Space Cadet PCB? - SD16273

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JP!

27 May 2020, 22:03

A Space Cadet brother! :shock: Super space bros :D

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I recently purchased this stunning Micro Switch keyboard from the following listing:
Vintage 1970's Computer Workstation Terminal Keyboard, MIT CADR LISP? Metal Case

The seller added "MIT CADR LISP?" to the description but I assumed it was a tactic just to increase visibility as I did not notice any obvious connection from the seller's pictures.

However once I tore the keyboard apart the connection became evident.

SD-16273 :o - *Can it be? The legendary Space Cadet keyboard PCB but repurposed and modified slightly by Micro Switch? Very interesting!
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Webwit's board:
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R4B3E - Like the Space Cadet but prefixed with an 'R'
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*Note that the 'catalog listing' of this board is 108SD30-1 while the Space Cadet is labeled 100SD30-1.
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A little breakout board unique to this keyboard. IC is a monostable multivibrator (not sure what it does in this context).
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The red push button switch connected to the red and brown wires.
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The back of my Space Cadet board:
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Now not only is this keyboard sort of related to the Space Cadet keyboard at it's core (minus the legendary keys) but is also a 'Space' keyboard. :D According to this seller it was "found in the bedroom of a former computer programmer and NASA employee, here in Huntsville, Alabama."

[Edit]
I realize the provenance might be lacking here in regards to these claims but space bros must connect so it must be so!

Abort mission!
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Last edited by JP! on 28 May 2020, 03:33, edited 6 times in total.

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webwit
Wild Duck

27 May 2020, 22:55

Ooh, what a great find! Greetings, new cadet!

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Heikkonen

27 May 2020, 23:02

Stunning find JP, is there any chance to hear more of its origins? hearing who originally owned the thing, it might hold some interesting backstory behind it aswell.

MMcM

28 May 2020, 00:01

That is a great find.

It's been a very long time, but I seem to remember that the PCB already existed.

From JLK's original notes:
Using a Microswitch 103S keyboard.
Again, I'm not 100% sure what this refers to; I guess we could see if John remembers. But my guess is a 103SD30-n to go with 108SD30-1 and 100SD30-1. Now, interestingly enough, 103SD30-2 is the keyboard for the Sun-1 workstation. And 4,510,583 took what looks to be the Sun layout and customized it; since Sun isn't mentioned, I assume straight from MicroSwitch. Now I've never seen the inside of the Sun keyboard. And it's quite possible to get 103 keys with an entirely different PCB.

Still, even though your board has a lot of hand re-work on it, it might actually have a layout closer to what that PCB was originally designed for than the Space Cadet.

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kralcifer

28 May 2020, 00:24

pretty darn cool.

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PlacaFromHell

28 May 2020, 01:11

Super space bros. Nice keyboard, I even like it more than the original Space Cadet.

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JP!

28 May 2020, 02:48

Heikkonen wrote:
27 May 2020, 23:02
Stunning find JP, is there any chance to hear more of its origins? hearing who originally owned the thing, it might hold some interesting backstory behind it aswell.
I could try but it seems unlikely we will get more info on this.
MMcM wrote:
28 May 2020, 00:01
That is a great find.

It's been a very long time, but I seem to remember that the PCB already existed.

From JLK's original notes:
Using a Microswitch 103S keyboard.
Again, I'm not 100% sure what this refers to; I guess we could see if John remembers. But my guess is a 103SD30-n to go with 108SD30-1 and 100SD30-1. Now, interestingly enough, 103SD30-2 is the keyboard for the Sun-1 workstation. And 4,510,583 took what looks to be the Sun layout and customized it; since Sun isn't mentioned, I assume straight from MicroSwitch. Now I've never seen the inside of the Sun keyboard. And it's quite possible to get 103 keys with an entirely different PCB.

Still, even though your board has a lot of hand re-work on it, it might actually have a layout closer to what that PCB was originally designed for than the Space Cadet.
That is some good information. I guess I failed to realize how often a PCB like this would have been reused for various systems. It would make more sense that this PCB design already existed for general systems use and was simply custom tailored for various customers to keep costs down. I do know that 100SD30-1 dates as early as 1980 from a low serial # Space Cadet board that I am aware of.

So I found this old advertisement that proves this layout was already used in the late 70's. So basically the canvas for what would eventually become the Space Cadet or whatever keyboard monster like the one pictured was an off the shelf item so to speak. So should we call these two boards keyboard cousins rather than brothers?

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Using a Microswitch 103S keyboard.
So it seems that 103S could refer to 103SD24-2 or 103SD30-?

Bonus:
Spoiler:
Not my board but one on eBay a while back
103SD24-2 / SD-16234
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MMcM

28 May 2020, 15:50

JP! wrote:
28 May 2020, 02:48
So it seems that 103S could refer to 103SD24-2 or 103SD30-?
Yeah, and maybe other models that we haven't found yet.

I've always assumed that it was <number of keys><switch type><category number>-<sequential number>, without any firm basis. I have 5, 24, and 30 for the first. And 1, 2, 3, and 5 for the second.

In any case, while there might well be other 103 key SD series boards that don't use the SD16273 PCB, they certainly don't each have unique ones.

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JP!

28 May 2020, 16:36

MMcM wrote:
28 May 2020, 15:50
Yeah, and maybe other models that we haven't found yet.

I've always assumed that it was <number of keys><switch type><category number>-<sequential number>, without any firm basis. I have 5, 24, and 30 for the first. And 1, 2, 3, and 5 for the second.

In any case, while there might well be other 103 key SD series boards that don't use the SD16273 PCB, they certainly don't each have unique ones.
I'd say some very good assumptions. Looking my boards the number of keys and switch type aligns with this theory. I'm not sure I get what the category number means (30, 24, etc).

Not 103 key but some examples from my collection:
87SD30-68
106SD29-1
59SD12-5
89SW15-1
99SD24-3

forter4

28 May 2020, 19:56

Ohhh jeez...I saw this and passed up on it because he never got back to me regarding details I asked about

To be fair, even if I had been the one to get this board, I wouldn't have noticed that it was the Space Cadet PCB lol

forter4

28 May 2020, 19:59

JP! wrote:
28 May 2020, 16:36
MMcM wrote:
28 May 2020, 15:50
Yeah, and maybe other models that we haven't found yet.

I've always assumed that it was <number of keys><switch type><category number>-<sequential number>, without any firm basis. I have 5, 24, and 30 for the first. And 1, 2, 3, and 5 for the second.

In any case, while there might well be other 103 key SD series boards that don't use the SD16273 PCB, they certainly don't each have unique ones.
I'd say some very good assumptions. Looking my boards the number of keys and switch type aligns with this theory. I'm not sure I get what the category number means (30, 24, etc).

Not 103 key but some examples from my collection:
87SD30-68
106SD29-1
59SD12-5
89SW15-1
99SD24-3
Yup! I also made a similar deduction. I pay particular attention to the SD vs SW in the P/N as SW boards are becoming harder and harder to come by. And IMO, they look and feel better; I just love the metal mounting plate

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