IBM 3279 Beamspring Restoration

green-squid

20 Apr 2018, 21:28

Posted your restoration (with credit given) to retrobattlestations so it gets more attention! https://www.reddit.com/r/retrobattlesta ... us_did_an/

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Aer Fixus

20 Apr 2018, 23:05

green-squid wrote: Posted your restoration (with credit given) to retrobattlestations so it gets more attention! https://www.reddit.com/r/retrobattlesta ... us_did_an/
Thanks, I suppose.

A correction, though. I never did end up getting any 3D printed module housings from __red__. I was able to get all of the switches working and limp along the last one or two questionable ones. I have not contacted him to receive any nor has he contacted me to send any. I'm not opposed to it in any manner and if he still wishes to send me some, I will gladly place them in the keyboard and test them out and give feedback. I had already agreed to the purchase of the module housings before __red__ showed his working prototype.

And I think of the restorations I've seen so far, most people would have called nearly all of the switches destroyed. They certainly weren't in good enough to even part out or sell to anyone else.
Last edited by Aer Fixus on 21 Apr 2018, 16:36, edited 1 time in total.

__red__

21 Apr 2018, 02:51

Aer Fixus wrote: I have not contacted him to receive any nor has he contacted me to send any.
Sure I did, it's in the thread above :lol:
I'm not opposed to it in any manner and if he still wishes to send me some, I will gladly place them in the keyboard and test them out and give feedback. I had already agreed to the purchase of the module housings before __red__ showed his working prototype.
I'm not claiming they're functionally equivalent. They're functional and would have gotten your (otherwise broken) modules working.

You may mistake me for someone trying to start a business. Nope, I have no intention or selling anything to anyone here ever. I don't believe I've ever charged money for anything that I've shipped to people in this community.

Note Community - correct me if I'm wrong...

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JP!

21 Apr 2018, 03:26

__red__ wrote: You may mistake me for someone trying to start a business. Nope, I have no intention or selling anything to anyone here ever. I don't believe I've ever charged money for anything that I've shipped to people in this community.

Note Community - correct me if I'm wrong...
Can't argue with that one. If you notice my 3741 has a PCB designed by the legend himself. I doubt __red__ would be opposed to some well deserved beers though :)

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Aer Fixus

21 Apr 2018, 16:35

I’ll stand corrected on you contacting me, lol. That said, I’m very curious at how they work and would like one or two to try out.

orihalcon

28 Apr 2018, 00:44

https://www.valleybusinessreport.com/in ... hnologies/

From the article:
Sometimes Avila receives a shipment with a surprise. In a truckload of old mainframe computer equipment from the city of McAllen, he found some vintage items that he could sell as collector pieces, such as old IBM keyboards. “We posted one of these keyboards on eBay for $750 and sold it in five minutes,” he said. Another one sold for $1,000 in less than a day.
Your beamspring is famous! That one they are holding in the photo is definitely yours! Guess we now know it came from the city of McAllen.
RDA_Vintage.jpg
RDA_Vintage.jpg (5.35 MiB) Viewed 2073 times
Last edited by orihalcon on 28 Apr 2018, 12:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Aer Fixus

28 Apr 2018, 07:09

I wonder if they keep up with the keyboard world in any capacity or if they just have an eye for this kind of thing.
Helps to read things sometimes: "If it looks old, do the research. There are collectors, museums and others out there looking for this kind of electronic memorabilia."

I’ll be sure to share photos and this thread with them once I’ve completed the restoration. Maybe I can get some more info on the details of the haul and why it was burned the way it was.
Last edited by Aer Fixus on 29 Apr 2018, 06:23, edited 1 time in total.

green-squid

28 Apr 2018, 17:26

orihalcon, that is awesome! I would love to buy some old keyboard from a haul like that!

green-squid

21 Jun 2018, 11:51

Any update on painting the case? Very curious about the result!

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Aer Fixus

09 Jul 2018, 22:50

Not yet on the paint. Just enjoying typing on it so far and working out the bugs. A couple keys do feel slightly sluggish on off-angle keypresses, but nothing that I can't deal with. It's put my Kishsaver in a drawer so that has to say something!

The one issue I've got that I'm pretty sure is a common one is that some of the Selectric keycaps don't grab the stem very well and like getting knocked off in one direction or another during vigorous typing sessions, often ruining the groove as I search for the keycap on the floor. Most of the time, though, they just get angled sideways and become harder to push. Usually not an issue typing actually, but it's a killer when gaming. The solution is a thin shim of plastic between the stem and the keycap (like a plastic shopping bag). The caps were removed hastily from their Selectric a few years back (and some by an Bay seller in an unknown fashion) and some of the stem sockets have cracked. It's not in a way that will get worse, but it does prevent solid mounting.

[Edit: I did try sending them a message via eBay but they never responded...]
Last edited by Aer Fixus on 10 Jul 2018, 03:46, edited 1 time in total.

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PlacaFromHell

09 Jul 2018, 23:05

Don't use spray paints, this thing can't afford long gaming sessions. Go safe and pay for a nice powdercoating.

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Aer Fixus

10 Jul 2018, 03:37

The problem with powder coating is that the manual flap is plastic and can't be powder coated. I've been looking to get a metal one made up but haven't had too terribly much luck locally yet.

A good enamel spray paint applied correctly and given enough time to cure will last a long time and survive a significant amount of abuse.

Also not sure what you mean by it can't afford long gaming sessions as it's done quite nicely so far.

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tron

10 Jul 2018, 04:12

Aer Fixus wrote: Not yet on the paint. Just enjoying typing on it so far and working out the bugs. A couple keys do feel slightly sluggish on off-angle keypresses, but nothing that I can't deal with. It's put my Kishsaver in a drawer so that has to say something!

The one issue I've got that I'm pretty sure is a common one is that some of the Selectric keycaps don't grab the stem very well and like getting knocked off in one direction or another during vigorous typing sessions, often ruining the groove as I search for the keycap on the floor. Most of the time, though, they just get angled sideways and become harder to push. Usually not an issue typing actually, but it's a killer when gaming. The solution is a thin shim of plastic between the stem and the keycap (like a plastic shopping bag). The caps were removed hastily from their Selectric a few years back (and some by an Bay seller in an unknown fashion) and some of the stem sockets have cracked. It's not in a way that will get worse, but it does prevent solid mounting.

[Edit: I did try sending them a message via eBay but they never responded...]
Have you tried adjusting the switch stem "ears"? I had a few loose caps from too many cap removals/attachments and needed to spread the stem "ears" a bit with a Swiss army knife.

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PlacaFromHell

10 Jul 2018, 04:47

What I mean is the paint start to wear our were your hands rest after some long periods of gaming. Mine did it after 2 hours playing Totally Accurate Battlegrounds.
Good luck replacing the manual flap, or using spray paint if you want to take the risk.

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Aer Fixus

10 Jul 2018, 15:58

tron wrote: Have you tried adjusting the switch stem "ears"? I had a few loose caps from too many cap removals/attachments and needed to spread the stem "ears" a bit with a Swiss army knife.
I inspected them when I placed them back on the board and didn't notice any that has squeezed together too much, but I'll give it a look. That might be an easier and more permanant solution.
PlacaFromHell wrote: What I mean is the paint start to wear our were your hands rest after some long periods of gaming. Mine did it after 2 hours playing Totally Accurate Battlegrounds.
Good luck replacing the manual flap, or using spray paint if you want to take the risk.
I get similar results with the paint that I use if I don't let it cure. In my climate, it takes two to four weeks after the last coat at room temperature for the paints I apply to fully cure (with one full day between each thin coat). And it's longer when it's cold. The other option is to bake it, but my roommate doesn't like that and it also doesn't work for plastic parts.

Also, I almost forgot. I'm also putting off painting until I can remove the two broken bolts from the top case. I expect to use some clamping force and would risk damaging the finish.

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Aer Fixus

15 Jul 2018, 02:08

Quick update, the "ears" were not spread out enough on the problematic keys. I spread them apart and the keys are much more stable than before.

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tron

15 Jul 2018, 04:08

[quote="Aer Fixus" post_id=418954]Quick update, the "ears" were not spread out enough on the problematic keys. I spread them apart and the keys are much more stable than before.[/quote

IBM has a step in thier field guide for checking the stem "ears" for taper and forming them to the correct shape if nessesary. I have four beamspring boards now and only had to do it a few times.

Image

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Aer Fixus

24 Jul 2018, 03:19

That's a cool little guide right there. I was aware that it existed, but I've never actually looked at it or knew what info it contained inside. Maybe I should read it, lol.

But yeah. I just too a flat head screwdriver and wiggled it until the stem ears looked like the others and they fit great. Haven't popped off or tipped forward or backward yet!

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ifohancroft

01 Apr 2021, 20:49

I'm sorry to resurrect such an old post but I just have to know: What happened with the restoration? Did you finish it? How does it look now?

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