Model M controller swap


22 May 2012, 07:39

Hi all,

Just wanted to ask a quick question before I go and annoy the nice people at Unicomp (again).

I've recently got hold of a terminal Model M (model 1394428), which I found in a bin at work (I never believed this actually happened until it actually happened). Apart from being absolutely filthy, it's in pretty good shape. Also has cool terminal keycaps.

DSC_0001 by paulie_jb, on Flickr

The camera has made it look a lot cleaner than it actually is.

So the question is: I'm aware that terminal keyboards cannot be used with PCs. The RJ45 connector on this one doesn't help. I was wondering, if I got a new controller from Unicomp, could I convert it? Only because it's a shame to bin it if it can be reused, and I'm more than aware how hard it seems to be to find UK ISO layout models for a reasonable price now.

Thanks in advance!


22 May 2012, 08:01

Either that or you could do this this


24 May 2012, 01:16

Got a reply from Unicomp regarding replacing the controller with a PS2 one:
Paul, thanks for your interest in our keyboards. The keyboard you salvaged is a very unique keyboard. We have the components to be able to repair the keyboard but none of the PS/2 or USB controllers that we have available will interface to the frame or LED interface of that particular terminal keyboard. Unfortunately, we cannot convert it.


Best regards,

Don Bowman
PC Keyboard
So looks like it's the Teensy option after all. Is there a UK/EU supplier?

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24 May 2012, 10:06

Get them direct from the website mate, I think there are a lot of clones on eBay. Not sure on if clones are bad or not mind.


29 May 2012, 05:58

I just wonder why Unicomp just don't set up a FAQ page with all common answers.
Did they don't get boredby by answering to same questions all the year long?
I also asked all the common question set to them ;)

"Is it possible to mount a modern USB from a customzer circuit on an old Model M?" "No? Why not?"
"Do you still have some Industrial Gray cover?" "No? But you had not long time ago!"
"Do you have a tenkeyless keyboard?" "No? When do you plan to release one?"
"Can you ship a detailed spare part list?"

...and so on...

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29 May 2012, 08:20

nfc wrote:I just wonder why Unicomp just don't set up a FAQ page with all common answers.
Lets not get too demanding on them, at least they have a website now that looks like its from only one century ago... If we ask them now to make a FAQ page ill bet they'll have it finished by the time reading from a screen will only be done by 90 year olds (since that will probably be us it might in fact not be such a bad idea to suggest it now LOL)

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