IBM Electronic Typewriter Model 95 - Capacitive Buckling Springs

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

03 Jun 2017, 05:05

Thanks to ohaimark, I recently learned about the IBM Electronic Typewriter line, an obscure typewriter that sat between the Selectric and Wheelwriter typewriter lines and was a hybrid of both, with electronic internals and a Selectric element ball. The only reference I could find to them on DT was in the opening paragraph of the wiki entry on the Model F.

According this site, the later 65/85/95 models were introduced in 1982 (although I believe this is from 1983 or later, see the photos of the typewriter controller below). After watching a video of a disassembly of one, I had a hunch they had capacitive buckling springs; after some eBay snooping I was able to land a Model 95 keyboard assembly for a reasonable price:

Image

I was happy to see it was definitely a Model F! I hope I can get it converted. Some interesting features of the keyboard:
  • Plastic barrel frame with melted rivets, predating the Model M!
  • Latching Caps Lock
  • Slip-on controller
  • Rubber O-Rings on most barrels, like some Wheelwriters
  • Stepped, unstabilized wide keys
Keyboard:
IBM 95 -- Keyboard w/ chassis
IBM 95 -- Keyboard w/ chassis
22.png (2.84 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Chassis close-up
IBM 95 -- Chassis close-up
21.png (2.81 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Assembly sandwich
IBM 95 -- Assembly sandwich
20.png (2.67 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Keyboard w/ chassis removed
IBM 95 -- Keyboard w/ chassis removed
0.png (2.87 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Keyboard bottom w/ thick rubber mat over backplate
IBM 95 -- Keyboard bottom w/ thick rubber mat over backplate
1.png (3.06 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Label
IBM 95 -- Label
32.png (2.86 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
Keyboard Controller:
IBM 95 -- PCB Pinout, 24 pins, 16x4 matrix
IBM 95 -- PCB Pinout, 24 pins, 16x4 matrix
2.png (2.95 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller
5.png (2.97 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller close-up
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller close-up
6.png (2.69 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller close-up
IBM 95 -- Keyboard controller close-up
7.png (2.7 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
Keys:
IBM 95 -- Wide keys
IBM 95 -- Wide keys
11.png (2.87 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Wide key barrels
IBM 95 -- Wide key barrels
12.png (2.63 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Latching Caps Lock key
IBM 95 -- Latching Caps Lock key
13.png (2.64 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Comparison of A key (left to right): IBM 95, IBM Model M 1390120, Custom Unicomp SSK keyset
IBM 95 -- Comparison of A key (left to right): IBM 95, IBM Model M 1390120, Custom Unicomp SSK keyset
17.png (2.63 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Comparison of W key (left to right): IBM 95, IBM Model M 1390120, Custom Unicomp SSK keyset
IBM 95 -- Comparison of W key (left to right): IBM 95, IBM Model M 1390120, Custom Unicomp SSK keyset
16.png (2.79 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Comparison of key bottoms (Left to right): IBM Model M 1390120, IBM 95.  The sprue for the 95's keycaps is underneath the cap and not on the back.
IBM 95 -- Comparison of key bottoms (Left to right): IBM Model M 1390120, IBM 95. The sprue for the 95's keycaps is underneath the cap and not on the back.
18.png (2.74 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- O-Ring
IBM 95 -- O-Ring
10.png (2.68 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
Misc:
Spoiler:
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel
23.png (2.79 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel bottom
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel bottom
24.png (2.87 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel bell and solenoid?
IBM 95 -- Typewriter button panel bell and solenoid?
26.png (2.63 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller
27.png (3.14 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller close-up
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller close-up
30.png (2.73 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller bottom
IBM 95 -- Typewriter controller bottom
31.png (2.92 MiB) Viewed 2760 times
Typing and Caps Lock Demonstrations:
Last edited by emdude on 04 Jun 2017, 01:22, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

03 Jun 2017, 09:59

Thanks for the pictures, very interesting post and awesome find. #DTA7

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

03 Jun 2017, 10:04

This thing is really neat - it would be very cool if you could convert it somehow!

You should do a typing demo =)

User avatar
Nuum

03 Jun 2017, 10:39

Nice one! How does the latching caps lock work? Is the long on/off button a buckling spring toggle key of some kind?

arkanoid

03 Jun 2017, 12:29

Another buckling mini layout keyboard! Thanks for the photos.

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

03 Jun 2017, 20:51

Thanks guys. :D

@Gains, if I can find time to record one this weekend, I'd like to!

@Nuum, the Caps Lock works like one on a manual typewriter, after toggling it, it's released by pressing either Shift key.

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

04 Jun 2017, 00:34

Updated the OP with a brief typing video and a demonstration of the latching Caps Lock!

Apologies for the poor sound quality!

User avatar
ideus

04 Jun 2017, 01:20

Wow! the typing sound is really impressive. Thank you for the videos.

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

04 Jun 2017, 01:41

emdude wrote: Updated the OP with a brief typing video and a demonstration of the latching Caps Lock!

Apologies for the poor sound quality!
Thanks for the typing vid, dude! It sounds really neat!

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

04 Jun 2017, 04:01

Wow, that's incredible. Does the typewriter itself work? I imagine it takes a third generation Selectric ball...

Findecanor

04 Jun 2017, 04:10

Hmm... What was the reason that IBM did not choose to use the latching mechanism for the IBM PC?
Are the Shift keys harder to press when the Caps Lock key is down?

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

04 Jun 2017, 04:26

XMIT wrote: Wow, that's incredible. Does the typewriter itself work? I imagine it takes a third generation Selectric ball...
I only got the keyboard assembly with a few other things, but its seller noted that the typewriter did not seem to function. The typewriter does take a 96-character element ball, like the Selectric III.
Findecanor wrote: Hmm... What was the reason that IBM did not choose to use the latching mechanism for the IBM PC?
Are the Shift keys harder to press when the Caps Lock key is down?
Only slightly, the spring holding the lever up is very light.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
daedalus
Buckler Of Springs

05 Jun 2017, 22:18

Extraordinarily nice find. I think this is the first example of a buckling spring keyboard with a locking Caps Lock which I've seen too.

User avatar
Darkshado

06 Jun 2017, 04:49

What's the reasoning behind o-rings and why have they disappeared since?

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

06 Jun 2017, 13:50

Probably to prevent bottom out (though I can't say for sure). I've noticed that AT keycap stems will deform at the base if bottomed out heavily on a regular basis. That can result in them catching on springs.

User avatar
alh84001
v.001

27 Sep 2017, 19:35

Here it is with xwhatsit's controller (emdude was kind enough to pass this little beauty on to me):
Image

I desoldered the header from original controller and soldered it to xwhatsit's. Mapping of the pins (when viewing keyboard/PCB from above is):

Code: Select all

G R4 R3 R2 R1 G C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 G G
This is slightly different from xwhatsit's pinout, so I bent leftmost G and R1, and added a jumper wire from R1 to a row pin on xwhatsit.

Next up, there are two additional pads on the right side of spacebar. When 5.25U spacebar is used instead of original one, that leaves space for a right shift key to be put up there. It's either that or two 1U keys, at least until ellipse produces split right shift pack for his kishy replica project.

Two positions on the left side of spacebar don't have contact pads unfortunately.

(Attached is my xwhatsit config file (base layer only), for archiving purposes)
Attachments
et_95.zip
(444 Bytes) Downloaded 38 times
Last edited by alh84001 on 02 Oct 2017, 01:08, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
0100010

27 Sep 2017, 20:06

Only the second time I have seen a Model M / F with orings around the barrels. One of these days I'll get around to adding some to my boards to check for sound affect.

User avatar
0100010

27 Sep 2017, 20:09

Darkshado wrote: What's the reasoning behind o-rings and why have they disappeared since?
I don't think the orings do anything with bottoming out, only area you can place something that will effect that would be on the top of the barrel. I think they are only for changing the buckling sound response.

Edit : adding image

Image

User avatar
alh84001
v.001

27 Sep 2017, 20:22

Yeah, sound is definitely different. Less ping reverb or something similar. It's maybe a little less loud as well, but still quite loud though. Note that this is an F PCB in M assembly, and probably only louder BS board I have heard is i$'s FSSK, which is in a league of its own.
Last edited by alh84001 on 02 Oct 2017, 00:59, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
2ter

28 Sep 2017, 00:00

0100010 wrote:
Darkshado wrote: What's the reasoning behind o-rings and why have they disappeared since?
I don't think the orings do anything with bottoming out, only area you can place something that will effect that would be on the top of the barrel. I think they are only for changing the buckling sound response.

Edit : adding image

Image

this gif omits the little reinforcements on which the o-rings sit. i think o-rings do soften the bottom out. they don't really influence the sound, at least on a model m. only the floss mod, dry lube and similar mods on the spring and/or the inside of the barrels can get rid of the ping and ringing.

User avatar
JP!

13 Oct 2017, 15:53

Nice work on this with the Xwhatsit. Now we just need a custom case for this.

User avatar
Chyros

13 Oct 2017, 16:32

I had one of these a while ago, it was extremely filthy and kind of falling apart. If I had known this model wasn't really known I'd have done more to clean it up and document it xD . Yours is much nicer though :) .

User avatar
alh84001
v.001

15 Nov 2017, 20:25

Yeah, it's quite rare. People over on http://www.ibmtypewriters.com/ don't have one for instance.

How can you pass up a model F, whatever the condition is?! If anything, springs and flippers are useful to all of us here :)

User avatar
purdobol

15 Nov 2017, 21:06

Very nice find indeed. Hehe yet another typewriter added to watchlist.

User avatar
DustGod
Yet another IBM snob

20 Nov 2017, 23:43

Ah, latching switches on buckling springs! That's awesome!

Post Reply

Return to “Gallery”