IBM Model F XT -> One squishy and pingy key


30 Jul 2020, 14:13

I purchased an IBM model F XT off Ebay. The overall condition looks great. However, the plus key on the far-right side feels squishy and pingy, versus clicky and springy. It seems weird to me since I don't imagine this particular key getting a lot of use. Any relatively simple remedy I can apply to fix this?


30 Jul 2020, 14:28

The spring is probably misaligned. Carefully pop the keycap out, hold the keyboard vertically on the desk, so that the spring is perpendicular to the board and insert the keycap back on. If the cause is indeed a misaligned spring, this should solve the problem.


30 Jul 2020, 14:39

That is amazing. It worked! Yesterday I had taken the cap off three times and put it back on. Nothing had helped. As you suggested, the trick was holding the keyboard vertically and then inserting the keycap back on. Thanks again!

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30 Jul 2020, 23:59

Yep! The old vertical spring trick! Sometimes that doesn't even work, and you have to try it a few times. Typically, any squishy and pingy key is just a misaligned spring, and even if you try taking it off and putting it on a dozen times, it might not be aligned right. Make sure you exhaustively do that like a buttload of times before trying to play with it any other way.

This is for future googlers of "Model F not clicking." Register and say hi!


31 Jul 2020, 19:56

Now that's a very interesting fix. When I was putting the keycaps back on mine after cleaning I noticed that, when the keyboard is on a desk as normal, the sprints all lean slightly in the barrels, towards the bottom, i.e. the towards the space bar. As they all did the same I took than as normal and just pressed the keycaps back on. All the keys seem to click fine but should I have tilted the KB to make the completely straight in the barrels?

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Elder Messenger

31 Jul 2020, 20:36

Sometimes leaning forward helps, sometimes leaning back, you never know. Try every way until something works.

If you look up at the top of the inside of the key stem where the spring seats into it, there is a tiny nipple-like bump. If the top of the spring is not centered on that bump, it will probably not buckle properly.

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