Introducing my new 4704 F400 administrative or just F107 for friends

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05 Apr 2021, 11:12

Or whatever you call this thing which is my latest greedy acquisition. I won't introduce it to you, vanilla, with all its regular relegendable clear keycaps, including those weird bank macros type-written tags, as it come from the middle of Europe former owner. The cable, yes, it's the original one for i didn't want to xwhatisIt this creature preferring keep things as much vanilla as i could, if I may say so due to the exterior aspect that makes it looks like a chandelier. However I took inspiration from Karlmartin95 tutorial i followed with some procedure variations, tough.
It's huge, heavy, appalling metal solid, with smooth crispness inside although. All seemed to pave the way to my ending game keeb, the relegendable and most flexible F one I own. So, what else could i ever desire most? A beamspring, of course but this is another story.
Another story that's strictly connected to the F107 one, if i should say it all. Maybe next time.
At present I'd rather focus on SILVY, that's the nickname i chose for this thing that undergone a simple glossy brushing processing. So consider that the zinc-magnesium alloy front case hasn't been chromed:
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Full gallery here It's been a pure coincidence that I am posting this report on the same day a similar IBM 4704 has been sold on eBay for the modest figure of 2300$. On its arrival, i couldn't wait to open it to verify the real state of preservation of an item practically time-capsuled onto my hands 36 years after its manufacturing on 29/02/1984.
At the same time i didn't commit the mistake of opening it before testing electronics. So, i dove into karlmartin95 tutorial attracted by its inviting title: the cheapest way to convert your 4704, being said by a dude who had the fucking luck of finding an ultra rare F77 on the rim of a sidewalk. First of all i needed to build an rs232db9 to usb atmel micropro converter on which upload later the TMK firmware. I needed to raise up my soldering skills aside starting a crash course on how to setup a linux VM on win 10 with Kali.
Although karl was very good at indicating how to proceed for the hardware component of the tutorial, providing a full schematic drawing of the db9 plug converter, he totally missed to say how the coupled win10-kali is a total crap that deserves to be replaced by something else, as vmware-ubuntu on osx, preferably hackintoshed, for example.
Btw i coped with all the adversities of the case and i finally made my fancy converter:
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For not looking like a complete jerk I've deliberately missed to talk about the importance of the J1 jumper shortening on the micro controller for such a great voltage consumption keybord, also endowed with a piezo-beeper. You'd need to listen to its chime at least one time (just the first time and that's all, please) if you own a keeb of the 4704 series.
Once i assured myself that everything was right i could proceed with the inspection under the hood.
Fortunately, all keycaps sounded good when pressed, determining that familiar and relieving F clickness we are used to. Once opened the safe i noted a quite rusty front metal plate, needing to be sanded and painted. It'll benefit of a walnut hue painting, beside a full soap washing of the plastic components, leaving the PCB deserving of just a isopropyl coat. A speech apart has regarded the coveted clear relegendable keycaps, quite yellowed by the time. After 3 retr0bright attempts, I changed my mind of spreadly using them onboard, not having obtained the outcome i wished also in terms of surface wearing. I won't give up and i'll keep trying to improve the aspect of the relegendable caps that are the very stylistic code of this great keyboard as also chyros underlined in his video review.
Currently, enjoy it as i conceived to restore it so far, but don't be too fond of it because this keyboard is beautiful precisely because it offers so many additional customization ideas.

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05 Apr 2021, 11:26

Oh my gosh! I can’t handle it. That thing is so sublime. What a finish! I wish I could see it in person 😵😄 you’ve got balls my friend! Good job!

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05 Apr 2021, 11:33

Someone ought to start an F107 gallery if there isn’t already one.

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05 Apr 2021, 13:25

Kishsaaaaavers Anonymous.

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05 Apr 2021, 16:58

Muirium wrote:
05 Apr 2021, 13:25
Kishsaaaaavers Anonymous.
don't be ashamed to say "kitchaver" anonymous. I know, it is a little bit raunchy/Versace that finish. Ahahah.

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05 Apr 2021, 18:04

hi dcopellino, happy to see your restoration. Enjoy this amazing board, you deserve it!

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05 Apr 2021, 19:07

Solid chrome. Now that's real pimpin!


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05 Apr 2021, 20:54

This will only be surpassed by the gold-plated version. Apart from that, it is always nice to see an F with the proper number of keys.

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05 Apr 2021, 21:09

You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome!

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09 Apr 2021, 11:09

I missed to say thanks to @HASU without whom all this thing wouldn't have been possible, of course.
I'd like also to update the community about my ibm relegendable side-project for which i'm trying to bring these caps to ancient shine and brightness. In the first pic you see how I found them in their original state of conservation.
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In the following pic you see them after three sessions (3 hours avg) of retr0bright sunbath (20%Hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon tip of vanish powder)
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My idea is using them as os-driven macro caps as if they were Elgato Stream Deck's keycaps
Any hints about?
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what_for_1.jpg (3.81 MiB) Viewed 220 times

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09 Apr 2021, 11:22

You could use them as single key app launchers / activation shortcuts. Hit a key to bring your web browser forward. Hit another key for your text editor, your terminal, etc. etc. Needs software on the host side, which is how the stream deck works as well.

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11 Apr 2021, 12:21

Oof. Fuck me, that's pretty gorgeous. F107s are such nice boards! :D

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Today, 16:29

It's so shiny!

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