge blobs of solder on the pads which are laid out for not 2, but 3 different kinds of switches

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The mark on the PCB, leading me to believe it's a Tai Hao board

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Now let's talk switches. These have NO branding at all, everything that's there is a single letter on the bottom as well as the mark on the bottom right of the slider

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Same thing with the white switch

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The bottom of the switch, on the top left you can see the letter J printed on it, I'm unsure if it has any meaning at all.
And yes, the pins are spaced apart equally

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I used the white version to show the LED holes as well as the pins better

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The disassembled view of the switch, the contact plate hasn't been removed because I couldn't figure out how to.
Yes, the shell is molded as a whole rather than the 2 halves cherry uses

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The white one utilizes a green-ish colored spring

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here's a few pictures of the slider

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And two pictures of the contact mechanism

It's very smooth to type on and is about as heavy as a MX Black, sadly I can't get it to work with my DIN to PS2 to USB adapter, the power light turns on just fine, but it doesn't send any inputs, when pressing capslock or numlock the LED just flashes for a brief moment.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

19 Oct 2016, 00:42

Impressive find Dra! I have never seen that switch before. The keyboard and the backplate look like the SKB-5150C with the ProWorld clones I had here for the wiki entry. If this is Tai Hao the SKB-5150C may well also be from Tai Hao but I do not know that.

wiki/SKB-5150C
TaiHao.jpg
TaiHao.jpg (941.52 KiB) Viewed 2704 times

User avatar
Dra

19 Oct 2016, 01:04

Thanks seebart! Didn't know you were the owner of that one

There's some subtle differences between the SKB-5150C shell and this one, namely that yours has an XT/AT switch and the indicator light has Scroll Lock and Power ON rather than just Power On

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

19 Oct 2016, 01:06

Dra wrote: Thanks seebart! Didn't know you were the owner of that one
I'm not, I borrowed it for the wiki entry.
Dra wrote: There's some subtle differences between the SKB-5150C shell and this one, namely that yours has an XT/AT switch and the indicator light has Scroll Lock and Power ON rather than just Power On
Sure, but you have to admit it's very similair overall. The markings on the PCB of the SKB-5150C are different though.

User avatar
Dra

19 Oct 2016, 01:38

yeah, there's a good amount of small differences, but what bugs me is why both have the slanted corners on the PCB

User avatar
E3E

19 Oct 2016, 15:01

Dra wrote: Thanks seebart! Didn't know you were the owner of that one

There's some subtle differences between the SKB-5150C shell and this one, namely that yours has an XT/AT switch and the indicator light has Scroll Lock and Power ON rather than just Power On
This is a good point, but keeping in mind that these are relatively easy fixes/changes to make with the same case, they -could- be manufactured by the same company. It's just a matter of labeling and making a new back panel with the cut-out for an XT-AT switch.

My original FAME TH-5539 with the infamous color shift painted back has a cut out for XT-AT and also the weird multi-switch PCB. Does the later FAME TH-5539 revision with Aruz have this too? My APC TH-5539 does not.

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Then again, you know... The 101 version of the ProWorld keyboard looks more like a Focus FK-555 than it does the TH-5539 in any iteration. The Focus FK-727/747 keyboards also bear a striking resemblance to both the ProWorld SKB-5150C and Tai Hao TH-5150 keyboards, though they have white, textured powder coat paint on the metal back panels.

User avatar
E3E

19 Oct 2016, 15:04

Also, just want to say congrats! I was getting a bit wrapped up in the connections between boards there. :P Those switches are unprecedented it seems. Very interesting! Looks like you got something special after all, even if it wasn't a ProWorld. :)

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

08 Mar 2017, 18:54

According to Tai-Hao, those are Tai-Hao keycaps, and they are Tai-Hao profile instead of Cherry profile. That one should be fairly easy to verify. The non-A-Z keys are reported as silk screen printed.

The switches, they're not certain about. They were used only in that one keyboard, and the manufacturer was a Japanese company whose name may be "Katano". All I can find is that Katano is a city in Japan. If Katano was their name, they seem to be defunct now (like Jelco, another Japanese switch manufacturer that vanished).

The engineer was very excited to see that model again, as it's been so long since it was made (one of their oldest models, TH-5150) and it's not in their collection.

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Daniel Beardsmore

17 Mar 2017, 01:05

The plot thickens. I've assigned a new code USw LMWW02 to the variant found in Tai-Hao's own TH-5150 that they just discovered:

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There are two notable differences: space bar uses an identical switch, and the top shell design is different.

Here's the keyboard — these are Tai-Hao's TI-series "cube" keycaps:
5150 KB image.jpg
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5150 -Cube type keycap-2.jpg
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I still need someone to verify that these are Tai-Hao profile and not Cherry profile.

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ohaimark
Kingpin

17 Mar 2017, 04:46

Those remind me of XMIT Hall Effect switches.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

17 Mar 2017, 08:46

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: The plot thickens. I've assigned a new code USw LMWW02 to the variant found in Tai-Hao's own TH-5150 that they just discovered:
Again, to make things even more absurd that case looks very much like the SKB-5150C with the ProWorld Cherry MX clones.

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Daniel Beardsmore

17 Mar 2017, 09:11

They're very similar, but yet different. The back cover is a different shape, and the plastic top case is subtly different. Very curious.

What keycap profile are the SKB-5150C keycaps? This might give some clue as to who made them.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

17 Mar 2017, 10:38

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: They're very similar, but yet different. The back cover is a different shape, and the plastic top case is subtly different. Very curious.

What keycap profile are the SKB-5150C keycaps? This might give some clue as to who made them.
I'll check my pictures, I don't own the SKB-5150C anymore.

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Daniel Beardsmore

20 Mar 2017, 09:23

Also, "silk printed" is confirmed as being different from pad printing.

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Daniel Beardsmore

12 Dec 2017, 23:10

Supposedly, these are from a Japanese company. I wasn't confident that this was true.

However, today, as part of a package of filthy and sometimes broken switches from China, I got some of these switches, but a different variant. These are still not branded, but they are indeed marked "JAPAN":
Katano Japan.jpg
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Jan Pospisil

07 Nov 2020, 21:08

Sorry to necro, but I ran across this Katano switch in another keyboard - what looks like a LogoStar rebranded Chicony kb-5161.
Unfortunately I did not win the bloody auction, but I will try to contact the winner through the seller, to see if I could perhaps buy one of them, or get some more photos:

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Dr.Medic

07 Nov 2020, 23:19

Jan Pospisil wrote:
07 Nov 2020, 21:08
Sorry to necro, but I ran across this Katano switch in another keyboard - what looks like a LogoStar rebranded Chicony kb-5161.
Unfortunately I did not win the bloody auction, but I will try to contact the winner through the seller, to see if I could perhaps buy one of them, or get some more photos:

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Oh, hey! I was bidding not that auction as well... and I have won... one... but not these.
https://aukro.cz/klavesnica-xt-at-2-6976945809

It's the
Spoiler:
K-450 I have realized it, just now.
Good luck.

Jan Pospisil

07 Nov 2020, 23:53

Dr.Medic wrote:
07 Nov 2020, 23:19
Oh, hey! I was bidding not that auction as well... and I have won... one... but not these.
https://aukro.cz/klavesnica-xt-at-2-6976945809

It's the
Spoiler:
K-450 I have realized it, just now.
Good luck.
Ha, I identified that one early and did not bid on it. That's a decent final price, if only for the caps. Or maybe you'll like the switches too, who knows.

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