IBM Beamspring 3278 and 5251 adjustments

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darkcruix

30 Mar 2019, 08:47

I wanted to show two of my IBM Beamspring keyboards I recently restored and completed. I already posted a restoration guide viewtopic.php?f=7&t=19775 for the 3278 on Deskthority, but as an addition, I found out that spray painting of a case that is always in touch with the skin and oil of the hand is not a good idea. I had it powder coated with RAL 9010 and I am more than happy about this.
In the near future, I will also write up a complete guide for the 5251 restoration, which is very similar, but in my case I had a heavily rusted one to work with and I will show how to treat it.

Anyway, here are the pictures for the 3278 in its current state:
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And here the pictures for the 5251 in its current state (yes, I use stickers to modernize the layout - not particularly beautiful):
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John Doe

30 Mar 2019, 12:33

Nice job, dark. I think its a good idea to add the symbol tags to the caps, is there any trick you want to share to do this?

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JP!

30 Mar 2019, 12:59

Nice Work! I love that acrylic display case idea as well.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

30 Mar 2019, 14:48

Nice! What did you do for the plastic manual cover? Cerakote? Paint? Something else? Nothing at all?

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tron

30 Mar 2019, 14:54

These turned out great. What do you think of the 5251 compared to the 3278? Any issues powder coating the 3278 flip out door? Did you reuse the stock plastic door or have a steel version made?

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darkcruix

30 Mar 2019, 15:03

tron wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 14:54
These turned out great. What do you think of the 5251 compared to the 3278? Any issues powder coating the 3278 flip out door? Did you reuse the stock plastic door or have a steel version made?

First of all - the 3278 is (in my humble opinion) superior. With the adjustments to the keycaps and programming of the controller, I think the layout suits me more. The keyboard overall is narrower and using a mouse next to it is much more convenient. The downside is the noise level. Without solenoid, the 3278 is much louder in my case. The plastic of the 5251 is making the sound deeper and a bit more satisfying.
I used the original plastic flip out door and power coating is not possible of course. I would love to get a aluminum one and let it also powder coated, but I didn't find a reasonable priced company, yet. For now it is a good compromise.

The power coating is insanely great and looks - honestly - like fresh out of the factory (and smells like it also) :).

What do you think about the two variants? What is your favorite and why...?

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darkcruix

30 Mar 2019, 15:07

JP! wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 12:59
Nice Work! I love that acrylic display case idea as well.
The acrylic case was a birthday present from my girlfriend ... ;)

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darkcruix

30 Mar 2019, 15:10

John Doe wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 12:33
Nice job, dark. I think its a good idea to add the symbol tags to the caps, is there any trick you want to share to do this?
Well, not a real trick ;) I just bought keycap sticker for the Model M (which are still available). Then I cut them according the Selectric keycaps and my programming and placed them using tweezers. I could have done a much better job, I guess.

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tron

30 Mar 2019, 15:37

darkcruix wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 15:03
tron wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 14:54
These turned out great. What do you think of the 5251 compared to the 3278? Any issues powder coating the 3278 flip out door? Did you reuse the stock plastic door or have a steel version made?

First of all - the 3278 is (in my humble opinion) superior. With the adjustments to the keycaps and programming of the controller, I think the layout suits me more. The keyboard overall is narrower and using a mouse next to it is much more convenient. The downside is the noise level. Without solenoid, the 3278 is much louder in my case. The plastic of the 5251 is making the sound deeper and a bit more satisfying.
I used the original plastic flip out door and power coating is not possible of course. I would love to get a aluminum one and let it also powder coated, but I didn't find a reasonable priced company, yet. For now it is a good compromise.

The power coating is insanely great and looks - honestly - like fresh out of the factory (and smells like it also) :).

What do you think about the two variants? What is your favorite and why...?
I think you made the right choice matching the stock plastic door, it's probably more comfortable to type on vs steel. I'm suprised how closely the powder matches the door, you did a great job color matching the original.

Regarding the 3278 and 5251, I agree with your assessment. The 5251 is fun to type on but doesn't seem as usable/comfortable as a daily driver. I think the full size 3278 is the best beamspring variant for work/business applications and the 3278 mini is a bit better vs the full size 3278 for general use/typing.

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darkcruix

30 Mar 2019, 16:06

tron wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 15:37
I'm suprised how closely the powder matches the door, you did a great job color matching the original.
In fairness - color adjustment is what it makes it appear as such. In real life the color is somewhat off. The door has much less yellow tint to it and looks gray next to it. I have ordered a plastic coating spray in RAL 9010 as well to make them look more equal.

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