Spherical Buckling Spring Thread

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 04:09

Several months ago Muirium suggested to me in a PM that I should look into making caps for IBM buckling spring keyboards. I toyed around with it for a bit and was more interested in other keyboard projects and it kind of got tinkered around with a little here and there with out much progress. All the interest and concern over caps for the reproduction model F's that ellipse has been working on has reignited my interest in the project and I should have prototypes on my model M this week. Actually I already have one on it and I am very excited about the feel of it. These boards should have had sphericals available from the start. I would like to have some input on further development at this point. As well as discuss what an end product might consist of and how that would correspond with my capabilities. These would bee direct replacements for the IBM boards but special sizes could certainly be a part of the program.
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Last edited by rsbseb on 10 Apr 2017, 03:02, edited 2 times in total.

Ellipse

21 Jul 2015, 04:18

Nice work rsbseb! These should go very well with the F77s and F62s as many people were interested in using other key caps as opposed to the new ones that are currently available.

Do you have the capability for high quality dye sublimation? It would be great as we discussed over PM if you could also work on deep black/thick/bold single-piece Model F key caps with nice textures like those of the PC XT keyboard.

Any idea on expected pricing and the timeline?

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 04:49

My initial thoughts are double shots as there are options for colors totally unseen on a buckling spring before.
I do not have dye sub capabilities at this time but am willing to work into it.

Timeline would depend a number of factors and I wouldn't want to commit until there is a consensus for a program and I know I can fulfill it. I would guess early in the Autumn sometime.

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macmakkara

21 Jul 2015, 06:43

Think it like this. There are many wild BS boards out there and if ellipses project work out there will be more. Unicomp is going to lay low in few years and demand för IBM caps will just rise with that.

If at that point can produce caps close to originals those will BE really wanted...

PS. I want ISO RGB mods...

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

21 Jul 2015, 06:51

Oh please post a picture. I have a huge craving for black on black dyesubs...

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SL89

21 Jul 2015, 07:14

Redmaus wrote: Oh please post a picture. I have a huge craving for black on black dyesubs...
I think he's looking towards doubleshot first.

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 07:35

Redmaus wrote: Oh please post a picture. I have a huge craving for black on black dyesubs...
I will have some pictures soon. I would have waited to post this with pictures but the discussion on caps was starting to take off in ellipse's thread and figured it was time to let everyone know I was working on some options.

andrewjoy

21 Jul 2015, 10:15

This sounds amazing !

ABS or PBT ?

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 11:09

Doubleshot = ABS. Especially for a first timer! Maybe PBT one day, once he's caught up with Vortex!

I'm thoroughly intrigued by these too, of course. Profile. Feel. Colours! Legends. Custom sizes. Awe!

andrewjoy

21 Jul 2015, 12:38

:( Well i still want them but i would prefer Dyesub PBT , you know me .:P

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romevi

21 Jul 2015, 15:45

YES. COUNT ME IN. YES.

I have a Unicomp and it needs serious customization.

Question. I've got the pre-2013 model and Unicomp reworked the bottom row after that. The bottom modifiers are different sizes than the ones on mine.

Will these new sphericals fit my model?


Edit:
Here's what my bottom row looks like:
20150703_224136.jpg
20150703_224136.jpg (66.67 KiB) Viewed 4733 times
Seems that with the newer, post 09-2013 Unicomps the right Alt and Win keys have been swapped, as well as both Alt keys, Win keys, and the Menu keys having been resized.
If it's not possible I wouldn't mind getting an updated Unicomp just so I can have different keycaps. Heck, I plan on getting an original Model M and maybe the new Model F in the future.
Last edited by romevi on 21 Jul 2015, 17:23, edited 2 times in total.

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scottc

21 Jul 2015, 15:45

Definitely up for this! Can't wait.

Vizir

21 Jul 2015, 15:48

I'm in. Why is vortex the only option for double shot pbt? Why can't others do it?

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scottc

21 Jul 2015, 15:54

Double-shot PBT is quite hard to do. PBT tends to shrink a lot when it cools, so most people just don't bother. Vortex only really got it to a usable state in the last couple of years, as far as I know.

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chzel

21 Jul 2015, 15:58

PBT shrinks a lot when cooling and often results in deformed caps (esp spacebars), and the second shot definitely doesn't help matters.
Also they require totally different molds than ABS, so a big investment in tooling.

Edit: ninja'd by Scott!

andrewjoy

21 Jul 2015, 16:26

indeed , thats why i like dyesub as it works best with PBT .

Ether way this is an awesome projects

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macmakkara

21 Jul 2015, 17:11

But but there are Tai Hao PBT doubleshots?

http://ukkeycaps.bigcartel.com/product/ ... ot-keycaps

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 17:55

Yeah but Tai Hao. If you're fancy enough to know the difference between PBT and ABS, let alone dyesub and doubleshots, then you're likely going to want to spend your money on something good. Not really Tai Hao's core market. Mind, the same could be said for Vortex. I wonder how their doubleshot PBTs are doing, sales wise.

Anyway, MX caps are irrelevant for a refreshing change. We're here to talk about the good stuff! Not just the widely available stuff as usual.

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

21 Jul 2015, 18:57

Supposedly - read this on Wikipedia a while ago so take with a tablespoon of salt - the Model F and Model M eschewed spherical key caps because they would serve as concave surfaces for finger oils and cause dye sublimated legends to fade. Who knows.

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pyrelink

21 Jul 2015, 19:11

Spherical buckling spring keysets would be amazing! Would these be in your SCM profile?

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 19:16

I'm guessing so.

To make more informed feedback, we're going to need to see pictures. What does the prototype look like? I wonder if it's the right proportions to stack properly in adjacent rows and columns. That's a hard limit on curved back plates.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

21 Jul 2015, 19:24

Yeah pictures or some illustrations would be great.

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 19:42

pyrelink wrote: Spherical buckling spring keysets would be amazing! Would these be in your SCM profile?
No. These are not SCM they are they share the same geometry as the originals. The big difference is in the key top being spherical, which has been borrowed from SCM. They are definitely IBM specific and match the height and angles of the IBM caps and would be compatible with original mods beside them

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 19:51

Nice!

Now, crucially, what are you considering for the mods? Those are the caps we need most in new sizes / alternate barrel alignments.

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 20:05

Muirium wrote: Nice!

Now, crucially, what are you considering for the mods? Those are the caps we need most in new sizes / alternate barrel alignments.
I'm not considering anything specific. I'm waiting to hear from the everyone else on mods and customs. ;)

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 20:10

My opinion: try need to be spherical too. Like Topre's HiPro. Or SP's SA profile. Mixing spherical alphas with IBM's (comparatively) flat mods won't do. Also, mixing different cap materials and printing techniques on the same board makes my OCD tingle. Really, what we want is full new consistent sets.

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rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

21 Jul 2015, 20:32

I didn't didn't mean to imply I wasn't going to do spherical mods. I was just trying to illustrate the level of compatibility. I just don't have anything specifically in mind beyond an OEM compatible replacement. What I'm really interested inn hearing is thought on colors, legends, special sizes, or other alterations. I am also interested in how they should be offered full sets, partial, or both? Individual sales or group buy based on concensus or through someone else's eye for style.

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Muirium
µ

21 Jul 2015, 21:25

If you want compatibility, I would stay as close to IBM's originals as possible. Colours and legend weight in particular. And probably best the shape as well.

I prefer sphericals. But mixing is a no no. (I've tried with various boards whenever I'm a key short.) Consistency is powerful.

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pyrelink

22 Jul 2015, 03:12

I imagine that these will be single piece keycaps? I definitely agree on keeping consistency and not mixing profiles. I imagine selling them in sets would be most advantageous for that reason. Sell like a full SSK set or a 122 set. I am not sure where Ellipse's custom F77 thread has left off (haven't checked it in a couple days) but a custom set for the 77 key would be nice, complete with the fabled 1.75u right shift.

I also agree with keeping as closely original as possible color and legend wise, however I could see pure white keys (with beamspring like legends) look pretty fantastic on an IBM too. But without getting to crazy, I think sticking to the original style would please the most people...

Oh and if you are going to using any IBM keys as reference, make sure you are using 1 piece XT caps. They are so much better.

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pr0ximity

22 Jul 2015, 03:33

TOTALLY in for some BS sphericals! I'm all about plain-Jane ANSI layout so no funny-shaped keys interest me, however I would love to have white-on-black doubleshots on a Model F. I really dig the Round 5 colorway, things like white-on-black + bold primary colors really tickle me.

Full-size sets, of course. 122-key would be most excellent.

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