F62+F77 orders now open! New Kishsaver+Industrial Model F Keyboards

elecsys

05 Jan 2019, 20:04

Hi Ellipse,
I'm already on order for two of your reproduction Model F keyboards.
Maybe it's a bit too early to ask that question, but do you have any plans for the future with regards to capacative buckling springs? Anything beyond these reproduction runs for the F62 & F77, like, for example, a standard full-sized or an SSK-equivalent equipped with Capacitive Buckling Springs?
It seems like such a shame to loose the Model F to history again. And while the F62 & F77 are nice collectors items, their layout isn't the most appealing to me.
Or is this whole thing just too unprofitable to keep going long term or for a second project?

Ellipse

05 Jan 2019, 21:58

Great elecsys, glad you are part of the project! As noted earlier the project's goal is to reproduce the extremely hard to find 60% and 75% style Model F keyboards - no other keyboards. All of the keys of the large Model F keyboards are available through function layers that are fully customizable with the open source GUI software.

There is some small demand for larger keyboards but they are mostly available already in the form of the F122, PC XT/AT, Model M, and F107 keyboards, almost all of which go for well below production cost of a new Model F.

The project will run for the current and one more round (the final round) and then production shuts down. I will not be paying for mold storage/maintenance, warehousing storage, and significant inventory. That is why I strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in using the Model F order one while they still can.

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darkcruix

08 Jan 2019, 15:36

After the re-design of DT, I got the feeling I need to get my favorite thread on top of the list ;)

btw: I showed-off a F107 at the 35C3 29th of December last year in Leipzig / Germany and talked about the New Model F project there. Had some good discussions - there were about 100 people at the Mechanical Keyboard Meetup. Those who made photos, you may want to share.

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kekstee

08 Jan 2019, 23:43

Haha, that was more of a phone potato for Telegram, but I was glad someone made the effort to bring something like the F107.
The little meetup was dominated by fully/semi custom split boards and a couple UHKBs. I couldn't be bothered to bring anything but a lame excuse of a 60% keyboard either.

Btw it's great this project seems to be getting somewhere. It's close to the three year mark and I'm still looking forward to receive something nice eventually :P

Ellipse

18 Jan 2019, 04:37

Given the failures of the spring attacher machine repair attempts last year, this month the factory started over on the spring attacher and built a machine with a new design. From the video tests the factory showed me of the assembled springs, there is a near-100% success rate of the attacher!

The new design eliminates the horizontal movement of the posts holding the springs and instead just moves along one axis.

I think the spring sound video I sent them helped highlight the importance of an attachment that matches the spring-nub spacing and spring angle specifications. They will be making some more of these attacher machines in March after their break.
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darkcruix

18 Jan 2019, 17:51

Wonderful news! 2019 will be the year !!!!

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Myoth

18 Jan 2019, 18:46

so was 2017 and 2018 :lol:

segacontroller

18 Jan 2019, 22:30

Myoth wrote:
18 Jan 2019, 18:46
so was 2017 and 2018 :lol:
So was 2016 and 2015. Granted, Ellipse has been very transparent with delays.... I thought my anxiety on keyboards was done after 7bit's R5/R6 fiasco :lol: :P :lol:

http://blog.roastpotatoes.co/news/2015/ ... l-project/

"Are you still currently on track for the December ish date?"

"Yes - ..."

Ellipse

18 Jan 2019, 23:13

Is anyone interested in early delivery of unprinted keys? If so please message me. I am getting some pearl/pebble key sets for dye sub testing express mailed to me and am also receiving some of the black and gray production key sets.

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Hypersphere

18 Jan 2019, 23:28

I have no need at present for early delivery of unprinted keys. I am just waiting for the new F62/F77 keyboards to arrive.

That spring attacher machine is attractive. I'd like one to display on my mantle, but I'm sure I cannot afford it.

So, the workers are taking off for Chinese New Year? Where's the dedication? ;)

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FXT
XT

19 Jan 2019, 05:32

Would I be able to get early delivery if I order some unprinted keys now? I'd be interested in indy blue and dark grey keys.

Ellipse

19 Jan 2019, 05:38

Yes that is ok, they should arrive to me in about 2 weeks if the factory mails it before they go on break.

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darkcruix

19 Jan 2019, 18:53

Ellipse wrote:
19 Jan 2019, 05:38
Yes that is ok, they should arrive to me in about 2 weeks if the factory mails it before they go on break.
All I am interested right now are photos and to make me super excited ... a video :)

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FXT
XT

19 Jan 2019, 18:53

Awesome, thanks! Just placed an order for the keycaps.

Ellipse

26 Jan 2019, 00:49

The factory has shipped the requested number of sets of keys and other parts before their break.

They also built a total of 3 spring attachers of the new design from the photo posted 1/17 (each machine does 3 springs at a time) and plan on building more machines after returning to work to reduce assembly time. They sent samples for my approval from each of the 3 currently-built machines.

Currently I can ship a small number of barrels, assembled flippers/springs, and F122 / F107 inner foam in case anyone needs it. And next month I can start shipping unprinted key sets.

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darkcruix

26 Jan 2019, 10:33

Ellipse wrote:
26 Jan 2019, 00:49
The factory has shipped the requested number of sets of keys and other parts before their break.

They also built a total of 3 spring attachers of the new design from the photo posted 1/17 (each machine does 3 springs at a time) and plan on building more machines after returning to work to reduce assembly time. They sent samples for my approval from each of the 3 currently-built machines.

Currently I can ship a small number of barrels, assembled flippers/springs, and F122 / F107 inner foam in case anyone needs it. And next month I can start shipping unprinted key sets.
Would you mind posting some photos of the keys etc?

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gnmar2723

28 Jan 2019, 21:09

Hey Ellipse,
I just sent you a message concerning my order.

Ellipse

30 Jan 2019, 03:13

I just posted my monthly blog update - including some interesting background reading on the behind the scenes challenges of small scale manufacturing including a discussion around delays, failed suppliers, and even some fraudsters! https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/blog/

Not to scare anyone - just a reminder that all issues discussed in the blog were successfully resolved and do not impact the delivery of the project.

(I responded to your message gnmar. )

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darkcruix

04 Feb 2019, 02:56

Great blog entry - what a wild ride so far. As excited I am on the keyboards, I am also looking forward to the book.

Ellipse

04 Feb 2019, 02:59

The shipment of the keys and other parts is still in transit - I guess they had higher than usual package volume given it's around the time of the new year holiday. Hopefully it arrives this week. The holiday break will be over in about 2-3 weeks from now.

Ellipse

06 Feb 2019, 01:42

As an update on the key dye sublimation, still waiting on a few more parts for the jig. The remaining CNC milling will take at least 3-4 more weeks from now (the major jig parts are all made/being made in the USA).

For the sublimation ink I will be sublimating samples to production keys after the jig is assembled. Will post photos of course.

One of the owners of the sublimation print shop I've been talking with told me he worked on the IBM Selectric key legend application (non-sublimated) in the early 1980s! He said the process involved a special hard dry ink printed to hard plastic sheets and then transferred to the keys.

Ellipse

08 Feb 2019, 00:42

The very first key sets ship tomorrow! Industrial SSK blue and dark gray. I can ship more keys-only orders if you wanted your set early (the keyboards will not ship early).
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They forgot to mail enough space bar wire stabilizers so I can only send 3 more sets for the time being if you want the wire stabilizer (I can also send out sets without the stabilizer).

Below is the list of expected key set contents. The installed printed key sets will get the full 104 keys, plus an extra printed 1U 0 Ins key for the F77 right side block.
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A mountain of keys!
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FXT
XT

08 Feb 2019, 01:08

Just got my tracking info. Can't wait to get an idea of how Indy blue/dark grey will look on my F107 and F122.

Ellipse

08 Feb 2019, 01:17

Please do post some photos!

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darkcruix

08 Feb 2019, 12:20

The Mopar Blue keys are too beautiful. So glad I ordered 3 full sets.
Looking forward to see the printed ones attached to a brand new Model F :)

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FXT
XT

11 Feb 2019, 23:10

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Just got my blank dark grey and indy blue keys. Put them on the F122 as it's the only buckling spring board I have at school and I think it looks pretty decent. I'm really curious to see how the printed versions come out, and how they'll look on my powdercoated F107. Only issue I ran into is that the stabilizer wire on the reproduction keys is too thick to use with the stabilizers on the F122 so I'll be using the regular spacebar until I can come up with a good fix.
Edit: Carefully bending the tabs on the new spacebar to accept the thinner F122 stabilizer worked.

Ellipse

11 Feb 2019, 23:37

Great FXT! Yes the spacebar for the project is Model M style for maximum compatibility. Someone used to sell spacebar adapter stabilizer wires to allow Model M spacebars on certain Model F keyboards if I recall correctly. Or you can alternatively switch the original spacebar tabs with the new ones on the project site.

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Hypersphere

12 Feb 2019, 00:16

@Ellipse: I like the look of those blue caps. Is there still time to order a full set of blue alphanumeric keys with legends along with blank black spacebar and modifiers? Could they be ordered in that way, or would I need to buy full sets and then mix them as needed or perhaps buy one full set along with individual keys? Which way is more cost-effective?

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wcass

12 Feb 2019, 01:28

I suppose i should order parts to make more of these ...

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FXT
XT

12 Feb 2019, 01:30

Ellipse wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 23:37
Great FXT! Yes the spacebar for the project is Model M style for maximum compatibility. Someone used to sell spacebar adapter stabilizer wires to allow Model M spacebars on certain Model F keyboards if I recall correctly. Or you can alternatively switch the original spacebar tabs with the new ones on the project site.
Gently bending the stabilizer tabs on the new spacebar seems to work pretty well and saves me the headache of taking the entire keyboard apart. Can't wait for the printed dark grey and indy blue caps.

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