Model M 1393464 Restore

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lhutton

26 Jun 2018, 05:04

Recently I stumbled on a 1393464 Model M off eBay for a decent price. This was a model with custom keycaps made for the American Airlines reservation system. Otherwise it's a normal 2nd generation Model M from 1990. I just think the differently printed keycaps look neat.

It arrived and I found that some of the keys were non-functional and I tracked it back to a dead line in the membrane. Since I'd never fully deconstructed a Model M before I decided to give it a go. Usually I just do the screw mod when the rivets break. Ordered the $10 membrane from Unicomp and it arrived Saturday. Just tonight I go the board all the way back together and it works! Typing this post on it right now. Below are some photos are comments on the process. It was more challenging than I thought it would be, getting the springs and flappers to stay in place while you re-attach the membrane and back plate is kind of tricky ...
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Pre disassembly
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Pre-disassembly ...
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Model Information
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Model information, this particular unit was built on Feb 06 1990
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Beige barrel plate
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Beige/cream barrel plate, this is a new one to me. I've only ever seen black ones ...
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membrane modification
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Just a quick note on the new membranes from Unicomp: if you have an older M you're resotoring you'll need to trim off the rightmost four lines from the smaller ribbon cable. These membranes work with the older Ms but have the built-in lines for the LEDs on the new models. I just used a razor blade and some patience.
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new membrane
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New membrane pre-install...
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keycaps reinstalled
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Keycaps back in and ready to be tested!
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back together
Model_M_restore_0008.jpg (619.41 KiB) Viewed 908 times
All back together and ready to go. All in all not too bad of an experience and I found some threads on here helpful. Just thought I'd share the journey. Not sure how rare or special this particular Model M as it just showed up in my running eBay search. Found some info on the Clicky Keyboards site but that's about it. I think the membrane went bad due to some liquid exposure as it looks like there was some dried liquid in between the sheets. Anyway, should be good for another 28 years now I reckon.

andrewjoy

26 Jun 2018, 10:31

Well done mate that is a lovely example of a later M. And with a screw mod its good for a long time to come.

Nice caps too.

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green-squid

26 Jun 2018, 13:24

Good job! I love old Ms being restored ;)

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depletedvespene

26 Jun 2018, 13:33

I remember that particular keyboard's auction on eBay. I'm glad it's in good hands now; please enjoy using it as much as you enjoyed restoring it. :)

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lhutton

26 Jun 2018, 18:10

depletedvespene wrote: I remember that particular keyboard's auction on eBay. I'm glad it's in good hands now; please enjoy using it as much as you enjoyed restoring it. :)
I was kind of surprised to have the winning bid but I'm glad I got it now. I've quite the collection of keyboards including a modern Unicomp, other Model Ms, Cherry, Alps, Das, etc and this board will definitely be in the rotation. No use in restoring it to functional state just to have it sit on a shelf IMO.

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depletedvespene

26 Jun 2018, 18:15

lhutton wrote:
depletedvespene wrote: I remember that particular keyboard's auction on eBay. I'm glad it's in good hands now; please enjoy using it as much as you enjoyed restoring it. :)
I was kind of surprised to have the winning bid but I'm glad I got it now. I've quite the collection of keyboards including a modern Unicomp, other Model Ms, Cherry, Alps, Das, etc and this board will definitely be in the rotation. No use in restoring it to functional state just to have it sit on a shelf IMO.
I was very tempted to fight a bit more for this keyboard, but I scored a Greek Model M at around the same time and my wallet was looking at me funny... so I chose to let it go, salty at the time for my decision... not anymore! :D

Fkazim

04 May 2019, 09:13

Very good restoration job and those secondary legends look very nice indeed.

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