Very good haul (19 boards, 2 wheelwriters)

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zrrion

09 Oct 2018, 06:00

I saw a post on craigslist made by an older gentleman who had been operating an electronics recycling business for 25 years who was wanting to sell all the junk he had so that he could sell the property he was on. I could see a compaq branded g80-whatever in one of the pictures and figured I'd check it out.

Here is a link to the album, and here are a few choice pics:

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I ended up with 19 keebs and 2 wheelwriters, several old games, an oscilloscope that says `BAD` on top but works just fine, and a CB radio mic. My significant other continues to be an incredible good luck charm.
We got black and brown MX (with some vintage black in the mix), brown, pine white, orange, salmon, black, and compact green alps, short cream SKCC alps, (I think) white nec oval, some kind of hall effect microswitch, buckling spring, and some pre-keyboard cherry switches. Not a bad haul for $133 which is about what the same as the keyboard I'm typing on right now.
This is my first Model M and it is completely functional! it is only missing the hat for the down arrow.
Im an alps guy so I'm a bit more attached to that stuff but the cherry boards will probably be cleaned and find new homes.

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Chyros

09 Oct 2018, 07:18

Holy shit, that is an excellent haul, congrats! :D

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

09 Oct 2018, 12:05

zrrion wrote: […] I ended up with 19 keebs and 2 wheelwriters, several old games, an oscilloscope […] and a CB radio mic. […]
You should have also mentioned the keyboards :mrgreen:

User avatar
Elrick

09 Oct 2018, 12:33

kbdfr wrote:
zrrion wrote: […] I ended up with 19 keebs and 2 wheelwriters, several old games, an oscilloscope […] and a CB radio mic. […]
You should have also mentioned the keyboards :mrgreen:
Didn't the word "19 Keebs" cover that designation ;) ?

It's what ALL youngster's use these days, shorten the description instead of expanding upon it.

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JP!

09 Oct 2018, 12:43

That is a sweet haul!

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

09 Oct 2018, 13:00

Elrick wrote:
kbdfr wrote:
zrrion wrote: […] I ended up with 19 keebs and 2 wheelwriters, several old games, an oscilloscope […] and a CB radio mic. […]
You should have also mentioned the keyboards :mrgreen:
Didn't the word "19 Keebs" cover that designation ;) ?

It's what ALL youngster's use these days, shorten the description instead of expanding upon it.
Thanks for the explation.
So obviously a Clack is a Cadillac :lol:

Reminds me of my son seeing a police (German: Polizei) officer and mumbling "posei" when he was 3 or so :lol:

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zrrion

09 Oct 2018, 15:12

Maybe I should shorten it to boards instead of keebs to keep the old timers from getting confused and offended. :P
Last edited by zrrion on 09 Oct 2018, 17:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Half-Saint

09 Oct 2018, 16:53

Maybe not? I don't think any offense was taken. Grumpy ;-)

samuelcable

09 Oct 2018, 16:55

zrrion wrote: Maybe I should shorten it to boards instead of keebs to keep the old timers from getting confused and offended.
Sorry if you don't enjoy typing the full word. Guess you investing in keyboards to type even less :o

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hansichen

09 Oct 2018, 18:14

Really nice find, congratulations! Good to see that you wanna keep the videowriter as a working piece together! Too many of them get killed for their switches.
Also a nice collection of early Cherry switches!

Slom

09 Oct 2018, 20:18

Great haul :)
zrrion wrote: [...]
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[...] some kind of hall effect microswitch [...]
These are ITW Magnetic Valve, see here for reference:
photos-f62/xerox-x998-t12336.html

User avatar
JP!

09 Oct 2018, 20:53

I seen one of those sell on eBay not tool long ago. Now I know what switches it likely had. Absolute unit of a keyboard.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-1970s-Mod ... 663.l10137
Spoiler:
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longboi.jpg (170.01 KiB) Viewed 1523 times
Last edited by JP! on 10 Oct 2018, 03:49, edited 1 time in total.

Findecanor

09 Oct 2018, 22:13

Great haul. Nice pics. Bad language.

User avatar
Elrick

10 Oct 2018, 03:49

zrrion wrote: Maybe I should shorten it to boards instead of keebs to keep the old timers from getting confused and offended. :P
Yeah but this ole timer got the update from his minions, ages ago.

They all know what the new tech is and aren't afraid to let me know about it constantly :( .

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Chyros

10 Oct 2018, 09:16

I always use "boards" instead of "keebs", although I don't mind either term.

I reserve my dislike for Imperial units instead :twisted: .

TwistedPair

10 Oct 2018, 09:30

Thank you very much for the rare pictures of WW2 veteran keyboards.

Shihatsu

10 Oct 2018, 12:16

Everytime someone uses the word keeb god kills a kishsaver...

User avatar
zrrion

11 Oct 2018, 02:41

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Today I tried out the Brown alps and the system they go with and I am not a fan of the switches. They might grow on me but since the system won't print I don't have any reason to use it all that much. The Videowriter itself is pretty easy to use and I like it for what it is. I might actually have a reason to use it if it printed.

DJSwayde

11 Oct 2018, 17:01

TwistedPair wrote: Thank you very much for the rare pictures of WW2 veteran keyboards.
Good thing I don't believe in God then. Kishsavers are nice "keebs." :D

User avatar
Muirium
µ

11 Oct 2018, 18:59

zrrion wrote: The Videowriter itself is pretty easy to use and I like it for what it is. I might actually have a reason to use it if it printed.
Ah, that glowing text reminds me of my earliest computer days. (Mine was later but lower end. 1980s, ALL CAPS and NO BOLD.) Definitely got a retro magic to it, though difficult to think of any practical use in this day and age. I mean, the best that comes to mind is this:

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And I doubt Lynx is even feasible on a Videowriter.

This is why I’m into vintage keyboards, not vintage systems. Hook a vintage keyboard up to something contemporary and the world’s your oyster. Plug a vintage computer into the mains, and, uh…

User avatar
zrrion

11 Oct 2018, 19:27

I have a similar opinion about vintage systems, but if they work I would like to make sure that wherever they end up going is going to be nice to them. Vintage keyboards are one of the only parts of old computers that are still relevant anymore outside of a few historically important systems.
I do have a few things I do where recording text would be useful but when you use a computer people think you aren't engaging appropriately/they think that you are goofing around but something like a typewriter is too loud to not be distracting for everyone else. The Videowriter would be good in those situations since it is quieter in operation and printing can be done later when noise is not a concern so it doesn't matter that it is loud when it prints. Shame the print mechanism is broken though.

EDIT: I'm working on the NEC board now and one of the switches was pulled out of the PCB! This has broken the tabs that hold it to the plate as well as the rivets on the switch itself. I imagine this switch breakage is why it was at the recycler in the first place. After cleaning the switch and verifying that it still worked it is glued together and glued to the plate. I'm not super happy that I had to glue it but I don't exactly have spate switches so we are making do. Apart from that the board is very clean internally and I will only need to clean the top case and the keys. It also looks like there is no controller and the ribbon cable on the back outputs the matrix so external conversion should be super easy. the one IC on the board is made by TI instead of NEC. The flip out feet do not lock in place on this board which is its only major flaw.

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zrrion

20 Oct 2018, 06:32

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The NEC board is clean now. It was the clewanest board of the haul and didn't take much more than a good wiping down. While cleaning it I did discover that the plastic film on the insert had not been removed so I got to be the one to do it. The haul was worth it for that alone IMO.

In the second pic you can see that the legend on STRL and SHIFT LOCK is different and that is because some of the caps are doubleshot while others are engraved and infilled. Some of the caps that are3 engraved are doubleshot in the same colour as their legends, and some are doubleshot in grey but still engraved and infilled with white. Other caps are not doubleshot and are engraved. I do not know why this would be the case and it leads to some inconsistency since the engraved caps use a slightly different font.

In the third picture there, the switch housing has a white top half instead of a black half and that appears to signify that that switch has a heavier spring in it. This heavy white oval was present on the space bar, both Shift keys and the enter key. I do not know if this holds true on all NEC oval boards.

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And what I'm typing this post on, the Model M. There are a few stains that won't come off but it is way cleaner than it was. The cable is pretty gross looking, but I plan to convert it to USB and the cable will be shed in that process so that's not a huge issue. It's probably a common thing to see an M with wheelwriter caps, but every mod I see with them leaves out the biggest and best feature of those cap sets. Bigass enter keys are the pinnacle of keyboard science, what are you all afraid of? I don't think I've seen anyone use the Code key either so that's something. I still need to source a single unit "|\" key and figure what to do regarding USB conversion and eventually I'll get a new badge made for it that had a green IBM logo to match the sub-legends. It's my first M and I like it a lot. It isn't as smooth as SKCC green, but the click is nice and the ping has a charm to it that I like quite a lot.

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JP!

20 Oct 2018, 14:16

Those are some nice finds. Can you post a picture of the label on the back of that Model M?

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zrrion

20 Oct 2018, 16:00

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The NEC board doesn't really have any labels or I'd post those too.

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JP!

20 Oct 2018, 17:03

That M looks great with those Wheelwriter keys.

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Chyros

20 Oct 2018, 17:58

Bigass enter Model M? =o

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Myoth

20 Oct 2018, 18:40

zrrion wrote: Image
And what I'm typing this post on, the Model M. There are a few stains that won't come off but it is way cleaner than it was. The cable is pretty gross looking, but I plan to convert it to USB and the cable will be shed in that process so that's not a huge issue. It's probably a common thing to see an M with wheelwriter caps, but every mod I see with them leaves out the biggest and best feature of those cap sets. Bigass enter keys are the pinnacle of keyboard science, what are you all afraid of? I don't think I've seen anyone use the Code key either so that's something. I still need to source a single unit "|\" key and figure what to do regarding USB conversion and eventually I'll get a new badge made for it that had a green IBM logo to match the sub-legends. It's my first M and I like it a lot. It isn't as smooth as SKCC green, but the click is nice and the ping has a charm to it that I like quite a lot.
That's the kind of mod I'm talking about !! this is super nice ! I always said that if I were to get an SSK I'd make it BAE because it's such a silly layout and it needs to be on more keyboards :lol: of course it'll feature a split right shift key, an xwhatsit and a solenoid, because let's be real, isn't how SSKs should be ? :twisted:
Spoiler:
maybe I should take care of my F AT before launching myself in a distant future
Anyway, it'd be great if you could show the process of making this Model M BAE, it'd be nice to have at least one of these mod documented :D

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zrrion

20 Oct 2018, 20:07

You just remove the caps and put it on? Not sure a video would be worth it. It didn't require any modification and I didn't remove the spring/hammer for the "|\" so its just chilling under the BAE. If I had needed to bolt mod the thing I would have removed it I guess but it does not effect operation or feel so far as I can tell.

I did have to trim one of the clips that hold the wire stab to the barrel plate slightly because otherwise the spacebar would not return, and I needed to add an insert for the Code key slider. Not a difficult modification.

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JP!

20 Oct 2018, 20:30

I thought of doing something similar and this came together really well. Actually I thought at first this was how you got it. Definitely an inexpensive way to get a split spacebar / Erase-Eaze like Model M.
Spoiler:
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User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

20 Oct 2018, 21:52

That mod with the super-short space bar, Code, and left Alt would be nice but would require a full mod to add the spring for the Code. I assume that simply replacing Alt with Code can be done from the top.

My question is the BAE stabilization. I thought I recalled that the AT style BAE had wires running both ways.

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