Cherry 1800 - Telco TA103

ball00n

19 Jan 2019, 20:10

I came across a picture of this keyboard a while ago. I was amazed to see triple legends with Cyrillic phonetic layout and I was left wondering if they are fully doubleshot or not. A long time had passed since I saw it for the first time. But then someone asked to proxy a keyboard like this viewtopic.php?t=14631 . Looks similar? Yes it does. That gave me a clue on where to find it. Eventually I found out that this keyboard is a part of Telco F2500 teletype system. After lurking for some time on classifieds I found one nearby. It was a really sad listing that was online for ages, apparently. I don't have enough storage so I couldn't buy the whole system. I asked the seller to sell me the keyboard for half of the price of the whole lot and he agreed.

The keyboard case is identical to standard cherry G80/G81-1800 from what I can tell. Pcb is not cherry made, though. Switches are Cherry MX black with Cherry MX Linear Gray on the spacebar. There are blockers and they don't have anything underneath them. Blank keys have switch blockers and I haven't found a way to reliably put keycaps over them. Alphanumeric cluster, enter and arrows are doubleshot with (ocassional) triple legends (yay!), layout is Cyrillic phonetic (ЙЦУКЕН/JCUKEN). They keyboard has a DB9 male plug, and I don't know how to use it yet, but I ordered a DB9 female to USB converter and I'm hoping that it will work.

But enough of that, here are some pictures. (I must apologise for bad lighting)
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P.S. Big thanks to "Keyboards (SFW)" telegram chat, and especially to Myoth (@luyzon) for showing me this keyboard.

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Dingster

19 Jan 2019, 20:16

Now thats quite something. Looks fantastic :)
Hopefully you manage to get it working. Could you post a pic of the plug?

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Myoth

19 Jan 2019, 20:26

was I tagged ? :mrgreen:

Man, I remember when I found somewhere, I don't even remember where actually, these bad pics of such a keyboard, I knew it was Cherry but I had no way of knowing what they were and I thought it was going to be one of these keyboard we'd have pics of but we'd never encounter one, it'd stay undocumented. I'm glad you managed to find one and actually found out the source of them. This is a great find and a great keyboard.

Congratz !

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heymark

20 Jan 2019, 09:24

super nice found!

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kakan

20 Jan 2019, 11:21

Whats up with the wierd symbols on the F-row?

ball00n

23 Jan 2019, 10:35

kakan wrote:
20 Jan 2019, 11:21
Whats up with the wierd symbols on the F-row?
It's a special purpouse teletype keyboard, I assume they would mean something when working with the system. I couldn't find any documentation for it online, though, and it seems that users of the system had a hard time remembering what the buttons do. I found pencil scribbles above some of the f-row caps on the case. One of them read "back list", I think. Although that doesn't make a lot of sense, the key was with led window.

Also, I got myself a com-port to usb converter + a "mini gender changer", tried to connect the keyboard and it didn't work.

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HzFaq

23 Jan 2019, 14:20

Very cool find.

I wonder if the blockers are like those on the G80-5000 where they are plastic-riveted in place on the back of the PCB?

Also, re the DB9 converter, if this keyboard was designed for a specific application a conversion may be a bit tricky. The good news is I'm fairly certain there are replacement 1800 PCBs that you could use with the existing case/switches/caps to get a good approximation.

ball00n

23 Jan 2019, 15:26

HzFaq wrote:
23 Jan 2019, 14:20
Very cool find.

I wonder if the blockers are like those on the G80-5000 where they are plastic-riveted in place on the back of the PCB?

Also, re the DB9 converter, if this keyboard was designed for a specific application a conversion may be a bit tricky. The good news is I'm fairly certain there are replacement 1800 PCBs that you could use with the existing case/switches/caps to get a good approximation.
Thank you!

I couldn't find any images of G80-5k pcb from the back that show blockers mounting. You can see blockers mounting for this board in this image top right.
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And I know about replacemet pcbs for this case, but my initial idea was to use the keyboard as is, then try to make it working in an invasive way. Replacing the pcb is my last option, and I don't think that new pcbs will support that bottom row.

samuelcable

23 Jan 2019, 15:32

This is amazing, I love these bizzare cherry made things in the world

mcleinn

28 Apr 2019, 03:07

Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I happen to have exactly the reverse problem: I've got a latin + cyrillic Telco F2500 telex machine here, missing its special-purpose keyboard. It's so sad, it won't even boot up.... ;( Are you *absolutely* sure you want to take the keyboard apart? As you probably have found out by now, you won't have any luck with a standard adapter. The pin-out according to the F2500 service manual is very different from standard RS232:

3 and 7 - 5V
4 and 8 - GND
5 - DATSTA (Data to keyboard)
6 - STTA (Keyboard state)
9 - DATETA (Data from keyboard)
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...
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Wait... looking at your profile ... you didn't perchance buy this machine on a platform called "OLX" from some Igor in Yenakiieve ;)
Quite likely I bought the machine which you left behind ... :D No chance we can reunite them? I can even show you how it works, when you're in Kyiv (I happen to have a working model of the F2500's predecessor, the F2000):


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Last edited by mcleinn on 28 Apr 2019, 03:25, edited 1 time in total.

ball00n

28 Apr 2019, 05:10

Hello, mcleinn, I left you a personal message.

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