Soviet Model F clone with capacitive buckling springs

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 19:52

I found this on Ebay and pretty much bought it instantly after finding out about the switches. It's a Soviet Model F with a capacitive PCB, F-like, if not identical, flippers and springs and a similar metal assembly.

There are only two pages on the internet featuring this keyboard, it seems. One of which is this Geekhack thread from nearly four years ago: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=70204.0

The thread hit a dead end and nothing was said about the key feel or sound, or even if it can be adapted for use on a modern computer. The keyboard still hasn't been posted, so it should take a little while to get to me. Does anyone else have experience with this keyboard? If so, how does it feel/sound? Can it be used on a modern computer? Mine doesn't have a cable. Dying to get my hands on it!
Attachments
1.jpg
Printed keycaps that yellow over time.
1.jpg (166.22 KiB) Viewed 1304 times
2.jpg
You can see the metal backplate and barrel plate tabs through the slits at the back, just like on a Model F XT.
2.jpg (109.27 KiB) Viewed 1304 times
3.jpg
Similar keycap mount and spring.
3.jpg (117.24 KiB) Viewed 1304 times
4.jpg
Connector thingy? God I hope I can get this working.
4.jpg (109.79 KiB) Viewed 1304 times

SneakyRobb

28 Feb 2019, 20:59

I found at least a sort of sound bite of the sound.

https://youtu.be/UflBWphiPoA?t=141

Sounds pretty familiar...

http://www.leningrad.su/museum/show_calc.php?n=241

From one of these computers
Small world in the link below. Seems to be people organizing a group (collective in Russia?) buy of a small board to convert such boards to modern use.

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... 6NfH30XsuA

*wait got that backwards on converter

Although if they have a usb keyboard converter.. I am intrigued that maybe someone there made their own capsense converter
Last edited by SneakyRobb on 28 Feb 2019, 21:19, edited 2 times in total.

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mattlach

28 Feb 2019, 21:02

That's pretty cool.


I know the eastern block made their own copies of pretty much everything back then, but I had never heard of these before. Excellent find!

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 21:30

SneakyRobb wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 20:59
I found at least a sort of sound bite of the sound.

https://youtu.be/UflBWphiPoA?t=141
Thanks! Wow, it does sound like a Model F too! Pretty damn metallic and high-pitched.

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 21:32

mattlach wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 21:02
That's pretty cool.


I know the eastern block made their own copies of pretty much everything back then, but I had never heard of these before. Excellent find!
Thanks! I couldn't believe my eyes when I found out what it was. I will definitely update this thread when I get it!

SneakyRobb

28 Feb 2019, 22:12

Well darn...
Seems like this firmware could be similar to soarers. Not sure if it only works on zx computers though. Quite alternate reality mode

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... nkXoLSzf4g

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 22:20

SneakyRobb wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:12
Well darn...
Seems like this firmware could be similar to soarers. Not sure if it only works on zx computers though. Quite alternate reality mode

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... nkXoLSzf4g
I wouldn't know where to start with that. I've never converted any keyboards before, and have pretty much no knowledge at all. :P

SneakyRobb

28 Feb 2019, 22:23

Wazrach wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:20
SneakyRobb wrote:
28 Feb 2019, 22:12
Well darn...
Seems like this firmware could be similar to soarers. Not sure if it only works on zx computers though. Quite alternate reality mode

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... nkXoLSzf4g
I wouldn't know where to start with that. I've never converted any keyboards before, and have pretty much no knowledge at all. :P
Hi,
I think there is a good chance for you to use an xwhatsit or dma controller with your keyboard.

I was just looking to see if there was similar converter/controller hardware or software to stuff like soarer/xwhatsit/dma that I wasn't aware of on those russian sites

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 22:28

What's a DMA controller? And thanks for checking!

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JP!

28 Feb 2019, 22:43

Glad to see this show up here. I remember seeing it on eBay and thinking it looked neat.

Wazrach

28 Feb 2019, 23:03

I found the model name. It's "МС 7004"

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mattlach

02 Mar 2019, 22:00

In true eastern bloc fashion the fit and finish seems a little off with crooked keys and whatnot, but it is still a really cool and rare find.

Even if you can't get it working on modern systems, it would definitely make for a cool collectors item.

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Sangdrax

03 Mar 2019, 02:24

You can slap a DMA or Xwhatsit in anything capacitive as long as you have a proper number of rows and columns. You just have to be willing to detach or desolder the original controller bits.

What a unique and really cool board.

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Elrick

03 Mar 2019, 10:40

mattlach wrote:
02 Mar 2019, 22:00
In true eastern bloc fashion the fit and finish seems a little off with crooked keys and whatnot, but it is still a really cool and rare find.
They functioned much like today's Unicomp, crooked placement of keys and dye-sub arrangement has been their normal operation for some time now ;) .

At least with Eastern Asian areas which have always been isolated from the Western Regime's they had to do things themselves, which actually makes them now far stronger than ever before.

Good to see such rarity rear itself on Flebay.

Wazrach

03 Mar 2019, 18:10

Sangdrax wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 02:24
You can slap a DMA or Xwhatsit in anything capacitive as long as you have a proper number of rows and columns. You just have to be willing to detach or desolder the original controller bits.

What a unique and really cool board.
Wouldn't know where to start. :P I'm dumb.

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mattlach

03 Mar 2019, 21:55

Elrick wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 10:40
mattlach wrote:
02 Mar 2019, 22:00
In true eastern bloc fashion the fit and finish seems a little off with crooked keys and whatnot, but it is still a really cool and rare find.
They functioned much like today's Unicomp, crooked placement of keys and dye-sub arrangement has been their normal operation for some time now ;) .

Lol. I have a couple of Unicomps. You are right, fit and finish is far from excellent, with large gaps, but this is usually limited to the case. The keys themselves are spot on. At least on mine.

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Elrick

04 Mar 2019, 01:55

mattlach wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 21:55
Lol. I have a couple of Unicomps. You are right, fit and finish is far from excellent, with large gaps, but this is usually limited to the case. The keys themselves are spot on. At least on mine.
Haven't bought another Unicomp for some years now, so I would be interested in buying another TODAY just to see up close if they bothered to join the Quality Club, for once in their lives.

Just trying to choose between a Classic or Ultra Classic series :? .

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zrrion

04 Mar 2019, 01:58

Unicomp's ultraclasics look terrible, I'd stick with the classic if I were you

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Elrick

04 Mar 2019, 03:27

zrrion wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 01:58
Unicomp's ultraclasics look terrible, I'd stick with the classic if I were you
Yep, put through an order for the 'Classic' in Black Case with a PS/2 connection.

What else could you pick other than this timeless design. Now have to wait for the inevitable delivery and of course when I'm ever back home to actually open the package to see it.

Haven't been back for over a month, so there is a lot of stuff waiting in the storage room for me.

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mattlach

05 Mar 2019, 17:57

Elrick wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 01:55
mattlach wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 21:55
Lol. I have a couple of Unicomps. You are right, fit and finish is far from excellent, with large gaps, but this is usually limited to the case. The keys themselves are spot on. At least on mine.
Haven't bought another Unicomp for some years now, so I would be interested in buying another TODAY just to see up close if they bothered to join the Quality Club, for once in their lives.

Just trying to choose between a Classic or Ultra Classic series :? .
Expect a less sturdy Model M, with what comes across like a prototype chassis.

The internals work well (they just weigh less) and they keys are straight and good to type on, but the external chassis is just a bit ugly, with wide gaps in seams, etc. It's cosmetic.

Wazrach

05 Mar 2019, 22:00

mattlach wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 17:57
Elrick wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 01:55
mattlach wrote:
03 Mar 2019, 21:55
Lol. I have a couple of Unicomps. You are right, fit and finish is far from excellent, with large gaps, but this is usually limited to the case. The keys themselves are spot on. At least on mine.
Haven't bought another Unicomp for some years now, so I would be interested in buying another TODAY just to see up close if they bothered to join the Quality Club, for once in their lives.

Just trying to choose between a Classic or Ultra Classic series :? .
Expect a less sturdy Model M, with what comes across like a prototype chassis.

The internals work well (they just weigh less) and they keys are straight and good to type on, but the external chassis is just a bit ugly, with wide gaps in seams, etc. It's cosmetic.
I was quite satisfied with my Ultra Classic. I think it can get away with the shoddy build quality, since the internals of an M are quite heavy anyway. I found the switches to be way nicer than the other three IBM models I tried. I think it's to do with the springy rubber mat they use, rather than IBM's thick rubber.

alordi

06 Mar 2019, 21:21

I wouldn't recommend to use it for work!
The keyborard was made for pdp11 compatible computers DVK and Elektronika-85. In real life 4 from 12 new keyboard didn't work and others work unstable. Technically it's use LK201 interface.

Wazrach

06 Mar 2019, 23:09

alordi wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 21:21
I wouldn't recommend to use it for work!
The keyborard was made for pdp11 compatible computers DVK and Elektronika-85. In real life 4 from 12 new keyboard didn't work and others work unstable. Technically it's use LK201 interface.
I'm not sure I understand you.

Wazrach

06 Mar 2019, 23:10

alordi wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 21:21
I wouldn't recommend to use it for work!
The keyborard was made for pdp11 compatible computers DVK and Elektronika-85. In real life 4 from 12 new keyboard didn't work and others work unstable. Technically it's use LK201 interface.
What do you mean by "4 from 12 new keyboard" and "unstable"? :o

alordi

07 Mar 2019, 16:12

Computer class for robotic education consisted 12 DVK-3M/4 computers with MC7004 keyboards. I took part in unboxing and installation. 4 keyboards didn't work from the box. Another keyboards worked unstable - repeat symbol 2 or 3 times on key pressed once or didn't generate symbol until key pressed with force. The method of repairing was "remove keycap and blow to the hole". After that key worked normally some time.

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PlacaFromHell

07 Mar 2019, 21:05

I'm sure it will work fine with all the DMA's stuff. Maybe is a problem of too big tolerances or cheap electronics.

Wazrach

11 Mar 2019, 20:43

So it finally came, and it's a bit disappointing, I will say. The keycaps are super wobbly and the switches feel inconsistent. They also don't sound nearly as cool as the real deal. One thing is for sure though - the assembly is very much like a Model F, with XT-like barrels with the posts sticking through the barrel frame. There's also a foam mat, just like the real thing. I may not be able to get this working easily, but I'd definitely like to try putting IBM barrels and flippers inside. I'll be able to confirm after disassembling it whether or not this will work.

What do you guys think?

Well, I'm trying to show pictures, but of course it's not letting me attach images...

SneakyRobb

11 Mar 2019, 21:14

It isn't authentic if the foam is intact!

Wazrach

11 Mar 2019, 21:15

SneakyRobb wrote:
11 Mar 2019, 21:14
It isn't authentic if the foam is intact!
You say that, but I found a dirty XT with beautiful foam!

Wazrach

11 Mar 2019, 21:16

here is a video of it in action.

https://youtu.be/4KYwTxiElZA

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