Data General Dasher replica

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

07 May 2015, 23:17

Several years ago, the multi-tone blue Dasher video and printing terminals, produced by Data General in the 1970s for their Nova minicomputers, really captured my imagination as some of the best looking computer terminals I'd ever seen. While I'm no industrial designer, for me they are classics ranking with the ADM 3a and CBM PET, as distinctive, inviting forms that perhaps suggest a computing experience beyond the capabilities of the hardware of the day !

Indeed, real Dashers are a prospect for few of us - as terminals they're interfacable by definition, but they're uncommon to the point that there ain't enough to go around, and they are literally museum pieces (get that mini-ITX board out of my sight!) that IMO belong with their sister apparatus. Also, these keyboards aren't beamsprings, but aging foam and foil.

So, as has been a sort of dream of mine all this time, with considered compromises at times, it's probably time I actually took this thing on head on instead of skirting around it:

What I'd like is some sort of replica of a Data General Dasher keyboard.
  • It would have two tone blue double shot sperhical profile keycaps
  • It would probably be MX based
  • I don't know what layout it would have - I've toyed with MX 8200 or IBM 122 variant, but also TKL or even direct replica.
  • It might just be specially made caps on a stock board, custom caps on a stock board in a custom case, or all custom caps, board and case.
So what am I going to do about it? Right now, I'm going to try to get resources together here.
Some things that come to mind are:
  • Define the various Dasher models and their keyboard options
  • Colour match some keycaps and top frames of the real thing
  • Find people who used them at time and consult on any of the above
  • Gather more information on related subjects I haven't thought of yet
  • Try to use this to design keysets and maybe a keyboard too
So why am I posting this here?
Maybe I'm not the only person interested in these ideas, so this is open to all to contribute to or pillage from as desired.
Anything that leads in a positive direction of these ideas becoming a reality is greatfully appreciated!
Plus, this subject was going too far in the Round 5 topic, which should have on-topic status updates and photos instead!


Spoiler:
enigmatic.jpg
enigmatic.jpg (1.35 KiB) Viewed 5983 times
crop of SP colour samples BE and BBJ, no colour correction or anything.
Absolutely not representative of any intention, plan, choice or anything other than a quick and dirty temporary thubmnail!

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

07 May 2015, 23:28

mr_a500 wrote:
facetsesame wrote: Why didn't you say so? :mrgreen: Is it a D1 or D2 with the rectangular case, or a D100/D200 with the curvier case?
I don't follow these keycap threads (I've got no Cherry keyboards to get keycaps for - where the hell is the one piece buckling spring keycap group buy thread??)) so I didn't see this whole Dasher conversation until a couple days ago when I spotted the word "Dasher" in the Spy.
Heh, it's cool. I may be short of sanity on these issues, but I don't really expect everyone to follow every word on the forum! And while you mention that, spherical profile one piece buckling spring caps still seem like a dream to me, but they'd better appear one day!
mr_a500 wrote: Yes, that recent Dasher D2 on eBay is mine... all MINE! Now before anybody says, "you robbed me, you bastard!" let me point out that I saw that thing the very second it was put on eBay. I was horrified by the lack of "Buy it Now" and had to wait around an excruciating 6 days for the auction to end. Then somebody posted the thing on Geekhack, damn them. Oh well, who's laughing now? Muah ha ha h.. I interrupt this laugh to point out that the damn thing is yellowed, some keycaps are chipped and all the foam pads are completely disintegrated.

The interesting thing is the top panel is metal.
Well, Congratulations! Honestly I have no complaints at all, I was just surprised one showed up when I wasn't around.
I'd love to own one, but I'd like a replica even more, partly for some the reasons you list!
mr_a500 wrote:
facetsesame wrote:
mr_a500 wrote: Where's that colour calibration web page again?
Do you mean this? http://deskthority.net/wiki/Signature_P ... BS_colours
Yes, that's the one. I'll check it out soon. I'm off to the centre of Lake Ontario. If I don't get back to you, that means I'm dead.
Should I be worried? I hope not. But will you go by Main Duck Island, I wonder?

Let me know when you get back and I'll see about sending you some colour chips (as required).

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

07 May 2015, 23:40

Some colour chip news from SP:
Melissa wrote:We actually are not going to be selling color rings anymore, but rather
individual colors. Individual color chips are available for $0.50 each.
Being able to buy the colour chips individually will be helpful for matching these blues, but isn't great news for anyone who wants the whole ring to play with wear around their neck use for trying out colours.

mr_a500

07 May 2015, 23:52

facetsesame wrote: But will you go by Main Duck Island, I wonder?
Oh god no. Though I'd love to go to Main Duck Island some day - probably one of the only islands in Lake Ontario worth visiting (and presumably there are ducks there) - I'd have to row 250 km just to get there. I nearly killed myself today rowing around 30 km. (the worst part was carrying my boat back to the car)

I didn't die though, so I'll get to checking those colours soon. At the moment, I can barely move and I'm more fried than a Peking duck.

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

07 May 2015, 23:54

Dasher models with multi tone blue colour scheme

TP1 Terminal Printer - printing terminal, available with and without keyboard
Operator's Manual

TP2 Terminal Printer - printing terminal, keyboard TBC

D1 Terminal - larger video terminal with boxier cases, alphas with symbols + two keypads + 8(?) function key keyboard

D2 Terminal - larger video terminal with boxier cases, alphas + two keypads + 12(?) function key keyboard

D100 Terminal - smaller video terminal with curvier cases, alphas + one keypad keyboard
User Reference

D200 Terminal - smaller video terminal with curvier cases, alphas + two keypads + 15 function key keyboard
User Reference

Sources:
MV/wiki
old eBay listing for Dasher D1 terminal and keyboard (161370610509)
recent eBay listing for Dasher D2 keyboard (111646218546)
Last edited by facetsesame on 10 May 2015, 18:21, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

07 May 2015, 23:59

mr_a500 wrote:
facetsesame wrote: But will you go by Main Duck Island, I wonder?
Oh god no. Though I'd love to go to Main Duck Island some day - probably one of the only islands in Lake Ontario worth visiting (and presumably there are ducks there) - I'd have to row 250 km just to get there. I nearly killed myself today rowing around 30 km. (the worst part was carrying my boat back to the car)

I didn't die though, so I'll get to checking those colours soon. At the moment, I can barely move and I'm more fried than a Peking duck.
I'm starting to understand what you meant! Sounds like a tough day, hope you'll feel it was worth it - once you can feel again.

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

08 May 2015, 00:06

Dasher terminal layouts for Keyboard Layout Editor

Work in progress - updated 2015-05-15
BE (alphas) and BBJ (mods) have been used as indicative colours, with BFU for the plate.

Dasher TP1 Terminal Printer
Updated 2015-05-15, legends checked against the Operator's Manual
Dasher_TP1_KLE_2015-05-10.png
Dasher_TP1_KLE_2015-05-10.png (38.82 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

{backcolor:"#00234e"},
[{x:0.25,c:"#008fb0",t:"#e5e4df",p:"SA",a:7},"TAB",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5",{f:8,f2:5},"^\n6",{f:5},"&\n7",{f:8,f2:5},"*\n8",{f:5},"(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","~\n'",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"BS","BRK"],
[{x:0.25,w:1.5},"ESC",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Q","W","E","R","T","Y","U","I","O","P",{a:5,f:5},"]\n[","¦\n\\",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:2},"RETURN"],
["CTRL","ALPHA LOCK",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"A","S","D","F","G","H","J","K","L",{a:5,f:5},":\n;","\"\n'","}\n{",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"LF","DEL"],
[{x:1,w:1.5},"SHIFT",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Z","X","C","V","B","N","M",{a:5,f:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:1.75},"SHIFT","RPT"],
[{x:3.5,c:"#006f9a",w:8},""]
Dasher D1 Terminal
Added 2015-05-15, checked against old eBay listing (161370610509)
Dasher_D1_KLE_2015-05-10.png
Dasher_D1_KLE_2015-05-10.png (51.06 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

{backcolor:"#00234e"},
[{x:4.25,c:"#008fb0",t:"#e5e4df",p:"SA",a:7},"","","","","","","",""],
[{y:0.5,x:1.25,c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"!\n1",{f:7,f2:5},"\"\n2",{f:5},"#\n3","$\n4","%\n5","&\n6","/\n7",{f:8,f2:5},"(\n8",{f:5},")\n9","\n0",{f:8,f2:5},"*\n:",{f:5},"=\n-",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"BREAK",{x:0.5},"TAB","ERASE PAGE","ERASE EOL",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"7","8","9"],
[{x:0.75,c:"#008fb0",f:3},"ESC",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"\nQ","\nW","\nE","\nR","\nT","\nY","\nU","\nI",{f:5,f2:5},"←\nO",{f:3,f2:5},"@\nP",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f2:3},"CR",{w:1.5},"NEW LINE",{x:0.5},"",{f:9},"↑",{f:3},"PRINT",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"4","5","6"],
[{x:1,c:"#008fb0",f:3},"CTRL",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"\nA","\nS","\nD","\nF","\nG","\nH","\nJ","[\nK","\\\nL","+\n;",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"RUB OUT","REPT",{x:0.75,f:9},"←",{f:3},"HOME",{f:9},"→",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a"},"1","2","3"],
[{x:1,c:"#008fb0",f:3,w:1.5},"SHIFT",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"\nZ","\nX","\nC","\nV","\nB",{f:3,f2:5},"↑\nN",{f:5},"]\nM","<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:1.5},"SHIFT",{x:1.75,f:9},"↓",{x:1.5,c:"#006f9a",w:2},"0","."],
[{x:3.5,w:8},""]
Dasher D2 Terminal
Updated 2015-05-15, checked against recent eBay listing (111646218546)
Dasher_D2_KLE_2015-05-10.png
Dasher_D2_KLE_2015-05-10.png (54.84 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

{backcolor:"#00234e"},
[{x:4.25,c:"#008fb0",t:"#e5e4df",p:"SA",a:7},"","","","","","","","",{x:7},"","",""],
[{y:0.5,x:1.25,c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5",{f:8,f2:5},"^\n6",{f:5},"&\n7",{f:8,f2:5},"*\n8",{f:5},"(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","~\n'",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"DEL",{x:0.5},"TAB","ERASE PAGE","ERASE EOL",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"7","8","9"],
[{x:0.75,c:"#008fb0",f:3},"ESC",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Q","W","E","R","T","Y","U","I","O","P",{a:5,f:5},"]\n[","¦\n\\",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:1.5},"RETURN",{x:0.5},"",{f:9},"↑",{f:3},"PRINT",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"4","5","6"],
[{c:"#008fb0",f:3},"CTRL","ALPHA LOCK",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"A","S","D","F","G","H","J","K","L",{a:5,f:5},":\n;","\"\n'","}\n{",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:1.25},"CR",{x:0.5,f:9},"←",{f:3},"HOME",{f:9},"→",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a"},"1","2","3"],
[{x:1,c:"#008fb0",f:3,w:1.5},"SHIFT",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Z","X","C","V","B","N","M",{a:5,f:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:1.5},"SHIFT",{x:1.75},"REPT",{f:9},"↓",{f:3},"BREAK",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9,w:2},"0","."],
[{x:3.5,w:8},""]
Dasher D100 Terminal
Updated 2015-05-15, approximated from the User Reference
Dasher_D100_KLE_2015-05-15.png
Dasher_D100_KLE_2015-05-15.png (54.75 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

{backcolor:"#00234e"},
[{x:0.25,c:"#008fb0",t:"#e5e4df",p:"SA",a:7},"ESC",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5",{f:8,f2:5},"^\n6",{f:5},"&\n7",{f:8,f2:5},"*\n8",{f:5},"(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","~\n'",{f:3},"|\n\\",{c:"#008fb0",a:7},"DEL",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"7",{a:5,f:3,f2:9},"↑\n8",{a:7,f:9},"9",{c:"#008fb0",a:5},"-"],
[{x:0.25,a:7,f:3,w:1.5},"TAB",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Q","W","E","R","T","Y","U","I","O","P",{a:5,f:5},"{\n[","}\n]",{c:"#008fb0",a:4,f:3,w:1.25,h:2,w2:2,h2:1,x2:-0.75,y2:1},"\nNEW LINE",{a:7,w:1.25},"BS",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",a:5,f2:9},"←\n4","HOME\n5","→\n6",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:9},","],
[{x:0.5,f:3,w:1.5},"CTRL",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"A","S","D","F","G","H","J","K","L",{a:5,f:5},":\n;","\"\n'",{x:2,c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"REPT",{x:0.75,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"1",{a:5,f:3,f2:9},"↓\n2",{a:7,f:9},"3",{c:"#008fb0",f:3,h:2},"ENTER"],
[{x:0.5,w:2},"SHIFT",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Z","X","C","V","B","N","M",{a:5,f:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:2},"SHIFT",{w:1.5},"RPT",{x:0.75,c:"#006f9a",f:9,w:2},"0",{c:"#008fb0"},"."],
[{x:2,f:3,w:1.5},"ON LINE",{c:"#006f9a",a:4,w:8},"",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,w:1.5},"ALPHA LOCK"]
Dasher D200 Terminal
Updated 2015-05-15, approximated from the User Reference
Dasher_D200_KLE_2015-05-15.png
Dasher_D200_KLE_2015-05-15.png (65.92 KiB) Viewed 5737 times
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

{backcolor:"#00234e"},
[{x:0.25,c:"#008fb0",t:"#e5e4df",p:"SA"},"","","","","",{x:1.25},"","","","","",{x:1.25},"","","","",""],
[{y:0.5,x:0.25,a:7},"ESC",{c:"#006f9a",a:5,f:5},"!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5",{f:8,f2:5},"^\n6",{f:5},"&\n7",{f:8,f2:5},"*\n8",{f:5},"(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","~\n'",{f:3},"|\n\\",{c:"#008fb0",a:7},"DEL",{x:0.5},"ERASE PAGE","PRINT","ERASE EOL",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"7","8","9",{c:"#008fb0"},"-"],
[{x:0.25,f:3,w:1.5},"TAB",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Q","W","E","R","T","Y","U","I","O","P",{a:5,f:5},"{\n[","}\n]",{c:"#008fb0",a:4,f:3,w:1.25,h:2,w2:2,h2:1,x2:-0.75,y2:1},"\nNEW LINE",{a:7,w:1.25},"BS",{x:0.5},"C1",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"↑",{c:"#008fb0",f:3},"C2",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"4","5","6",{c:"#008fb0"},","],
[{x:0.5,f:3,w:1.5},"CTRL",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"A","S","D","F","G","H","J","K","L",{a:5,f:5},":\n;","\"\n'",{x:2,c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3},"REPT",{x:0.75,c:"#006f9a",f:9},"←",{f:3},"HOME",{f:9},"→",{x:0.5},"1","2","3",{c:"#008fb0",f:3,h:2},"ENTER"],
[{x:0.5,w:2},"SHIFT",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"Z","X","C","V","B","N","M",{a:5,f:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,f:3,w:2},"SHIFT",{w:1.5},"RPT",{x:0.75},"C3",{c:"#006f9a",f:9},"↓",{c:"#008fb0",f:3},"C4",{x:0.5,c:"#006f9a",f:9,w:2},"0",{c:"#008fb0"},"."],
[{x:2,f:3,w:1.5},"ON LINE",{c:"#006f9a",a:6,w:8},"",{c:"#008fb0",a:7,w:1.5},"ALPHA LOCK"]
Last edited by facetsesame on 10 May 2015, 18:16, edited 1 time in total.

mr_a500

08 May 2015, 00:17

I've always liked blue keys.
Spoiler:
IBM ("Big Blue") used blue keys on early teleprinters and the 2260.
IBM 1052.jpg
Image

Image


Sanders main key colour was also blue:
Sanders720.JPG
Image


Kaypro originally used black & blue:
bluehuge.jpg

...and surprisingly the Commodore PET was supposed to have blue keys (pity it didn't)
PET blue keys.JPG
Then there's this:

Image

...which reminds me of the (faked?) keyboard in the TRON (1982) preview:
Weird TRON symbols.JPG

User avatar
Muirium
µ

08 May 2015, 01:03

Yup. Blue mods too.
Spoiler:
Image

User avatar
SL89

08 May 2015, 05:11

Thanks for making the thread as always Facet.

User avatar
pyrelink

08 May 2015, 05:58

Has facet ever made a bad thread before? I love the Data General Dasher color way, and I know you and Sleightynine have been talking about it for a while. I also really like the idea of making a replica of the entire terminal. Would you be considering those angled cases, you were considering a little while ago?

mr_a500

08 May 2015, 14:31

I pulled some keys to look at the underside (non-yellowed) colours and I'm sad to say there's no exact match for either colour. I'm looking for the closest match. (using keys rather than pictures of the keys, which may be off depending on lighting)

The greenish one is like a bluer VAF or a more saturated BEY. The blue key is like a greener BE or a darker BDG.

You'll probably have to go with "homage colours" rather than an exact match.

User avatar
SL89

08 May 2015, 14:58

Does anyone know if SP do custom colors? I know GMK did after a lot of discussion between Intelli78 and them.

@pyrelink, I'd love to do a whole board, but I lack expertise for that endeavor. Maybe caps first board after? Or just a custom case using an existing PCB. (a la Phantom)

spopepro

08 May 2015, 19:04

I'd be all for a replica. I was *this* close to buying one, but I like to use my keyboards, and old foam and foil isn't really the best for that.

From signature plastics: "and the resources to color match nearly any custom color for a fee" Guess it might be worth finding what the fee is, and if the MOQ would be outrageous.

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

10 May 2015, 19:18

Thanks all for your interest and support :)

Information on the D2 has been added, and so the Keyboard Layout Editor layouts have been updated (plus pics).
pyrelink wrote: Has facet ever made a bad thread before? I love the Data General Dasher color way, and I know you and Sleightynine have been talking about it for a while. I also really like the idea of making a replica of the entire terminal. Would you be considering those angled cases, you were considering a little while ago?
The Hammond 1456 cases are an option for sure.
My grander idea for a case is a flatter, less tall version of the D1 and D2 terminal cases, keeping the wide borders (and maybe a tribute logo). Once I'm organised to do so, I hope to pursue this.
mr_a500 wrote: I pulled some keys to look at the underside (non-yellowed) colours and I'm sad to say there's no exact match for either colour. I'm looking for the closest match. (using keys rather than pictures of the keys, which may be off depending on lighting)

The greenish one is like a bluer VAF or a more saturated BEY. The blue key is like a greener BE or a darker BDG.

You'll probably have to go with "homage colours" rather than an exact match.
Thanks very much for this!

I went in to this thinking BFP and BBQ could work, though I favoured BE and BBJ:
(The first pic has the chips corresponding to the keycaps; Calm Depths BED, Round 4 SPH BFP, and PuLSE BBQ)
BFP_BBQ_BE_BBJ_comparison.jpg
BFP_BBQ_BE_BBJ_comparison.jpg (351.75 KiB) Viewed 5736 times
VAF and BEY are a bit apart, but BE and BDG are different enough to be two tones themselves:
VAF_BEY_BE_BDG_comparison.jpg
VAF_BEY_BE_BDG_comparison.jpg (344.27 KiB) Viewed 5736 times
Pairing them up doesn't really make things clearer!
BE_VAF_BDG_BEY_comparison.jpg
BE_VAF_BDG_BEY_comparison.jpg (329.87 KiB) Viewed 5736 times
Having seen this (Getty photo) and this (someone fixed up their Dasher - I've lost the link to this - do you know it?);
what about BDH and BFN, or for a greener version; BO and BFL?
BDH_BFN_BO_BFL_comparison.jpg
BDH_BFN_BO_BFL_comparison.jpg (347.56 KiB) Viewed 5736 times
BFK, as a slightly darker BDH (quite close to the Unicomp blue) could also work well. Finally, here is the range:
all_blues_comparison.jpg
all_blues_comparison.jpg (561.41 KiB) Viewed 5736 times
SL89 wrote: Does anyone know if SP do custom colors? I know GMK did after a lot of discussion between Intelli78 and them.

@pyrelink, I'd love to do a whole board, but I lack expertise for that endeavor. Maybe caps first board after? Or just a custom case using an existing PCB. (a la Phantom)
spopepro wrote: I'd be all for a replica. I was *this* close to buying one, but I like to use my keyboards, and old foam and foil isn't really the best for that.

From signature plastics: "and the resources to color match nearly any custom color for a fee" Guess it might be worth finding what the fee is, and if the MOQ would be outrageous.
SP responded to an enquiry in October that a custom color for a group buy would be no problem. edit: I believe Galaxy Class featured a custom colour match, and was not prohbitively expensive :)
Two colours could be more of a challenge, but a sample source would be needed!

mr_a500 and spopepro (if you were able to access the Dasher D2 at the CHM), I could arrange for blue color chips to be sent to you - are you up for this?

mr_a500

10 May 2015, 19:48

facetsesame wrote: Having seen this (Getty photo) and this (someone fixed up their Dasher - I've lost the link to this - do you know it?);
I've seen that Getty photo before and also this one:
Data General Dasher & E130.jpg
...so I was expecting something similar when I got mine. That's why I said it was "unexpectedly turquoise".

I thought maybe it's possible that even the underside of the keys has changed colour, but one keycap broke and the colour throughout is the same as on the bottom. I don't know why those other photos are so much more blue.

Now that I see your colour chips side by side, I think that BE/BDG are closest for the two tones. (on my keyboard, at least... not even close to the Getty photo)

User avatar
facetsesame
Mad Dasher

10 May 2015, 22:49

facetsesame wrote: this (someone fixed up their Dasher - I've lost the link to this - do you know it?);
I found it (it's obvious with reverse image search): Smoke signals from the Dasher D2! I'll make an inquiry!
mr_a500 wrote: I've seen that Getty photo before and also this one
I know it's all staged, but it's still irritating - is there enough space there to rotate the displays to a usable angle‽
mr_a500 wrote: ...so I was expecting something similar when I got mine. That's why I said it was "unexpectedly turquoise".

I thought maybe it's possible that even the underside of the keys has changed colour, but one keycap broke and the colour throughout is the same as on the bottom. I don't know why those other photos are so much more blue.
Other Dasher pics I've seen also suggest this sort of turquoise colouring, I doubt you're alone. I wonder what's responsible for the change (if they were not made that way), that seems beyond typical sunlight-uv-accelerated yellowing. Something else in their environment or maybe even to do with the composition? Disclaimer: I am not a chemist.
mr_a500 wrote: Now that I see your colour chips side by side, I think that BE/BDG are closest for the two tones. (on my keyboard, at least... not even close to the Getty photo)
Thank you again! For what it's worth:
Dasher_D2_KLE_BE_BDG_2015-05-10.png
Dasher_D2_KLE_BE_BDG_2015-05-10.png (56.08 KiB) Viewed 5705 times
Of course, representations of colour on computer monitors may vary...

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SL89

10 May 2015, 23:37

One of the issues with referencing Galaxy was that was PBT. I assume we are looking at DS ABS. I'm not sure which would be cheaper but it is something to take note of.

That prelim mockup looks pretty close. Should we think of rehosting any existing images of the Dash pictures? Just for reference sake.

@mr_a500 would you be willing to check the underside of your caps? The tops may indeed be yellow but usually the bottoms are not. (A la the Triumph Adler board Intelli78 found to reference for his GMK GB)

As far as the discoloration, I'd hazard a guess that some of it has to do with smoking or some such thing at the time or maybe even cleaning solutions back then messing with it over time.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

11 May 2015, 02:06

Thanks for picking this up! I had floated the idea of running a group buy like this when I saw that keyboard up for sale. Glad that mr_a500 picked it up.

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SL89

11 May 2015, 04:06

I know facet and I have been pondering this (even jokingly) for some time.

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facetsesame
Mad Dasher

12 May 2015, 01:10

SL89 wrote: One of the issues with referencing Galaxy was that was PBT. I assume we are looking at DS ABS. I'm not sure which would be cheaper but it is something to take note of.
It's a fair point, I don't know the costs for custom ABS, only that SP were comfortable with the idea. It'd be quite funny really if the costs for custom colours turned out to be only slightly more than stock colours - it'd make the whole colour chip fuss seem a bit OTT...
SL89 wrote: That prelim mockup looks pretty close. Should we think of rehosting any existing images of the Dash pictures? Just for reference sake.
If it wasn't for cowardice attribution concerns I'd have covered this already. Right now I'll just say this:

If you own a DG Dasher keyboard, you are very welcome to post pics here! :mrgreen:

Post as many as you like! If need be, I'm sure they could all be migrated to a photo topic...
SL89 wrote: @mr_a500 would you be willing to check the underside of your caps? The tops may indeed be yellow but usually the bottoms are not. (A la the Triumph Adler board Intelli78 found to reference for his GMK GB)

As far as the discoloration, I'd hazard a guess that some of it has to do with smoking or some such thing at the time or maybe even cleaning solutions back then messing with it over time.
IIRC he checked the bottom of the caps and found the same.

I was thinking about the Triumph Adler thing too, were they exposed to the same smoke and/or cleaning regimes, or was it an inevitable effect with the plastic in that colour?

Unlike the Triumph teal, I'd much prefer to match the original colours than what they've become. Looking at old and new pics of DG Nova cabinets, it seems to fairly consistent suggest they didn't plan on a turquoise colour scheme.
XMIT wrote: Thanks for picking this up! I had floated the idea of running a group buy like this when I saw that keyboard up for sale. Glad that mr_a500 picked it up.
SL89's not joking, I reckon this has been on our collective minds long enough for a 7bit GB start to finish :o

If you did want to run such a group buy, no way would I try to stop you ;) but I think we have more data to collect!

It's wonderful the D2 was picked up by mr_a500, I hope we'll see some more pics of that eventually ;)

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

12 May 2015, 02:41

Go nuts with your group buy, I have my own thing to run right now. Speaking of which - go buy some keyboards!

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facetsesame
Mad Dasher

12 May 2015, 23:22

XMIT wrote: Go nuts with your group buy, I have my own thing to run right now. Speaking of which - go buy some keyboards!
Yeah, I thought you might just have been slightly busy right now!

You don't have any Dasher D1/2/100/200 lurking there do you? :evilgeek:

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

12 May 2015, 23:25

No I really don't, just a couple of Data General terminal keyboards with third generation Fujitsu clicky leaf switches. The only similar things - old timey terminal keyboards with Foam and Foil sphericals - are some Unisys keyboards and one old Wang keyboard.

I don't think I have anything with blue keys either. Or rather, with more than a few blue keys.

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SL89

12 May 2015, 23:28

ITT: Threadcrapping :P

But for srs, XMIT how often have you encountered DG stuff in the wild?

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

12 May 2015, 23:32

SL89 wrote: But for srs, XMIT how often have you encountered DG stuff in the wild?
Very rarely.

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facetsesame
Mad Dasher

12 May 2015, 23:51

XMIT wrote: No I really don't, just a couple of Data General terminal keyboards with third generation Fujitsu clicky leaf switches. The only similar things - old timey terminal keyboards with Foam and Foil sphericals - are some Unisys keyboards and one old Wang keyboard.

I don't think I have anything with blue keys either. Or rather, with more than a few blue keys.
I wasn't being so serious! I'd already looked of course :) The Fujitsu clicky leaf boards may well be for Dashers (D410/D460 I'm thinking) and so are arguably directly on topic, if only there wasn't this picky business of color to contend with...

The caps on that Wang board especially look like they could be Comptec's SS family keys. I remember reading they were a Comptec customer too. If they'd had clicky leaves I might have picked that up (nah, someone else would have by now!).

No news yet from known Dasher owners besides our own mr_a500, but I will persevere.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

12 May 2015, 23:54

facetsesame wrote: The caps on that Wang board especially look like they could be Comptec's SS family keys. I remember reading they were a Comptec customer too.
Aha. They may either be SA or SS. But I definitely thought that these spherical key caps looked extremely familiar and I now understand why. I have a number of keyboards with Comptec keys, then.

The good news is that Signature Plastic keys are relatively authentic. I wonder if we can convince them to do thick double shots again.

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SL89

13 May 2015, 00:02

If we have the money they have the time im sure. Time to bring back SS profile :D

spopepro

13 May 2015, 01:21

XMIT wrote:
facetsesame wrote: The caps on that Wang board especially look like they could be Comptec's SS family keys. I remember reading they were a Comptec customer too.
Aha. They may either be SA or SS. But I definitely thought that these spherical key caps looked extremely familiar and I now understand why. I have a number of keyboards with Comptec keys, then.

The good news is that Signature Plastic keys are relatively authentic. I wonder if we can convince them to do thick double shots again.
My understanding is that the SA molds are the same as they had always been--it's the DSA and DCS that are intentionally made thinner to keep costs down.

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