Oldest IBM F AT Keyboard?

Lost In Static

01 Jun 2020, 03:14

Hello Folks!

I have been putting off writing this post for quite some time, but finally here goes. Im sorry if I posted it in the wrong thread btw, I saw a similar one with dates for Model Ms so I just guessed I should go with it here.

So, sometime early march of this year I bought the F AT from ebay for about 50 euro. It was missing a key, the paint was falling off but I was still okay given the fact its an F AT. For that price I couldnt really complain. But I never really cared much about its date, which is a first time when I didnt check it after getting the keyboard. Must've been too excited but I didnt realize it for quite some time that it was actually made before IBM 5170 was released. And this got me wondering - is it actually the oldest F AT keyboard found so far? If not, then what is actually the oldest one? Below I have attached imgs of the dates.

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Additionally, Ive noticed the PCB was of different colors than the one I have found and seen on other IBM Model Fs.

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Does anyone else have an F AT with the same PCB? Or perhaps even a different one?

Im hoping someone could shine some light on those questions and answer them :D

Fkazim

01 Jun 2020, 10:33

That's definitively a very early IBM Model F AT. My Model F AT is the exact same part no. as yours and is also made in 1984 but not as old as yours.

My Model F AT has not got a painted case but has got the newer plastic type of case like the Model M's. Another thing is my PCB is more of a Light and dark green colour rather than that brown colour like yours.
Last edited by Fkazim on 01 Jun 2020, 16:00, edited 2 times in total.

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JP!

01 Jun 2020, 14:19

Here is mine. The paint on mine has chipped and was flaking off pretty easily so I started to remove all of the paint of the top case to have it repainted but it was very tedious work. I did get most of that old paint chipped off chipped off with a guitar pick. I probably should have left it alone now :oops: The bottom case I think I will leave alone and don't want to hurt the label. It will get new foam and I will leave it otherwise original.
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Full teardown:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/142937728 ... 326450442/

Lost In Static

01 Jun 2020, 15:18

Oh wow this one is even older! Thats really neat! It appears that very early models do have that sweet looking PCB, very neat. And seems you have ran into the same issue with paint falling off - I suppose its a giveaway of early models?

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JP!

01 Jun 2020, 16:19

Lost In Static wrote:
01 Jun 2020, 15:18
Oh wow this one is even older! Thats really neat! It appears that very early models do have that sweet looking PCB, very neat. And seems you have ran into the same issue with paint falling off - I suppose its a giveaway of early models?
See most AT's I've seen don't have this style of label with a date so I suspect maybe just the early ones show a date on the label. Any AT can have paint chipping or wear but the paint on these early ones can really flake off. Also most AT's generally have a textured case rather than a smooth plastic surface with textured paint. I do think think this color of PCB is a good hallmark of these early AT's. The white foam could be as well or just something more unique to UK made AT's.

Kind of neat considering there is PC AT announcement letter dated August 14, 1984.

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JP!

01 Jun 2020, 16:30

Edit: Other than loose keyboards like what we have another way to discover the oldest of the AT's might be to track down vintage computer collectors with a 5170 Model 068 with the 'type 1' motherboard as this is the very first of the PC AT's produced.

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... -AT-(5170)

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daedalus
Buckler Of Springs

01 Jun 2020, 23:24

The UK-made ATs and XTs have date labels, whereas the US made ones do not.

As pointed out bt JP! the PC/AT was released during August, which likely means that production would have begun a few months beforehand. The AT was not inteded as a mass market computer (I believe IBM only sold a few hundred thousand of them) so I doubt they would have started manufacture in 1983.

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JP!

02 Jun 2020, 06:41

daedalus wrote:
01 Jun 2020, 23:24
The UK-made ATs and XTs have date labels, whereas the US made ones do not.

As pointed out bt JP! the PC/AT was released during August, which likely means that production would have begun a few months beforehand. The AT was not inteded as a mass market computer (I believe IBM only sold a few hundred thousand of them) so I doubt they would have started manufacture in 1983.
I forgot about the label of the UK made XT's. Here is the XT counterpart to that AT. It seems like there are a few characteristics unique to UK made XT's and AT's. Since there isn't an easy to identify date on US made AT's and the UK versions are even less common there really isn't much available information to go on in terms of cataloging the oldest AT's but this topic is a good starting place.

xt.jpg
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