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

troglotype

12 Jan 2020, 22:02

Wazrach wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 15:44
could we please have another sound test? :D
*click*, *click*, *twannnnng*

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depletedvespene

12 Jan 2020, 22:24

troglotype wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 22:02
Wazrach wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 15:44
could we please have another sound test? :D
*click*, *click*, *twannnnng*
Followed by "Gaaaah!!! Another one of those loud things?!?!" :mrgreen:


(little do they know about the solenoidS)

troglotype

13 Jan 2020, 11:28

depletedvespene wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 22:24
(little do they know about the solenoidS)
I agree, systematic desensitization is the answer :D

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consolation

14 Jan 2020, 02:48

Just FYI, you can get heat shrink with different coating on the outside. There's even some with PTFE that forms a hard, slippery, surface. Also, different thickness, if you want more "meat" around the wire. Electrical tape gets brittle with time and the adhesive isn't meant to be permanent. The whole point of the tape is that it comes on and off easily, so you can temporarily insulated something, while working on it - before applying your permanent solution. If the tape is left in the keyboards for months, it will turn into plastic bits and a patch of dried dust/adhesive mix.

Sorry to be that guy... But, one of the first things that gets drummed into you when you get your electrical cert. is to never leave "leeky" tape behind when you finish. Now, duct tape, that's another story - all purpose construction material of the gods.

Ellipse

14 Jan 2020, 02:50

Some more new variations from last week's batch:

As an update I am not adding any tape on the space bar any longer - only a few keyboards had the tape. I have found that slightly adjusting the bend of the space bar has proven to be more effective, no other parts needed. (my description of the bending results was posted a week or so ago)
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Scarpia

14 Jan 2020, 07:53

Good to hear about the no-tape solution Ellipse!

“Like most of life’s problems, this one can be solved with bending!”

daijoubu

14 Jan 2020, 17:16

Ellipse, is it possible to convert the long space bar to the short space bar (as those used in 104 key layout unicomp keyboards)? I know there is an extra hole on the right side of the keyboard, does it have a capacitive sensor underneath it?

If yes, what do I need to get?
- 1 extra barrel?
- 1 short spacebar from unicomp?
- 1 extra flipper (provided in your package)
- 1 extra 1.25u keycap?

Thanks!

Craweth

14 Jan 2020, 17:33

Any news on the dye sub?

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Mattr567

16 Jan 2020, 02:48

Got mine and typing on it! :D

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Still missing some caps but here's how it looks with my OG Model M typesetting set:

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Typing test: https://youtu.be/ou9f-TOOYLg

Here is the correct orientation for the solenoid driver. The Model F instructions got me thinking it was the other way and I ended up frying my solenoid driver :cry: So I'll need a new one of those. Anyone got an extra? Also, I had a spacebar and O key coming from a great guy who was giving me them for free. Well someone stole the package before he could drop it off today :(

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Here is the finish. It doesn't seem as aligned and textured as the originals, but I don't mind it's not exact too much. However, there is a small blemish that's annoying and won't come off.

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Khers

16 Jan 2020, 09:16

I received mine yesterday and have been typing on it since, and have some initial impressions I thought I might share.

First of all, I almost thought this day would never end. I jumped aboard on the very first day of this project and it's thus been almost four years since I purchased mine at the end of January 2016. I still remember the initial estimate; the early bird round would close "soon" and the first keyboards would be delivered before Christmas 2016. In hindsight that was a particularly optimistic estimate. :D

Onto the initial impressions. It started well, the box is nice and sturdy. While it had obviously been treated as well as any transatlantic parcel, I was in no way worried about my keyboard. Perhaps I should've been, however. Because when I opened the box and the styrofoam the keyboard sits in, I saw that the internal structure of the styrofoam was broken off, probably by the large force exerted on it by the heavy keyboard. The keyboard was fine, however, with the exception of a few keycaps that had come loose.

When I tried the keyboard out for the first time, I realised I haven't used a clicky switch in ages. Coming from having used Topre and MX Blacks exclusively for the better part of three years, the noise level was a bit of a chock. We all knew the F was a loud switch however, the important bit, for me anyway, is the keyfeel. That's the reason I fell in love with the switch shortly atfer obraining my one and only F (I hate almost every layout the F was ever produced in with a passion and the Kishsaver is unobtainium). And, I must say that Ellipse's done a very good job. While it's slightly different in feel to my Bigfoot - this being slightly crisper in feeling and slightly lighter - if someone handed me this and told me it was an OG IBM F, I would've believed them. Well done, Ellipse.

As for the keycaps, I went with black blanks and they are very black and very blank. Quality wise, I can't fault them. They've a nice texture to them, very reminiscent of IBM's. Having used Topre and Cherry/GMK for a bit, the IBM-profile takes a little getting used to, but that's hardly the keycaps' fault.

Now there are a couple of things I don't particularly fancy about the keyboard. The spacebar stabiliser is not pleasant. I reseated the spacebar and it made it slightly better, at least consistent across the bar, initially it would bind ever so slightly when pressed on the far right, that's fortunately gone now. Left is the horrible noise it makes. It squeeks and rattles. While I've heard stabilisers rattle in the past, the squeek is new to me. Quite audible and distracting. I think I should be able to take care of it, however, using some heatshrink and lube. The other stabilised keys aren't great either. They're slightly bindy when pressed on the switch-side of the keycap. I think they're just asking for some breaking in and a little dry lube.

The colour of my off-white unit wasn't quite what I was expecting either. I would've thought it would be the standard IBM off-white/beige, but it is quite a bit more beige than that. I love the texture, however, and the paintjob on my unit is difficult to fault. There is one visual imperfection, however, but that has nothing to do with the paint per se. On the right hand side of the pen rail on my F62 there is what looks like slight level change in the case, see below, seemingly caused by the tooling used for the cast. I don't know if this imperfection is visible on all Classic F62, or if many different moulds were in use during the production.

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All in all, this turned out in some ways better than I had hoped, while it's flawed in some others. Fortunately, I think I can mitigate most of the issues I have with my keyboard with some TLC. To me, the keyfeel is the most important part of the equation and that's very nice indeed.

Not very many photos, Sweden is a dark place this time of year.
Last edited by Khers on 16 Jan 2020, 12:25, edited 2 times in total.

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Elrick

16 Jan 2020, 09:19

Mattr567 wrote:
16 Jan 2020, 02:48
Here is the finish. It doesn't seem as aligned and textured as the originals, but I don't mind it's not exact too much. However, there is a small blemish that's annoying and won't come off.

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Does the paint flake away from the surface?

Maybe stick some sort of sticker over that area so as to cover it up (my lame suggestion). That is what I'll do so as to not send it back from my address (if I've received that same mess) it would cost a lot more than receiving it.

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wobbled

16 Jan 2020, 10:32

Maybe ellipse can offer a new case for you and have yours refinished for someone else

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Cubelia

16 Jan 2020, 11:13

kmnov2017 wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 11:34
Cubelia wrote:
08 Jan 2020, 05:21
It's happening! My tracking number shows the package finally arrived in Taoyuan International Airport(I live in Taiwan) and hopefully I can get the package before the weekend. Will write a review in Chinese and English along with pics.
Thank you Ellipse and everyone that made this possible!
And a video if possible....
Sorry I'm not a video guy, only crude sound test video will be uploaded. But I guarantee there will be a good amount of pics in my review.

The package arrived at Tuesday which just missed my trip(not really a "trip" because Taiwan is a small place) back to hometown from the last weekend,dang. I will go back again to retrieve the package at Friday. Never been this excited before!

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Mattr567

16 Jan 2020, 21:25

Elrick wrote:
16 Jan 2020, 09:19
Does the paint flake away from the surface?

Maybe stick some sort of sticker over that area so as to cover it up (my lame suggestion). That is what I'll do so as to not send it back from my address (if I've received that same mess) it would cost a lot more than receiving it.
No it doesn't, just seems to be some mark on it.
wobbled wrote:
16 Jan 2020, 10:32
Maybe ellipse can offer a new case for you and have yours refinished for someone else
Whatever is apporiate, I guess. But programming-wise mine was factory loaded with a voltage threshold of 622 so nothing worked ofc, and the keypad area was disabled as if it was loaded with F62 software :|

Also, I can't get mute/volume keys to work on it. I set the programming and it saves it and everything, but it just doesn't work on my system. I had it working on F for a second, but now nothing no matter what key I set. Every other key and Fn works perfectly fine. I used the same shortcuts on my XD60 60% on this computer so I don't think it's my PC's fault...

EDIT: You have to use Media volume up/down/mute not the regular volume up/down/mute in the xwhatsit software. This is for Windows 10 FYI.

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Mattr567

16 Jan 2020, 21:44

Some more pics with the typesetting keyset

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Ellipse

16 Jan 2020, 23:23

Thanks for the reviews and photos Mattr567 and Khers. Nice keyset Mattr567! What kind of pencil is on top?

I have posted a blog update summarizing the current status here, including the dye sub. https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/blog/

I had to replace some more of the components of the dye sub setup and this week I've been testing different settings to optimize the results. The current results are still not as good as my prior tests from last year.

Some notes:
The powdercoating on the cases is not the same as modern-day powdercoating - it is 1980s style powdercoating, warts and all. It took months to get the powdercoating to resemble the 1980s blotchy style. The original cases will not have a perfect, blemish-free finish. The prototypes back in 2015 were finished in a tough, modern powdercoating but it did not look like the original finish, so I decided back then to reject it and aim for as close as possible to the original, less durable finish. Like the originals, the paint is a thin, textured, matte finish that does chip and flake.

If you prefer a tougher coat maybe some kind of clear coat or re-painting could be done. Please do post the results if anyone does this.

Khers-regarding the space bar - there is an art to getting it to sound good - I am slowly getting better as more keyboards are QC'd (yours was one of the earliest). Regarding squeaking and rattling, the solution is to remove and re-seat, or maybe replace the spring with another one and slightly adjust the bend of the space bar so that it is closer to the back of the metal space bar tabs. I hope to make a video on the specifics of space bar modding for those who are particular about the sound (as I am). Since your keyboard, I have gotten a little better at detecting and fixing space bar issues.

The circled line is present on all the cases; it has something to do with the mold. I pointed this out to them a few years ago. The factory was able to minimize it but not remove it entirely.

Confirmed that for those not ordering installed keys, the voltage threshold is set too high so as not to activate keys if you accidentally plug in the keyboard before installing all keys (the factory default layouts are pre-loaded for all keyboards). It's easy to adjust in the xwhatsit GUI.

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Mattr567

17 Jan 2020, 00:28

Thanks for the clarification Ellipse, makes sense and the blemish isn't a big deal to me, but one thing I would like to add besides that the pencil is a Rotring 600:

All this important product information is coming out as people like me are the first ones receiving the finished units. This information should have been laid out and available before any boards started to ship to customers.

If you had done that, I would not have destroyed my solenoid driver PCB, as how it's connected on regular xwhatsits for original Model F conversions leads you to believe it should be plugged in the opposite way it needs to be on our boards. Instead, I was a guinea pig for future owners who want to utilize the header and literally got burned as the driver PCB got so hot so quickly it would have burned me if I touched it.

It would be great if you have a solenoid driver pcb to replace my dead one as an act of goodwill. The keyboard's user manual does not talk about the header function at all or the correct orientation for it

Thank you.

Ellipse

17 Jan 2020, 00:59

Mattr, my apologies that your solenoid driver was improperly installed. Did the seller provide instructions as to the proper connection? If I recall correctly, the square pad indicates VCC and that wire should go to the VCC square pin on the solenoid driver itself.

Not sure if you bought it from orihalcon directly but when I bought two for my beamsprings, orihalcon gave me detailed instructions to ensure proper connection and warned me that not checking the VCC pin before plugging it in would destroy the driver.

Maybe you have some recourse from the seller of your solenoid driver if these instructions were not provided.

And if you still need a space bar please message me (I have extras!).

Also I am around on the forums a lot and if anyone has any questions feel free to post or ask me before risking anything. One buyer was unfamiliar with opening up the Model F and I recently made and posted a video on how to do so. Another had trouble with a non-clicking key and referred to another video I uploaded to help with proper key installation. I hope to post more videos going forward.

Below is a photo from 2015 that orihalcon sends to the solenoid driver buyers - I hope he does not mind me reposting it.
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Mattr567

17 Jan 2020, 01:23

Ellipse wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 00:59
-snip-
I did buy it from orihalcon 2 years ago when I used it with an Alps project. I do not remember the square pad. Already PM'd him about buying another but he has not gotten back to me yet.

This is the image I used, had it correct on the driver PCB side but the controller side was the flipped side.

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Since the 3 filled pins are shown on top with the controller on the top side, and because the controller in my F77 was folded over showing the bottom side, I thought this was the correct orientation. You can see where my thought process was.

And yes I do still need a spacebar. Right now I'm using a 1.5U key in place of it to type this message right now.

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0100010

17 Jan 2020, 04:38

My F62 has the same mold line, inside and out. Contemplating sandblasting it, filling it, sanding it smooth and re-powder coating; but no rush. Debating replacing the foam as well, to match whats in my F107. Or, I could just leave it as for a few years until a refurb...

trojankid5

17 Jan 2020, 05:42

Thinking about picking up a f62, but was wondering why you don't produce the f107

Ellipse

17 Jan 2020, 06:10

Trojankid5 - as noted a while back, the project's goal was to bring back production of keyboards that were nearly impossible to find (the F62 and F77 Model F keyboards). The larger buckling spring keyboards like the PC AT and 101 key Model M are relatively plentiful on eBay, etc. and can be found for far below the cost of a new Model F.

Glad you are considering an F62; all the new Model F's are factory programmed with layers to resemble the HHKB (layer diagram was posted a month or so ago). If you are thinking about having a full number pad, please check out the F77 product pages where there are now 6 number pad/right side block options available. https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/product ... -keyboard/

kmnov2017

17 Jan 2020, 10:19

Mattr567 wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 01:23
Ellipse wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 00:59
-snip-
Since the 3 filled pins are shown on top with the controller on the top side, and because the controller in my F77 was folded over showing the bottom side, I thought this was the correct orientation. You can see where my thought process was.
You cant use that assumption since the F62/F77 ship with a redesigned controller and the pin-outs need to be properly determined before plugging anything in...

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tentator

17 Jan 2020, 11:08

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Such a great board Ellipse! A real Jewel!
So far the only negative thing seems the spacebar, but will study first what can be done and report back then.
I plan a videoreview and meetup anyway.

Thanks!

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wobbled

17 Jan 2020, 13:14

I'm really not happy with the shipping charges.

A courier should've been used for this as their customs charges are always more reasonable.
I've just been charged £85 custom fees.

I hope you can refund at least some of this ellipse. The single digit serial I bought was expensive and was supposed to offer greater speed and priority of shipping, not end up costing me yet another small fortune.

I've bought keyboards valued at 1k before and those custom fees were much lower than this.

dad

17 Jan 2020, 13:46

Ellipse wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 06:10
The larger buckling spring keyboards like the PC AT and 101 key Model M are relatively plentiful on eBay, etc. and can be found for far below the cost of a new Model F.
I've just received the Model F PC AT keyboard(USB with soarers controller), ordered it on ebay for $300 about a month ago(maybe could find a bit lower price, like $250). I guess waiting for my F77 takes about one year, will be happy to get it in 2020, ordered at the end of 2019. Will try to get used to smaller model F layout using this AT 84 key during this long wait period(actually not so long, I see some people here have waited for 3-4 years).

BTW how new F77 is compared to these old/used Model F - new springs sound/feel better or it's hard to notice any improvement?
Last edited by dad on 17 Jan 2020, 19:18, edited 1 time in total.

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tentator

17 Jan 2020, 14:16

yes the new springs do make a difference when comparing my other vintage model Fs: sound and feel is just superb.. think about it like just better and more consistent..

BTW I was trying to achieve SPACE-FN with Xwhatsit, is this something that is possible from firmware point of view, has anybody done it already? I know that even if I swap the controller with a common sense also DMA still was not able to support TAPs on that as well so would be a bit of a bummer as well..

let me know, thanks!
tent:wq

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Twst

17 Jan 2020, 14:36

Some of you people is being very unreasonable..

One can't really expect Ellipse to refund your VAT and the labor expenses for the shipping courier? Every country is different and when importing a product you expect to pay the expenses and duty.

And frying electronics? That can't really be anyone else fault than the one hooking it up.

It puzzles me how many in here(hardware minded crowd) who ordered early, and still did not have had the time to read up and understanding the xwhatsit controller, the Model F and buckling spring in general.
One should know what to expect when ordering a Model F, the "faults" and "problems" elevated is really nothing that haven't been said before for the original Model F.
Sorry for being an old fart.

kmnov2017

17 Jan 2020, 14:42

wobbled wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 13:14
I'm really not happy with the shipping charges.

A courier should've been used for this as their customs charges are always more reasonable.
I've just been charged £85 custom fees.

I hope you can refund at least some of this ellipse. The single digit serial I bought was expensive and was supposed to offer greater speed and priority of shipping, not end up costing me yet another small fortune.

I've bought keyboards valued at 1k before and those custom fees were much lower than this.
VAT in most of EU countries is 20-22% (and goes up to 27% for Hungary). So 20% of USD 380 + single digit fees + USD 50 shipping (Yes customs is charged on the the total value including shipping) comes to around 80 GBP. So it seems about right to me. This is the only reason why I am not tempted to buy just as of yet as shipping and customs pushes up the value of this keyboard to the 500+ euro mark.

Private sellers are known to under-declare the value of the product. A registered company like that of Ellipse cannot be expected to under declare the value.

So your request for Ellipse to refund a legally due fee which you should have been aware of when you ordered a product, to put it very politely, is laughable. Be fair!
Last edited by kmnov2017 on 17 Jan 2020, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

kmnov2017

17 Jan 2020, 14:52

Twst wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 14:36
Some of you people is being very unreasonable..

One can't really expect Ellipse to refund your VAT and the labor expenses for the shipping courier? Every country is different and when importing a product you expect to pay the expenses and duty.

And frying electronics? That can't really be anyone else fault than the one hooking it up.

It puzzles me how many in here(hardware minded crowd) who ordered early, and still did not have had the time to read up and understanding the xwhatsit controller, the Model F and buckling spring in general.
One should know what to expect when ordering a Model F, the "faults" and "problems" elevated is really nothing that haven't been said before for the original Model F.
Sorry for being an old fart.
Your statements are completely correct and fair. Glad your responses are similar in thought to mine when I responded to the OPs.

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