IBM Model M Industrial - "homemade" version REPLICA

nfc

31 Dec 2011, 12:09

Hi to All,
I just registered but I'm following since a while now. I did not found a place where to present myself, so in case I missed it, please advice me...

I felt in love with an DIY IBM industrial keyboard I saw a while ago: ...
http://keyboardporn.com/buckling-spring ... y-version/
...maybe somebody here know it :)

So I decided to build an ISO replica out from a 1391404 (italian layout).

STEP 1 - Material
I do not want to sacrifice original pieces from my keyboard by painting, dying and soldering.
So I contacted guys at Unicomp and had a few mails exchange, where I was asking a lot of things and Jim Owens was answering me fast but in a very concise way... I imagine those guys have to deal with a lot of "buckling springs fanatics" like me, so they spend just necessary words and not many others.
NOTe: I would imagine that if they set up a better home site, with spare parts catalogue, they will save themselves a lot of mail and explanation work.

However, we worked it out and I finally placed my order:

Qty1 - Industrial Gray cover set
Qty1 - Ind gray overlay w Eng. & bottom cutouts
Qty1 - Led Circuit (p.n. 1393298) <- This one was to avoid to modify an original one from one of my Ms.
Qty5 - Colored button printed (RED) "ESC" <- If somebody in Europe wants one... I bought some extra for that pourpose
Qty1 - RGB printed button set
Qty2 - Colored button unprinted (RED)
Qty2 - Colored button unprinted (GREEN)
Qty2 -Colored button unprinted (BLUE)

... plus some other things I was thinking to buy since a while, like springs, replacement caps, rubber feets, and so on...

ORANGE LEDS
Those leds just gives a "Evil" touch to the keyboard! I love it!
To find orange leds, I never saw before, I went by probably the biggest led dealer In Turin (where I live).
Owners, two nice and quite young guys, husband and wife, big friends of mine, LOLed when I was asking for 3 orange leds: they gifted me with a 10 pieces led bag.

I would like to bring some clarification from them: "Those leds aren't orange. The colour is amber!" and ".. of course the cap is not orange but transparent clear: amber color is given by the p-n junction material...." (I save you the rest of explanation about wave lenght, spectrum and so on...)

STEP 2 - Waiting
I was placing the order on 2011-11-16 and waited.I received it in Italy on 2011-12-12.
Papers on package was clearly showing that package was sent 2011-11-17, so the day after I placed the order: good style sight for good guys at Unicomp.
Opened the box and found the 2nd Unicomp's good style proof... I was ordering 2 unprinted blue keycaps and
they had 2 blue tones, so, instead of asking me, they just dropped in the box 2 of each tone (2 azure and 2 blue) as a "little present".

STEP 3 - Mouting
Mounting phase took me around 30 minutes.
20min to unsolder green leds from new led circuit and solder new "amber" leds.
5min for exchanging original cover with dark gray industrial one;
5min for replacing keycaps: R.G.B. Red Ctrl / Green Shift / Blue Alt + Red ESC;

STEP 4 - Completing

Left Green shift
Have some issue with ANSI and ISO difference in Left shift key.
ANSI have one long Left shift (2.5 size keycap / 101 keys), ISO have 1 smaller shift and an extra key (1.5+1 size keycap / 102 keys).
At the moment I replaced the keycap next to shift with a blank green one.

I was asking to Unicomp:
Nfc: "Is RGB available also for 102 layouts? (In my Italian layout Left Shift is smaller than a US one)"
Unicomp: "We do not have the left shift in green"

Still find hard to think that they do not supply a 1.5 colored keycap. Have to ask better.


Logo and Led overlay
At the moment I haven't any logo and just a temporary led overlay.
I was asking to Unicomp:
Nfc: "I imagine there are a load of different label types (IBM logos and LED overlay)... Is it possible to obtain the full set of them? Price?"
Unicomp: "NO, we will sell a Uicomp Logo and a blank logo plate, but no OEM"

Again, I find hard to understand... somewhere here I found...
http://deskthority.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... it=unicomp
Look at the floor! It look like mr.webwit's one :)

STEP 5 - Help, infos needed...
a) I need to clarify with Unicomp if they supply coloured 1.5 size keycaps. If not then I have to find an alternative solution (maybe dying myself?).

b) I need to clarify with Unicomp if they supply black oval IBM logos and black backgrounded led overlay.
Alternative solution cloud be find some little company that print custom overlays. It's screen printed? I saw this solution a lot of times on electronic stuffs especially on those with a membrane keyboard.

STEP 6 - Pictures
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Last edited by nfc on 03 Jan 2012, 22:10, edited 1 time in total.

xbb

31 Dec 2011, 15:51

Beautiful, I need to mod also mine to industrial, just waiting for the casing.

Welcome to Deskthority, glad to see more italians joining.

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sixty
Gasbag Guru

31 Dec 2011, 16:13

I'm glad I was of inspiration to you :oops:

Welcome on board!

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litster

31 Dec 2011, 20:21

Very nice! Your pictures made me realize that the RGB keycaps look even better with the industrial case.

For some reason I can't see the pictures on Tapatalk on my iPhone but they show up fine on the browser.

ripster

01 Jan 2012, 02:48

Wait, Webwit and I knew that already!

Except I don't like green.
5013170200_21a3478d65_b.jpg
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User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

01 Jan 2012, 03:02

Looks great, Ripster.
Out of curiosity what's the rollover on these keyboards? In an FPS for example, can you run diagonally forward and reload your weapon at the same time? Do all these combos work?
- W+A+R
- W+D+R
- S+D+R
- A+S+R

xbb

01 Jan 2012, 04:24

002 wrote:Looks great, Ripster.
Out of curiosity what's the rollover on these keyboards? In an FPS for example, can you run diagonally forward and reload your weapon at the same time? Do all these combos work?
- W+A+R
- W+D+R
- S+D+R
- A+S+R
They do work with my SSK

nfc

01 Jan 2012, 12:21

002 wrote:Looks great, Ripster.
Out of curiosity what's the rollover on these keyboards? In an FPS for example, can you run diagonally forward and reload your weapon at the same time? Do all these combos work?
- W+A+R
- W+D+R
- S+D+R
- A+S+R

Wish a good new year to everybody


002, I just set up a small circuit on a breadboard with an Arduino and tested also with oldest Model M I have (1987).
TestSetup.JPG
TestSetup.JPG (263.17 KiB) Viewed 3847 times
1st TEST
Tried the sequence A,W,R and release in reverse order....
I received following scan codes:
1C (A press)
1D (W press)
2D (R press)
F0, 2D (R release)
F0, 1D (W release)
F0, 1c (A release)

2nd TEST
Pressed A, W and R at the same time (or at least as simultaneously as I could)
Scopemeter shows 3 scancode packet in sequence, about 5 ms one from each other.
Scopemeter.jpg
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NOTES
Sequences normally used in a FPS with WASD configuration WA, WD, AS, SD seem to work without any problem if a third key is pressed/released.
Other non conventional for a FPS game like WS (up and down) seems to "freeze" the keyboard it certain other keys are pressed.
For example SW and R are a freezing combination, but not SW and H... mmhh
Also X,S result in a freezing combination...

Need to investigate further...

nfc

01 Jan 2012, 23:22

Do somebody have an idea on where I can find such IBM logo badge?
IBM Logo.jpg
IBM Logo.jpg (23.18 KiB) Viewed 3815 times

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webwit
Wild Duck

01 Jan 2012, 23:29

Welcome! Hmm yeah I had a bunch but I gave away all my spares I'm afraid.

Image

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litster

02 Jan 2012, 00:01

It was very nice of webwit. Thanks again, webwit.

Unicomp doesn't ship these badges out anymore. wcass on Geekhack had some badges made before, but they were gold. If there is enough demand, we could make some more authentic looking badges. I have the design file from wcass somewhere. I just haven't found a shop that can do the badges.

http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?1840 ... ck-on-Gold

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

02 Jan 2012, 02:58

Thanks for testing those combinations so thoroughly, nfc.
Great work on the board too! I hope you can find your IBM logo.

Eugene94

02 Aug 2014, 21:14

Image

Do you know if I could find the LED lights on ebay? :? And would the lights come out easily from a regular IBM model M keyboard or would I need to buy a special small green circuit board to put the LED lights in? Any soldering required? Thank you.

nfc

09 Sep 2014, 07:45

Eugene94 wrote: Image
Do you know if I could find the LED lights on ebay? :? And would the lights come out easily from a regular IBM model M keyboard or would I need to buy a special small green circuit board to put the LED lights in? Any soldering required? Thank you.
Leds on eBay? You can find at least one googol (10e^100). I got mine from a friend, but you can find them by your local electronic shop.
Just buy some 5mm led and replace the existing ones (yeah with soldering iron) on existing circuit.

Some hints:
1) Led have a positive and a negative pin... look at the flat face of it when replacing.
2) Just do not exagerate with heat on that poor little circuit... in any case Unicomp have spares :)
3) I would avoid hi emitting leds (normally called "Bright" or "Super Bright" or similar). It will be very unpleasant when working by evening to have one or two spotlights right in your face.

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