Model F Restoration - input welcome!

mmcdowell

Model F Restoration - input welcome!

Unread post by mmcdowell » 13 Nov 2017, 16:41

I've been searching for a cheap model F for a while, and finally found a deal. It's going to need some attention for sure.

Image

It is on the way now, so I'm trying to plan my restoration.
  • The case needs paint. What would look good on an F? I thought about going the custom route with an industrial hammered grey look.
  • I am going to convert to USB with a Teensy. I've seen Soarer's converter; any pitfalls I should be aware of?
  • Do Fs always have degraded foam? I haven't used one for a couple decades, so I've had no recent experience. I'm trying to see what I'm jumping into!

andrewjoy

Unread post by andrewjoy » 13 Nov 2017, 17:14

I have serviced quite a few F's.

First of all you have an XT there , the plate is a pain the the ass to get on as the PCB for the controller is in the way only open it if you 100% have to. The rule with F foam is , if it feels and works ok then leave it alone.

If you have to open it be careful, you do not want to break any of the tabs , it is fixable but its a pain in the arse. to put it back together you will want a rubber mallet or plastic deadblow hammer and some clamps ( or very strong hands), the XT is the hardest one to get back together in my experience.

A top tip, you can use a bulldog clip to replace a broken tab , you just have to get the right size , not sure what size i used just order several smalls ones, you put it on and then take the sliver leavers off and leave it on there , and then you can use the leavers as keycap pullers :).

Some caps looks like they have stickers on, its very strange, i had an XT with almost identical stickers on the same keys.

The XT case is painted and very brittle, be super careful around the thin bars that separate the F keys and the main body. If you want to paint it you could build up the texture in the damaged parts with high build primer , just dab it on with a cocktail stick, then plastic primer and then paint. RAL 7030 is what you are looking for if you want industrial grey , its the closest.

If you need to repair barrels , remember the XT is the black sheep and has a different design of barrel than a AT 122 4404 etc , they have the pin type rather than the keyed type, you can use the pined ones on the new keyed type by snipping the pin off but i have never tried it the other way around, if you need replacement barrels make sure you get the XT type. You may well be able to snip off the keyed part of the barrel but i have never tried this .

There are several different flipper types for model F but they have no noticeable difference between them. Springs as far as i am aware have never changed.

I have some very limited spare parts for all F's so if your stuck let me know.

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

Unread post by fohat » 13 Nov 2017, 18:43

andrewjoy wrote:
the plate is a pain the the ass to get on as the PCB for the controller is in the way only open it if you 100% have to.

If you have to open it be careful, you do not want to break any of the tabs , it is fixable but its a pain in the arse. to put it back together you will want a rubber mallet or plastic deadblow hammer

the XT is the hardest one to get back together in my experience.
I think that you are confusing the XT case with the AT. Your description is exactly the situation with the AT, but the XT has a bent metal back shell that screws on and off easily.

andrewjoy

Unread post by andrewjoy » 13 Nov 2017, 20:15

I mean the spring plate that holds the filppers in.

unxmaal

Unread post by unxmaal » 13 Nov 2017, 20:24

Here's a gallery of my F restoration:

https://imgur.com/a/M7TBV

Check out the bar-clamp method I used to get the plates together. It's a lot less ... percussive... than using a mallet.

andrewjoy

Unread post by andrewjoy » 13 Nov 2017, 20:26

bar clamp is a good idea , i usualy use a rubber hammer 2 hands and the bottom of my beer belly :)

mmcdowell

Unread post by mmcdowell » 14 Nov 2017, 23:22

Thanks for the input, all! Just what I was looking for!

Today, I got the Teensy out and put Soarer's converter on it. I hope to solder it up using an old AT to PS/2 adapter sometime this week, and try it out soon.

mmcdowell

Unread post by mmcdowell » 16 Nov 2017, 15:40

The keyboard came in yesterday, and it actually looks cleaner in person than it did in photos. I'm going to finish up the controller tonight; building it outboard rather than hacking up the original cable. Then, I'll test drive it for a while before worrying about the cosmetics, as they're not as bad as I thought.

User avatar
flowerlandfilms

Unread post by flowerlandfilms » 16 Nov 2017, 17:17

I think you should make it granite.
003.jpg
003.jpg (208.97 KiB) Viewed 369 times

mmcdowell

Unread post by mmcdowell » 17 Nov 2017, 16:06

I kinda like the granite idea! Sacrilege?

Well, I'm typing this from the Model F, and I have to say that I absolutely love the feel of it! I attempted to use the Teensy wired to an old AT/PS2 adapter, but I kept getting an R05 error from Soarer's converter. After chopping out the old XT cable and wiring it directly, it worked great.

Image

Now, it's on my work desk and feels just fine.

Image

The layout is pretty different than what I`m used to, but I think it`s workable. Left shift and the little stepped Enter are the only bothersome things, and I may be able to get used to them. On standard text, I can fly with this board!

Now, the challenge is making it look better. The original textured paint is flaking pretty badly on parts of the case. I think I`ll have to sand it down bare in areas since the paint is loose and will continue to flake.

Image

mmcdowell

Unread post by mmcdowell » 27 Dec 2018, 22:01

Update!

I daily used this keyboard until this winter, when I decided to tear it apart and make it pretty. I sanded the case down to bare plastic, and painted with multiple coats of grey Krylon plastic paint that appeared to match IBM Industrial Grey fairly well. I also pulled and cleaned the keys, and found a better solution to mount the Teensy with 3M double sided tape internally.

Image

Image

It feels good to use the F again! My backup Model M just doesn't feel the same. Now... if I could only have an ANSI left shift and enter key, I'd be 100% satisfied. Is this a possibility with an F XT?

User avatar
wcass

Unread post by wcass » 28 Dec 2018, 01:53

mmcdowell wrote: It feels good to use the F again! My backup Model M just doesn't feel the same. Now... if I could only have an ANSI left shift and enter key, I'd be 100% satisfied. Is this a possibility with an F XT?
Sorry, no. The ISO/ANSI convertible feature was first introduced with the AT.

xueyao

Re: Model F Restoration - input welcome!

Unread post by xueyao » 28 Dec 2018, 02:30

ANSI left shift is totally doable on the XT. I've done it on mine. Just move the springs around and buy a left shift and you're golden :)

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

Post Reply

Return to “Workshop”