IBM Keyboard

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26 Feb 2019, 21:15

Hello everybody,

I've found this thrown away and picked it up.
It works fine and will be restored, I hope.

Never had one of these and I'm glad I have one now.

As you can see some of the keys are missing, also the main language is Greek and although I am Greek too I cannot type with this layout.

So if someone has some spare keys to sell me, then I will probably put some proper QWERTY stickers.

Thanks in advance,
IBM2.jpg (248.53 KiB) Viewed 428 times
IBM1.jpg (172.21 KiB) Viewed 428 times

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26 Feb 2019, 21:57

Great find, but please keep the keycaps intact. Greek keycaps are quite rare and desirable, since they look very nice on a keyboard!
Dont forget to open the keyboard up (if you have the correct driver) and check the state of rivets. Best of luck with the restoration :)


26 Feb 2019, 22:09

Cool! And welcome! :)

I'd suggest that you first check that the black "barrel plate" under the keys is not cracked! Then open it up and check that not too many of the melted plastic pieces ("rivets") on the other side of the curved steel backplate have not broken off. If they are, then you might have to replace them with nuts and bolts to prevent the barrel plate from cracking under use.

To disassemble the case, you'd need a 5.5 mm (7/32") hex socket for the screws, and it needs to be deep enough. See also What's the best way to clean keycaps.
Good luck and don't hesitate to ask about anything!

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26 Feb 2019, 22:15

VincentGR, what national layout do you want to want to use? US-ISO? UK? German? It should not be much of a problem to either find someone to sell you the "alpha" keycaps you need OR to get a full set from Unicomp (or even buy from them a bunch of blanks and write your own legends with a permanent marker if you want to do that). I concur with Dingster's opinion that the Greek keycaps you have are desirable and you'll be better off keeping them without alterations: if you really don't want them, someone else will.

Besides the alphas, you seem to need only a couple key stems, the numpad Enter and keycaps for Esc, F1 and F2, which are easy to obtain, too.

What is the cable situation? The pictures don't show it, and since this seems to be a late model (1995), it's not clear to me whether it would have (had) a detachable SDL cable (easy to replace) or a fixed one (which would require some more work to replace).

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26 Feb 2019, 23:50

Thank you all !!!

The cable is just dirty as the keyboard.
I will restore it, I have repaired many retro machines and even fixed keyboard membranes.
Never had one of these though, I don't really know where to find replacements keycaps and how to ask them :-)

As for the Greek keys, no I will not trash them.
I never do that even if a machine is completely dead.

User avatar

27 Feb 2019, 10:41

VincentGR wrote:
26 Feb 2019, 23:50
Never had one of these though, I don't really know where to find replacements keycaps and how to ask them :-)

As for the Greek keys, no I will not trash them.
I never do that even if a machine is completely dead.
You seem to need: one key stem (these are plentiful and you'll be better off getting a small batch of, say, five to ten to keep you covered), three key caps (Esc, F1, F2) and one numpad Enter key; it's a great thing that no Greek per se caps are missing! If you want to get exquisite, you could also replace the yellowed (ABS) space bar with a PBT one, which will not yellow. If I were you, I'd buy a small set of flippers as well, to keep as replacements if one of them should be in poor shape or decide to jump away during repairs, never to be found again (what, me talking from my own experience?).

You're (probably) based in Europe, so things will be a tad different because of the higher shipping costs, but for people around North America, the best options are Clicky Keyboards and Electronics Plus. The owners of both sites (ClickyKeyboards and Cindy, respectively) are active on DT.

Another option is Unicomp itself, but... their printed legends are somewhat lackluster; unprinted keycaps are fine, and so are the rest of the small parts (flippers, replacement cables, etc.) you'll need.

As for Europe-based vendors/suppliers, I'll let someone else list 'em, but you'll be off to a good start by asking wodan and quartz64 what have they got.

I still don't know whether the cable is detachable or not. If it is, and should it need replacement, there are several options for that as well.


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27 Feb 2019, 10:49

The cable is hard wired.
I saw that Unicomp has a department here in Greece and I emailed them.
Fingers crossed.

John Doe

27 Feb 2019, 13:13


I'm sure the post above will save you a lot of time if the restoration will go further.

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