Alps Appreciation

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Polecat

31 May 2019, 04:07

xicanoink wrote:
30 May 2019, 21:44
So I lost the bid war at first and was sad due to missing out on this handsome fellow.

But later that night got a second chance offer! The bid winner must've flaked.

Thank the stars he did!

Mint condition black case KB-6251EA, metal backplate, pine white Alps so fresh and brand new that the click sounds deep and satisfying and a close challenger to a blue Alps board I'm currently cleaning. Right now it's hard to choose which one I like better.

Good problem to have right?

I know I drooled over the black FK-2001 so I'm stoked to have my own black white Alps board.

Are there any other known boards with unique case coloring that also have Alps switches?
Nice, I was watching that listing, and I might have bid if it had double shot caps and a 2u backspace. I'm getting picky in my old age. The seller must have several of these; they put up another listing as soon as the original one ended.

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Guchay

31 May 2019, 08:12

can't afford the genuine alps, but this will do. smk blue inverse cross mount, tactile.
inverse2.jpg
inverse2.jpg (116.3 KiB) Viewed 2973 times
inverse1.jpg
inverse1.jpg (61.86 KiB) Viewed 2973 times

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Chyros

31 May 2019, 13:00

Ah yes, that green one. Nice to see it made it into good hands :) .

I know of very few interestingly coloured Alps boards, to be honest. That transparent mac thing barely qualifies, I think xD . Closest I have is that red FLAGK Iori board, and the black Pioneer board with grey, mint-green and purple legends (which isn't even SKCM, just Alps-compatible).

xicanoink

31 May 2019, 16:16

Dingster wrote:
30 May 2019, 23:15
God damn what a looker. Are the caps doubleshots?
Unfortunately, they're not. Got a textured feel to them and attract grease easily. Can also feel the texture of the print, especially on the right Shift key.

xicanoink

31 May 2019, 16:17

Chyros wrote:
31 May 2019, 13:00
Ah yes, that green one. Nice to see it made it into good hands :) .

I know of very few interestingly coloured Alps boards, to be honest. That transparent mac thing barely qualifies, I think xD . Closest I have is that red FLAGK Iori board, and the black Pioneer board with grey, mint-green and purple legends (which isn't even SKCM, just Alps-compatible).
And of course that beauty, that black FK-2001 of yours. :)

User avatar
Drclick

31 May 2019, 17:51

Image
Image
Really weird keyboard, I thought they were normal SKCM blues.
But most of them have 'FD' logo on the bottom! (not SKBM, grey switchplate)
Unfortunately, I thrown out the PCB yesterday, so no more useful information :cry:

User avatar
Chyros

31 May 2019, 18:27

xicanoink wrote:
31 May 2019, 16:17
Chyros wrote:
31 May 2019, 13:00
Ah yes, that green one. Nice to see it made it into good hands :) .

I know of very few interestingly coloured Alps boards, to be honest. That transparent mac thing barely qualifies, I think xD . Closest I have is that red FLAGK Iori board, and the black Pioneer board with grey, mint-green and purple legends (which isn't even SKCM, just Alps-compatible).
And of course that beauty, that black FK-2001 of yours. :)
Ah yes, my baby <3 ^^ .

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Polecat

31 May 2019, 23:31

Drclick wrote:
31 May 2019, 17:51
Really weird keyboard, I thought they were normal SKCM blues.
But most of them have 'FD' logo on the bottom! (not SKBM, grey switchplate)
Unfortunately, I thrown out the PCB yesterday, so no more useful information :cry:
Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! Are those pre-Alps blues? Perhaps ForwarD Electronics? (...according to their website Forward Electronics was formed by Alps and Chung Hua in 1970...) Quite the find, I'd say. Could this explain why the early upper housings were unbranded?
Last edited by Polecat on 31 May 2019, 23:48, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

31 May 2019, 23:46

Drclick wrote:
31 May 2019, 17:51
Image
Image
Really weird keyboard, I thought they were normal SKCM blues.
But most of them have 'FD' logo on the bottom! (not SKBM, grey switchplate)
Unfortunately, I thrown out the PCB yesterday, so no more useful information :cry:
so to be clear, the only switches with the complicated switchplate are the ones with the "alps" logo on them? Or do the internals of these switches look exactly the same?

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Polecat

01 Jun 2019, 00:25

My latest purchase, a Laser white SKCM board. It has been used, but minimal shine and no yellowing. And more importantly no crud inside. I don't think it had ever been opened before. I wish the Lasers had serial numbers. I didn't know my other one was really a Monterey K102 until I asked about it here, and I had been using Monterey K104 keyboards just about forever.
Attachments
DSCN0425.JPG
After a 30 second wipedown with a damp cloth.
DSCN0425.JPG (818.41 KiB) Viewed 2773 times
DSCN0432.JPG
Thirty years of dust, that's it!
DSCN0432.JPG (789.22 KiB) Viewed 2773 times
DSCN0435.JPG
My blue SKCM Laser was lonely until now...
DSCN0435.JPG (825.89 KiB) Viewed 2773 times

cli

01 Jun 2019, 01:35

Congrats, your copy is even better than mine. My copy looks more like your Alps blue board.

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JP!

01 Jun 2019, 01:53

Lazers.jpg
Lazers.jpg (51.2 KiB) Viewed 2728 times

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Drclick

01 Jun 2019, 03:16

Polecat wrote:
31 May 2019, 23:31
Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! Are those pre-Alps blues? Perhaps ForwarD Electronics?
Pretty sure 'FD' means ForwarD Electronics. I don't think they are pre-Alps blues, some early blues have black switchplate, as far as I know.
//gainsborough wrote:
31 May 2019, 23:46
so to be clear, the only switches with the complicated switchplate are the ones with the "alps" logo on them? Or do the internals of these switches look exactly the same?
They look exactly the same except the bottom logo.

And I found a same case here

User avatar
Polecat

01 Jun 2019, 05:04

Drclick wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 03:16
Polecat wrote:
31 May 2019, 23:31
Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! Are those pre-Alps blues? Perhaps ForwarD Electronics?
Pretty sure 'FD' means ForwarD Electronics. I don't think they are pre-Alps blues, some early blues have black switchplate, as far as I know.
//gainsborough wrote:
31 May 2019, 23:46
so to be clear, the only switches with the complicated switchplate are the ones with the "alps" logo on them? Or do the internals of these switches look exactly the same?
They look exactly the same except the bottom logo.

And I found a same case here
Interesting reading, thanks for the link! So it's sounding more like the FD-branded lower housings may have been from an alternate factory. Again note that Forward was an entity created by Alps and Chung Hua, so it's not surprising that Alps would use their factory to make some of their switches:

http://www.fwd.com.tw/en/companythings.aspx?uid=6

I have a very early (July 1988) Northgate 102 keyboard with blue Alps switches. The mold markings on the upper housings are different than the later ones I've seen, which I documented here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17963&p=395632&hili ... te#p395632

Note that I desoldered an example with each type of marking and checked the lower housings, and all had the normal Alps logo. I have an even earlier blue Alps board (Datacomp DFK-777) from 1986 that I'm using as a switch donor, so I'll have to check the switch markings on that one.

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Polecat

01 Jun 2019, 07:17

cli wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 01:35
Congrats, your copy is even better than mine. My copy looks more like your Alps blue board.
Well thanks again for the ebay tip! It works perfectly, and feels and sounds very much like the blue Alps version. I haven't done a direct comparison yet; to do that I'll have to open up the blue Alps one to remove the sheet of closed cell foam I stuck under the PC board 25 years ago to try to quiet it down a bit. Like most of my keyboards I had put it in storage and forgotten about it until I wore the legends off my K104's caps and went digging for a replacement. I had no idea anyone besides me still valued these keyboards until I found this forum.

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Guchay

01 Jun 2019, 11:30

Nice, I had one of those laser branded k102s too, I really liked the badge but I ended up slaughtering it for it's switches. Also on the note of the current discussion, DrClick can you see if those blue alps fit on regular alps keycaps. I had a Copam 430 which is probably one of the rarest blue alps keyboards next to yours, and the switches used on it don't support any of my alps keycaps besides the ones they came with. Here is a picture, I ended up slaughtering this one too and I'm going to rebuild it with blue alps that are compatible with alps keycaps.
3tiaauR.jpg
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mcmaxmcmc

02 Jun 2019, 01:58

Guchay wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 11:30
Nice, I had one of those laser branded k102s too, I really liked the badge but I ended up slaughtering it for it's switches. Also on the note of the current discussion, DrClick can you see if those blue alps fit on regular alps keycaps. I had a Copam 430 which is probably one of the rarest blue alps keyboards next to yours, and the switches used on it don't support any of my alps keycaps besides the ones they came with. Here is a picture, I ended up slaughtering this one too and I'm going to rebuild it with blue alps that are compatible with alps keycaps.

3tiaauR.jpg
That looks like plain blue alps to me. Why does it not fit Alps caps?

Lbibass

02 Jun 2019, 04:18

mcmaxmcmc wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 01:58
Guchay wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 11:30
Nice, I had one of those laser branded k102s too, I really liked the badge but I ended up slaughtering it for it's switches. Also on the note of the current discussion, DrClick can you see if those blue alps fit on regular alps keycaps. I had a Copam 430 which is probably one of the rarest blue alps keyboards next to yours, and the switches used on it don't support any of my alps keycaps besides the ones they came with. Here is a picture, I ended up slaughtering this one too and I'm going to rebuild it with blue alps that are compatible with alps keycaps.

3tiaauR.jpg
That looks like plain blue alps to me. Why does it not fit Alps caps?
because it uses shitcony caps, which stretch stems. Same with Montery boards.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

02 Jun 2019, 05:26

Lbibass wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 04:18
because it uses shitcony caps, which stretch stems. Same with Montery boards.
That's actually fixable. Take some pliers and put some cloth/paper towel around them (so that the metal tips don't scuff up the stem) and close the "gap" with the pliers by pushing them closer together. Don't press too hard, but the fix is pretty permanent. Whatever the plastic the sliders are made out of is relatively pliable but also sturdy.

Lbibass

02 Jun 2019, 16:49

//gainsborough wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 05:26
Lbibass wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 04:18
because it uses shitcony caps, which stretch stems. Same with Montery boards.
That's actually fixable. Take some pliers and put some cloth/paper towel around them (so that the metal tips don't scuff up the stem) and close the "gap" with the pliers by pushing them closer together. Don't press too hard, but the fix is pretty permanent. Whatever the plastic the sliders are made out of is relatively pliable but also sturdy.

Yup! I know. :)

I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet.

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Polecat

16 Jun 2019, 05:42

Today I dug this Focus FK-2001 out of my storage. This is as I got it, twenty-some years ago. Surprisingly clean, not much use. The Blue Alps were not a surprise, but I didn't expect it to have a single stabilizer and guide pin on the Enter key. Previous Focus boards I've worked on have had two stabilizers there, but this one has a pop-out pin guide instead, just like a Northgate. ("ANSIfy me...") Also this batch of blue switches seems to have very uniform color, for whatever reason. Since the caps are randomly yellowed my plan is to swap the PC board and plate into my black FK-2002. Anyone see any reason this wouldn't work, or any other reason not to do it?

edit: I forgot to mention that this Focus has a silver (unpainted) plate, compared to black-painted on the later ones; another similarity to Northgate.
Attachments
DSCN0457.JPG
Top side, early FK-2001
DSCN0457.JPG (816.17 KiB) Viewed 2282 times
DSCN0462.JPG
Bottom side and labels
DSCN0462.JPG (810.21 KiB) Viewed 2282 times
DSCN0479.JPG
uniform blue color, Northgate-style guide pin on Enter key!
DSCN0479.JPG (810.09 KiB) Viewed 2282 times

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

16 Jun 2019, 05:50

Wow! This is in amazing condition! It should fit just fine into the 2002 case.

cli

16 Jun 2019, 06:50

Wow, pristine blue alps switches. They deserve a good heavy keyboard.
I recently got a Chicony with blue Alps, it's ok, but it's like a Lada with a Ferrari motor. Great switches, good electronics (N-Key rollover), shit housing.

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Polecat

18 Jun 2019, 06:51

//gainsborough wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 05:50
Wow! This is in amazing condition! It should fit just fine into the 2002 case.
Thanks for the encouragement! I started a new topic in the Gallery for this, and hopefully I won't hit any major stumbling blocks.

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=22072

I bought the black case donor new back in the '90s, and it deserves a second chance. We'll see what happens...

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Polecat

18 Jun 2019, 06:58

cli wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 06:50
Wow, pristine blue alps switches. They deserve a good heavy keyboard.
I recently got a Chicony with blue Alps, it's ok, but it's like a Lada with a Ferrari motor. Great switches, good electronics (N-Key rollover), shit housing.
So far I have blue Alps in a KB-101A, a couple early Northgates, a Monterey K102, a Leading Edge 2214, and probably some more still in storage. So the black Focus will be in good company.

I sent you a PM about my leftover Chicony case, but sounds like it's not what you're looking for. I put my 5160 (Futaba switches) in a Franklin (Multitech) case. Not a drop-in swap, but not too hard to make work.

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ppCircle

18 Jun 2019, 15:27

This is interesting

Image

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latemodel24

18 Jun 2019, 15:37

ppCircle wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 15:27
This is interesting

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Oof, that stinks, but cool find.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

18 Jun 2019, 15:47

Yoooo! That’s an amazing discovery! SKCL cream in a videowriter!? Does it appear to have been resoldered or anything? This is so neat!

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ppCircle

18 Jun 2019, 15:57

Imo pcb and solders looks like as in others videowriters. Also looks fabric.

Image

Edit: Probably browns was desoldered but anyway i "got scammed" for good price.

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//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

18 Jun 2019, 21:01

I just realized these are dampened creams and not actual SKCM creams =(

That really does suck.

edit: actually I can't really tell. What are they? I mean if they are legit SKCM creams I'd say you got a better deal than if they were browns. If they are dampened then yeah that's unfortunate.

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