IBM Model F122 Modifications Help


18 May 2020, 17:42

Hi Everyone:

I'm looking for some advice. I have a Model F122 keyboard that I am thinking of wanting to modify with an xwhatsit driver and the solenoid driver. Maybe replace the foam while I'm at it. What I currently have acquired so far are the following:
solenoid_new.jpg (155.43 KiB) Viewed 388 times
Now, to be honest, I have some reservations about how hard this might actually be and whether this is a good idea for me to try as a first project. My main concerns are around the space bar removal, any soldering that might be involved, and basically anything I might do that will destroy my keyboard! So, my questions for the group are:
  • What tools will I need?
  • Should I do the foam replacement at all?
  • How difficult is this kind of modification for someone new?
  • If too difficult, is it possible commission help from here?
Any feedback is greatly appreciated.



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Gotta start somewhere

18 May 2020, 18:40

You will need clamps, the long kind. They are in the fourth picture to the left, something like this would be idea: ... /204988148

If you are using xwhatsit there will be a lot of soldering involved, probably the most important thing is to be careful with the pads on the PCB when doing this. Here are a few pictures from my Unsaver mod:
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0E2A8433.JPG (249.14 KiB) Viewed 365 times
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0E2A8417.JPG (344.3 KiB) Viewed 365 times
If the foam is in any way deteriorated,(which is likely in an F122) you should go ahead and replace the foam. The modification is somewhat difficult, it will take some time and effort but newbie should be able to do it with patience. I started my ANSI mod on an F122 without any former knowledge and it turned out great.

You could of course commission help from here, I and many others I assume would be willing to help for a price.

Also, do you plan on changing the layout at all?


18 May 2020, 20:49

Thanks for the detailed reply. I am starting to suspect I may need help as I'm not quite as confident in my soldering skills as may be required! I had hoped it was going to be a little more plug and play. As for changing the layout, I'd likely want to map some special keys, and so on, but as long as that's more monkeying around with some software, I should be able to handle that. I'll do some more searching for a step by step guide and make some decisions after that.



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18 May 2020, 22:42

QuickBen wrote:
18 May 2020, 17:42

My main concerns are around the space bar removal ...
The F122 spacebar isn't like the F-XT or the F-AT, it has nothing special and can be removed like a model M spacebar as it is not attached to any internal structure. As long as you do it carefully and don't break the clips that hold the stabilizer of course.

But for a first project... I cannot think a worse thing for a first project than assembling back a F122... Can be a very frustrating experience and as difficult as it is, it can require several tries to get it right.

That said, I see you have a solenoid, so it seems you have the right stuff and with perseverance I'm sure you will succeed :D .


19 May 2020, 22:08

inmbolmie wrote:
18 May 2020, 22:42
But for a first project... I cannot think a worse thing for a first project than assembling back a F122...
Ouch! Hmm...okay. Let me rethink my ambitions here. I appreciate the honest feedback.

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Elder Messenger

19 May 2020, 22:35

My guide is for the much simpler Teensy 2.0 (aka Soarer's Converter) but it describes most of the steps. ... msg2514883

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20 May 2020, 19:59

unless your f122 controller has malfunction, I prefer to use soarer converter instead of using xwhatsit. but if you use xwhatsit, better use 3.96mm pitch male and female header for the installation. will show photos on what I did to my model m with xwhatsit and headers.

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20 May 2020, 20:03

xwhatsit installed with 3.96mm pitch headers. this is on a model M
8771DDD1-FD81-41A7-8FDE-1DD27F8D54F4.jpeg (2.37 MiB) Viewed 167 times


24 May 2020, 21:05

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and links. Very helpful and I think I might be out of my depth trying this on my own.



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