IBM 5251 Beamspring Keyboard Restoration

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 15:52

Hey guys so finally I have been able to source an IBM Beamspring Keyboard for a sub $1000 price. The keyboard needed a fair amount of work so here is the restoration log on the keyboard please let me know what you think.

How the Keyboard looked when I first received it.
How the keyboard looked when I first got it.jpg
How the keyboard looked when I first got it.jpg (316.79 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Top case removed.
How the keyboard forst looked when top case removed.jpg
How the keyboard forst looked when top case removed.jpg (258.2 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Removed the contamination shield.
disintigrated contamination shield.jpg
disintigrated contamination shield.jpg (126.56 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Backplate in great condition.
Backplate i great condition.jpg
Backplate i great condition.jpg (271.42 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Image of the capacitive PCB.
Image of the capacitive PCB.jpg
Image of the capacitive PCB.jpg (211.38 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Starting to remove all switches.
starting to remove all the switches.jpg
starting to remove all the switches.jpg (318.94 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Sticky goo left on switch plate from old foam.
goo left over from old foam.jpg
goo left over from old foam.jpg (305.14 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Removed all the sticky goo from the switch plate using isopropyl alcohol then scrubbed it. Worked pretty well below is an image of the switch plate after the cleaning still some minor corrosion unfortunately.
switchplate completely clean.jpg
switchplate completely clean.jpg (208.55 KiB) Viewed 400 times
OK time to move on to the hardest part switch disassembly.

To remove the switch stem I used a piece of metal that had a hole that was the exact size of the switch mount. I then pulled the switch stem out with some pliers.

Here is an image demonstrating how that worked.
demonstariong how I pulled the stems out of the switches for the disassembly.jpg
demonstariong how I pulled the stems out of the switches for the disassembly.jpg (54.76 KiB) Viewed 400 times
All switches desassembled.
All switchhes disassembled.jpg
All switchhes disassembled.jpg (224.89 KiB) Viewed 400 times
The switch stems also had a lot of contamination shield stuck to them that had to be painstakingly cleaned.
stems had a lot of left over contamination shield.jpg
stems had a lot of left over contamination shield.jpg (69.67 KiB) Viewed 400 times
How one switch looks when disassembled.
How one switch looks when disassembled.jpg
How one switch looks when disassembled.jpg (183.62 KiB) Viewed 400 times
All keycaps and switch housings soaking in warm water with dish soap.
All keycaps and swith housings soaking in soapy water.jpg
All keycaps and swith housings soaking in soapy water.jpg (192.07 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Sticky goo from old foam also all over the switch housings.
Goo left on switch housings from old foam.jpg
Goo left on switch housings from old foam.jpg (63.14 KiB) Viewed 400 times
O rings soaking in soapy water too.
IBM 5251 washing o rings.jpg
IBM 5251 washing o rings.jpg (161.48 KiB) Viewed 400 times
The top case was pretty dirty.
top case dirty pic 1.jpg
top case dirty pic 1.jpg (222.61 KiB) Viewed 400 times
top case dirty 2.jpg
top case dirty 2.jpg (83.06 KiB) Viewed 400 times
top case dirty 3.jpg
top case dirty 3.jpg (95.16 KiB) Viewed 400 times
top case dirty 4.jpg
top case dirty 4.jpg (106.53 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Top case cleaned sorry for the blurry image did not realise it came out blurry until after...
Top case cleaned.jpg
Top case cleaned.jpg (83.74 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Whole keyboard disassembled and cleaned also new foam mat cut.
whole keyboard disassembled clean with o rings.jpg
whole keyboard disassembled clean with o rings.jpg (209 KiB) Viewed 400 times
All switches cleaned and reassembled.
All switches clean and reassembled.jpg
All switches clean and reassembled.jpg (163.13 KiB) Viewed 400 times
New 2mm neoprene foam mat and switches put back into plate.
New 2mm neoprene foam installed and switches reinstalled.jpg
New 2mm neoprene foam installed and switches reinstalled.jpg (243.3 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Xwhatsit installed.
Switch plate resassembled and Xwhatsit installed.jpg
Switch plate resassembled and Xwhatsit installed.jpg (253.96 KiB) Viewed 400 times
How I retained the Xwhatsit's USB cable.
How I retained the Xwhatsits USB cable.jpg
How I retained the Xwhatsits USB cable.jpg (76.48 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Manufacturers label on the keyboard.
IBM 5251 date label.jpg
IBM 5251 date label.jpg (128.62 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Top case put back on and starting to put the keycaps back on.
top case put back on and starting to put the keycaps back on.jpg
top case put back on and starting to put the keycaps back on.jpg (172.81 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Keyboard fully restored also added some selectric keycaps to get the layout I wanted (US) some keycaps are still wrong and and missing such as the backtab key. I actually am at the moment trying to do a deal with someone for the caps to complete the keyboard.
The keyboard fully restored complete.jpeg
The keyboard fully restored complete.jpeg (155.29 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Hope you found this restoration log helpful and informative. When I get the replacement keys I will update the thread with an image.

User avatar
SenhorHoshino

11 Aug 2019, 18:11

Awesome! Happy it turned out well :D

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 18:12

Thanks.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 18:41

Wow that was fast. Great job!

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 18:44

Thanks it was so much work especially the switch disassembling.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 18:45

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 18:44
Thanks it was so much work especially the switch disassembling.
I can only imagine. Mine is still unrestored.

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 18:46

I wish you luck is yours also a 5251?

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 19:00

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 18:46
I wish you luck is yours also a 5251?
No, mine is a displaywriter. I don't like the ISO enter, so I'm trying to trade it for something else. Not having much luck :(

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 19:20

Nice the only thing I don't like about the display writer Beamspring is the split in the numpad. I tried using the 5251 Beamspring as my daily but I just can't deal with not being able to use a wrist rest. I think the 3278 Beamspring would be my best bet as it has a built in wrist rest.

User avatar
nelamvr6

11 Aug 2019, 19:51

Awesome job! Thanks for posting this!

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 20:01

No problem glad I could help.

vknet

11 Aug 2019, 20:51

This is an excellent restoration log. How long did the restoration take from start to finish?

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 20:56

The entire restoration took me 2 days.

User avatar
darkcruix

11 Aug 2019, 21:00

Very nice work! Where did you get the great coiled USB cable? I am looking for one of those for ages :)

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 21:11

Thanks for your comments the keyboard doesn't actually have a coiled USB cable that cable you see is for my daily driver IBM Model F AT. Unfortunately the Beamspring just has a relatively thick USB cable.

Hope that helps.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 21:15

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:11
Thanks for your comments the keyboard doesn't actually have a coiled USB cable that cable you see is for my daily driver IBM Model F AT. Unfortunately the Beamspring just has a relatively thick USB cable.

Hope that helps.
I think he wants to know where you got that cable regardless of which board its on.

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 21:17

Redmaus wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:15
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:11
Thanks for your comments the keyboard doesn't actually have a coiled USB cable that cable you see is for my daily driver IBM Model F AT. Unfortunately the Beamspring just has a relatively thick USB cable.

Hope that helps.
I think he wants to know where you got that cable regardless of which board its on.
I never got that cable it is the original 5 pin DIN Cable that came on my IBM Model F AT.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 21:20

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:17
I never got that cable it is the original 5 pin DIN Cable that came on my IBM Model F AT.
Ohh, lol I didn't think about that. I have so many of those cables. I wish there was some way to have an AT port on my PC would be USB.

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 21:25

Redmaus wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:20
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:17
I never got that cable it is the original 5 pin DIN Cable that came on my IBM Model F AT.
Ohh, lol I didn't think about that. I have so many of those cables. I wish there was some way to have an AT port on my PC would be USB.
That would be really cool having a din port on modern Pc's. I use an external soarers converter that I got from Orihalcon that takes the cable from 5 pin DIN to USB + gives me custom key mapping.
Last edited by Fkazim on 11 Aug 2019, 21:42, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 21:29

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:25
That would be really cool having a din port on modern Pc's. I use an external soarers converter that I got from Orihalcon that takes the cable from 5 pin DIN to USB + gives me custom key mapping.
Yup, I have the same thing for my F122. The only way I can think of something like that being done is a custom expansion card. Group buy anyone? :P

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 21:32

Redmaus wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:29
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:25
That would be really cool having a din port on modern Pc's. I use an external soarers converter that I got from Orihalcon that takes the cable from 5 pin DIN to USB + gives me custom key mapping.
Yup, I have the same thing for my F122. The only way I can think of something like that being done is a custom expansion card. Group buy anyone? :P
I would definitely be up for an expansion card group buy. We might even be able to get Soarers programmed into the expansion card for custom key mapping.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 21:59

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:32
I would definitely be up for an expansion card group buy. We might even be able to get Soarers programmed into the expansion card for custom key mapping.
There could even be other ports as well. There could be a Wyse connector, 180-degree DIN for F122 and M122, adb, PS/2(so there could be remapping), and whatever else would be useful. Honestly this might be something a lot of people would want, myself included.

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 22:08

Redmaus wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:59
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:32
I would definitely be up for an expansion card group buy. We might even be able to get Soarers programmed into the expansion card for custom key mapping.
There could even be other ports as well. There could be a Wyse connector, 180-degree DIN for F122 and M122, adb, PS/2(so there could be remapping), and whatever else would be useful. Honestly this might be something a lot of people would want, myself included.
If we was to try and create something like this we should make a poll for what connector types people want.

Lbibass

11 Aug 2019, 22:10

Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:32
Redmaus wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:29
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 21:25
That would be really cool having a din port on modern Pc's. I use an external soarers converter that I got from Orihalcon that takes the cable from 5 pin DIN to USB + gives me custom key mapping.
Yup, I have the same thing for my F122. The only way I can think of something like that being done is a custom expansion card. Group buy anyone? :P
I would definitely be up for an expansion card group buy. We might even be able to get Soarers programmed into the expansion card for custom key mapping.

Please, no Soarers. The only reason to use soarers over QMK / TMK would be for the wyse converter. TMK / QMK are more actively updated, and even support more boards. And the remapping process is better. It's great being able to use layers in a way that actually makes sense.

And the creators of QMK/TMK aren't dead, either.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

11 Aug 2019, 22:11

Lbibass wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 22:10
Please, no Soarers. The only reason to use soarers over QMK / TMK would be for the wyse converter. TMK / QMK are more actively updated, and even support more boards. And the remapping process is better. It's great being able to use layers in a way that actually makes sense.

And the creators of QMK/TMK aren't dead, either.
I can agree on this, Soarers has been really finnicky in my experience as of late. If need be there could be a separate Wyseverter in there.
Fkazim wrote:
11 Aug 2019, 22:08
If we was to try and create something like this we should make a poll for what connector types people want.
Should one of us make an IC?

Fkazim

11 Aug 2019, 23:10

That would be a start.

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