IBM Model F key gets a bit stuck

User avatar
Jaki1122

01 Jan 2020, 04:00

Hello everyone, I have a small issue with my IBM Model F XT that I restored not long ago.
I did a full restoration, took it apart completely, removed all dust and rust, repainetd, new foam and put it back together again and it was perfectly fine, but then after a month or so this key started behaving abnormally. Key feels ok when pressed down but pretty bad when released. It registers ok and it doesn't get stuck but feels like the spring got hooked to the keycap or something. It sounds weird and is not as smooth as the other keys are. I tried swapping keycaps and works ok, both of them, so it seems like the issue is that switch with that keycap, but of course I want to keep the correct layout. Any suggestion? I know I could open it up and swap the switch but... That's gonna cost, so I would prefer something easier if possible. If not, I'll disassemble it again.
Thanks in advance!
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JBert

01 Jan 2020, 11:59

I posted a few steps how to hold the keyboard when pressing keycaps on.

I have had similar keys like yours where a key would make an unsatisfying "ploink" sound and where it would feel weird. Just removing the keycap and putting it back on in a specific way solved the issue.

jacethesaltsculptor

01 Jan 2020, 13:49

This sounds almost exactly like the problem JBert is having. I've had it before on my F122, not that I've disassembled further than keycaps, but I have to put them on perfectly, or I get sproings.

User avatar
Jaki1122

01 Jan 2020, 20:47

JBert wrote:
01 Jan 2020, 11:59
I posted a few steps how to hold the keyboard when pressing keycaps on.

I have had similar keys like yours where a key would make an unsatisfying "ploink" sound and where it would feel weird. Just removing the keycap and putting it back on in a specific way solved the issue.
Tried that but still not working properly, better but not as expected. After trying a few times and checking another keycap there, I got still the weird feeling. Maybe the spring is off place or something? It seems fine.
Last edited by Jaki1122 on 01 Jan 2020, 21:07, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jaki1122

01 Jan 2020, 21:00

Here the photos in high resolution of the switch.
The faulty one is the corresponding to the 2 on the numpad, that is, the one in the middle of the top three.
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User avatar
Jaki1122

02 Jan 2020, 01:45

Ok, I tried to push the spring and the switch broke in 2 parts. I think this has been my fault. This stinks. Found a local seller that sells switches from a model F, I'll get one an... that's it. I just want to forget this happened. Stupid switch
24 euros is this going to cost me.
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JBert

02 Jan 2020, 12:51

Ouch!

Any idea what happened there? Might the flipper have been fractured before or was the flipper stuck in some way that you broke it when you pressed rather hard?

I've never seen a flipper break like that...

User avatar
Jaki1122

02 Jan 2020, 14:59

Well the key was just fine when I put the keyboard together again, and over time it started sounding and feeling weird. I don't know why that happened. However, i taught that maybe the spring was not properly attached to the flipper so I pushed it down a little with the aid of a toothpick and that's the moment it broke.
So yeah, not sure why the problem came in the first place, but I'm sure it has been my action what caused it to break. I'll promise, I'll never make this mistake ever again.

User avatar
Jaki1122

02 Jan 2020, 15:01

Also, the local seller is not responding to me for some reason. Any suggestions to get a flipper? An original one from another F XT if possible. I'm thinking on getting one of those Keychains and get the flipper from there..

Fkazim

02 Jan 2020, 15:57

I have had Model F flippers break exactly like that. it is mostly on UK made Model F's in my experience. Yes it is an annoying mistake to make. Mine broke when I wanted to swap the springs out as some keys were feeling soft as if something had been pressing on the keys for years. But did not want to take the keyboard apart... as you know the model F's aren't exactly the easiest to take apart.

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

02 Jan 2020, 17:55

Fkazim wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:57

as you know the model F's aren't exactly the easiest to take apart.
For what it's worth, the XT is by far the easiest to take apart and put back together. Back in the day I refurbished several of them by hand without resorting to clamps.

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

02 Jan 2020, 20:25

fohat wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 17:55
Fkazim wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:57

as you know the model F's aren't exactly the easiest to take apart.
For what it's worth, the XT is by far the easiest to take apart and put back together. Back in the day I refurbished several of them by hand without resorting to clamps.
I previously thought that the AT and XT would be the same to take apart and put back together.

Then I recently took apart the AT. Getting that plastic case apart... felt like ripping a lobster in half. The entire time trying to pry it apart it felt like it would break!

Jaki1122 wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:01
Also, the local seller is not responding to me for some reason. Any suggestions to get a flipper? An original one from another F XT if possible. I'm thinking on getting one of those Keychains and get the flipper from there..
I can send you a few XT flippers. They may take many days to get to you though. Shot me a message.

User avatar
Jaki1122

03 Jan 2020, 18:55

SneakyRobb wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:25
fohat wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 17:55
Fkazim wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:57

as you know the model F's aren't exactly the easiest to take apart.
For what it's worth, the XT is by far the easiest to take apart and put back together. Back in the day I refurbished several of them by hand without resorting to clamps.
I previously thought that the AT and XT would be the same to take apart and put back together.

Then I recently took apart the AT. Getting that plastic case apart... felt like ripping a lobster in half. The entire time trying to pry it apart it felt like it would break!

Jaki1122 wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:01
Also, the local seller is not responding to me for some reason. Any suggestions to get a flipper? An original one from another F XT if possible. I'm thinking on getting one of those Keychains and get the flipper from there..
I can send you a few XT flippers. They may take many days to get to you though. Shot me a message.
If you could send me a flipper, it would be awesome. Thank you very much! I'll PM you

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

03 Jan 2020, 23:36

...
Last edited by fohat on 03 Jan 2020, 23:38, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

03 Jan 2020, 23:37

fohat wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 23:36
SneakyRobb wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:25

Getting that plastic case apart... felt like ripping a lobster in half. The entire time trying to pry it apart it felt and sounded like it would break!
Fixed that for you.

anmq91

04 Jan 2020, 23:52

SneakyRobb wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:25
fohat wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 17:55
Fkazim wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:57

as you know the model F's aren't exactly the easiest to take apart.
For what it's worth, the XT is by far the easiest to take apart and put back together. Back in the day I refurbished several of them by hand without resorting to clamps.
I previously thought that the AT and XT would be the same to take apart and put back together.

Then I recently took apart the AT. Getting that plastic case apart... felt like ripping a lobster in half. The entire time trying to pry it apart it felt like it would break!

Jaki1122 wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 15:01
Also, the local seller is not responding to me for some reason. Any suggestions to get a flipper? An original one from another F XT if possible. I'm thinking on getting one of those Keychains and get the flipper from there..
I can send you a few XT flippers. They may take many days to get to you though. Shot me a message.
Trick to getting the AT case apart easily is to get the top of the case clear of the legs and then wiggle it from side to side as you would when trying to remove a ribbon cable from a pcb connector. One single crack and the case is open with no breaks! XD

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

05 Jan 2020, 01:27

fohat wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 23:37
fohat wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 23:36
SneakyRobb wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:25

Getting that plastic case apart... felt like ripping a lobster in half. The entire time trying to pry it apart it felt and sounded like it would break!
Fixed that for you.
Absolutely fair statement. The sound was extremely creaky and nerve wracking, It really feels wrong to open it, but it works..!
anmq91 wrote:
04 Jan 2020, 23:52
Trick to getting the AT case apart easily is to get the top of the case clear of the legs and then wiggle it from side to side as you would when trying to remove a ribbon cable from a pcb connector. One single crack and the case is open with no breaks! XD
Yes I realized that later. It just was super shocking it was so different from the easy, aside from minor spacebar stuff, of the XT.
Jaki1122 wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 18:55
If you could send me a flipper, it would be awesome. Thank you very much! I'll PM you
Yeah right on, I sent you a loose alps Plate spring and SKCM white as well for no particular reason. Enjoy.

User avatar
Jaki1122

11 Jan 2020, 06:53

Yesterday I received the flippers thanks to SneakyRobb. I'll tell you when I open and fix the keyboard.
Thanks Robb!

User avatar
Jaki1122

20 Jan 2020, 01:43

Today finally I got a moment of pace and excitement to change my broken flipper on the Model F. It's working beautifully now, all keys feel and sound as they should, just awesome. Thanks for the help again Mr, SneakyRobb for sending those spare switches for the F and the other "fun" switches you included. Many many thanks.

I can't leve this without mentioning that once I had mounted the keyboard and tested everything, when I came back to do some work on the computer, the spacebar decided stop functioning. How anoying can it get to open it up again? Thankfully it wasn't needed as just adding some preassure on the back panel and forcing the metal clamps a bit did the trick. Anyway, its all nice and working like a charm now! Thanks you all for the help and again to Robb for everything!
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User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

21 Jan 2020, 17:49

Jaki1122 wrote:
20 Jan 2020, 01:43
Today finally I got a moment of pace and excitement to change my broken flipper on the Model F. It's working beautifully now, all keys feel and sound as they should, just awesome. Thanks for the help again Mr, SneakyRobb for sending those spare switches for the F and the other "fun" switches you included. Many many thanks.

I can't leve this without mentioning that once I had mounted the keyboard and tested everything, when I came back to do some work on the computer, the spacebar decided stop functioning. How anoying can it get to open it up again? Thankfully it wasn't needed as just adding some preassure on the back panel and forcing the metal clamps a bit did the trick. Anyway, its all nice and working like a charm now! Thanks you all for the help and again to Robb for everything!
Hey right on, glad I could help. Enjoy typing.

Also reinstalling the XT style spacebar is the height of mildly-annoying keyboard issues to have

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