IBM Model M 1386303

User avatar
taylorswiftttttt

26 Feb 2017, 19:43

I'm gonna be really busy for the next week, so I probably won't have time to take many pictures until later, but I couldn't resist cleaning and photographing probably the most interesting keyboard from the haul:

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I barely had to clean it at all. A few passes with some glass cleaner and a quick vacuum (for dust - absolutely no junk in it!) and it looked as good as new. Also, the cord barely had any black marks on it at all, probably due to the plastic dust cover on it. According to the DT wiki, the 1386303 was the first IBM Enhanced Keyboard, ever.

There are a few strange things, however.

1. The original label is missing. Instead, there was both a Lexmark label with the part number "1386303" hand written on it, and a sticker with "P/N 1386303" printed on it.

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2. The board has drainage channels. The only picture of a 1386303 on the DT wiki does not have drainage channels.

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3. There is no sticker or markings at all on the plate. However, the plate is in MINT condition and ALL of the rivets are intact. The only 2 markings inside the board were this sticker:

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And the sticker on the controller:

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4. The dyesubbing is kind of... bad? The legends on it are slightly thicker than the ones on my 1391401s, and some of them are pretty off center, like the caps lock key:

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5. It doesn't have wire stabilizers on the 2u keys, like older Ms are supposed to have.

So what does this all add up to? In my opinion, it is a legit 1386303 that was refurbished by lexmark in 1996. The original backplate, barrel plate, and bottom case were replaced with newer ones. The controller and the cable may have been replaced as well.

Can any of you shed more light on this strange keyboard? I'm really interested to know.

I'll take more pictures of the rest of the keyboards I picked up, but I'm busy right now and this all I have time for.
Last edited by taylorswiftttttt on 12 May 2017, 18:10, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

26 Feb 2017, 19:51

I think your theory is spot on. The original internals were probably so beaten up that Lexmark just dropped new guts in.

User avatar
taylorswiftttttt

26 Feb 2017, 20:10

ohaimark wrote: I think your theory is spot on. The original internals were probably so beaten up that Lexmark just dropped new guts in.
I'm partly mad at Lexmark for ruining the originality, but then again it would probably have been thrown away if lexmark hadn't refurbished it. Better luck next time :P

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

26 Feb 2017, 20:24

Since I don't see any original parts, it could also be that Lexmark manufactured a special order of these for a customer. It has been documented that 1390131s (also one of the original AT-PS/2 Model Ms and discontinued in the late 80s) were made all the way up to 1996!

Here's one relevant thread: keyboards-f2/nib-ibm-model-m-1390131-ma ... t1878.html

User avatar
HAL

26 Feb 2017, 20:26

The label on the back side says it all: FRU stands for Field Replacement Unit.

Lexmark was reuqired by contract to provide replacement parts. So this is probably a keyboard from 1996. The early Model M keyboards from 1985 and 1986 had a small styrofoam part under the metal plate. This was later replaced by a plastic pole reaching up from the bottom shell.
IBM_Model_M_terminal_1386303_19850613_polyester_support_for_keyboard_assembly_1920x1080.jpg
IBM Model M terminal 1386303 from 1985-06-13 with polyester support for keyboard assembly
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IBM_Model_M_terminal_1386303_19850613_support_for_keyboard_assembly_1920x1080.jpg
IBM Model M terminal 1386303 from 1985-06-13 polyester part supporting keyboard assembly
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IBM_Model_M_terminal_1392595_19870616_bottom_shell_1920x1080.jpg
IBM Model M terminal 1392595 from 1987-06-16 bottom shell with pole for keyboard support
IBM_Model_M_terminal_1392595_19870616_bottom_shell_1920x1080.jpg (282.7 KiB) Viewed 1123 times
Nevertheless very rare specimen.

User avatar
taylorswiftttttt

26 Feb 2017, 20:38

HAL wrote: The label on the back side says it all: FRU stands for Field Replacement Unit.

Lexmark was reuqired by contract to provide replacement parts. So this is probably a keyboard from 1996. The early Model M keyboards from 1985 and 1986 had a small styrofoam part under the metal plate. This was later replaced by a plastic pole reaching up from the bottom shell.

Thanks so much for the information man! That sucks that it isn't a legit one, but its still a cool piece of history to have around.

I also scored a real silver label made in 1987, and that ones pretty interesting too. I'll take pictures soon.

User avatar
HAL

26 Feb 2017, 20:52

taylorswiftttttt wrote: ... That sucks that it isn't a legit one ...
Don't get me wrong your 1986303 is absolutely legit. It just not that old. To my knowledge Lexmark was producing their keyboards on the same place and machines where IBM did. Some people switched from IBM to Lexmark without ever changing desks. Later Lexmark was sold to Unicomp who are still on the same location.
taylorswiftttttt wrote: I also scored a real silver label made in 1987, and that ones pretty interesting too. I'll take pictures soon.
Can't wait for the pictures.

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micrex22

26 Feb 2017, 21:22

I should probably chime in here: Lexmark (and IBM) would routinely refurbish normal Model Ms and convert them into terminal based units for corporate clients. Which accounts for the following:
*mismatched keycaps
*poor tension on the barrel assembly when it's re-made with extra springs
*occasionally *painting over* the original beige plastic with identical beige paint

FRU doesn't have anything to do with it, though (FRU simply means a discreet part that can be replaced in an IBM system, and in this instance the whole keyboard is only considered a 'FRU' when it's assembled for a specific purpose). FRUs for normal Model Ms and terminal Model Ms are different as a result. So it would get a 'FRU change' after being reassembled into a terminal board.

What's actually more telling is when you get an orange' serviceable used part' sticker, IBM has been using them since the 80's and continues to use them to this day on Lenovo parts they handle for Lenovo.

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Mr.Nobody

03 Mar 2017, 09:13

Glad to know that no one accuse you for openning a new thread talking about Buckling-spring keyboards...When I did this weeks ago I got bombardment :lol: you could ask fohat and seebart for info, they are experts on IBM keyboards, I am really curious about what you gonna do with that blue switch 3187 terminal board.
Last edited by Mr.Nobody on 03 Mar 2017, 12:19, edited 1 time in total.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

03 Mar 2017, 09:18

Mr.Nobody wrote: Glad to know that no one accuse you for openning a new thread talking about Buckling-spring keyboards...When I did this weeks ago I got bombardment :lol: you could ask fofat and seebart for info, they are experts on IBM keyboards, I am really curious about what you gonna do with that blue switch 3187 terminal board.
I am not a IBM expert and we do have a pretty good search function.

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taylorswiftttttt

03 Mar 2017, 20:51

Chill out guys. We are here to talk about keyboards.
Mr.Nobody wrote: I am really curious about what you gonna do with that blue switch 3187 terminal board.
It's actually in pretty good condition. The case isn't cracked and all the keycaps are complete. However, it is absolutely filthy. I don't think I can clean the keycaps without an ultrasonic cleaner - and getting one of those will take a while. EVENTUALLY I hope to put an xwhatsit controller in and wire up the solenoid.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

03 Mar 2017, 21:16

We are "chill"! :maverick: For some strange reason the cases on those 3178 are not as sturdy as most other F's especially the XT, you should be happy yours is undamaged. I never had a closer look at my 3178 like I did with my 3104 but the keycaps are nice with the lower case:
IMG_20160513_165739.jpg
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fohat
Elder Messenger

03 Mar 2017, 21:19

taylorswiftttttt wrote:
I don't think I can clean the keycaps without an ultrasonic cleaner
A soak in hot water and powdered laundry detergent often works wonders. You might be surprised.

In my opinion, laundry detergent is much better than dish soap.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

03 Mar 2017, 23:04

fohat wrote:
taylorswiftttttt wrote: I don't think I can clean the keycaps without an ultrasonic cleaner
A soak in hot water and powdered laundry detergent often works wonders. You might be surprised.

In my opinion, laundry detergent is much better than dish soap.
I find that unscented dishwasher detergent works best but laundry detergent probably works as well.

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webwit
Wild Duck

03 Mar 2017, 23:11

Soap is soap. It's chemistry.

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taylorswiftttttt

04 Mar 2017, 01:37

XMIT wrote:
fohat wrote:
taylorswiftttttt wrote: I don't think I can clean the keycaps without an ultrasonic cleaner
A soak in hot water and powdered laundry detergent often works wonders. You might be surprised.

In my opinion, laundry detergent is much better than dish soap.
I find that unscented dishwasher detergent works best but laundry detergent probably works as well.
oops. I guess I'll try laundry detergent instead of dish soap. And its not that I can't clean the keycaps, its that I'm so burnt out of cleaning keyboards.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

04 Mar 2017, 01:48

I have cleaned many dozens of set of key caps, and there have only been a couple of occasions where hand cleaning was necessary.

I use a spoonful of powdered laundry detergent (I like Charlie's natural) and half a spoonful of "Oxi-" (or Biz or similar) in a liter of hot water. 20 minutes of soak followed by a good triple rinse with a colander is entirely adequate 95% of the time.

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Mr.Nobody

04 Mar 2017, 02:54

oops. I guess I'll try laundry detergent instead of dish soap. And its not that I can't clean the keycaps, its that I'm so burnt out of cleaning keyboards.
Yes it's laborious, nobody enjoys doing that drudgery, I've manually cleaned up a dozen keyboards and their caps, I don't want to do it any more...An ultrasonic cleaner costs 20-30 UD$ here, rather cheap, if I have a lot of keycaps need to be cleaned up, surely I will buy one...

EDIT
In fact, I am pondering/struggling upon what kind of ordeal I have to go through converting this bad boy into a useable daily driver...
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User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Mar 2017, 03:43

webwit wrote: Soap is soap. It's chemistry.
Not quite. There are surfactants, there are enzymatic cleaners, there are whitening agents, and so on. Each soap is a work of chemical engineering geared to some application.

Chyros can maybe explain better than I can.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Mar 2017, 03:44

Mr.Nobody wrote: In fact, I am pondering/struggling upon what kind of ordeal I have to go through converting this [IBM 3778 Model F keyboard] into a useable daily driver...
Either a protocol converter (not sure if TMK supports this one) or an xwhatsit board will do. xwhatsit is the better choice. Search around on this forum for more information.

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alh84001
v.001

04 Mar 2017, 03:57

seebart shared the link to the only working converter for it - workshop-f7/ibm-3278-keyboard-to-ps-2-i ... =converter

Other than that, it's an xwhatsit+adapter(strongly recommended)+solenoid driver(optional). orihalcon has all of these.

We ought to wikify that once.

User avatar
Mr.Nobody

04 Mar 2017, 09:13

@ XMIT and alh84001

Thanks guys, yes seebart PMed me the links yesterday, I almost know what I need and need to do, still it's terrifying to a non-geek like me...If I get a blue switch...I probably will let somebody else who has the knowledge and skill to convert it for me...I have just found two guys providing this kind of service...but is it worth the trouble, I just read the old thread "XT vs. AT" maybe an XT is more worth doing...or maybe just try harder to find more ATs, I can't get a kishsaver anyway...not a single trace of it at all over here...

wyatt8740

11 Jun 2019, 07:12

Hey, I'm sorry to bump this thread, but I have a 1386303 (and the IBM terminal it's meant for), so I can shed some more light on this than already has been in this thread.

You're right about pretty much everything you said, first of all.
The keycaps are likely original; IBM's successors to this initial board, like the 3151 (yeah, that came after the 3161) had the numpad symbols in black just like the numbers – probably to reduce costs. Caps lock was likely just a goof that passed inspection by luck. I've never seen anything but the 3161 or 3163 have gray printing on the numpad.

My '87-made 1386303 (label here) has the same controller board, it would appear:
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To use it with a PC, you could swap out the controller board for one from a PC model M. You may be able to just ask Unicomp for a replacement controller board (P.N. 1398012 works, and was used in my 1391401 keyboard).
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I still play around with my 3161 terminal, though, so I usually leave it with the original controller.

Those external terminal keyboard converters should also work; a standard 6-pin DIN female connector should serve as a plug to connect your board into, since it doesn't use the normal 5 pin DIN arrangement like AT boards do. You'll need an active adapter if you take the external route.

My board does indeed have the stabilizer on its numpad enter key. But horizontal 2U keys do not.
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Another controller board pic
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It should be easy to verify my theory that the keycaps are original. if they are, they will probably have the earlier Model F style stems.

Older stems, as used in the F:
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Newer stems, as used by at least 1993 (maybe earlier) and up to present day:
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A difference between boards meant for a 3161 vs. a 3163 is that the keys are one-piece on the 3161 (except for F, J, and keypad 5), where almost all are two-piece on the 3163's. Your board should have one piece caps.

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