Decision Data terminal keyboard (IBM 5251 clone?)

User avatar
AJM

30 Mar 2020, 19:57

Recently I bought a "Decision Data" terminal keyboard for the following reasons:
- I like everything, with my favourite XT layout
- The keyscaps are very precise copies of the ones from the IBM 5251
- The brownish colour of the keycaps looked very "70s"
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Well, the last reason was "dropped", after I treated the caps to hydrogen peroxide :D :
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... which made the similarity to the IBM 5251 even more apparent.
For comparison:
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(One extra point for the one, who finds the only difference in the legends of the two keyboards.)

Keycaps close-ups before/after:
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The foam and foil switches in all their rotten glory. Here you can also see one of the two biggest failings of this keyboard: A space bar stabiliser, that's not only hidden inside the switch assembly, but also made of bendable plastic!!! :shock:
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Here you can see the other problem: The ISO-enter has its switch not in the middle, but in row 2 - without any stabilisation whatsoever. And if you don't hit it above the switch, it does indeed bind quite horribly. :?
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Otherwise the switches aren't bad, actually. Especially the properly stabilised 3u wide keys feel like a linear version of their beamspring equivalent.

The PCB - with date 1983:
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A few more pictures. Note the unusual profile of the enter key.
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(Note volume knob and cut-out for speaker.)
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User avatar
OldIsNew

31 Mar 2020, 00:45

That's a nice one. I actually really like the old "vintage" Key Tronic F&F switches. It's a sharp looking board and good job with the retrobrighting!

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