AKB-3320

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

04 Dec 2018, 21:42

ALPS AKB-3320

In my head I have a checklist of wish-list boards that I’m always on the lookout for. Tobias’ eBay feed, Cindy’s RSS feed, and favorited links to specific key word items on Y!J and eBay help make that task much easier, and I’m incredibly grateful for both Cindy and Tobias (and many other users who've kept their eyes out for me) for helping make my search easier to do!

This month I finally got to cross out the coveted full metal “ALPSaver,” as some people know it by! Let’s get to the good stuff!
Spoiler:
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The Story---------------------------
I have a favorited link to a Y!J search of “AKB keyboard,” among a few others, that I click on at least once a day to see if any new items have been listed. I had seen a couple AKBs over the last two years that I attempted to bid on, but ultimately lost the final bid. The problem with Y!J for me is that all the auctions end at around 6:00AM my time – which I’m never awake for. So for me Y!J is very much a place-max-bid-and-hope kind of situation. It is true that Y!J is slightly different than eBay in that a bid on an item within the last 10 minutes will extend the bidding duration – I believe resetting the countdown to 10 minutes, but I could be wrong on that – but even so items tend to finish very early in the morning. So for me, when I know a listing is ending, the first thing I do before I get out of bed is check my email to see if the message from buyee is a “congratulations” or a “sorry you didn’t win” message.

So anyway, I was doing my nightly checks of new listings on Y!J and came across this thing:

https://buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/p646553664

You can see how much I paid for it on that page as well, which isn’t exactly “cheap”, but is luckily less than what I would have paid if someone had pushed me to my maximum bid. Since I had been looking for one for a bit I wanted to make sure I won this one, though, so I don’t mind the price at all. Besides look at it! It’s looked practically BRAND NEW!!!

So I did what any vintage keyboard collector would do: placed my highest bid and then was internally and anxious mess for 4 days until I woke up and saw that I had won!!!!

AWWWWWWWWWWWW YYEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

It arrived yesterday, actually. It helped ease the pain of losing the DTA award, hahaha. This week is finals week at the university I teach at, so I’ve been grading all morning but decided to take a quick break after putting in a little under 2 hours of work to assemble the board!

The Assembly---------------------------
If you didn’t scroll through all the pics on the listing, the board arrived in two different boxes – one was the unassembled case, and the other was the board itself, still in the plastic wrap!
Spoiler:
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[hype level intensifies]


AT this point I’m so excited and talking outloud to myself “duuuude this is so neat!!! THIS IS AWESOME” and my dog is giving me weird looks like I’m a crazy person, which might be true, BUT STILL! My hype was in full swing at this point.
Spoiler:
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It came with instructions on how to assemble the whole thing as well!
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The metal brackets that help mount the board in the case had to be screwed right onto the base, which meant there was a metal-on-metal contact. I wanted there to be something in-between the brackets and the bottom case, so I tried cutting some art foam to fit underneath the case at first, but the foam ended up being too thick to be able to screw in the brackets (the screws provided are not very long). So instead, I just used painters tape to tape down some paper-towels (really using some 20xx technology here) just to act as a very thin barrier between the two metal pieces.
Spoiler:
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I should have taken a picture before mounting it so you guys could see how it actually fit in the bottom. But I didn’t think to take a pic until after I had solved my issue, hahaha.

After mounting the board to the bottom case I decided to put the feet on, which at this point I decided to take an awesome shot of the finish used on the case.
Spoiler:
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Then it was time to put the top-case on! And with 4 more screws, it was finished!!

The Pics---------------------------
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Overall, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve always wanted to try SKCC cream switches – and yes, it would have been much cheaper to just get an m0110, but this has so much more meaning. The Japanese sub legend caps (which I have actually never seen on an AKB before), the original boxes, the fancy “O” font, I love this thing! I really would describe this board as a “prize.” I’ve been looking for one of these ever since I learned about them a couple of years ago, and even got close to owning a couple different variants of this board (shoutout to @chip chop), but ultimately the quest ended with exactly what I set out to find!

One interesting thing about this board is that I had never known there was a 3320 model – all the models I had seen before this one were “AKB-3420” models – and actually, the box says “3420” as well but the 4 is crossed out and a 3 is written in its place. Very peculiar, but also quirky – I really like it a lot!

I will try to record a typing demo of this thing in the near future so you guys can listen to it. The space bar, in particular, is pretty neat sounding!

Thanks again for reading! The comments in support of these writings on my DTA nomination were very heartwarming and really encouraged me to continue writing these little stories about interesting boards I come across. So thank you all very much for all the support, and look forward to more writings in the future!

Typing Demo---------------------------
Spoiler:

またね。
//gains.
Last edited by //gainsborough on 05 Dec 2018, 05:24, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Myoth

04 Dec 2018, 21:48

thank you gains, very cool !

This is an amazing find, it still surprises me that we are able to find NOS/NIB stuff from such an era. Definitly a great looking board. Congrats !

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JP!

04 Dec 2018, 21:51

:o :shock:

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zrrion

04 Dec 2018, 22:13

This is a super great find!! I love the 1.5u Q :D
The whole board looks super nice too.

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Chyros

04 Dec 2018, 23:21

Haha very nice find, congrats man :D .

Excelso

04 Dec 2018, 23:30

Amazing find and congratulations.

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Bass

05 Dec 2018, 02:25

That thing looks absolutely gorgeous. I am not used to seeing Alps keyboards that are (1) this compact (well, aside from the M0110), (2) not packaged fully assembled and (3) Alps branded.

What's your take on the switches overall? Although I am not really into linears myself, SKCC greens are far and away my favorite. Can't wait to hear the typing demo, as I am one of those unusual guys who absolutely loves some ping.

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

05 Dec 2018, 02:33

Gorgeous... there was a time in the past where I would be insanely jealous, but skcc is not for me. Anyhow, very cool that everything is new in box. its like a proto custom kit :0

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

05 Dec 2018, 03:08

Awesome post. Perhaps the AKB-3320 = JIS and AKB-3420 = ANSI?

Welcome to the "Alps AKB" Club!

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

05 Dec 2018, 05:10

Myoth wrote: thank you gains, very cool !

This is an amazing find, it still surprises me that we are able to find NOS/NIB stuff from such an era. Definitly a great looking board. Congrats !
Thanks man! I was just as surprised! I definitely feel lucky with this one!
JP! wrote: :o :shock:
:D
Chyros wrote: Haha very nice find, congrats man :D .
Excelso wrote: Amazing find and congratulations.
Thanks, dudes!
Bass wrote: That thing looks absolutely gorgeous. I am not used to seeing Alps keyboards that are (1) this compact (well, aside from the M0110), (2) not packaged fully assembled and (3) Alps branded.

What's your take on the switches overall? Although I am not really into linears myself, SKCC greens are far and away my favorite. Can't wait to hear the typing demo, as I am one of those unusual guys who absolutely loves some ping.
I'm also a fan of ping! I like creams more than greens - though I'm not sure sure how different they are. I might just like them more because I like this board way more than the pingmaster, haha. So it's super biased. As far as feel goes they really do just feel like SKCC greens to me. I'll go ahead and record a typing demo in a few mins for you guys!
mike52787 wrote: Gorgeous... there was a time in the past where I would be insanely jealous, but skcc is not for me. Anyhow, very cool that everything is new in box. its like a proto custom kit :0
I never really thought of it like that until you made that comment - I like it even more now! It's the OG alps custom!
snuci wrote: Awesome post. Perhaps the AKB-3320 = JIS and AKB-3420 = ANSI?

Welcome to the "Alps AKB" Club!
Thanks, snuci. It's great to be here!

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

05 Dec 2018, 05:24

Typing Demo added!

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swampangel

05 Dec 2018, 15:26

Oh my goodness, that is a beautiful board.

Polecat

08 Dec 2018, 23:01

Wow, congrats on a very nice find! The pre-PC stuff is vanishingly scarce, because it was built in such small numbers and for such a short period of time. And it would have been very pricey. In those days it was just assumed that you would wire things up yourself and write whatever code was needed to make it work with your specific hardware. This would probably have been used in conjunction with a composite video monitor. The alternative was to use a terminal with a serial interface, which was out of the price range of many or most "hackers". Good stuff.

Polecat

10 Dec 2018, 04:43

Bump. Found a nice example of how something like this would have been used back in the day:

http://www.chiaki.cc/Lynx/index_en.htm

Slom

10 Dec 2018, 17:13

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Sup

10 Dec 2018, 18:42

Amazing board but is it possible to convert it to usb?

Engicoder

10 Dec 2018, 20:16

Really nice find.Thanks for sharing and providing such a detailed writeup.

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